The Coastal Plain League, a college summer wood bat league with 15 teams spread out through North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, has announced plans to begin a condensed 2020 season on July 1,
The startup is still contingent on the governors of those states easing stay at home orders and other restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. And players are being encouraged to consider the risks and rewards associated with participating, especially with the fall semester set to start two weeks earlier than usual.
But if all goes well, several NC State players are expected to be among those getting the opportunity to improve their skills while showcasing themselves for the major league scouts that frequently attend the games.
Junior outfielder Jonny Butler and freshman infielder/pitcher Sam Highfill are on the roster of the Holly Springs Salamanders.
Junior second baseman J.T. Jarrett, freshman infielder Deangelo Giles and a pair of high school teammates from High Point -- freshman outfielder Noah Soles and freshman pitcher Chris Villaman -- will play for the High Point-Thomasville HiToms.
Junior pitcher Caanan Silver is committed to the Forest City Owls.
And freshman pitcher Austin Pace is a member of the Peninsula Pilots.
Butler was off to a strong start during the shortened 2020 college season, hitting .290 with four doubles, two triples, a homer and 14 RBI. He started all 17 games, finishing as the team leader in stolen bases with nine while finishing the year by reaching base in each of his final 13 games.
Highfill made six mound appearances out of the bullpen in his first season with the Wolfpack, finishing with a 3-1 record and a 3.21 earned run average in 14 innings pitched. He led freshmen and finished four on the team with 15 strikeouts.
Jarrett played in 16 games, with 10 starts, hitting a career-high .333 with six doubles, two homers and 15 RBI. He tied a career high with four hits, including three doubles, in a win against Coastal Carolina on March 4. His walkoff two-run single against NC A&T on March 11 provided the game winner in what turned out to be State's final game of the season.
Soles made a positive first impression by going 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored in his first career start, Feb. 23 against Tennessee Tech. He also went 4 for 4 on March 11 against A&T to finish with a .600 batting average with nine hits and five RBI in nine games.
Villaman made three starts and two relief apperaances in his freshman season, picking up a win against Tennessee Tech on Feb. 23. He struck out 14 in 11⅔ innings of work.
Giles played in three games off the bench, picking up his first career hit with an RBI single against Coastal Carolina on March 4.
Silver made a team-leading seven relief appearances, throwing 8⅓ innings while the 6-foot-10 Austin made three appearances, including two starts, while compiling a 1.23 ERA and earning a win against Coastal Carolina.
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