North Carolina Central Fall Ball Report: Number of Returnees On This Year’s Team

The North Carolina Central baseball team has opened fall practice at Durham Athletic Park.  Two new NCCU coaches will be running the Eagles fall program steered by new assistant Brad Mincey and Tyler Rost along with head coach Jim Koerner. The aim is to provide positional instruction beyond what was previously offered.

Players will have the ability to choose a position they wish to work at or improve in. They will then receive focused instruction from a positional expert for practice. The balance of the Eagles fall ball session will be hitting, pitching, and agility work for all players rotating in groups. At this early stage, the focus is on transitioning the freshmen and transfers in with the veterans.

For the freshmen, they need baseball IQ development and consistent quality repetitions at hitting and pitching to play the college game. The team will play doubleheaders on Saturdays or Sundays sprinkled in during September and October.

The fall session will include scrimmages against Davidson on October 5th and the Eagle World Series at the end of October.  On November 1st, fall practice concludes.

Fall dates to know:
Sept. Fall practice begins
Oct. 5: Scrimmage vs. Davidson (Time TBA)
Oct. Scrimmage vs. TBA (12:30 p.m.)
Oct. Eagle World Series
Nov. 1: Fall practice concludes
Nov. Two Fall Camps at the Durham Athletic Park.

The first camp will be the Fall Prospect Camp in November. During the camp there will be positional measurement and instruction and a controlled scrimmage along with other drills. The camp is for student-athletes interested in joining the baseball program.

The second will be the Fall Skills Camp for ages six through 14. The morning session will focuses on offense and hitting, including drills focused on bunting and base running, and an afternoon session that focuses on defense.

The players are fired up after the start of fall practice. Coach Koerner, entering his ninth season at the helm, has seen great energy being put in already by the guys during skill work. The newcomers have done an exceptional job of coming in and putting in effort, and the returners have been wonderful in welcoming them.

North Carolina Central has a number of returnees on this year’s team.

RETURNING

Outfielders:
Carter Williams comes back after garnering 1st-Team All-MEAC honors last year. The Eagles expect Carter to continue his All-MEAC performance this year. Jacob Raby received Freshman All-American honors last year. Nick Fajardo played a huge role last year defending centerfield along with good at bats at the plate. Brad Mize, Jordan Varela-Payne, Bryceson Hernandez, and Justin Bowers also return in the outfield.

Infielders:
Myles Coston, Trey Maslin, and Vinny Bailey all return from last year’s team. All three played a huge role and are expected to contribute this year. Drake Murray, Alex Ortiz, and Dalton Ward also return in the infield.

Catchers:
Tim Fischvogt is returning for his senior year. He has played a huge role behind the plate for the past few seasons. Colin Smith also returns after being injured last year.

Pitchers:
Austin Vernon returns after having a successful summer season in the Cape Cod. Austin has a number of pitches and he will pitch in mid to low 90s, touching 97. “We are expecting big things out of Austin this year both on and off the field.”

Ryan Miller returns after receiving Freshman of The Year award in the MEAC. Expect Ryan to take more of a leadership role both on and off the field.

Ryan Decker, Brendan Bell, Tom Guglielmello, Caleb McRoy all gained significant innings and return this year.

Chris Krennrich and Jonathan Peacock both started for NCCU in significant spots and are expected to do the same this coming season.

Tyler Penner, Shaun Runey, Jacob Eigner, and Jackson Hartley also return.

The team is expecting all of their new players to come in and contribute right away.

NEW PLAYERS

Outfielders:
Andre White (Vance HS/ Oakland, CA) is a freshman that set the North Carolina High School record for batting average last year.

Infielders:
Cameron Norgen (Cary, NC/ Guilford Tech), Kobe Phillips (Charlotte, NC: Spartanburg Methodist), Luis DeLeon (Providence, RI/ Central Alabama CC) and Michael Alicea (Toa-Alto, PR/ Miami Dade College) are all expected to come in and contribute right away in the infield. Alex Sniffen (Wilmington, NC/ New Hanover HS) was named the North Carolina High School Two-Way Player of the Year after his senior year. Ahmir Cournier (Jackson, NJ/ Jackson Memorial HS) is another new comer.

Catchers:
Coach Koerner is excited about all of their new guys. Tristan Shea (Charlotte, NC/ Spartanburg Methodist), Noah Robinson (Kernersville, NC/ East Forsyth HS) and Aaron Morse (Chesapeake VA/ Deep Creek HS).

Pitchers:
Scott Meylan (Pittsburg, CA/ Los Medanos College) and Shane Davis (Currituck, NC/ Bryant & Stratton College) are two transfers. Zach Zedalis (Charlotte, NC/ Cox Mill HS) and Matt Stanley (Haw River, NC/ Eastern Alamance HS) are expected to contribute right away.

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