Nick Durazo (LCHS) and the East Carolina baseball team held their first official team practice and intra-squad scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. After a brief warmup, the Pirate coaching staff held an eight-inning, three-hour intra-squad scrimmage to evaluate this year’s talent.
Durazo, returning for his sophomore campaign, took the mound and pitched two scoreless innings, with one strikeout and one walk. He is returning from a freshman season that saw him obtain a considerable amount of experience making appearances in 10 games while starting on the mound in six of them. Durazo completed his first year with a 1-4 record, pitching 29 innings, striking out 16 while giving up 28 hits and finishing with a 7.36 ERA.
East Carolina will open its season on Feb. 14 when the Pirates host James Madison University for a three-game series.
Akeem Richmond (SLHS) and East Carolina (11-9, 0-5) lost both games this week to extend their losing streak to five games. Tulane nailed some last minute three pointers to edge the Pirates 59-54, while Southern Miss would have four different players score in double digits to easily carry the Golden Eagles past ECU 60-46. Richmond led the purple and gold in scoring in both games, contributing 14 points on a 4-13 shooting night against Tulane while adding five rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes of play. Against Southern Miss, Richmond knocked down 18 points while adding six rebounds and five assists in the loss. ECU will look to get back on track this week when it travels to Middle Tennessee State on Thursday at 8 p.m. and UAB on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Josh Mellette (SLHS) and Wake Tech (12-8, 6-2) opened last week with a 92-58 victory over Vance-Granville CC. Mellete led his team in rebounds with 16 while adding 12 points and four blocked shots. The Eagles then lost to Cape Fear CC 83-81. Wake Tech will have a two-game homestand this week as it hosts Richard Bland College Wednesday night at 5 p.m. and Patrick Henry CC on Saturday in a 3 p.m. game.
Alex Tucker (LCHS) and Bethel University (13-7, 4-5) split their games last week, with Belhaven University slipping past the Wildcats 90-88. Bethel got back into the win column against Spring Hill College 82-74. The Wildcats will host Loyola Louisiana on Saturday.
Mark Riches (Grace), DJ McEachin (Grace), Elijah Buie (Grace) and Davis College (7-8) fell in a close game to Albany College of Pharmacy 63-59. The Falcons played Corning CC yesterday and will face SUNY ESF on Wednesday and have a rematch with St. John Fisher JV team on Saturday.
Brianna Taylor (SLHS) and Wake Tech (8-6, 5-3) defeated Brunswick CC 75-72, but then fell to Denmark Technical College 88-87 in overtime. Against the Dolphins, Taylor came off of the bench to score five points, grab three rebounds, three steals and an assist. In the loss to Denmark Tech, Taylor went 1-4 from the floor shooting a perfect 2-2 from the line to finish with four points, three rebounds and one steal. The Lady Eagles will have three home games in a four-day span this week as they host Tidewater CC on Wednesday, Virginia Western on Thursday, and return to the court on Saturday to play Guilford Technical CC.
Dillon Frye (LCHS) and Nova Southeastern University baseball team had an eventful weekend hosting the NSU Annual Alumni baseball game on Saturday and then facilitating a youth baseball clinic on Sunday. Children of all ages and skill levels were invited to participate in the free event in an effort to connect with the community and raise awareness about the NSU athletics programs. Nova will open its season on Saturday as they host Tusculum for a doubleheader.
Jacobi Harris (NHS) and the N.C. Central baseball team will host the 2014 First Pitch Dinner and Auction on Saturday at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center from 6-9 p.m. The Eagles will open the 2014 season on Feb. 14 when they host the New Jersey Institute of Technology for a doubleheader.