Bryson Bowman headlines on the first team, four on second team
WCU posted a regular season runner-up finish
Defending tournament champion opens title defense at 4 pm vs. ETSU
Redshirt senior named Player of the Year by both voting groups
WCU takes SoCon series and locks up second-place finish
2017 (Senior): Played in 55 of the team’s 56 games, making 50 starts including 48 at second base and twice as the designated hitter … Batted .330 on the season with 64 hits including 16 for extra bases with 11 doubles, a triple, and four home runs … Finished with 35 RBI … Ranked second in the SoCon with a league-only batting average of .427, just behind teammate Bryson Bowman at .433 … Posted 20 multiple hit games – third on the team – while tallying multiple RBI in eight outings … Had a career-long 12-game hitting streak and a long 17-game reached base safely streak on the year … Was hit by a pitch 14 times on the year, second in the Southern Conference … Was tied for 10th in the SoCon with eight sacrifice hits … Was a part of turning 34 double-plays from his second base position … Drove in three runs in a 2-for-3 performance against North Carolina A&T (Feb. 19) … Doubled twice against Furman (April 14) … Collected a career-high five hits in a perfect 5-for-5, career-best four RBI performance in a home win over VMI (April 21) … Went 4-for-8 with a double, a home run, and five RBI in the two wins over Mercer (May 18-19) … Named first team All-Southern Conference at second base by both the league’s head coaches and the voting media.
2016 (Junior): Played in 55 games on the year with 47 combined starts including 46 at second base and one as the designated hitter ... Finished with a .261 batting average, tallying 46 hits in 176 at bats ... Recorded seven extra base hits including five doubles and two home runs that both came at home ... Drew 13 walks and was hit by eight pitches during the year ... Tallied a team-best, 27-game streak of reaching base safely from March 6 until April 22, tied for the 10th-longest streak since 2003 ... Set a WCU single-season record with 13 sacrifice bunts, ranking second in the Southern Conference ... Was part of turning 31 double-plays along the infield, tied for seventh in the SoCon ... Recorded his first hit as a Catamount against UNC Wilmington (Feb. 19) in the season opener ... Tallied his first extra base hit -- a double -- as a pinch hitter against Richmond (Feb. 20) at UNCW's tournament ... Hit his first home run for the Purple & Gold in the home-opening series against UL-Monroe (Feb. 27) ... Drove in the championship-winning run on a bases loaded, pinch hit HBP in the win over Mercer (May 29).
Prior to Western Carolina: Was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Rawlings Gold Glove Team at second base as a sophomore at Skyline College in San Bruno, Calif. ... Was an all-region selection and nominated for All-America ... Posted a .342 batting average with 53 hits including 11 doubles and two triples as a sophomore ... Drove in 22 runs while scoring 23 times ... Posted a .425 on-base percentage with a .439 slugging percentage ... Was a part of turning 27 double-plays ... Played high school baseball at Santa Monica High in Santa Monica, Cali., where he was a two-time All-Ocean League selection, batting .380 as a senior.
Personal: Full name is Nobuaki Suzuki ... Is the son of Katsuji and Hiromi Suzuki ... Has three siblings - Hiromasa, Yasuyo and Katsue ... Was born in Stamford, Conn., but spent the first 15 years of his life living in Tokyo, Japan ... As a teen, he decided he needed to move back to the U.S. to improve his English, so he transferred to Santa Monica High School as a junior, where he landed on their playoff-bound baseball team and ultimately earned team MVP honors.
Career Game Highs:
At Bats: 6, three times (MR: at ETSU, 4/7/17)
Hits: 5, VMI-2 (4/21/17)
Runs: 3, five times (MR: SAVANNAH STATE, 4/25/17)
Doubles: 2, FURMAN (4/14/17)
Home Runs: 1, six times (MR: at Mercer, 5/19/17) RBI: 4, twice (MR: VMI-2, 4/21/17)
Walks: 4, vs. Samford- SoCon (5/26/16)
Hitting Streak: 12 games (3/25/17 - 4/14/17)