LCC slips to fifth in national poll

Despite two wins over a top 10 D-1 team, the LCC baseball team fell to fifth in this week’s NJCAA D-2 poll this week. That’s the nature of a poll, I guess.

Team                                                                           Record    Votes   LW

1. LSU-Eunice (Eunice, La.)                                             42-11     80 (8)    1

2. Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, Miss.)                              32-9       58         5

3. Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.)                                35-9      57          2

4. Delaware Tech and C.C. (Georgetown, Del.)                  31-6      51         4

5. Lenoir C.C.                                                                37-11    42         2

6. Elgin C.C. (Elgin, Ill.)                                                  26-6        36        9

7. Scottsdale C.C. (Scottsdale, Ariz.)                              34-18      30       11

8. Meridian C.C. (Meridian, Miss.)                                    36-10      15       10

9. N. Iowa Area C.C. (Mason City, Iowa)                           28-11     13         6

10. Oakton C.C. (Des Plaines, Iowa)                                29-10      12       12

RIP, David Halberstam

One of my favorite authors, David Halberstam, died last night in a car crash. Halberstam, wrote “Summer of ’49,” about the Yankees-Red Sox race to the pennant that season, “October 1964,” about the Yankees-Cardinals World Series that season and “Breaks of the Game,” about a season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He was an amazing writer who the world will certainly miss. If you haven’t read the books listed above (and the many others he wrote — and not just about sports), do yourself a favor and pick one up. He was a really talented writer.

Brad Jones is a heck of a pitcher, too

Back-to-back no-hitters tell you all you need to know about Brad Jones. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to give those games the kind of coverage they definitely deserved.

But that doesn’t diminish what he’s done. He’s definitely a front-runner (along with Brandon Sutton) for our POTY.

I’ve seen Brad pitch twice this year and he’s tore it up both times. His ERA has to be in the 0.50 range. As of the Avery tourney, he had not signed with anyone yet; whoever is lucky to get him is going to get one of the top pitchers in the state.

UNC’s Wright headed to NBA

UNC’s Brandan Wright announced a few hours ago that he’s declaring for the NBA Draft. Projections have him going anywhere from 3 to 8, so it’s a pretty good decision, I think. He’s not signing with an agent, leaving open the option to stay in Chapel Hill. I think he’ll still go, though.

What do you think? He’s awfully long but I don’t think he’s got a body that’s anywhere near what he needs to have in the league. Kind of reminds me of Marvin Williams leaving; whatever happened to him?

The Bulldog is a heck of a pitcher

My hat is off to North Lenoir pitcher Brandon Sutton, who helped lead the Hawks to a 6-2 win at Greene Central tonight. After giving up two runs on four hits in the first inning, “The Bulldog” retired the final 18 Rams in the game. He finished with 15 strikeouts, including seven in a row at one point.

Here’s a great quote from Coach Montague that I couldn’t use in my story:

“He certainly is a bulldog,” Montague said of Sutton. “Before the game, someone said (GC) is throwing their No. 1 pitcher. I told Brandon we were throwing our No. 1 pitcher.”

I keep saying that Appalachian State got a steal when they signed The Bulldog. I promise you this: he’ll be playing for pay before you realize it. He’s a heck of a pitcher.

LCC slides to third in D-II poll

LCC, fresh off its 5-4 win against Southeastern CC on Wednesday, has dropped to No. 3 in the NJCAA D-II poll released today.

Team                                                                           Record    Votes   LW

1. LSU-Eunice (Eunice, La.)                                             37-11     69 (2)    1

2. Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.)                                30-7      66 (3)    3

3. Lenoir C.C.                                                                35-9      60 (1)    2

4. Delaware Tech and C.C. (Georgetown, Del.)                  27-5      59 (1)    5

5. Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, Miss.)                              28-9       47         4

6. N. Iowa Area C.C. (Mason City, Iowa)                           24-7       30         9

7. Univ. of Conn. at Avery Point (Groton, Conn.)               21-1       24        10

8. Kankakee C.C. (Kankakee, Ill.)                                     27-7        18        7

9. Elgin C.C. (Elgin, Ill.)                                                  18-6        15       NR

10. Meridian C.C. (Meridian, Miss.)                                   32-10      19       11

Broken nose sidelines Sthil Sowers

North Lenoir pitcher Sthil Sowers is out of the lineup for the next 6 to 8 weeks, according to coach Jim Montague.

