LOUISBURG -- Coach Blake Herring continues to make progress in his quest to turn the Louisburg College Hurricanes into a perennial national baseball contender. Fresh off a campaign that saw the Hurricanes go 26-19 overall, Herring is upping the ante even more for 2020 as he believes his incoming recruiting class ranks among the best of his tenure at LC. Herring's class features a trio of Division I transfers -- Jack Dragum from the University of Virginia, KJ Wells from High Point University and Josh Swartz from Jackson State. Each of those three players is a pitcher -- and that is an area of pressing off-season need for LC following the departures of each of the Hurricanes' weekend starters from this spring. "I really like this class coming in,'' Herring said. "I think these transfers will come in right away and help us on the mound. Plus, we have a lot of good players coming back, so it should be a nice mix.'' Among the returnees expected back for LC are catcher Landon Smith, middle infielder Connor Kannon, outfielder Phillip Boykin and third baseman Drew Camp. Closer Jordan Gay will also return, as will lefty set-up man Hayden Laws from nearby South Granville High School.
Several of last year's standouts have also signed letters-of-intent to continue their careers at four-year schools.
Those players are:
• Josh Baker, Outfielder, Middle Tennessee State
• Justin Oakley, Outfielder, Coppin State
• Tucker Rogers, Starting Pitcher, East Tennessee State
• Nick Mandragona, Relief Pitcher, East Tennessee State
• Derek Neal, Catcher/Designated Hitter, Francis Marion
• Luke Davis, Starting Pitcher, Appalachian State
• Darius Nobles, First Baseman/Designated Hitter, Francis Marion
• Chase Webb, Starting Pitcher, Young Harris
"It's always nice to have that many guys sign for the next level,'' Herring said. "That means, as coaches, we are doing our jobs. It also really helps with recruiting because it shows kids where they can go from here.''
Herring just completed his fourth season at Louisburg College. A native of Snow Hill, he pitched collegiately at Lenoir CC and Campbell University.