Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina senior catcher Spencer Holcomb was named to 2018 University Division All-State Baseball second team released Monday by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA). It is the 10th-consecutive season that WCU has landed at least one player on the NCCSIA honorary squad.
Nominees for the annual all-state awards were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by the NCCSIA membership.
Holcomb adds the all-state plaudit to cap his senior season that included him earning second-team All-Southern Conference honors at catcher. Starting 54 of his 56 games played behind the plate, Holcomb finished the year with a team-best .352 batting average – a mark that against conventional wisdom climbed the second half of the year as did the number of games caught. He raised his seasonal average over 50 points over the final month of the season including hitting five of his seven home runs. A total of 20 of his 70 base hits went for extra bases including a single-season high 13 doubles and seven home runs.
Holcomb closed the year riding a career-best 30-game reached base safely streak that included a career-long 12-game hitting streak through the month of May. A combined 10 of his 12 games in the hitting streak were multiple-hit games including homering in four-straight outings at nationally-ranked Clemson and in all three series games against eventual SoCon champion, Samford. Holcomb was rewarded for his efforts in earning both SoCon and National Player of the Week honors on May 14 stemming from his monster week that saw him bat .556 (10-for-18) with four multi-hit games.
A native of Pfafftown, N.C., Holcomb threw out 21 would-be base stealers in 2018, finishing second in the SoCon. All told, Holcomb threw out 39 base runners during his Catamount career.
Holcomb capped a four-year career with a .307 batting average that included amassing 139 base hits, 50 of which went for extra bases – 29 doubles, a triple, and 20 career home runs. He drove home 80 over his time in Cullowhee, starting 119 of his 165 career games played with the bulk coming over the past two seasons in which he held down the starting catcher position.
Elon led a combined nine schools with representatives on the two squads with five selections including three first team and two on the second. Three schools – UNC Wilmington, Campbell, and Charlotte – each had four representatives apiece with UNCW putting all four of its honorees on the first team while Campbell and Charlotte both had two first and two second-team selections.
All college and universities in North Carolina are eligible to nominate players with just NCCSIA members allowed to participate in the vote.
Founded in 2002, The North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.
NCCSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball, and baseball.
Western Carolina's All-Time NCCSIA All-State Selections:
2007: Kenny Smith, INF
2009: Brent Greer, INF
2010: Matt Benedict, SP
2011: Ross Heffley, INF
2012: Ross Heffley, INF; Preston Hatcher, RP
2013: Tyler White, INF (1st); Aaron Attaway, INF (2nd); Julian Ridings, OF (2nd); Preston Hatcher, RP (2nd); Jeremy Null, SP (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)
2015: Bradley Strong, INF (1st); Matt Smith, DH (1st); Danny Bermudez, C (2nd)
2016: Matt Smith, INF (1st); Danny Bermudez, C (2nd); Bryson Bowman, OF (2nd); Bryan Sammons, SP (2nd)
2017: Bryson Bowman, OF (1st); Brett Pope, INF (2nd); Nobu Suzuki, INF (2nd); Korey Anderson, RP (2nd); Bryan Sammons, SP (2nd)
2018: Spencer Holcomb, C (2nd)