WILMINGTON – Great weather across most of the region this past weekend allowed several local ballplayers to shine at the college level.
Locally, UNC-Wilmington traveled to Oxford, Mississippi and suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of nationally-ranked Ole Miss. The Seahawks (3-3) look to bounce back with a home date against defending College World Series National Champion Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, March 1. First-pitch is slated for 4 p.m. at Brooks Field.
- Bryan Sammons, Western Carolina
Sammons moved to 2-0 on the hill following an impressive performance during the Catamounts’ home opener. The big lefty struck out nine while limiting Marshall to just one base hit over six solid innings of scoreless baseball.
Sammons carried his no-hitter into the fifth inning on Friday before Marshall outfielder Cory Garrastazu led-off the frame with a double into left field, but was later stranded at third base.
All told, Sammons stranded a total of six Thundering Herd base runners, tallying back-to-back strikeouts to end three different innings. The Hoggard alum just missed matching his career-high with the nine punch outs to counter four walks in the winning effort.
A native of Wilmington, Sammons made his 44th career start on Friday, moving into sole possession of sixth all-time in Western Carolina program history, just three starts shy of the top five. He also claimed his 21st career victory on the mound (21-10) to move into possession of ninth all-time in program history, just five wins shy of fifth-place.
At 2-0, Sammons has logged 13.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with 13 strikeouts and 2.70 ERA.
- Joe O’Donnell , N.C. State
N.C. State took two of three from Austin Peay in Raleigh.
After pitching just one-third of an inning in the Wolfpack season opening trip to Hawaii, the righty allowed one run on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings in N.C. State’s 7-3 setback on Sunday.
For the season, O’Donnell has logged three innings, with a 3.00 earned run average.
- Brad Pennington, N.C. Wesleyan
The North Carolina Wesleyan baseball program is off to a 9-1 start to the season after a three-game sweep of Averett University this weekend.
Pennington had two hits at the plate in a 9-2 series opening victory. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI double in game two, adding one hit, one walk and one run scored in Sunday’s finale. All told in the three game series, Pennington was 6-for-13.
Through 10 games, the Hoggard alum has fit in nicely as the everyday starter at second base and in the two hole atop the Battling Bishops lineup. In 36 at-bats, Pennington is hitting .444, with three doubles, three triples, 11 RBIs and 11 run scored.
- Brandon Boone, Brunswick Community College
The righty has made two starts on the mound for Brunswick Community College this season. On Sunday, Boone tossed five innings and received the no decision in a 2-1 win over Walters State. He let up one run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in the effort.
In 13 innings pitched, he has a 1-0 record, with 14 strikeouts and 0.69 ERA.
- Julian Blackburn, Brunswick Community College
- Collin Thacker, Gardner Webb
Thacker hit a pair of doubles for Gardner Webb over the weekend, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs fell to 2-6 overall following a three game sweep at the hands of Appalachian State.
The preseason Big South Player of the Year had two RBIs in the series opener, and doubled during Sunday’s 5-1 defeat. Thacker is 9-for-31 (.290) on the year, with a team-high seven runs batted in.
- Trey Croom, N.C. Wesleyan
Croom tallied three hits for the Battling Bishops during Sunday’s 8-3 win. He had seven hits in 14 plate appearances during the weekend series with Averrett University to boost his batting average to .324 on the season.
- Max Johnson, Phoenix College (Arizona)
Phoenix College is off to a 15-5 start in the desert. With 63 at-bats, Johnson has seen action in all but two games so far this season.
On Feb. 22, the New Hanover alum had his best game of the spring to date, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored. He has four stolen bases on the year and 14 run scored.
- Cory Everett, Guilford Tech
Guilford Tech is 11-4 overall. Everett is hitting .297 in 11 games played. The freshman launched his first college home run on Feb. 25, with three hits, three run batted in and two runs scored in the ball game.
- Shane Shepard, N.C. State
Shepard had a couple of hits on a 2-for-10 weekend at the plate. In game two of the series on Saturday against Austin Peay, Shepard smacked an RBI double down the line as part of a four-run fourth inning as N.C. State rolled to a 6-3 result.
