Local ballplayers on display to open the college baseball season

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The Wilmington area has a rich history of producing standouts on the baseball diamond and more than two dozen local ballplayers took the field for various schools during the opening  weekend of college baseball.

On the UNCW campus, senior leadoff hitter Steven Linkous (North Brunswick) went 7-for-16 in three wins for the Seahawks, with seven runs scored, one double and one triple. He added five runs batted in along with three stolen bases.

Steven Linkous. Photo courtesy- John Crouch
Steven Linkous. Photo courtesy- John Crouch

Western Carolina junior Bryan Sammons (Hoggard) made his 2016 debut in his hometown of Wilmington. The left-hander scattered six hits over seven innings, allowing just one run. He struck out six against one walk, but received a no decision in a 3-1 setback to Richmond.

Joe O’Donnell (Hoggard) made his first career start for N.C. State on Sunday, allowing three runs – two earned – on three hits over five innings of work, with two walks and five strikeouts.

Sophomore Mason Berne (Topsail) continues to swing a hot bat through the early portion of the schedule for Spartanburg Methodist. Through four games, Berne has three home runs, six runs batted in and five runs scored in 12 at-bats.

Collin Thacker (New Hanover) had six hits in 15 at-bats for Gardner Webb in a four game set against Delaware State. He drove in seven runs, including a three-run homerun on Saturday.

In eight games played for N.C. Wesleyan, Trey Croom (New Hanover) is 9-for-24, with 12 RBI’s. He has one home run, one double and four runs scored.

Jake Shumate (North Brunswick) has thrown 7.2 innings for Francis Marion, allowing one run on two hits, with four walks and seven strikeouts. He picked up his first win of the year with 5.2 innings of relief in a win against Armstrong State on Saturday.

In 2.2 innings of relief, freshman Sam Luchansky (Topsail) has allowed one run on two hits, with two walks and one strikeout.

Below is a complete list of local athletes from the area competing within the various ranks of college baseball this year.

New Hanover

  • Sam Foy, Davidson College
  • Ward Coleman, Davidson College
  • Collin Thacker, Gardner-Webb
  • Trey Croom, N.C. Wesleyan
  • Max Johnson, Phoenix College (Arizona)


  • Joe O’Donnell, N.C. State
  • Bryan Sammons, Western Carolina
  • Brandon Boone, Guilford Tech
  • Julia Blackburn, Brunswick Community College


  • Shane Shepard, N.C. State
  • Chance Shepard, N.C. State
  • Eric Eason, UNC-Charlotte
  • Matt Davis, Louisburg College


  • Jon Kuebler, Guilford Tech


  • Danny Wilson, UNC-Asheville
  • Jake Madole, UNC-Asheville
  • Sam Luchansky, Belmont Abbey
  • Trader Flora, Appalachian State
  • Clark Cota, UNCW
  • Mason Berne, Spartanburg Methodist

North Brunswick

  • Shelton Perkins, East Carolina
  • Steven Linkous, UNCW
  • Chris Graham, UNC-Greensboro
  • Jake Shumate, Francis Marion
  • Jared Strange, Southeastern Community College
  • Kevon Perkins, Spartanburg Methodist

West Brunswick

  • Chandler Taylor, Pitt Community College
  • Markel Jones, Brunswick Community College
  • Erick Hill, Guilford Tech Community College

South Brunswick

  • Josh Larson, Guilford Tech