N.C. State parts ways with Canela

College : : Story
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Monday, January 07, 2013

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Losing one of your leading hitters a month before the college baseball season is never a positive development, but it's one that North Carolina State and coach Elliott Avent must overcome after the program parted ways with senior catcher Danny Canela.

Canela established himself as one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading hitters last season, batting .348 with 18 doubles, six homers and 46 RBIs. However, he has begun a new stint at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., who competes in NAIA competition.

Canela doesn't officially begin classes at Lee until Wednesday. However, NAIA practice rules differ from NCAA, and the hard-hitting catcher practiced Monday with the Flames.

Canela would've served as one of the Wolfpack's elite hitters, as well as an important position player at times behind the plate. However, his departure has put a load of pressure on talented sophomore catcher Brett Austin, who hit .284 with 17 doubles and 37 RBIs as a freshman last season.

Despite Canela's departure, the Wolfpack still has incredibly high hopes for the 2013 campaign with the return of several talented hitters in addition to an excellent pitching staff led by sophomore left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon.

As for Canela, how he performs on and off the field this spring at Lee University will determine his stock for the 2013 MLB draft. Canela, who's 5-foot-9, 241 pounds, wasn't drafted last summer despite such an impressive offensive campaign

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