LUBBOCK, Texas — There is nothing so finer than a Carolina morning except maybe for a moonlight walk under the stars of a Texas sky and for East Carolina University they are ready to feel better, as they represent the American Athletic Conference in the 2016 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
The Pirates won the trip to Texas by simply taking care of business in the Charlottesville, Virginia Regional last weekend by sending home their competition.
East Carolina University finished second in the regular season in the American Athletic Conference but they were the first team eliminated from the conference tournament played at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida and for Pirates baseball coach Cliff Godwin, he might have been concern about making to the NCAA Tournament.
After the quiet bus ride back Greenville, North Carolina, Godwin and his team waited patiently and received an at-large bid from the NCAA making the third team from the American Athletic Conference to continue the 2016 baseball season.
“Regional Champions, that sounds pretty good,” Godwin said afer the Pirates defeated the College of William&Mary 8-6, to win the championship. “We started out this season in the summer of last year, the guys worked their butts off to be tough and this season hasn’t been easy for us.”
Last weekend a storm marched through the Commonwealth of Virginia and the rain came but that could not dampen the Pirates’ team spirit as they defeated a nationally ranked Byrant University and against the host team the University of Virginia before closing the regional by defeating College of William&Mary.
Godwin and his team packed up the equipment and their bags are now calling West Texas home for the weekend.
The Pirates hard work will be needed as they get ready to face the No.8 team in the nation, Texas Tech University and just to make it a little tougher for the Pirates it will be a home game for the Red Raiders at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, Friday night June 10, the place will be packed and the first pitch is scheduled 8 p.m.(ET).
Texas Tech got to the Super Regional by winning their regional, which provided teams that would be a challenge for the Red Raiders. Dallas Baptist gave the Red Raiders plenty of reasons to sweat about before finally losing to Texas Tech 5-3, Monday night and sending Texas Tech onward down the road to Omaha.
Texas Tech’s offense is a hard hitting team with a batting average of .295 and they lead the Big 12 Conference with 52 home runs. The Red Raiders pitching is fifth in the conference with a ERA of 4.26, team’s are batting against .261 and are third in the conference with a fielding percentage .974 and have made 62 errors.
Texas Tech University baseball coach Tim Tadlock will have his team ready to face the No.16 East Carolina University.
East Carolina University is the best hitting team in the American Athletic Conference with a team average of .291 and that places the Pirates 64th in the NCAA.
Tadlock and his coaching staff will have a pitching plan for the Pirates and for the American Athletic Conference batting champ Dwanya Williams-Sutton.
Williams-Sutton was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team by Collegiate Baseball.
Texas Tech has a few weapons too that Godwin and his pitching staff have an idea how they are going to contain the Red Raiders’ batters Tanner Gardner and Eric Gutierrez.
Friday night will be festive Texas party, the spotlight on the stage will be as bright as the Texas sun, the road to Omaha is littered with dusty memories and broken dreams and so under the Texas moon the Pirates will be is hoping for a finer night.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation.
I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.