Men’s Baseball Closes Out 2016 SeasonJun 7, 2016
It’s not unusual for an intercollegiate community college baseball team to play 45 or more games during the regular season. To win at least 20 of those games is a goal that most teams strive for. For the fifth consecutive season, Rockingham Community College’s 2016 baseball team achieved a 20-win season, which ended May 14 in the Region 10 tournament for Division III teams. Ending with the regional tournament, the Eagles compiled an overall record of 20-26, finishing 6-10 in conference play, and with a home record of 15-13. Notable wins this year included victories against two Division I opponents – a 1-0 win against rival Guilford Tech, and a 9-4 win over Marshalltown Community College of Iowa. RCC also enjoyed a 7-1 victory over Montgomery Community College of Maryland.
Freshman Alec Allred led the Eagles with a .364 batting average, and also led the team in hits, doubles, runs scored, runs batted in, and slugging percentage. Freshman Jack Witner led the team in walks, stolen bases, and on-base percentage. Sophomore Luke Westmoreland led the team in starts on the mound, wins, and earned run average, and pitched three complete games. Sophomore Kameron Winburn led the team in innings pitched and strikeouts, and also pitched three complete games.
This year’s season provided first-year coach Reece Honeycutt with an excellent opportunity to help his team develop and to prepare for the 2016-17 year. “We achieved a lot in my first year, while being a little undermanned,” noted Honeycutt. “But, all the players played hard for me. We are looking forward to the recruiting class we have coming this fall and the players who will return. We hope to make a run to the NJCAA World Series next year.”
Among awards presented to students, Jack Witner received the Superior Academic Achievement Award from the National Junior College Athletic Association for a grade point average between 3.8-3.99. Witner’s award continues the recognition of outstanding academic achievement that baseball team members have received from the NJCAA in recent years. Region 10 named Alec Allred and Dylan Haskell to the All-Region First Team. Second Team honors went to Willis Booth, Kody Flynn, Sean Parlee, Jack Witner, and Luke Westmoreland. Kameron Winburn was named to the Region All-Defensive Team.
The Eagles saw eight sophomores play their final year of baseball eligibility before they move on to further education and, in some cases, baseball at the four-year level. The following are this year’s sophomores and their plans as of the moment.
Alec Allred, a graduate of Faith Christian High School, is exploring several options. He’s received a baseball scholarship to attend Southeastern University in Florida, but is also considering Longwood University in Virginia, North Carolina Central University in Durham, or possible even returning for classes at RCC. His interest is in the area of athletic training.
Zane Atkins, a graduate of West Henderson High School, aims to be a high school teacher and baseball coach, and will continue his education at the four-year level, though he’s not decided where he will attend next year. Willis Booth, of Morehead High School in Eden, received the Associate in Science degree from RCC on May 13. He plans to attend Greensboro College and play baseball there. Booth was named Male Athlete of the Year at RCC. Patrick Cerullo graduated from Mooresville High School. Following his two years at RCC, he will also attend Greensboro College as a student-athlete.
Nic Szot, a graduate of Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, plans to return to Charlotte to continue his education. He seeks to teach and coach at the high school level. Bret Unkel graduated from Northern Guilford High School. He is undecided about where he will continue his education, though he is seeking to play baseball at a four-year institution and to major in Business. Luke Westmoreland, a graduate of East Forsyth High School, will continue his education at William Peace University where he will also play baseball. Kameron Winburn, of Western Alamance High School, expects to attend North Carolina Central University in the fall, where he will receive a baseball scholarship and pursue a degree in Business Finance.