RCC Eagles End Regular Season With Historical First
On Saturday, May 4, the Rockingham Community College Eagles played their last home game of the regular season on Gilliland Field. Despite the day’s loss to Catawba Valley Community College, the Eagles ended the season as the seventh seed in the NJCAA, Region 10, Division II Carolinas/Virginia Conference. The seeding earned them a slot in regional playoffs for the first time under the new qualifying format implemented in 2009. In the first round, RCC will be pitted against second seed Brunswick Community College. The game begins at 1 p.m., Friday, May 10 in the Morehead City Marlins Big Rock Stadium, 2714 Mayberry Loop Rd., Morehead City, NC, 28557.
Six sophomore players were honored before Saturday’s play began:
Named to the academic Dean’s List at RCC, Barringer plans to continue his education at James Madison University;
Marshall Creed (Surry County High School), a two-year member of the team who played right field, served as team captain, and will be attending UNC-Charlotte in the fall;
Kaleb Houchins (Morehead High School), played two years for RCC. During his sophomore year, Houchings pitched 67 1/3 innings. He has committed to play baseball at Pheiffer University in the fall;
Houston Ison (High Point Central High School), a two-year starter in the outfield, has a batting average of .302. With 25 stolen bases during his sophomore year, he holds the single season and career RCC record for stolen bases. He was named to the NJCAA 2nd Team All-Region outfield. Ison has committed to play baseball next year at Erskine College;
Tommy King (transfer from Newberry College in New York), served for one year as the starting catcher and team captain.
Wright started as third baseman and as a relief pitcher his freshman year, but moved to full-time pitcher his sophomore year.
Former Eagles left-handed pitcher, Zack Royals of Winston-Salem was also honored. He became the first Eagles baseball player to have his number retired.
Rockingham Community College’s Interim Athletic Director, Chris Johnson, said, “Over the two years Zach was in our program, he embodied the ideal of what it means to be a student athlete.”
Off the field, Royals was named to the Dean’s List and President’s list for his high academic achievements, named to Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges, and nominated for the North Carolina Community College System Recognition for Academic Excellence. He also received the NCJAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement for 2011-12. He graduated from RCC in 2012 with a cumulative 3.68 grade point average.
On the field, Royals racked up equally impressive statistics: 75.1 pitched innings overall and an outstanding Sophomore year with 31 innings pitched, 18 strikeouts, two wins, one loss and a 3.48 earned run average. In 2012 he transferred to Greensboro College where he continues to pitch.
Royals attended Saturday’s ceremony with his parents, Terri and John Royals.