Four Catamounts graduate with honors; three received graduate degrees
Three-game intrasquad series opens Wednesday evening
"I couldn't be more excited to add Bryson Bowman to our coaching staff," said Moranda, WCU's all-time winningest head coach who is entering his 11th season at the helm. "Having a two-time All-America selection who had great success on the field want to join our coaching staff is great for our program. Bryson is a tremendous addition to our staff. His skills and abilities both as an outfielder and at the plate will greatly benefit our players through the fall workouts and into the spring season."
Joining the Catamount baseball program as a transfer in 2015, Bowman made an immediate impact in his first year of eligibility in 2016. He batted .326 with 35 extra base hits including 13 doubles, three triples and a team-high 19 home runs, claiming second team All-Southern Conference honors. He was additionally selected to the first team ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic Region team and tabbed third team All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
Bowman was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees following his redshirt junior season, taken with the 998th overall pick. However, he decided to return to Cullowhee for his senior season on the field and to work towards the completion his degree from WCU.
Western Carolina benefitted from Bowman's return in 2017. A three-time preseason All-America selection entering his senior year, the Baton, N.C., product became just the 16th different Catamount to claim the program's Triple Crown. Bowman led the team with a seasonal batting average of .381 to rank third in the Southern Conference, finished second in the league with a team-best 59 RBI, and reached double-digit home runs for a second-straight season with 11 round-trippers.
All told, Bowman combined to rank inside the top 10 of 10 SoCon statistical categories and was among seven of the SoCon-only rankings, starting all 56 seasonal games between right and center field.
Perhaps more impressively, though, was Bowman's offensive consistency. Including WCU's first 42-games consecutively, he reached base safely in 55 of WCU's 56 seasonal games, tallying base hits in 49 of those games on the year. Following the season, Bowman was dubbed first team All-SoCon in addition to sharing the coaches' SoCon Player of Year honors while earning the award outright from the voting media. He was again dubbed first team all-region by the ABCA ahead of earning a pair of All-America plaudits from both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
In just two seasons, Bowman finished ranked 20th in program history with 30 career homers, while ranking first on the career on-base percentage charts at .456. His 13 career sacrifice flies ranked him tied for sixth, matching former teammate Bradley Strong (2012-15) and Steven Strausbaugh (2005-07).
Beginning his collegiate career at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C., Bowman is on pace to fulfill the requirements for his sport management degree from WCU in December, 2017.