Sowers, an East Carolina University signee and potential draft pick in June’s MLB amateur draft, broke his nose in three places and fractured it in another after a freak injury at practice on Monday. Sowers was shagging a fly ball that went over the fence in the outfield. The ball hit a light pole and richocheted into Sowers’ face.

Montague told me that the doctors decided they can’t do anything to his nose until early next week or when the swelling subsides. They’ll decide then whether or not to perform surgery.

I’ll have a complete story in Wednesday’s Free Press. Our best wishes go out to Sthil, his family and the North Lenoir family. Get well soon. polls for April 16

Congratulations to North Lenoir and South Lenoir, who are the No. 2 and No. 4 teams in the state, respectively, in 2A. Other area mentionables include C.B. Aycock (No. 4 3A) and Goldsboro Rosewood (No. 7 1A). 

Rank, Team, Record (Last Poll)
1. South Caldwell, 16-1 (1)
2. Butler, 16-1 (2)
3. West Forsyth, 15-2 (4)
4. Providence, 15-2 (3)
5. Ashley, 14-3 (8)
6. AC Reynolds, 14-4 (NR)
7. Mt Tabor, 12-4 (5)
8. East Rowan, 14-3 (6)
9. East Forsyth, 13-4 (NR)
10. Hopewell, 14-3 (NR)
Dropped Out: Green Hope, New Hanover, Davie

Rank, Team, Record (Last Poll)

1. TC Roberson, 18-1 (1)
2. Rocky Mount, 15-2 (NR)
3. South Granville, 16-3 (7)
4. CB Aycock, 14-3 (9)
5. West Brunswick, 13-2 (8)
6. Fred T. Foard, 12-4 (10)
7. Saint Stephens, 13-3 (4)
8. Ragsdale, 14-3 (5)
9. SW Guilford, 14-3 (2)
10. Northern Nash, 12-4 (NR)
Dropped Out: SE Guilford, South Central

Rank, Team, Record (Last Poll)
1. East Rutherford, 16-1 (1)
2. North Lenoir, 14-2 (2)
3. West Henderson, 13-2 (3)
4. South Lenoir, 13-2 (8)
5. McMichael, 14-3 (NR)
6. Forbush, 11-4 (5)
7. Whiteville, 13-3 (4)
8. Graham, 13-3 (9)
9. First Flight, 13-1 (NR)
10. Ledford, 13-4 (NR)
Dropped Out: West Stanly, West Stokes, Bandys

Rank, Team, Record (Last Poll)
1. Manteo, 12-2 (1)
2. Swain, 11-3 (3)
3. Topsail, 13-3 (4)
4. South Stokes, 10-3 (5)
5. South Stanly, 14-4 (2)
6. West Wilkes, 13-4 (NR)
7. Rosewood, 11-3 (NR)
8. Princeton, 11-5 (6)
9. Rosman, 8-2 (10)
10. East Surry, 12-5 (NR)
Dropped Out: Williamston, Wallace-Rose Hill, Spring Creek

Some common sense on the Imus situation

You must read this column by Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock. With all the media frenzy surrounding the Don Imus fiasco, it’s refreshing that someone stepped up and used some common sense about the whole thing.

My favorite parts of the column:

“I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.”

And …

“I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?”

And finally …

“We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.”

Again, I just lifted my favorite parts of the column. Please go check it out; it’s worth your time.

LCC drops to No. 2 in nation

With three losses last week but an impressive win at Pitt C.C. on Tuesday, the Lenoir C.C. baseball team dropped to No. 2 in the NJCAA D-II poll. Defending D-II champ LSU-Eunice goes to No. 1 in the poll. First-place votes are in parentheses after total points and last week’s position is before team name.

  1. (2) LSU-Eunice (34-9), Eunice La., 79 (7)
  2. (1) Lenoir C.C. (33-9), Kinston, 55 (1)
  3. (8) Parkland College (21-6), Champaign, Ill., 46
  4. (9) Gulf Coast C.C. (26-9), Perkinston, Miss., 37
  5. (6) Delaware Tech and C.C. (22-5), Georgetown, Del., 35
  6. (4) Oakton C.C. (20-5), Des Plaines, Ill., 34
  7. (12) Kankakee C.C. (24-5), Kankakee, Ill., 30
  8. (3) Redlands C.C. (24-11), El Reno, Okla., 29
  9. (10) North Iowa Area C.C. (22-7), Mason City, Iowa, 25
  10. (NR) Univ. of Connecticut at Avery Point (17-0), Groton, Conn., 21