ARTICLE OF THE DAY
by Josh Spence
What a great weekend of
baseball at the brand new Clark-LeClair Stadium. Everything from the
facilities to the hospitality, right down to the action on the field
was awesome at the 2nd Annual Keith LeClair Classic. Fans got to see
great baseball games with some of the best teams in the country, and
enjoyed one of the nicest baseball facilities in the Southeast. For
most, it was their first look at the 2005 baseball Pirates after 8
straight road games.
This couldn't have come
at a better time for the ECU athletic
department. It's been a pretty chaotic past few months for the
department's staff. Having no permanent athletic director for better
than a year was hard on everyone. Only 3 wins in the past two years for
ECU football, and losing season after losing season in ECU basketball
are only a few of the harsh realities that lead to the removal of both
head coaches in a span of just over three months. Now with the hiring
of a new head basketball coach, ECU will be paying a total of five head
coaches from the sports of football and men's basketball alone.
It would have been easy
to give up on this program. Instead, we focus
on the bright spots as we work to improve the low ones. ECU baseball
has emerged as one of the most successful sports in the schools
history, and now the athletic department, the fans, and many gracious
supporters of the program have shown their appreciation.
With the top notch
facilities the Pirates now call home, they have the
ability to host major tournaments and bring in the countries best
teams. And when the opportunity arises, they can host regionals, and
super-regionals right here in Greenville. These facilities could be
used as a tremendous recruiting tool, and think of the economic boost
of hosting a super regional, or a conference tournament.
The Pirates played over
1,000 games at the old Harrington Field. It was
home to over 90 players that have signed pro contracts, and many of the
Pirates greatest games.
3,890 fans packed the
bleachers and the jungle to watch the Pirates
beat North Carolina 2-1 on April 17th 2002, a record for attendance at
Harrington. On Friday morning, the Pirates set a new record in their
new home as 4,410 Pirate fans watched ECU take out Michigan 2-1.
The 2nd annual Keith
LeClair Classic was just a preview of what is to
come of the Pirates new baseball home. At a time when ECU athletics has
left much to be desired the new Clark-LeClair Stadium has given us all
something to be proud of. Hopefully this is just a sign of things to
come under a new era in East Carolina athletics.