Sports Briefs: May 14, 2014

May 12, 2014 

Daniel McCullers, a Southeast Raleigh High School grad, was drafted 215th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

RUTH TEDRICK/TENNESSEE ATHLETICS — Ruth Tedrick/Tennessee Athletics

Steelers draft McCullers

Southeast Raleigh High School grad Daniel McCullers was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the NFL Draft Saturday. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin referred to McCullers, who played at Tennessee, as “an obstruction” during the Steelers’ post-draft press conference.

McCullers, who at 6-foot-7, 352 pounds, played several line spots in college, will start out as a nose tackle in the Steelers’ three-man defensive front. Tomlin said he was impressed by McCullers’ size which will force teams to double-team him.

“He’s a big guy, he can run, and offenses have a tough time moving him from the point of attack,” Pittsburgh defensive line coach John Mitchell told Steelers.com. “The thing that we’re going to want him to do is to move, and I told you we play football from the inside-out, so he’s going to have to be able to move from (offensive) tackle to (offensive) tackle.

“Right now at his size, I think he may have a few problems doing that consistently, play in and play out.”

The Steelers added two defensive linemen in the draft. They picked up Stephon Tuitt of Notre Dame in the second round, a defensive end, and McCullers.

McCullers will have the chance to play in his home state early this season. The Steelers visit the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 21 in a Sunday night game.

West Johnston edges Harnett Central, earns playoff bid

West Johnston simplified the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference baseball final standings with its 6-5 victory over Harnett Central on Senior Night Thursday. For the Wildcats, it assured them of a state playoff spot with a fourth place finish in the league.

West’s win also gave Clayton (13-1 conference) the conference championship outright and dropped Harnett Central into second place on the season with a 12-2 league mark. Garner finished third in the conference.

Hudson throws one-hitter for Garner

Senior Brighton Hudson worked a one-hit shutout as Garner wrapped up its baseball regular season slate with a 13-0 victory over Roseville on Thursday. Hudson struck out 14 in the contest.

Senior Chance Corbin hit a three-run home run for the Trojans (14-9, 10-4), while fellow senior Saylon Kieft tripled. Garner rolled up a total of six extra-base hits on the afternoon. Dakis Brown, Grayson Lee, Stone Gulley, Kameron Harris and Kieft all had two-hit days for Garner.

Marbrey leads Trojans

Senior pitcher Lauren Marbrey threw a one-hitter and went 4-for-4 with five RBIs at the plate as Garner downed Rolesville in softball 11-0 on Thursday. Brooke Kamphuis, another senior, was 3-for-4. Garner completed its Greater Neuse River 4A Conference slate winning 13 of 14 games and winning the conference championship.

The Trojans (18-2 overall) will open the state playoffs at home this week.

West grabs second place outright

West Johnston’s softball team wrapped up an outright second place finish in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference with a 6-3 victory over Harnett Central Thursday. Rachel Willis was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for West in the win. Katelyn McLamb allowed Central five hits in six innings of work and sophomore Megan Mills earned the save, striking out three batters in the seventh.

Nadia Blevins was 2-for-4 as well for West and Ashley Lauren drove in a pair of runs.

West (13-6 overall, 10-4 conference) will open the playoffs at home this week.

The Wildcats’ victory also helped Clayton clinch a top four finish in the conference and a playoff trip. The Comets wrapped up their regular-season with a win over Southeast Raleigh on Thursday.

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