06/26/07 — Gurley and Sutton head to LCC

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Gurley and Sutton head to LCC

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on June 26, 2007 1:47 PM

Eastern Wayne baseball standouts Chad Gurley and Taylor Sutton won't have to deal with one major hurdle freshmen encounter their first year of college -- unfamiliarity -- next fall.

The duo is headed to Lenoir Community College where they'll join three former Warrior teammates -- Airlon Vinson, Tyler Ham and Joey Moye.

"It'll be less pressure because you know there will be people there you can look up to," said Gurley, who along with Sutton, signed a national letter-of-intent with the Lancers. "I've looked up to Tyler ever since I was a freshman. He was a leader on the baseball field."

Sutton agreed.

"I think it'll be fun," he said. "It'll be cool because you'll be playing with people you've played against."

Gurley and Sutton acknowledged LCC had many attractions. The Lancers have been a top-10, Division II junior college program during the last five years. Coach Stony Wine has impressed both players with his track record, which includes a 42-win season this past spring and three Region X Coach-of-the-Year awards.

Sutton fashioned a 2-2 record and 1.96 earned run average on the mound. The right-hander notched 26 strikeouts in 39 innings, and garnered all-conference recognition. At the plate, Sutton hit .330 with two home runs, 22 RBI and had a slugging percentage of .521.

Gurley played just one year of varsity baseball. The second baseman batted .349, scored 25 runs and earned all-Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference honors. On defense, he racked up 63 assists and committed just seven errors.

The tandem helped Eastern Wayne finish second overall in the six-team ECC, and advance to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

"They've played a big part in where we are," said Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum. "We had a good year and we had fun."

Fulghum expects Gurley and Sutton will succeed at LCC.

"We don't expect anything less than these guys joining LCC and keeping them a top notch program," he said. "I'm proud of them. They're hard-nosed guys ... good students. I think Chad and Taylor are going to do well at LCC."