07/28/12 — Duane Gurganus will play baseball at Wake Tech CC

View Archive

Duane Gurganus will play baseball at Wake Tech CC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 28, 2012 11:07 PM

One school's interest wavered, so Duane Gurganus kept looking on the junior college baseball circuit.

Guilford Tech seemed promising.

Then Gurganus discovered Wake Technical Community College, a ruddy program in its infant stages that had just what he needed to continue his education at a four-year school. So Gurganus agreed to play for the Eagles, members of the Region X Division I ranks.

"Wake Tech offered more and had better classes for my major, emergency medicine," said Gurganus, who plans to transfer to East Carolina and become a flight paramedic.

"It (Wake Tech baseball) hasn't been around long, is fairly new. But from what I hear they have a lot good coaches and a great program."

The Eagles finished 15-15-1 this past spring and are projected to return 21 letter-winners for the 2012-13 season. Three pitchers graduated, but Gurganus -- who played numerous positions at Spring Creek -- can fill in just about anywhere Wake Tech head coach Chris Kiec needs him.

He can pitch.

He can catch.

And he can play middle infield.

"I'm very happy for him, he deserves it and he's worked hard," Spring Creek head baseball coach Heath Whitfield said. "He has been solid for us all four years. He loves the game, really passionate about it. That's what he's wanted to do all his life, to play at the next level and I'm glad he gets to do that.

"He can definitely help somebody in some capacity."

Gurganus split time as a pitcher and catcher during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Spring Creek. He pitched and played infield as a junior, and was the Gators' primary shortstop when he wasn't on the mound this past spring.

A four-year varsity starter, Gurganus helped lead Spring Creek to 50 wins and four appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A playoffs. The Gators fell in the second round each time.

Gurganus earned all-Carolina Conference accolades each season.

"Right now, I'm going as a catcher, but I feel like I can play anywhere on the infield or give a couple of innings on the mound if needed," Gurganus said. "(Coach Kiec) told me when I won't catching in a game or in the field somewhere, I'd be in the bullpen. He was fair about it and said as a freshman, I'd have to work to get into the starting lineup and I agree with that.

"He said if I do the right things, he'd have no problem working me into the lineup. This year with school ball, I didn't catch but two or three games, so I got away from it. I need to work on it."

Practice begins Aug. 17 for the Eagles, who will play a fall schedule in preparation for the spring that includes three-game weekend series, and very few mid-week games.

Gurganus embraces the challenge.

"It's going to be difficult from playing three games in a week to playing three games on a weekend, and that's where working in the weight room and building endurance is going to help," Gurganus said. "That's going to be a task."