Warriors send two to college

Published 10:56 am Friday, January 18, 2013

MERRY HILL – Robert Kravitz is a coach with five state titles to his credit.

While he is proud of that fact, it isn’t what makes him tick.

“This is what I love about coaching,” Kravitz said Tuesday morning as two of his players signed National Letters of Intent to play college baseball. “This is my goal as a coach. The state championships are great, but when you can help a young man reach his goal of playing college baseball and getting a good education, there is nothing better than that.”

Tuesday saw Darren Armstrong and Dallas Belch join the list of Warriors who have earned the opportunity to play at the next level. Armstrong committed to UNC-Pembroke while Belch will be joining the Dolphins at College of the Albemarle.

“They will definitely be the backbone of our pitching staff going into this season,” Kravitz said of the duo. “Both have proved time and time again their mettle. They have both pitched in big games and both won them.

“I am proud of these two young men and I’m excited about what they will do this year as seniors and then as they begin their respective college careers,” he added.

Armstrong said UNC-P was simply a good fit.

“I liked the coaches and the baseball program overall,” he said. “It really felt like the best fit for me.”

He said he was looking forward to both the academic and the athletic challenges of playing at the next level.

“I am excited about practicing and getting better and also about studying and doing well in the classroom,” he said.

He said there were many things he has learned during his time at Lawrence, but the most important was playing as hard as he could and doing it with style and class. Armstrong said he would miss his coaches and teammates when he moved to the next level.

As he looks to his final year in school, Armstrong said his main goal is the same as it usually is for the Warriors: win another state title.

“Obviously, that is our goal heading into the season,” he said. “I also want to win the Easter tournament we’re playing in.”

Armstrong will pitch at UNC-Pembroke. It is a position he is familiar with after hurling the baseball for Lawrence over the past several years. He has also played first and third for the Warriors.

“UNC-Pembroke is excited to have him,” Kravitz said. “With his size, he has so much potential. They see him right now as a ‘middle of the week’ pitcher and someone who can help them a lot.

“Darren has been effective for us the past two years,” the coach added. “He has pitched in our two biggest games and won both of them.”

Armstrong is the son of James and Lori Armstrong of Colerain.

Belch is staying closer to home as he has chosen College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City as his next destination. He said that was because of the success of the Dolphin program.

“I think it’s going to be a good start for me and I know they already have a good baseball program,” he said.

As he prepares for COA, Belch said it was important for him to be successful both academically and athletically.

“I am looking for a good education first of all and, hopefully, to get a lot of playing time as well,” he said.

Belch said he too would miss his coaches and teammates after this season, but said he had learned things that will help him in his collegiate career.

“I learned a lot of things, but specifically how to put the ball in the right places at the right time when I’m pitching,” he said.

Belch said his goal too was to win another state championship, but that he wanted to enjoy the other goals along the way.

He has pitched and played the outfield at Lawrence and will most likely be a pitcher at COA.

“Dallas is going to the right place for him,” Kravitz said. “COA is a good fit and gives him the opportunity to pitch right away.

“He is very effective on the mound,” the coach added. “He throws a lot of strikes and gets a lot of ground balls. That equals a lot of outs.”

Belch is the son of Pete Belch and Gay Belch of Edenton.