Sixty-four NCAA Division I institutions are gearing up for this weekend’s NCAA baseball tournament at 16 different sites across the country.
But a little bit closer to home, former Wilkes County high school baseball players have wrapped their regular seasons and some look forward to next season.
Below is a list of former Wilkes County players and how they performed at the college level in 2019.
John Bauguess, Lenoir-Rhyne
West Wilkes, 2015
Bauguess made eight appearances for the Bears, including one start, and pitched 9 ²⁄³ innings with an 8.38 earned run average. The senior struck out seven and allowed nine earned runs. He did not receive a decision.
Bauguess’ longest outing of the spring came in a 9-6 win at Coker on March 26 where he pitched 2 ¹⁄³ innings and allowed two runs on four hits.
Lenoir-Rhyne finished the season with a 23-27 record and a 7-17 mark in the SAC.
Matt Martir-Tullock, Surry CC
Martir-Tullock of Traphill improved his batting average by nearly 70 points (to .283) after hitting .219 in 2018. Used mainly at catcher, he saw action in 25 games for the Knights this spring and drove in 11 runs with 17 hits. He had two hits in five different games this season.
The Knights, who went 11-3 and earned the top seed in the Region X Tournament for Division III, went 24-18 overall this spring.
The best performances of his season came late in the Region X schedule. Martir-Tullock went 2-for-2 with three RBIs in the Knights’ 8-3 win against Thomas Nelson Community College on April 28. On May 4, the sophomore went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs in an 8-5 win against Rockingham CC.
Martir-Tullock will continue his education and baseball career at Piedmont International University this coming fall.
Addison Meeks, Bluefield State (W.Va.)
Home School, 2014
Meeks had a team-high 18 appearances on the mound for the Big Blues, which included seven starts. The senior tied for the team-high in wins (four) while going 4-5 with one save.
He was second on the team in innings pitched (63 ²⁄³) and allowed 46 runs (31 earned) with a 4.38 ERA.
Meeks had seven appearances of five innings or more this spring. His final appearance was a 5-4 loss to Bryant & Stratton in the United State Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series.
In that game, he scattered five hits and three runs in six innings of work.
The Big Blues advanced to the USCAA Small College World Series for the third year in a row. After the loss to Bryant & Stratton, they bounced back to defeated Southern Maine CC (10-1) and Cincinnati-Clermont (4-0).
Robbie Monday, Winthrop (assistant coach)
East Wilkes, 2005
In his second season as an assistant coach, the Eagles went 34-23 and 19-11 in the Big South Conference. Monday worked primarily with the catchers and hitters.
Winthrop won three games in its conference tournament, which concluded last Saturday. The Eagles lost to NCAA tournament qualifier Campbell in the tournament championship game.
Alex Ortiz, N.C. Central
West Wilkes, 2018
Before injuries shortened his season, Ortiz saw action in 18 games and started in 10 of them.
The freshman batted .163 with seven hits and four RBIs. He also scored seven runs and stole a pair of bases.
Ortiz’s best performance of the season on March 8 against North Carolina A&T where he went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
North Carolina Central went 21-28 in 2019 and was 10-14 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Austin Staley, N.C. State
Wilkes Central, 2014
After injuries cut his playing career short, Staley remained a member of the Wolfpack baseball program this spring as a student coach.
N.C. State qualified for the NCAA tournament for the ninth time in 10 years (31st postseason appearance) after going 42-17 during the regular season. The Wolfpack finished 18-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
N.C. State travels to East Carolina University to play in the Greenville Regional, which begins tonight. In the first game, the Wolfpack will face Campbell, and the winner will then play either East Carolina or Quinnipiac.
The regional is scheduled to conclude on Sunday.
Sammy Styers, Columbus State (assistant coach)
Wilkes Central, 2000
In his 15th year as an assistant coach, Styers helped guide the Cougars to a 31-20 record this spring. That record included a 15-14 mark in the Peach Belt Conference.
As the head man for upkeep and maintenance of Ragsdale Field — Columbus State’s home diamond — Styers was recognized by the Georgia Baseball Coaches Association for having the best collegiate field in Georgia back in late January.
Jeremiah Triplett, UNC-Greensboro
West Wilkes, 2015
The redshirt junior made 17 appearances for the Spartans, with 10 starts and went 2-2 with a 6.36 ERA. His 10 starts ranked third among UNCG’s pitchers. He also converted one save.
Triplett logged 46 ²⁄³ innings and allowed 41 runs (33 earned) on 53 hits with 28 walks and 39 strikeouts.
His longest outing of the season came in his season debut on Feb. 16 against Quinnipiac. He struck out seven in 6 ²⁄³ innings of work.
His longest relief performance came against the Citadel on April 28 where he struck out seven and allowed three hits in four innings of work.
UNCG finished the spring 34-20 with a 14-10 mark in the Southern Conference.
Bryce Vestal, Guilford
East Wilkes, 2018
In his first season with the Quakers, Vestal saw action in 32 games and batted .248 with a home run and 11 RBIs.
Listed as an infielder and outfielder, Vestal finished with a .926 fielding percentage and turned four double plays.
He had eight games where he had two hits this spring. His best performance at the place was a 2-for-4 showing with a pair of doubles and a pair of RBIs in a 14-8 loss against Southern Virginia on March 2.
Vestal also had the game-winning hit in the Quakers’ 6-5 win over Penn State at Abington on Feb. 16.
Trenton Walsh, UNC-Pembroke
West Wilkes, 2017
The redshirt freshman appeared in two games for the Braves and recorded one at-bat but did not register any offensive statistics.
Walsh’s lone at-bat came in a win against Indiana University at Pennsylvania on Feb. 10. He also saw action against Francis Marion on April 6.
The Braves went 21-27 this spring and went 11-19 in the Peach Belt Conference.