Local ballplayers continue to make impact at the college level

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With one week to go in the regular season, here’s a look at the dozen or so local ballplayers making strides at college level.

Below are 2015 statistics through May 11.

Bryan Sammons, sophomore, LHP, Western Carolina, Hoggard

Bryan Sammons. Photo courtesy-  Ashley Evans, WCU Public Relations
Bryan Sammons. Photo courtesy  Ashley Evans, WCU Public Relations.

Sophomore starter Bryan Sammons (4-4) struck out seven batters against five walks through six innings on the mound for the Catamounts on a hot Saturday afternoon to earn the victory in a 7-4 over Samford.

The second-year southpaw allowed four runs on five hits.

On the year, the lefty from Hoggard has a 4-4 record in 12 starts with a 5.12 ERA. He has logged the most innings of any Catamount pitcher (65 IP), with 58 strikeouts.

Trevor Kelley, senior, RHP, North Carolina, Ashley

Nationally ranked UNC dropped three games to Notre Dame over the weekend and Trevor Kelley was roughed up in his only appearance against the Irish. The senior relief pitcher allowed four runs on two hits and two walks over 1.2 innings in the series opener.

Kelley remains the nation’s leader with 35 pitching appearances, having logged 64 innings out of the Carolina bullpen. On the year, the former Ashley High School standout has a 2.67 ERA, with a 5-2 record. Opposing hitters are batting just .234 against the side winder. He has 53 strikeouts to 17 walks.

Pete Wildeboer, sophomore, Methodist, Laney

Peter Wildeboer.  Photo courtesy- Methodist Athletics
Peter Wildeboer. Photo courtesy Methodist Athletics.

Wildeboer was named to the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District team. The academic all-district teams are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and have been released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

A native of Castle Hayne, Wildeboer boasts a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in Biology/Chemistry, while starting in 39 of the 40 total games for the Monarchs as a sophomore.

He is currently hitting .316 with seven doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs on the year, while scoring 33 times.

Joe O’Donnell, sophomore, RHP, N.C. State, Hoggard

The resurgent Wolfpack have won eight straight as N.C. State looks to improve on their postseason chances with four games to go in the regular season.

Joe ODonnell. Photo courtesy John Crouch
Joe ODonnell. Photo courtesy John Crouch.

O’Donnell has been limited over the last week, having made his last appearance in a non-conference game against Longwood on May 2. He allowed just one hit and struck out six over four innings of work.

O’Donnell is second on the team in appearances (21), having logged 45.2 innings this season. He has a 6-3 record and 2.17 ERA. He’s averaging one strikeout per inning and opposing hitters are batting just .191 against the right-handed fireballer.

Chance Shepard, junior, C, N.C. State, Ashley

Chance has played a big role in N.C. State’s surge as the junior homered in three straight starts against Campbell, Longwood and East Carolina, while the former Ashley standout went 3-for-6 with four RBIs in a weekend win over Wake Forest.

Of the 14 total hits for Shepard in 56 at-bats, he has four home runs, three doubles and 17 RBIs.

Shane Shepard, freshman, INF, N.C. State, Ashley

Shane had just one at-bat over the weekend against Wake Forest. The freshman is 7-for-48 in his rookie season for the Wolfpack.

Sam Foy, junior, 2B, Davidson, New Hanover

Davidson enjoyed the weekend off and split a pair of non-conference games against High Point and Duke on May 5-6. Foy went 3-for-5 with a double, run scored and two RBIs in the 17-4 win over High Point. The New Hanover High School graduate had two hits and a run scored in the 5-4 setback to the Blue Devils.

In 181 at-bats this season, Foy is hitting .320 as the Davidson leadoff hitter. He has a .950 fielding percentage with 28 runs scored, 58 total hits and 25 runs batted in.

Steven Linkous, junior, OF, UNCW, North Brunswick

Linkous had two hits, two runs and two runs batted in during Sunday’s setback to College of Charleston. The UNCW junior went 4-for-14 over the weekend and his third on the team with a .340 batting average.

Linkous has 26 stolen bases in 34 attempts, with 52 runs scored and a .434 on base percentage. He has 31 walks to 36 strikeouts, seven doubles, four triples, one home run and 17 RBIs this season.

Jonathan Kelley, RHP, VMI, Ashley

Kelley threw just 1.2 innings over the past week for VMI. He recorded two outs in a relief appearance against Mercer on May 3, while finishing a full inning of work against UNC-Greensboro on Sunday.

For the season, has made three starts and 16 appearances for the Keydets. He has an 0-2 record with a 9.39 ERA in 23 innings pitched.

Scott Johnson, senior, INF, Gardner Webb

Johnson went 2-for-3 with a run scored and run batted in on Sunday.

He is hitting .205 for Gardner Webb in 50 games played. In 151 at-bats, He has 31 hits, with 14 runs scored, two doubles, one triple and eight RBIs.

Colin Thacker, sophomore, C, OF, Gardner Webb, New Hanover

Thacker went 5-for-11 over the weekend as Gardner Webb dropped two of three to Longwood. On Sunday, the sophomore drove in a run and scored a run.

In 158 at-bats, Thacker is second on the team with a .291 batting average. He has appeared in 48 of the 51 games played. He has 26 RBIs on the year.

Eric Eason, sophomore, UNC-Charlotte, Ashley

Eason had just one hit in 11 at-bats over the weekend against Southern Miss. He has played in 26 games with 20 starts for UNC-Charlotte. The sophomore from Ashley is 13-for-64 on the season, with a pair of doubles, six runs scored and six runs batted in.

Coley Thompkins, P, Campbell, Hoggard

Thompkins has a team-high 23 appearances for Campbell this season. The righty has a 4-2 record with two saves in 41 innings pitched. He’s allowed 24 runs-16 earned-with six walks to 28 strikeouts and a 3.51 ERA.

Joe Catenacci is a sports writer at Port City Daily and host of The Sports Connection on 103.7 FM at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Mondays. Reach him at joe.c@portcitydaily.com.