Eighth-year skipper Billy Godwin
May 18, 2013
IRVING, Texas - The East Carolina baseball team will take aim on its first post-season league title since 2002 when it opens play as the No. 3 seed at the 2013 Conference USA Baseball Championships. The five-day event will start Wednesday, May 22 and run through Sunday, May 26 at Reckling Park in Houston, Texas.
The Pirates, who are 18-18 all-time in C-USA post-season action, will open the championships against No. 6 Houston (35-20) on Thursday, May 23 at 12 noon (ET), before playing No. 7 seed Tulane (28-27) on Friday at 12 noon (ET) and No. 2 Southern Miss (28-25) Saturday at 8 p.m. (ET). ECU will not play on Wednesday when the championships open as that is its designated day off.
The wildest regular season race in C-USA history came down to the final day and a couple of familiar names ended up sharing the regular season title. For the second time in three years, Rice and Southern Miss are co-champions, both finishing with 15-9 league records. The Owls secured a share of their seventh C-USA regular season crown in eight years with a series sweep of Marshall at home. Five miles away, Southern Miss posted a 6-5 win Saturday at Houston to gain a share of the crown. Rice will be the No.1 seed based on a two-games-to-one series victory at Southern Miss on the opening weekend of league play.
For Rice (37-17), it marks the 18th consecutive season that the Owls have won a conference regular season or tournament championship, dating back to 1995, the final year of the Southwest Conference. For Southern Miss (28-25) it marks its third C-USA regular season crown since 2003.
The 2013 Conference USA Championship will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play. Those eight will be split into two four-team pools (or pods), with the winner of each pod playing in a single championship game. Teams are assigned pods based on seed, which are determined by the order of finish in regular-season conference play.
Each team is guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play all three other teams in its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod advances to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play. In the case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance.
Game times are 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the championship game slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The championship game will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
Pod number one features No.1 seed Rice, No. 4 seed Memphis, No. 5 seed UCF and No. 8 seed UAB. Pod number two includes No. 2 seed Southern Miss, No. 3 seed East Carolina, No. 6 seed Houston and No. 7 seed Tulane.
Makeup of the Pods and Schedule of Play
Pod 1 (Seeds 1, 4, 5, and 8)
Rice vs. Memphis, UCF and UAB
Memphis vs. Rice, UCF and UAB
UCF vs. Rice, Memphis and UAB
UAB vs. Rice, Memphis and UCF
Pod 2 (Seeds 2, 3, 6 and 7)
Southern Miss vs. East Carolina, Houston and Tulane
East Carolina vs. Southern Miss, Houston and Tulane
Houston vs. Southern Miss, East Carolina and Tulane
Tulane vs. Southern Miss, East Carolina and Houston
Wednesday, May 22
Game 1 - (5) UCF vs. (4) Memphis at 12 noon
Game 2 - (7) Tulane vs. (2) Southern Miss at 4 p.m.
Game 3 - (8) UAB vs. (1) Rice at 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 23
Game 4 - (6) Houston vs. (3) East Carolina at 12 noon
Game 5 - (8) UAB vs. (4) Memphis at 4 p.m.
Game 6 - (5) UCF vs. (1) Rice at 8 p.m.
Friday, May 24
Game 7 - (7) Tulane vs. (3) East Carolina at 12 noon
Game 8 - (6) Houston vs. (2) Southern Miss at 4 p.m.
Game 9 - (8) UAB vs. (5) UCF at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 25
Game 10 - (4) Memphis vs. (1) Rice at 12 noon
Game 11 - (7) Tulane vs. (6) Houston at 4 p.m.
Game 12 - (3) East Carolina vs. (2) Southern Miss at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 (televised by CBS Sports Network) Championship Game at 2 p.m.
All Times Eastern
Each game of the championship from Wednesday through Saturday will be streamed live on the C-USA Digital Network. The championship game of the tournament on Sunday, May 26 will be televised live by CBS Sports Network, beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. UAB is the defending tournament champion.
Tickets for the championship are available via Ticketmaster.com.