Moore County Providing Colleges With Plentiful Supply of Gems
Local baseball players made a lot of noise on college fields during the past week.
None more than Pinecrest graduates Brad Davis and Eric Marion. Both played some serious long ball.
Davis, a senior right fielder at Methodist, went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and grand slam home run in the Monarchs' 12-11 victory over Huntington.
During the four games of the Methodist Invitational, he was 9-for-16 with six runs scored and eight RBIs.
The Monarch team captain is working on his fourth season in a row of batting over .300.
Marion, a senior third baseman at High Point, went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBIs in the team's 12-9 win over Dayton on Saturday. The day before, he was 2-for-5 in the Panthers' season-opening 5-4 win over Dayton in 12 innings.
Taylor Norfleet, a former teammate of Davis and Marion, was in the opposite dugout when Francis Marion played a UNC-Pembroke squad that includes 2008 Pinecrest grad Josh Haley, and former Union Pines pitchers Matt Key and Bryan Collins.
Norfleet was the Peach Belt Freshman of the Year in 2006 and set a team record for RBIs. After his sophomore season, he had shoulder surgery and sat out last year. The red-shirt junior infielder has made one start this season as he works on regaining strength in his throwing arm.
Norfleet was limited to three pinch-hitting appearances as Francis Marion took two out of three from the Braves. Haley went 2-for-2 with an RBI in the 10-7 Brave victory. Batting in the lead-off spot in about half of the games, as he did at Pinecrest, the freshman right fielder is batting .383 with an on-base percentage of .514 in the team's 11-4 start.
Collins, a sophomore transfer from UNC-Asheville, pitched two scoreless innings in the first game of the series. Key has made one start and three relief appearances. Another member of the outstanding 2007 pitching staff at Union Pines, Carson McLean, is a sophomore member of the UNC-Asheville pitching staff.
There is much more diamond news to report. Seth Maness, a 2007 Pinecrest alum, pitched seven innings in East Carolinas' 13-4 season opening win over Monmouth a week ago. The sophomore allowed one run, five hits, struck out six and walked one.
Maness is the Conference USA pre-season pitcher of the year. He was 9-2 last season and earned All-American recognition from numerous sources.
Also last weekend, UNC-Wilmington senior catcher Ryan Foreman, another Patriot from the class of 2005, and freshman pitcher Steven Davis, a North Moore grad, both had a hand in the Seahawks' three-game season-opening sweep of Maryland.
As a pinch hitter, Foreman walked in one appearance and singled in the other. Both contributed to scoring innings for the Seahawks.
Davis earned all-conference honors three times at North Moore and was the league MVP in 2007. The Seahawks wasted no time putting the lefthander into action. He pitched a perfect eighth inning in the team's 10-4 first game win.
In Thursday's 5-3 victory over College of Charleston, he came on in the seventh inning and retired four of the five batters he faced.
Ohio State pitcher Eric Shinn, of the 2006 class at Pinecrest, is in his third season with the Buckeyes. The red-shirt sophomore right-hander is looking for his first game action after losing a season to shoulder surgery. The Buckeyes are 3-0 with 18 games remaining on a tour of Florida.
The junior college ranks include three local players that are members of the Southeast-ern Community College squad in Whiteville.
Drew Robinson, another one of the standouts from the 2007 Union Pines team, pitched six innings, and was credited with the win as the team defeated Ann Arundle Community College (MD) 12-2 in its opener.
A pair of freshmen, pitcher D.L. McLamb from O'Neal, and outfielder Peyton Martin, a Union Pines grad, have also seen action for Southeastern.
Bruce Koenig, a 2006 Pinecrest graduate, is playing in the infield for Lenoir Comm-unity College.
Any assistance readers can provide in identifying additional athletes that are performing at the next level for future articles will be appreciated. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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