Three-game series set for a 4 pm opening day game in Greenville, N.C.
WCU posted a regular season runner-up finish
Loss marks final game for 11 Catamount seniors
WCU to face UNCG/Samford loser at 4 pm on Thursday
Game halted in top of fourth inning; stats will not count
Western Carolina wins seventh straight season opener and tenth in to begin 2015 season at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.
2017 (Senior): Started all 56 of the team’s games including 33 in center field, 16 at first base, and seven in left field … Batted in the clean-up spot in 50 of his 56 games, seeing time as the lead-off batter once and five times in the No. 3 spot in the lineup … Finished with a .299 batting average, though he hit over .300 from late April through game one of the Southern Conference Tournament … Had multiple hits in 12 games … Finished second on the team with 15 multiple RBI games, recording 53 RBI to finish second on the squad – and tied for seventh in the SoCon … After going hitless in the season-opener, had a 13-game hitting streak during which time he batted .373 (19-for-51) with six doubles and 15 RBI … Matched a career-best with three doubles against Marshall (Feb. 25) in a perfect 4-for-4, five RBI performance … Drove in a career-high seven in a 3-for-4, two home run performance against VMI (April 21) … Named Southern Conference Player of the Week by both the league office and College Sports Madness on April 24, batting .571 with a 1.143 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base percentage in four games … Drew a career-best four walks in a home win over Savannah State (April 25) … Posted a career-long, 37-game reached base safely streak that concluded in the SoCon Tournament against Samford (May 25).
2016 (Junior): Only Catamount to play and start all 62 games on the season ... Made 50 starts at first base with five as the DH, three starts in left field, three in right field and one in center field ... Led WCU with a career-best .388 batting average to rank fourth in the SoCon ... Finished with a team-high 90 hits, second-most in the SoCon, including 11 doubles, two triples and 10 home runs ... Paced the squad with 30 multiple-hit games ... Recorded two, double-digit game hitting streaks of 13 and a career-long 15-game hitting streak ... Drew a team-high tying 43 walks and was hit by 10 pitches ... His seasonal on-base percentage of .495 ranked second in the SoCon ... Drove in 43 runs with 13 multi-RBI outings ... Ranked second in the SoCon as a part of turning 42 double plays that included an unassisted double-play against Nebraska (June 4) in the NCAA Regional ... Named first team All-Southern Conference at first base by both the league's head coaches and voting media ... Batted a SoCon tournament-best .591 (13-for-22) with four doubles and a triple, driving in eight runs to earn Southern Conference All-Tournament Team honors, as well as SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Performer plaudits ... Also collected Named to the NCAA Clemson Regional All-Tournament team honors ... Selected first team All-State by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) ... Tallied second team ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic All-Region team honors ... Named preseason All-Southern Conference first team by the league's head coaches, as well as by College Sports Madness.; Summer League: Expected to start the summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
2015 (Sophomore):One of four Catamounts to start all 51 games on the season ... An outfielder by trade, was relegated to the designated hitter role due to a throwing arm injury -- made 33 starts at DH and 18 in center field ... Finished second on the team among the regulars with .332 batting average including a .379 mark against left-handed pitching ... Collected 65 hits including 11 doubles, a triple and five home runs ... Was hit by 12 pitches, tied for second on the team and tied for fifth in the SoCon ... Drew a team-high 31 walks, tied for fifth in the SoCon to help him rank third in the league in on-base percentage ... Tied for the team lead with 21 multiple hit games including a team-best 17, two-hit outings ... Put together a career-long 14-game hitting streak spanning late-March through mid-April and included eight multi-hit games ... Earned SoCon Player of the Week plaudits in early-April after hitting a staggering .818 (9-for-11) in the series against regular season and tournament champion, Mercer ... Collected a double and a homer in the series to amass a 1.182 slugging percentage, scoring four runs with three RBI while walking three times, once intentionally ... Named first team All-State by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) ... Was named second team All-Southern Conference as a designated hitter by the SoCon Sports Media Association.
2014 (Freshman): Played in 47 of the Catamounts 55 seasonal games making 19 starts, all coming in right field ... Finished the year with a .260 batting average, collecting 19 hits in 73 at bats including five for extra bases - four doubles and a triple - with 10 walks ... Posted a career-long, five-game hitting streak (April 25-May 9) ... Recorded five multiple hit games ... Drove in six runs including a career-high two at Georgia Tech (March 11) ... Started the first two games of the season at second-ranked Mississippi State (Feb. 14-15), getting his first base hit in his fifth at bat - a single through the left side in the fourth inning against the Bulldogs ... Turned in his first multi-hit game at Washington State (Feb. 21) ... Drove home a career-high two runners at Georgia Tech (March 11) ... Picked up his first career extra base hit on a triple off the wall in right center field against SEC-foe, Tennessee (April 16) ... Tallied his first collegiate double against The Citadel (April 20) ... Doubled twice against archrival Appalachian State (May 3) ... Got WCU's offense started in the regular season championship-clinching win over Davidson (May 16) with a RBI double in the fourth inning ... Also made one pitching appearance, tossing two thirds of an inning at No. 20 Clemson (April 23) ... Named to the 2013-14 Southern Conference Honor Roll. Summer League: Played for the Licking County Settlers in the Great Lakes League ... Played in 20 games on the summer including six in the playoffs as a part of the Settlers championship team ... Hit .216 on the summer including .261 (6-for-23) with a triple during the post-season ... Drove home six RBI and recorded two stolen bases ... Pitched in six games with one start, tossing eight innings with five strikeouts against one walk and a 4.50 ERA.
Prior to Western Carolina: Was a four-year varsity letter winner who earned All-Ohio Division III accolades all four seasons including first-team plaudits each of his final three seasons ... Named the News Journal Player of the Year as a junior and senior ... Batted .555 for his high school career with 24 home runs ... Set high school program record for games played and career batting average ... Ranked inside the top five in Ohio state history in batting average and was eighth in career hits ... Also played football as a prep, earning All-Ohio.
Personal: Full name is Matthew Allen Smith ... Is the son of Tim and Melissa Smith ... Has a younger brother, Noah.
Career Game Highs:
At Bats: 6, six times (MR: at ETSU, 4/9/17)
Hits: 4, five times: MR - vs. Marshall (2/25/17)
Runs: 4, HOLY CROSS-1 (3/7/15)
Doubles: 3, MARSHALL (2/25/17)
Triples: 1, four times: MR - vs. Samford (5/26/16)
Home Runs: 2, three times (MR - VMI-2, 4/21/17)
RBI: 7, VMI-2 (4/21/17)
Walks: 4, SAVANNAH STATE (4/25/17)
HBP: 2, twice (MR: WOFFORD, 4/5/15)
Hitting Streak: 15 games (3/25/16 - 4/20/16)