WCU has 22 returning players in various summer leagues
Career Notes: Closed his four-year WCU career with an 11-8 overall record including a career-best nine wins as a junior ... Of his 58 career starts, 31 came as a starter ... His 174 career strikeouts rank him 18th in school history at the time of his graduation ... Drafted in the 30th round with the 902nd overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
2011 (Senior): Made 14 appearances on the season with 13 coming in the starting role ... Led the team in both innings pitched (85.1) and strikeouts (70) on the season, posting a 4.01 ERA ... His 70 K's ranked him tied for 10th in the SoCon while his 26 strikeouts looking ranked him sixth in the league ... Opponents hit just .290 against him on the year ... Induced a team-high nine double plays on the season ... WCU won seven of the 14 games in which he pitched on the season ... Pitched at least 4.2 innings in all 13 starts, matching his career-long of eight innings three times during the season ... Missed his first scheduled start of the season on opening day against Morehead State (2/18), but earned the starting nod against Wake Forest (2/22) nearly picking up a 1-0 shutout victory before the squad fell, 2-1, in extra innings ... Made one relief appearance on the season coming against Manhattan (2/27) ... Struck out four-or-more batters nine times including fanning a career-high 13 in a road win over Davidson (3/25) ... Was a preseason first team All-Southern Conference selection as a starting pitcher.
2010 (Junior): Made 18 appearances including a team-high 13 starts including nine-consecutive from mid-April through season's end ... Moved from the bullpen and mid-week starter into the Saturday starter's role, solidifying the position in a career year ... Ranked tied for first on the team with nine victories in a 9-2 season ... Was named second team All-Southern Conference as a starting pitcher by both the league's head coaches and voting members of the SoCon Sports Media Association (SCSMA) after boasting a ERA of 2.45, the lowest in the conference during the regular season ... Was named All-State by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) ... Finished with a career-low 3.11 ERA and was second on the squad with a career-best 66 strikeouts against 33 walks ... Recorded three-or-more strikeouts 11 times ... Limited opponents to a .293 collective batting average ... Started 6-0 on the mound before suffering his first defeat ... Tossed a career-long eight innings in his final appearance of the regular season, striking out a career-high eight while limiting the Wildcats to a pair of unearned runs ... Pitched five-or-more innings in 12 of his appearances with WCU winning 14 of the 18 games in which he played ... Returned to the Haymarket Senators of the Valley League with teammates Austin Schultz and Tyler White during the summer.
2009 (Sophomore): Took the mound 17 times including three starts in his second season, finishing with an overall record of 0-1 ... Tossed 24 innings with 24 strikeouts against 15 walks and 11 hit batsman, a number that ranked third on the team ... Earned the starting nod against nationally-ranked San Diego and in home games against High Point and Eastern Kentucky with WCU posting a 2-1 record in those contests ... Struck out a season-high four twice in wins over High Point and Tennessee Tech ... Allowed nine runs in his final three appearances of the season, a combined two and two-thirds innings that ballooned his ERA.
2008 (Freshman): Made nine appearances, including two starts ... Tossed 16.1 innings with 14 strikeouts and 11 walks ... Made his first career start on March 25 against East Tennessee State in Cullowhee, lasting 3.1 innings allowing seven runs - two earned - on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts ... In his second career start against UNC Asheville on April 2, worked a then career-long 5.0 innings scattering six hits and three runs with three K's ... Despite receiving no-decisions in each of his starts, Western Carolina won both contests ... Missed most of the month of April due to illness - but returned to the bullpen, making two appearances down the stretch, striking out three in 1.2 innings of work ... Played for the Duluth Huskies of the Northwoods League during the summer following his rookie season.
High School: Four-time letter winner for St. Petersburg HS ... Led team to three Pinellas County Athletic Conference championships, and a number six state ranking as a sophomore ... Named a second team All-Conference performer his final prep season, as well as being a member of the Pinellas County Senior All Star Team ... During the summer, played for the Columbia Angels out of Houston, Texas.
Personal: Full name is Matthew Wayne Benedict ... Son of David and Lourdes Benedict ... Has two younger siblings, Dylan and Marisa.
Career Game Highs: Innings Pitched: 8.0, four times (MR: vs. Elon, 5/25/11) Strikeouts: 13, at Davidson (3/25/11) Walks: 6, NEW YORK TECH (4/2/10) Consecutive Scoreless Innings: 8.2 (3/27/10 - 4/7/10)