The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

July 10, 2014

Four Stanly baseball standouts named to All-State team

Thursday, July 10, 2014 — The North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association released this week its selections for the 2014 All-State baseball teams.

Four Stanly County high school players were named to those squads, including two from Albemarle and nominees representing North Stanly and West Stanly.

2A All-State Team

West Stanly pitcher Zac Brown was the lone selection from Stanly County on the 2A All-State team.

In his senior season, Brown posted an 11-1 record on the mound with a 0.77 earned runs average in 82.2 innings pitched. The Colts’ hurler walked only 14 batters,  struck out 131 and allowed the opposition a .146 batting average against him.

Brown was also named All-Rocky River Conference and the SNAP Stanly County Pitcher of the Year. He led the Colts to the 2014 RRC tournament championship, pitching in a 4-1 win over host Mount Pleasant. West went on to the fourth round of the state playoffs for the first time since the 2003 season.

1A All-State Team

Two Albemarle Bulldogs and one North Stanly Comet were named to the 2014 1A All-State team.

North Stanly catcher Zac Almond posted impressive numbers in his senior season with the Comets, winning both the Yadkin Valley Conference West Player of the Year and the SNAP Stanly County Offensive Player of the year as well.

Almond finished his senior season with a .443 batting averagone including seven doubles, eight home runs and 33 runs batted in. The North catcher’s on-base percentage was .529 and he also posted an impressive slugging percentage of .914. He will play NCAA Division I baseball next season at UNC-Greensboro.

The Bulldogs have two seniors on the list, both of whom have signed to play baseball in college next season.

Bryan Blanton, who will play next year at Catawba, played in the infield at shortstop and was both a starting pitcher and a closer for Albemarle in 2014. He was named All-YVC West and was named to the SNAP All-County squad as well.

On the mound, the senior was 6-1 with a 0.40 earned run average in 52 innings pitched. Opponents batted just .122 against him while striking out 82 times to 32 walks. Blanton also had five saves on the year.

At the plate, Blanton had strong numbers in 2014, finishing with a .397 batting average, including seven doubles, a triple and 13 RBIs, along with an on-base percentage of .478.

Pitcher Justin Crump signed earlier in the spring season to play baseball for the Seahawks of UNC-Wilimington.

The senior, who won All-YVC West and SNAP All-County honors, was 7-1 this past season for Albemarle with a 0.74 ERA. He struck out 100 batters in 66 innings pitched and opponents batted .148 against him all season long.

At bat, Crump batted .267 for the Bulldogs with seven doubles and 16 RBIs.

Both Blanton and Crump led the Bulldogs to a 22-5 record and the fourth round of the state 1A playoffs.

To submit story ideas, contact Charles Curcio at (704) 982-2121, extension 26, or email charles@stanlynews

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