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NJ’s McLean to keep family tradition at UMO

Posted on December 2, 2021

Updated on January 1, 2022

School SportsSports
North Johnston High senior Lane McLean signs his National Letter of Intent to further his baseball and academic careers at the University of Mount Olive.

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North Johnston High senior Lane McLean signs his National Letter of Intent to further his baseball and academic careers at the University of Mount Olive.

paul@wilsontimes.com | 265-7808

Lane McLean didn’t have to think too hard when it came time to decide where he would continue his baseball and academic careers upon graduation from North Johnston High next June.

With older brother, Blake, wrapping up his University of Mount Olive baseball career this past spring, Lane McLean is ready to step right into his shoes just as he did at North Johnston three years ago. McLean made it official when he signed his National Letter of Intent recently to join the Trojans of NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas next year.

The son of Shelia and Daniel McLean of Pine Level, Lane McLean said that he intends to major in business administration at UMO, which is the only school that really pursued him. Then again, McLean was pursuing Mount Olive at the same time.

“It made a huge difference,” Lane McLean said of his brother’s experience affecting his collegiate decision. “It had already been around him and the coaches. I knew the community and once I knew the (Mount Olive) coaches wanted me, I was all in.”

Like his brother, the younger McLean is also a middle infielder at North Johnston and expects to be stationed either at shortstop or second base for the Trojans. Lane McLean said his defensive prowess has helped him turn into a college prospect.

“I’ve worked the past couple of years and gotten more consistent,” said the 5-foot-9, 165-pound recruit.

McLean has definitely gotten more consistent at the plate, where he led the Panthers with a .455 batting  average (20 for 44), 20 hits, nine doubles and two triples while also driving in 15 runs and striking out just four times in 53 plate appearances. He helped North Johnston to a share of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference title and back to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs as the Panthers finished 10-3.

Even with that level of success, McLean is looking for improvement at the plate this coming season as he prepares for the collegiate game.

“Just mainly working on hitting and being more situational in my at-bats,” he said, before adding: “And practicing and getting stronger.”

One thing McLean won’t have to do this spring is worry about what uniform he would wear next. It’ll be a green-and-gold Trojans uniform.

“It feels good knowing that I’m going into my senior season and I can enjoy it,” he said.

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