Avoiding Road Rage

by Chris Stansbury

Country Music Television (CMT) recently released its list of the top road songs of all time.  At number one, Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" was definitely not written about East Carolina's baseball team.  "On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again."  
The road has been absolutely brutal to the purple and gold in the last two seasons.  It's the main reason the streak of six straight post-season appearances ended.  ECU floundered to a whopping 4-15 road record in 2006 and still managed to win 33 ball games.  
This season, after losing three on the road at UCLA, the Pirates returned home and won 18 out of 20 games at the friendly confines of Clark-LeClair Stadium.  But did spending more than a month on campus allow room for a rut as they play eight of the next eleven on the road?  
Maybe at first.  But Ryan Tousley did his darndest to break the Bucs out of any rut.  His 5-for-5 performance with 4 RBI's helped catapult ECU to a much needed road win on Sunday.  
And really ECU should have won the opening game Friday night.  The bases were left loaded in the 8th, then two on and one out in the 9th without the tying run scoring.  It's probably one of the first times this season the clutch hitting Pirates didn't come through in the clutch. 
Let's not be too tough, after all this series at Tulane was far from a no-brainer.  As of today, Tulane jumped into the Top 25 in the Baseball America poll at 21st.  And unfortunately right in front of ECU. 
Despite a mid-week road game at NC State and this weekend's home battle with 8th ranked Rice, ECU must find a way to keep winning on the road.  Marshall, Houston and UAB aren't ranked, but they're Conference USA games that sure will have huge implications on the post-season. 
Perhaps the Diamond Dogs should set their goal for the rest of the season to be the number two song on the CMT Road Song list:  "King of the Road," by Roger Miller.  Damn, I am getting old.
Chris Stansbury