Mount Olive College and the town of Cary will host the national finals of the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Division II baseball championships, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.
This year's finals are scheduled for May 23-30 at the USA Baseball Training Complex. The NCAA tournament is a 48-team event with six teams in eight regions. The regional winners will advance to play in Cary, which USA Baseball chose for its home in 2002.
Mount Olive, which went 58-6 and won the 2008 NCAA baseball championship, is the first member of Conference Carolinas to be the host school for the finals of an NCAA championship. Mount Olive has played host to the NCAA Division II Baseball South Atlantic Regional in each of the past two years -- in 2007 in Kinston and last year at Scarborough Field on campus.
ECU PICKED SECOND: Coming off consecutive NCAA Regional appearances, East Carolina was selected to finish second in Conference USA in a preseason poll of the league's nine coaches.
The Pirates, who finished 42-21, will have back 22 letter-winners, including preseason All-American and preseason C-USA pitcher of the year Seth Maness, along with preseason all-league outfielder Stephen Batts.
Coming off a third consecutive trip to the College World Series, Rice is the preseason favorite. Southern Mississippi is third, followed by Tulane and Houston.
Marshall outfielder Nate Lape is the preseason player of the year.
WAKE-STATE GAME MOVED AGAIN: Wake Forest's home game against N.C. State has been moved to Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Joel Coliseum. The teams' game at N.C. State will be played at 7 p.m Feb. 12.
The date changes have been made to accommodate the teams' game that was scheduled for this past Monday in Winston-Salem but was postponed after Wolfpack coach Kay Yow died on Saturday.
The teams will not play on Feb. 10 as previously announced.
The scheduled Feb. 19 game in Raleigh was moved to Feb. 12 to prevent back-to-back matchups.
UNC PLAYER HONORED: North Carolina junior forward Casey Nogueira of Raleigh has been chosen the 2008 national player of the year by Soccer Buzz in voting by a panel of NCAA Division I coaches and the magazine's staff.
It is the fifth player of the year accolade for the nation's leading goal scorer. She won the Honda Award for soccer and player-of-the-year recognition from Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer News Net.
MEREDITH PICKED SECOND: Meredith has been picked to finish second behind defending regular-season and tournament champion Methodist in the USA South Atlantic Conference preseason coaches poll.
Methodist received seven of 10 first-place votes and 79 total points as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. Meredith had two first-place votes and 70 points. Christopher Newport had the final first-place vote and 69 points.
MEREDITH PICKED NINTH: Meredith has been picked to finish ninth in the USA South Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches poll.
Christopher Newport, the conference tournament champion, was picked to win the 10-team league's title. Shenandoah, the 2008 regular-season champions, was second in the balloting, followed by Methodist.
ECU WILL HOST REGIONAL: East Carolina has been selected to host the 2010 NCAA Division I East Regional. Competition will be held at Greenville's par-72, 6,348-yard Ironwood Country Club.
TRACK AND FIELD
CAMPBELL ATHLETE HONORED: Campbell sprinter Greg Dunston of Raleigh posted the Atlantic Sun's fastest time this season in 60-meter dash (6.93 seconds) at this past weekend's Liberty Open in Lynchburg, Va., to earn his first athlete of the week award. The criminal justice major also won the 200 in 22.83.
PALMER LEADS HALL OF FAME CLASS: Arnold Palmer, Jerry West and Sam Huff are leading the inaugural class of 10 athletes picked for the Southern Conference's new Hall of Fame.
The group announced Wednesday will be inducted May 4 in Spartanburg, S.C., home of the league's headquarters.
Palmer, golf's "King" and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, played at Wake Forest. He was the NCAA stroke-play medalist in 1949 and 1950.
West played at West Virginia from 1956 to 1960. He was a three-time All-American and twice named the Southern Conference's male athlete of the year.
Huff played football for the Mountaineers from 1952 to 1955.
SUSPENDED MIAMI GUARD ARRESTED: Suspended Miami basketball guard Edwin Rios was arrested and jailed Wednesday on charges of burglary and grand theft, Miami-Dade County jail officials said. The school said the charges were not related to his Jan. 12 suspension.
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