05/25/06 — Ham and Moye headed to Lenoir CC

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Ham and Moye headed to Lenoir CC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 25, 2006 2:13 PM

KINSTON -- Stony Wine, like his predecessor Lind Hartsell, continues to filter talent through the Wayne County-Lenoir Community College baseball pipeline.

Wine has signed Tyler Ham and invited Joey Moye to walk on next year at the Division II junior college power. Ham and Moye helped lead Eastern Wayne to a 12-win season and its fifth consecutive top-four finish in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play.

"It's the best fit for me," said Ham, who led the Warriors with a .355 batting average. "I'm not saying I couldn't play at other places and it's no knock on Lenoir, but junior college ball is about getting better, and playing a lot.

"This gives me a chance to play."

Moye is eager to extend his baseball career as well. The center fielder, who raised his batting average a whopping 49 points this spring, garnered attention during a preseason workout in February.

"Coach really liked us and invited us to come back in June," said Moye. "I called him back a couple of days ago just to make sure, and he said he still wants me."

The Lancers ended their season with an extra-inning loss against Monroe (N.Y.) Community College in the NJCAA Northeastern District tournament. It was the final stop before the World Series, which LCC participated in two years ago.

Wine's team posted a school-record 44 wins and was ranked No. 2 in the final NJCAA Division II poll.

The winning tradition and Wine's reputation as a hard-working coach attracted both Ham and Moye. The duo talked with former Eastern Wayne and Wayne County Post 11 teammates about the program, and what to expect once they step onto the baseball field at LCC.

Ham compared fall workouts to basic training in boot camp.

"I've talked to Airlon (Vinson) and Matt (Holloman) and they love it," said Ham, who will compete for a starting job with at least two other catchers next season. "They said the fall is bad, but it's good in a way. It's really hard and Airlon said it turns you into a man.

"Coach told me it was going to be real hard and that he's going to get us ready for the season. After you make it through the fall, everything is fun."

Moye echoed Ham's viewpoint.

"It takes a lot of hard work and you've got to be dedicated," said Moye. "You can't just show up for practice and not give 100 percent, and expect to do well when spring comes around.

"It's going to help me see what it's like, what the competition is like and what adjustments I need to make as a player. I can watch other players and set goals for myself."

Wine has spoken with both players on several occasions and assessed their respective games. Both Ham and Moye agreed that their hitting must improve if they're to succeed on the college level.

Ham and Moye, who cranked out two of the team's five home runs, led the Warriors with 15 and 13 RBI, respectively. Moye collected the team's highest slugging percentage (.532) and Ham emerged the top runner with an on-base percentage of .570.

"I know I don't hit the ball as well as I should," said Ham. "He wants me to raise my batting average 50 points and that's a pretty big jump.

"I think one reason that I have an advantage is that I'm a left-handed hitting catcher and you don't see a lot of those."

Ham and Moye admitted they need to get stronger and more physically fit to handle the grueling schedule in college. They've gained some experience by playing with Post 11 last season and will spend this summer with the perennial Legion power.