Ray Crawford(Dudley HS) finds his niche with Ritsche over at Winston-Salem State on the Rams’ baseball team

from John Dell at the Winston-Salem Journal….www.journalnow.com

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Kevin Ritsche, the baseball coach at Winston-Salem State, was a little stunned when right fielder Ray Crawford, one of his best players, ran into the wall while chasing a ball in a recent game.

Crawford, the CIAA player of the year, suffered a slight injury that will keep him out of the Rams final two regular-season games, but he’ll be back for next week’s Atlantic Region playoffs.

“I’ll be fine, and I’ve been in the trainer’s room getting rehab so I’ll be good to go,” Crawford said Wednesday night from BB&T Ballpark, where WSSU played second-ranked Lander.

Ritsche said: “I was a little worried, but when I got out there, it wasn’t as bad, and he had a bruised thigh and some bruises in his wrist area, so it wasn’t a major injury. He’ll be good to go once regionals start next week.”

WSSU secured an automatic bid to the Division II playoffs last month by winning its fourth straight CIAA title. Regional pairings will be announced Sunday night, and the Rams will play on the road. WSSU (35-15) will play Bluefield State on Saturday in Mocksville in its regular-season finale.

Crawford, a transfer from UNC Greensboro and former star at Greensboro Dudley, leads the Rams in batting average (.392), slugging percentage (.565) and RBIs (63) and is second in home runs (5). An infielder for most of his career, he was moved to right field this season to keep his bat in the lineup.

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