03/31/04 — Local baseball players show up at all area colleges

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Local baseball players show up at all area colleges

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 31, 2004 1:56 PM

Some of the area's collegiate baseball talent are playing right down the road at Mount Olive College. Some are a good five-hour drive away.

Regardless, there are some solid seasons and numbers in the works out there that are worth mentioning.

A big thank you to all of you Sports Information Directors at these schools for keeping your statistics updated on your athletics webpages. You all do a wonderful job and make ours much easier.

Note: Most statistics are through weekend of March 28.

Mount Olive College

* Stevie Parrish (C.B. Aycock) -- Second on the team in batting and RBI with a .394 average and 52 RBI in 37 games. Tied with Craig Hurba for the team lead in home runs with 13 as a senior.

* Allen Thomas (C.B. Aycock) -- In his first year with Mount Olive since coming over from Greensboro College. Thomas has 57 hits and a .368 average, good for third on the team. His 25 RBI are also the Trojans' third highest.

* Phillip Pennington (C.B. Aycock) -- Picked up his first collegiate win over Virginia State on March 11 and has a 3.24 earned run average in eight innings of work and three appearances. Opponents are hitting just .167 off of the freshman right-hander. "We're going to try to run him out there and give him at least an inning every weekend. He's right on track to where we want him to be," Trojans' coach Carl Lancaster said.

* Todd MacCoy (E. Wayne) -- Hitting around .380 for Mount Olive's JV squad -- primarily hitting fifth in the batting order and playing left field. "He's doing pretty darn good. Hopefully he'll be a local boy that comes around and plays everyday," Lancaster said.

East Carolina

* Dustin Sasser (C.B. Aycock) -- Freshman leads ECU in appearances with 12 through 27 games and has a 3.57 earned run average. Used mostly as a reliever, has a 1-0 record in 172Ú3 innings with 15 strikeouts.

Lenoir Community College

* Mike Macanas (E. Wayne) -- As the Lancers everyday short stop, hitting .239 with a fielding percentage of .934. for the 17-5 Lancers. Combining with Cole Franks (Garner) to make up a solid middle infield. "Might be our best middle infield in my nine years," Lancers' coach Lind Hartsell said.

* Blake Herring (Greene Central) -- Tied for the team lead with four wins at 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA. Leads the team in innings pitched at 382Ú3. "He's a great competitor and we're very pleased to have him in our program," Hartsell said.

* Jonathan Gatewood (Princeton) -- Hitting .370 from the clean-up spot with two home runs, seven doubles and 18 RBI. "I can't complain about his numbers, we just want him to progress and keep getting better," Hartsell said.

* Jacob Allen (Greene Central) -- Playing a limited role at first base, designated hitter and pitcher, and still recovering from arm surgery last Spring. Only pitched 71Ú3 innings this year, and got his first start on March 28. Hitting .304 in 46 at bats with a home run and six RBI. Red-shirted last year.

* Zach Lyles (N. Lenoir) -- Two-year starter in left field is batting .283 with one HR and nine RBI.

* Andy Greever (Princeton) -- Pitched four innings out of the bullpen and is still working on finding the strike zone at the college level.


* Jon Davis (Greene Central) -- Started in 20 of the Seahawks' 25 games and is batting .253 with 14 RBI in his sophomore season. Had a team-high for the season 13 putouts against Kent State at first base.

* Matt Sutton (Greene Central) -- Sophomore is hitting .356 and is second on the team with 18 RBI and three home runs through 25 games. Drove in five runs against James Madison on March 27.


* Brett Butts (E. Wayne) -- Picked up his first collegiate save at then No. 11-ranked Clemson on Feb. 24 in the Tigers' season opener. The freshman has two strikeouts in 31Ú3 innings of work through 23 games with the 49ers.

* Travis Vann (E. Wayne) -- Has appeared in six games as a sophomore transfer from LCC and is 0-1 on the season. In 81Ú3 innings, has four strikeouts and a 8.64 ERA.

North Carolina

* Rob Wooten (C.B. Aycock) -- Coming off of shoulder surgery last July, tossed 90 pitches in the bullpen recently and is progressing very well, according to Tarheels' coach Mike Fox. "More than likely, he won't pitch this year, but it isn't ruled out. He's healed, but he has to get back in baseball shape," Fox said. Wooten is assigned to pitch in Wilson for the Tobs of the Coastal Plains League this summer.


* Erik Lovett (S. Wayne) -- Through 31 games, hitting .229 with 10 of his 24 hits being home runs in 105 at bats. Driven in 23 runs and has started every game in either the outfield or first base.

* Graham Wooten (E. Wayne) -- While platooning at third base and seeing some action at first, the freshman is hitting .353 in 34 at bats with 10 runs scored and one home run. Started in seven of 31 games and has played in 22 games.

* R.T Pejera (S. Wayne) -- Is five-of-18 on the season in six starts with seven runs scored and four RBI. Has played in 12 of 31 games.

Belmont Abbey

* Joey Raczkowski (E. Wayne) -- Since returning from surgery to repair a bone spur in December, the sophomore has steadily improved his ERA in a starting role. Early in the season, the right-hander came out of the bullpen in order to build stamina. He's currently 2-3 with a 4.64 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 42 innings. "He's been lights-out since he has moved into being a starter," Crusaders' coach Kermit Smith said.

Western Carolina

* Chris Davis (S. Wayne) -- Leads the Catamounts in several statistical categories, including a .365 average, 38 hits and 11 doubles. Has started all 25 games for Western this season as a junior.

* Brian McCullen (E. Wayne) -- The East Carolina transfer is 0-1 in twelve appearances with a 6.05 ERA. The sophomore left-hander has struck out 12 against 13 walks in 191Ú3 innings with two starts.


* Ray'Mon Bizzell (S. Wayne) -- Started in 26 of the Bishop's 28 games and is hitting .215 with 23 total bases and eight RBI in his junior season.

* Michael Stevens (C.B. Aycock) -- Played in four games for the Bishops in his junior year with three trips to the plate.

Greensboro College

* Brandon Davis (C.B. Aycock) -- Started in six games for the Pride this season and played in 14. Four hits in 22 at bats with four RBI in his sophomore season.

Catawba College

* Nick Mayle (Princeton) -- Team leader in wins with a 6-2 mark in 17 appearances. While making just one start in his sophomore season, Mayle has 27 strike outs in 29 innings of work.

Old Dominion

* Ricky Shefka (N. Lenoir) -- Rotating between pitcher and designated hitter in his sophomore year. Shefka is hitting .263 in 19 at-bats. In four appearances and one start on the mound, Shefka has pitched just eight innings for the 12-12 Monarchs.