GREENSBORO (July 20, 2018) – The North Carolina A&T baseball program, the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions, has nine players participating in various summer baseball leagues around the country including the Coastal Plain League, Northwoods League, Florida Collegiate League, Carolina Virginia Collegiate and Liga de Béisbol Superior Doble A (Puerto Rico).
Three Aggies are playing in the Coastal Plain League this summer. Infielder Zach McLean (5-10, 200, So., High Point, NC) and catcher Ryne Stanley (6-0, 190, R-So., High Point, NC) both play for the High Point Thomasville
McLean appeared in 20 games and produced 13 RBI and scored 12 runs. He was voted a starter for the National League Team in the All-Star Game on July 9 where he went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. In his first season with the Aggies, McLean was named the conference tournament Most Outstanding Player compiling a 1.250 slugging percentage with 11 RBI and three home runs.
“This is the second consecutive year that we have had a CPL All-Star, so really proud of the work Zach is putting in,” said N.C. A&T head coach Ben Hall. “Playing in the Coastal Plain League is a great proving ground for guys to hit with wood and continue to get at-bats off high-level of pitching.”
In the Northwoods League, RHP Leon Hunter (6-3, 220, Jr., Garner, NC) plays for the Madison Mallards while outfielder Dawnoven Smith (6-1, 215, Jr., Jacksonville, N.C.) plays for the Waterloo Bucks. Hunter made 26 appearances on the mound for the Aggies in 2018 to rank fourth in the conference. Smith was a first team all-conference selection finishing 2017 leading the conference in doubles, doubles per game, runs per game and slugging percentage.
Rounding out the summer league placement are LHP Ethan Chavis (6-0, 200, Fr., Pembroke, NC) and RHP Roberto Negron (6-3, 230, Jr., Toa Alta, Puerto Rico). Chavis participates in the Florida Collegiate League for the Leesburg Lighting after starting six games for the Aggies as a true freshman tossing 26 innings and fanning 16 batters in 12 appearances. Negron plays for Liga de Beisbol Superior Doble A (Puerto Rico) for the Bravos de Cidra. He made 13 appearances in 2018 for N.C. A&T tossing 12 innings and striking out 11.
In addition, two incoming freshmen for the 2019 season are also playing summer ball this season in the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League. RHP Jeremiah Foster and Gianni Smith both play for the Kernersville Bulldogs.
“Summer ball is an important aspect to the overall growth of our players,” said Hall. “It gives them another season worth of game opportunities. It gives pitchers more innings to face hitters and our position players another season worth of at-bats with wood. It is always neat for our players to get to experience a different part of the country and teammates from all over the college baseball world.”
The Aggies made their second ever appearance in the NCAA tournament thanks to a 27-13 record over their last 40 games prior to the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. They swept their way through the MEAC tournament with three straight wins. They also claimed the MEAC Southern Division title, broke the school record for wins (32) and the school record for conference wins (16) in 2018.