Is the ECU Bar Too High?

by Chris Stansbury

Hall of Fame Dodgers radio broadcaster Vin Scully once said, "Good isn't good, if better is expected."
East Carolina baseball fans have become accustomed to "better" as they watched Pirate teams make the post-season in seven of the last eight years.  In 2006, the Purple and Gold won 33 games, but came up short of the NCAA tournament.  This year, expectations are high once again, and a return to the playoffs is a necessity.
After winning two of three at home to start the 2007 campaign, ECU dropped three straight to nationally ranked UCLA on the road.  Now, the Pirates return home to the friendly confines of Clark-LeClair Stadium.
And it has been friendly.  Of the 33 wins in '06, Pirate fans saw 28 of them at Clark-LeClair Stadium.  Wednesday afternoon's game against Campbell starts a month long home stand that will include 21 games. However, this will not be a smooth road for the Pirates due to the fact that the home stand includes three games with #10 Cal State Fullerton, and single games with #20 Pepperdine as well as in-state rivals N.C. State and UNC Wilmington.  Then once the Conference USA schedule starts, sixth ranked Rice comes to Greenville for a three game weekend series.
In years past, ECU has banked on racking up home victories during a long home stand against non-conference teams like Howard, Stetson and Fairfield.    If you look at college football or basketball, the same thing happens.  Powerhouse schools like Florida, Ohio State and Duke (in basketball, of course) play non-conference games they expect to win with relative ease. 
Billy Godwin's Pirates don't have the luxury of taking a game off, let alone a series, and expect to walk away with victories.  They will need to be on their toes for every single one of the school record 38 home games in 2007.
The Pirate Nation is not satisfied with good, they expect better.  But fans need to remember, ECU is still building its foundation for success.  Setting the bar high only makes us strive harder to achieve our goal.  Just don't set the bar too high so that the only result is a letdown.
Chris Stansbury