06/02/06 — Golden Falcons' Massey signs with MOC

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Golden Falcons' Massey signs with MOC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 2, 2006 2:23 PM

PIKEVILLE -- One afternoon after attending a summer baseball camp, Jackson Massey grabbed a pen and paper.

He sat down and penned notes to different colleges expressing an interest in playing for their baseball team. Massey wrote to several eastern North Carolina programs, but one in particular -- Mount Olive College -- appealed to him the most.

The proximity, for one, allowed him to stay close to home.

The prospect of playing every day factored heavily into his decision.

MOC's winning tradition held some charm.

So, Massey made it official. The Charles B. Aycock senior signed a national letter-of-intent to play with the Trojans next season. Massey is one of three players to sign for veteran coach Carl Lancaster, who has also inked Austin Hood and plans to invite David Combs to walk on next fall.

Massey drew attention from Barton College, community college powers Lenoir and Pitt; and Division III member N.C. Wesleyan. He attended tryouts at Barton and Pitt.

"I've wanted to play college baseball for as long as I can remember," said Massey, the 18-year-old son of Louis and Lu Massey of Eureka. "Early on, I had big schools (in mind), but I had to get realistic. (I like) the overall success of the program and I'm close to a couple of guys on the team.

"I just feel like I'll be most comfortable there for the next four years."

A former three-sport letterman at Aycock, Massey gave up soccer after his freshmen year and left wrestling after his sophomore season. Over the past four years, he's added 40 pounds to his 5-foot-10 frame.

Massey played left field and pitched for the Golden Falcons, who shared the regular-season Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference crown with Southern Wayne. Aycock emerged the ECC tournament champion and ended the year with 24 wins after an opening-round playoff loss against D.H. Conley.

A crafty 155-pound left-hander who developed a good change-up in the offseason, Massey fashioned a 2-0 record and 0.70 ERA on the mound. He gained a couple of spot starts after the Golden Falcons lost left-hander Grant Sasser to a season-ending injury.

Offensively, Massey batted .295 and scored a team-high 30 runs. As Aycock's lead-off hitter, he slugged four home runs and posted an on-base percentage of .465.

Massey, in talks with Lancaster, could possibly pitch his freshman year.

"That's fine with me," said Massey, who pitched for Aycock's Junior Legion team and has thrown a few innings for Wayne County Post 11. "I'm happy just playing."

Mount Olive emerged the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference tournament champion and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional. The Trojans spent a few weeks ranked among the nation's top 30 teams and concluded the year 39-16.

"I just want to fit into the program as best I can," said Massey.