TITLE CHASIN’: Three teams in 64-team Division I field have local players, more local products on NCAA Division II’s top seed
By Richard Walker
Local players are on the rosters of three teams who found out their NCAA Division I baseball championship tournament destinations on Monday and another school with local players is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II World Series that will start in Cary on Saturday.
East Carolina (42-18, 20-4) capped a sweep of the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles over the weekend and the Pirates will host a regional for the fourth straight season. Lane Hoover (Lincolnton 2018 graduate) is hitting .354 with 30 RBIs in 60 games in an All-AAC season and C.J. Mayhue (Crest 2019) is 4-1 with one save and a 2.90 ERA in 28 appearances (10 starts) and was just named to the AAC all-tournament team. ECU will host Coppin State in the opening round of the four-team regional on Friday.
Campbell (40-17, 20-3) also swept its conference (Big South) regular season and tournament titles and the Camels travel to the Knoxville, Tenn., regional for their fourth straight appearance. Lawson Harrill (Crest 2019) is hitting .266 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 54 games and Tyler McPeak (North Lincoln 2018) is hitting .200 with three RBIs in 13 games. Campbell will face Georgia Tech in the opening round of the four-team regional on Friday.
North Carolina (38-19, 15-15) won the ACC baseball tournament on Sunday and will host a regional. Dalton Pence (Cherryville 2021) redshirted this season for the Tar Heels, who meet Hofstra in the opening round of the four-team regional on Friday.
And North Greenville (50-10, 20-5) takes a No. 1 national ranking, Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles and No. 1 seed into the weekend’s NCAA Division II World Series at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Noah Ingle (Cherryville 2020) is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 10 appearances (two starts) and Cooper Sain (Cherryville 2019) is on the roster for the Crusaders, who face No. 8 seed West Chester in their opening round game on Sunday at 6 p.m. of the eight-team tournament.