Shepard is 3-of-16 (.188) through six games for the Wolfpack (4-2). He has one home run, one double, two runs batted in and two run scored.
- Clark Cota, UNCW
Cota saw action in the series finale in front of 7,000 plus fans at Swayze Field on Sunday in an 8-6 setback to Ole Miss. The righty threw 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
He has two appearances with a 0.00 ERA in 2.1 innings with three strikeouts after making his college debut following Tommy John surgery.
- Mason Berne, UNCW
Berne is hitting .200 through six games as the Seahawks cleanup hitter. He went 0-for-5 on Sunday after being robbed of an extra base hit with runners on the corners and one out late in the game.
Berne singled home Nick Feight in the seventh during Saturday’s contest with the Rebels and collected two hits in the series opener. The right-handed hitter also saw action at first base for the first time this season.
In 25 at-bats through six games, Berne has five hits, one double, two home runs, four RBIs and four runs scored.
- Danny Wilson, UNC-Asheville
UNC-Asheville grabbed two wins during its trip to Spartanburg, S.C., to improve its record to 3-4 overall. Wilson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in the Bulldogs 7-6 come from behind win against Wofford on Sunday.
The Topsail alum is 4-for-24 through seven games. He has two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored.
- Jake Madole, UNC-Asheville
Madole has had his fair share of shake your head moments over the last few seasons. After returning from a season-ending ACL injury during his freshman year, Madole has been a target at the plate. He’s been hit by three pitches this season.
Madole has made three starts, going 3-for-9 at the plate with one double, two RBIs and one run scored.
- Trader Flora, Appalachian State
- Sam Luchansky, Belmont Abbey
Luchansky tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball over the weekend. In seven appearances for Belmont Abbey, the sophomore side winder has logged seven innings pitched. The Crusaders have a 9-8 overall record.
- Chase Riker, Barton College
Barton College has a 14-3 record after splitting a double header with Limestone College on Saturday. In game one, Riker went 2-for-4 at the plate. He added two hits and one run scored later in the afternoon.
The freshman second baseman has played in 11 of 17 games for the Bulldogs. He’s started in each of the last eight games, touting a .417 batting average. Riker has five doubles and six RBIs on the young season, going 15-for-36 at the plate.
- Payton Rice, Louisburg College
Rice fell to 1-2 on the mound as the tough luck loser on Sunday in a 4-3 setback to Catawba Valley. The right-hander let up four runs-three earned-on nine hits with zero walks and five strikeouts.
In three starts this season, the freshman has logged 15.1 innings. He has 13 strikeouts to five walks, with one complete game. Louisburg College has an 8-6 overall record.
- Pete Wildeboer, Methodist
Wildeboer has started all 12 games for the Monarchs, who have a 7-5 record following an 8-6 victory over Rutgers-Camden on Sunday. Wildeboer had two hits and one stolen base in the win.
For the season, he’s hitting .298 (14-for-47), tied for second on the team with 10 RBIs.
- Kennedy Hardy, Guilford Tech
In 31 at-bats, Hardy is hitting .290 (9-for-31). He’s collected three multi-hit games after going 2-for-4 with three runs batted in on Sunday.
- Jonathan Kuebler, Guilford Tech
Kuebler is 5-for-27 with two home runs and four RBIs in 27 at-bats.
- Tyler Stanley, Elon
Stanley played in left field for a portion of Saturday’s match up against nationally-ranked Clemson. Elon suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers to fall to 3-4 overall.
The West Brunswick alum is still in search of his first hit as a college ballplayer. He is 0-for-4 to start the season.
- Hunter Ashburn, USC-Aiken
- Zach Johnson, Brunswick Community College
Johnson has played in four of seven games for Brunswick Community College. He has one hit in 15 at-bats.
- Shelton Perkins, Pitt Community College
- Chris Graham, Brunswick Community College
Brunswick Community College has a 5-2 overall record. Graham has hit in the lead-off spot for the Dolphins, boasting a .367 average. He went 1-for-2 with a run batted in during Sunday’s 2-1 result.