05/27/07 — NCCSIA honors five trojan baseball players

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NCCSIA honors five trojan baseball players

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 27, 2007 1:58 PM

ROCKY MOUNT -- Mount Olive College junior Erik Lovett, the 2007 Daktronics Division II Player of the Year, highlights this year's College Division All-State team announced by the N.C. Collegiate Sports Information Association.

The Trojans also put starting pitcher Tom Layne, relief pitcher Patrick Ball, catcher Dustin Richardson and shortstop David Cooper on the 13-player squad. The fourth annual team is comprised of non-NCAA Division I student-athletes from North Carolina colleges and universities.

Mount Olive posted a school-record 49 wins and reached the NCAA Division South Atlantic Regional championship game last week. The Trojans repeated as the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference regular-season and tournament champions.

Lovett, a junior first baseman, batted .403 with 80 RBI and ranks third among the nation's Division II hitters with 21 home runs. He fashioned an .810 slugging percentage, and captured South Atlantic Region and CVAC player of the year accolades.

A resident of St. Charles, Mo., Layne compiled a 9-1 record with a 2.97 earned run average in 842/3 innings of work. He struck out 71 battersand walked just 27. The talented senior was a first-team all-CVAC selection and the conference pitcher of the year.

Layne also earned first-team all-South Atlantic Region acknowledgment.

Ball turned in a solid sophomore campaign by posting a 2-0 mark with five saves in 21 relief appearances. The New Bern resident allowed just five earned runs in 242/3 innings for a 1.82 earned run average. Ball also tallied 29 strikeouts against 10 walks en route to second-team all-CVAC honors.

Richardson was named all-state for the second consecutive season and is this year's lone repeat selection. The senior catcher boasted a .410 batting average with 14 homers and 62 runs batted in. For his efforts, he was named to the Daktronics second-team All-America squad and a first-team all-South Atlantic Region and all-CVAC selection.

A junior shortstop from Edmonton, Alberta, Cooper earned 2007 first-team all-South Atlantic Region honors after batting .406 with 73 runs scored and 29 stolen bases. He also garnered first-team all-CVAC recognition for the second consecutive spring.

Rounding out the 13-member team were senior pitcher Ben Pearson (N.C. Wesleyan), catcher Averill Bryant (Shaw University), infielder Alex Castellanos (Belmont Abbey), infielder Zach Evans (Catawba), outfielder Michael Grant (Shaw University), outfielder Michael Kellett (Chowan University), outfielder Matt Smith (NCWC) and designated hitter Seth Waller (Belmont Abbey).

Founded in 2002, the NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from North Carolina's NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions for the purpose of promoting college athletics in the state.

Nearly 450 student-athletes have been recognized on all-state teams since 2003.

-- Courtesy N.C. Wesleyan College