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Chris Meyers, Jared Carr, Hunter Gore, J.T. Stone, Reese Farmer, Chase Wullenweber and Coleman Sawyer — call them the “Lucky Seven”
They have been so dubbed because they are the seven returning position players from the 2019 Wilson Tobs summer collegiate baseball team that ruled both halves of the Coastal Plain League’s North Division and reached the semifinals of the Petitt Cup playoffs for the second straight year.
Gore and Stone play their spring collegiate baseball at the University of Mount Olive. Meyers plays for the University of Toledo, Carr for Shepherd University, Farmer for East Tennessee State, Wullenweber for Tusculum and Sawyer for UNC Greensboro.
The “Lucky Seven” will anchor the 2020 Tobs, who the coronavirus permitting, will launch the season with exhibition games on May 24 and 26 and challenge defending champion Morehead City in the official season opener on May 28.
Gore, a massive catcher, is regarded a tremendous leader and a power threat. The veteran presence also played for Wilson in 2017. In 43 2019 games, the Purcellville, Virginia product slugged seven home runs and drove in 35 runs — landing on the CPL select roster vs. Team USA. The versatile junior was off to a .333 batting start for Mount Olive this season.
“I’m extremely excited to have Gore back with us for another summer season,” said Tobs general manager Mike Bell. “He will provide support defensively and allow us to do some different things with our lineup since he can play multiple positions.”
Stone played most of his 2019 Tobs games at second base and in right field. The redshirt junior is an utility player for the Trojans. After a solid 2018 season, Stone’s 2019 Wilson season ended after two games because of an injury. For Mount Olive, he batted .347 with nine homers in 27 games. In 2020, Stone drove in 10 runs in the Trojans’ first seven games.
Commented Bell: “I’m very happy to see Stone returning after his season was cut short last summer. It will be great to have his bat back in the lineup.”
Farmer, a product of Winterville, appeared in 14 Tobs games last season. His tremendous on-base speed proved a huge late addition. The redshirt junior thrived at Pitt Community College, helping the team win back-to-back regular-season championships at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II level. As a freshman, Farmer batted .338.
“Reese was another late, great addition to our team,” remarked new head coach Harry Markotay, an assistant in 2019. “He proved to be a great athlete and ball player after coming off a redshirt season. It will be exciting to see what he can do with a full year under his belt.”
Sawyer, a product of Greenville and Rose High, was another late 2019 addition. He provided spark with a homer and five runs in nine games. At UNC Greensboro, Sawyer put together a 15-game hitting streak, the second longest on the team. He spent the 2018 summer with the Wake Forest Fungo in the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League. Sawyer also starred in the classroom, earning 2018 Southern Conference academic acclaim.
“Sawyer was a great addition at the end of our 2019 season,” Markotay reported. “He fit right in. He was a guy we knew we wanted to have back. He has the potential to help our team tremendously at the plate and defensively.”
Meyers played a crucial 2019 role for the Tobs, landing on the All-CPL first team. He batted .304 with 25 RBIs and three homers in 40 games. With the Rockets, Meyers, a junior infielder, batted .278 as a freshman and, as a sophomore, .282 with 35 RBIs and six homers. He was also an all-conference academic selection in 2019.
“I’m looking forward to having Meyers back in our lineup,” Markotay declared. “He is a dangerous left-handed hitter with a ton of power — who has the tools to be an all-star for us this summer.”
Carr started regularly for the Tobs in 2019. His output for 49 games included 29 RBIs, 39 runs. a .287 average and a team-high 26 stolen bases. At Shepherd, Carr merited first team all-conference, first team All-Atlantic Region and honorable mention All-American from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and first team Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-Atlantic Region. As a sophomore, he batted a scorching .428 with six homers and 37 RBIs.
“Carr is going to be a guy again for us this summer that will be fun for all of us to watch. He is a great asset to us defensively, at the plate and on the base paths. He provided us with a lot big moments last season.” Markotay contended.
Wullenweber, a junior catcher from West Chester, Ohio, is known for being an excellent teammate and having a cannon of a throwing arm behind the plate. His 2019 Tobs contributions included six runs and three RBIs. As a freshman at Tusculum, Wellenwuber went errorless in 86 fielding chances in 15 games. His sophomore output included a .250 average, 15 RBIs and a six-game hitting streak.
“Wully is a prime example of what being a Tob is all about,” Markotay said. “He is always a guy who is putting in extra work and is a great teammate. (Wullenweber) is also an outstanding defender behind the plate. I believe he will make an impact offensively for us as well, and will be a valuable part of our lineup.”