WCU to celebrate back-to-back regular season SoCon championships
Jordan Smith inks free-agent contract; Jeremy Null receives assignment
WCU has 17 returning players in various summer leagues
Adam Martin wins Northwoods League homerun derby
WCU has 22 returning players in various summer leagues
Western Carolina baseball took down the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Wednesday night at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium, 7-2.
Dykota Spiess broke a 6-6 tie with a three-run home run to lead the Catamounts to a 9-7 win over No. 24 Appalachian State to claim the series.
2013 (Junior): Saw action in 48 of WCU's 59 games on the season, all coming as starts in the outfield including 45 in center field and three in right field ... Led the team with a .377 batting average (75-for-199) with 16 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs, finishing a perfect 14-for-14 in stolen bases - all career highs ... His batting average ranked 35th in the final NCAA rankings while his .663 slugging percentage ranked eighth ... Finished fourth on the team with 49 RBI while his 49 runs scored ranked him third on the squad ... Hit in the two-hole 33 times with all but one of his starts coming in the top four batting positions ... Speedy left-hander hit .390 against left-handed pitchers and batted .383 (23-of-60) with runners in scoring position ... Recorded a .397 batting average with two outs, collecting 14 two-out RBI ... Laid down 15 bunts on the season including five for sacrifices and three bunt singles (.300) ... Selected to the first team All-Southern Conference by both the league's head coaches and voting media ... Named second team All-State by North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) ... Batted .397 (46-of-116) in SoCon play with 17 extra base hits including 16 doubles, a triple and six home runs ... Ranked second on the team with 26 multiple-hit games including 20, two-hit outings and six, three-hit games ... Enjoyed a career-long, 11-game hitting streak early in the season from Feb. 26 through March 27, collecting seven multi-hit games during that stretch ... Named to the SoCon All-Tournament team after hitting .455 at Fluor Field, finishing 5-for-11 with two doubles and a home run for a .909 slugging percentage ... He scored four runs and drove in three including one on a sacrifice fly during the tournament ... Matched his career-high of three hits in a game six times during the 2013 season, giving him 12, three-hit games in his career ... Belted two home runs in a home win over Gardner-Webb (April 17) for his first career multi-homer game ... Set a career-high with five RBI in a road win over Appalachian State, belting his first career grand slam home run in Boone (May 16) ... Closed the season riding a 10-game hitting streak with five, two-hit games.
2012 (Sophomore): Played in 53 of the 56 games on the season, making 44 appearances in the starting lineup ... Posted a career-best .331 batting average, tallying 53 hits including 12 for extra bases with eight doubles, a triple and three home runs ... Had 16 multiple hit games and three multiple RBI outings ... Finished with a .353 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging percentage ... Ranked second on the team with 12 stolen bases coming in 15 attempts ... Led the team with 18 bunt attempts including a team-best 10 successful sacrifice bunts and five for base hits ... Belted his first career home run in the top of the ninth inning at Kennesaw State (March 28) - skirting the fence in right center field to tie the game and forcing extra innings allowing the Catamounts to win, 7-6, in 10 innings ... Also homered at Wofford (April 7) and close to his hometown at Gardner-Webb (April 17) ... Drove in a career-high three runs at Samford (April 22); Summer League: Played for the Waynesboro Generals of the Valley League during the summer of 2012 ... Led the Valley League with a .419 batting average on the summer with 24 extra base hits including 14 doubles, three triples and seven home runs ... Finished 15-of-18 in stolen bases ... Started 40 of the 44 games in which he saw action ... Ridings was the Generals' player of the week twice ... Named to the midseason All-Star team in the Valley League ... Tabbed as the top prospect out of the Valley League by Perfect Game.
2011 (Freshman): Appeared in 25 games for the Catamounts including 18 starts including 15 in centerfield, twice in left and once in right field ... Was sidelined several times during his rookie campaign due to a variety of injuries and ailments, missing the final 16 games of the season due to a back injury ... Earned his first career start in centerfield in his first career game ... Finished with six multiple hit games ... Struggled the second half of the season, recording just one hit in his final 18 at bats of the season with his batting average dropping 67 points ... Collected his first career base hit in his third at bat in the season-opener against Morehead State (2/18), singling to right field on the first pitch ... Tallied a career-high three base hits including a pair of doubles in a 3-for-5 showing against Elon (3/18).
Prior to Western Carolina: Was twice named All-Big South Conference, garnering the league's Player of the Year honor as a senior after hitting .432 with eight home runs and 22 RBI in his final season ... Added 28 runs scored and 10 stolen bases, while playing errorless defense in the outfield for the Big South 3A Conference champion, finishing with a 19-5 record and a third round state 3A playoffs appearance ... Earned All-Region honors both as a junior and senior in high school ... Batted .400 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in American Legion baseball in the summer of 2009, hitting .409 for the Shelby Legion team during the summer of 2008.
Personal: Full name is Julian Taylor Ridings ... Is the son of David and Lisa Ridings ... Has a younger sibling, Madison.
Career Game Highs:
At Bats: 6, three times (MR: at UNCG, 4/27/13)
Hits: 3, 12 times (MR: GARDNER-WEBB, 4/17/13)
Runs: 3, three times (MR: GEORGIA SOUTHERN, 4/19/13)
Doubles: 2, ELON (3/18/11)
Home Runs: 2, GARDNER-WEBB (4/17/13) RBI: 5, at Appalachian State (5/16/13)
Walks: 2, twice (MR: THE CITADEL, 3/29/13)
Stolen Bases: 2, twice (MR: DAVIDSON-1, 3/27/12)
Hitting Streak: 11 games (2/26/13-3/27/13)