Cullowhee, N.C. – Three Catamount baseball players were recognized as All-State selections on Monday by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA). Redshirt senior outfielder Matthew Koehler, sophomore infielder Justice Bigbie, and junior catcher Luke Robinson were each named to 2019 University Division All-State Baseball teams.
It is the 11th-consecutive season that WCU has landed at least one player on the NCCSIA honorary squad, and the sixth-time since 2013 that WCU has placed three-or-more players on the team.
Drafted in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics, Matthew Koehler adds All-State accolades to his honors from his final year as a collegian. The Raleigh, N.C., native paced the Southern Conference in both batting average (.361) and slugging percentage (.649) this spring, and was third in on-base percentage (.445). A first-team All-SoCon selection, Koehler collected 74 hits – seventh in the league – that included 10 doubles, a SoCon-high tying five triples, and a team-best 13 homers that ranked him tied for fourth in the league.
Koehler closed his Catamount career with 199 hits including 37 doubles, nine triples – ninth in WCU’s record books, and 23 career home runs. His 41 career stolen bases rank him 16th all-time in program history.
Tabbed as the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year by both the league’s head coaches and voting media, Justice Bigbie adds All-State to his list of postseason plaudits. He recorded a team-best 75 base hits – sixth in the SoCon – including 11 doubles and 12 homers including a pair of inside-the-park homers, while also ranking third in batting average (.355), second in on-base percentage (.446), and sixth in slugging percentage (.578). His team-best 51 RBI placed him third in the league this season. Bigbie garnered a first-team All-SoCon tabulation from both the coaches and voting media.
Splitting time between catcher and first base, junior Luke Robinson tallied the first postseason award of his career with the All-State nod. Robinson batted a career-best .299 with 60 hits including 11 doubles, four triples – second on the team and tied for fourth in the SoCon – and 11 home runs, the seventh-most in the conference. He appeared on the initial watch list for the newly re-branded Buster Posey Award – formerly known as the Johnny Bench Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Selected by the coaching staff in the preseason, Robinson wore the coveted No. 7 jersey this spring as the most-recent Leggett Legacy recipient.
Below is a complete listing of WCU’s NCCSIA All-State selections since 2007:
Western Carolina's All-Time NCCSIA All-State Selections:
2019: Justice Bigbie, INF (1st); Matthew Koehler, OF (1st); Luke Robinson, C (2nd)
2018: Spencer Holcomb, C (2nd)
2017: Bryson Bowman, OF (1st); Brett Pope, INF (2nd); Nobu Suzuki, INF (2nd); Korey Anderson, RP (2nd); Bryan Sammons, SP (2nd)
2016: Matt Smith, INF (1st); Danny Bermudez, C (2nd); Bryson Bowman, OF (2nd); Bryan Sammons, SP (2nd)
2015: Bradley Strong, INF (1st); Matt Smith, DH (1st); Danny Bermudez, C (2nd)
2014: Adam Martin, C (1st); Jacob Hoyle, INF (1st); Bradley Strong, INF (1st); Jordan Smith, SP (2nd); Tyler Powell, RP (2nd); Cody Jones, OF (2nd); Taylor Sandefur, DH (2nd)
2013: Tyler White, INF (1st); Aaron Attaway, INF (2nd); Julian Ridings, OF (2nd); Preston Hatcher, RP (2nd); Jeremy Null, SP (2nd)
2012: Ross Heffley, INF; Preston Hatcher, RP
2011: Ross Heffley, INF
2010: Matt Benedict, SP
2009: Brent Greer, INF
2007: Kenny Smith, INF