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Led by reigning Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Pitcher of the Year Mat Batts, UNCW placed four players on the league’s preseason all-conference squad and three other players were honorable mention.
Batts became the first Seahawk hurler to be the league’s top pitcher after posting a 9-4 record and a 3.47 earned run average as the Seahawks’ Friday starter. In CAA play, the lefthander posted a 7-2 mark and a 2.96 ERA, while walking just eight batters and holding opponents to a .229 batting average. Batts went the distance on five occasions and struck out 72 hitters.
Joining Batts on the preseason All-CAA squad were returning All-CAA first-teamers Kelly Secrest, Ryan LaGrange and third-team selection Luke Dunlap.
Secrest earned first-team honors for the first time after leading the staff with a career-high eight saves. The southpaw posted a 3-1 mark and a 3.57 ERA overall and fanned 53 batters in 53 innings over 31 appearances.
LaGrange exploded in 2013, earning second-team Academic All-America honors on the strength of a .370 batting average with 14 doubles and five home runs. The Wilmington native is the Seahawks top-returning hitter this season.
Dunlap, who led the ballclub with 46 runs batted in, also moved into the starting lineup in 2013 and responded with an All-CAA season, hitting .338 with 15 doubles and six round trippers. In April, Dunlap hit .476 with 23 RBI’s while fashioning a career-long 16-game hitting streak.
Earning spots on the honorable mention team were infielder Terence Connelly, right-handed pitcher Jordan Ramsey and designated hitter Corey Dick.
The Seahawks open the 2014 season on Feb. 14 with a 4 p.m. start against VMI in game two of the Hughes Bros. Challenge.
Osandai Vaughn dropped 27 points as the Cape Fear men’s basketball team pulled out an 83-81 win over Wake Tech in Raleigh on Friday night. Anthony Vanhook chipped in with 10 points for the Sea Devils, who got back to the .500 mark at 10-10 on the season and 1-1 in Region X play.
“Our energy was poor to begin the game, but we responded well in the second half,” said CFCC Coach Ryan Mantlo. “We must be more consistent to have a chance at a championship.”
The Sea Devils get right back on the floor Saturday, with a 3 p.m. tip-off at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford.
Guilford Tech 70 Cape Fear 61
The Lady Sea Devils opened back-to-back games with a hard fought loss 70-61 to Guilford Tech on Friday night.
Three Cape Fear players scored in double figures, led by Shakerya Morrison, who finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Porsha Buchanan added 14 in the setback, while Kristina Rumplasch finished with double-double, 12 points and 10 boards.
The Sea Devils fell to 4-5 in conference and 12-5 overall. Cape Fear looks to get back on track Saturday as they wrap up a two-game road trip Saturday at Catawba Valley.