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.
Note: Drafted as a third baseman by the Chicago White Sox in the 28th round (832nd pick) of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Career Notes: Finished his four-year career as Western Carolina's all-time career triples leader, collecting five in his final season for 18 career triples, a mark that also ranked him tied for third in the Southern Conference history ... Tallied 65 career stolen bases on 84 total attempts to rank second in school history in both categories.
2015 (Senior): Started all 51 games at second base, one of just four Catamounts to start every game ... Became just the 15th Catamount since 1961 to claim the team's Triple Crown for leading the squad in batting average (.344, 74-for-215), RBI (58) and home runs (10), each representing his single-season career highs ... His 58 RBI were tied for the third-most in the SoCon ... Matched his single-season career-high with a team-best 20 stolen bases, fifth in the SoCon ... Earned first team All-Southern Conference honors at second base from both the league's head coaches and voting members of the SoCon Sports Media Association (SCSMA) ... Picked up first team All-SoCon honors from College Sports Madness ... Named first team All-State by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) ... Finished tied for the team-lead with 21 multi-hit games and paced the squad with 17 multiple RBI outings ... Carrying over a 14-game hitting streak from the end of 2014, amassed a career-long 26-game hitting streak and reached base safely in 31-straight games ... Ranked among the SoCon top 10 in nine offensive categories ... Led the team with 29 two-out RBI ... Was part of turning 30 double plays along the middle infield for WCU ... Named to the 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America second team as chosen and released by Collegiate Baseball newspaper ... Was also tabbed a third team preseason All-America selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) ... Voted a team captain by his teammates prior to the season ... Named to the first team preseason All-Southern Conference at second base ... Was also tabbed preseason All-SoCon first team by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
2014 (Junior): Started all 55 of the team's games at second base, posting a team-high .339 seasonal batting average (81-of-239) including a .324 (35-for-108) mark in Southern Conference play ... Recorded a team-high 81 hits including a career-high 20 doubles, a mark which ranked him tied for 11th with seven others in the program's single-season record book ... His six seasonal triples put him tied with two others for second in the single-season ledger ... Ranked second on the team with both 22 multiple hit games and 15 multi-RBI outings ... Finished the 2014 season riding a career-long 14-game hitting streak ... Was tied for second on the squad with 53 RBI including a team-high 25 two-out runs driven in ... Stole a career-high 20 bases in 25 attempts ... Led the SoCon with 58 runs scored ... One of two Catamounts to hit for the cycle in the March 2 win over La Salle, finishing 5-for-6 at the plate with the five base hits and five RBI marking a career high ... Named SoCon Player of the Week on April 21 after batting .389 (7-for-18) with five doubles, four runs scored with three RBI ... Tabbed third team Louisville Slugger All-America by Collegiate Baseball ... Named first team All-Southern Conference by the league's head coaches ... Selected to the second team ABCA All-Atlantic Region ... Named to the 2013-14 Southern Conference Honor Roll ... Named first team All-State by the North Carolina Sports Information Association; Summer League: Returned to the Northwoods League for a second-consecutive year ... Played in 35 games with a .202 batting average, collecting 26 hits in 129 at bats with four doubles and two home runs ... Drove in 14 runs and walked 12 times ... Was a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen bases.
2013 (Sophomore): Saw action in all 59 games making 58 starts, all at second base ... Finished with a .295 batting average (61-of-207) including a .312 average (34-of-109) in Southern Conference play ... Recorded 18 extra base hits including 11 doubles, four triples and three home runs ... Recorded 19 multiple hit games including 18 two-hit outings while driving in multiple runs in nine games including seven in SoCon play ... 11 of his 28 seasonal RBI came with two outs ... Tied for the team-high with four hits with the bases loaded (4-for-8, .500) ... Matched a career-best with three RBI at Furman (April 7) and against Samford (April 13) while also scoring a career-high three runs in the latter ... Enjoyed a career-long 10 game hitting streak from April 6 through April 21 and reached base safely in 12-consecutive games on the year ... Drew a career-high two walks three times; at Davidson (March 8), at Kennesaw State (May 1) and versus Wofford (May 10) ... Doubled a career-high twice against Appalachian State (May 16) ... Collected a season-high three hits in five at bats in a road win at Appalachian State (May 17) ... Led the team with 17 stolen bases on the year in 23 attempts ... Named to the 2013 Southern Conference Spring Academic All-Conference team and to the 2012-13 Southern Conference Honor Roll; Summer League: Started the summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League ... Played in five games to start the summer, batted just .111 (1-for-9) with a couple of strikeouts in limited at bats ... Drew three walks to add to his .333 on-base percentage and stole two bases in his time on the diamond ... Joined the St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox in the Northwoods League on June 25 ... Finished with a .309 (25-for-81) batting average to rank third on the team ... Recorded two doubles and a triple with nine runs driven in ... Finished 7-for-8 in stolen bases.
2012 (Freshman): Played in 55 of WCU's 56 games, making 46 starts at third base ... Finished with a .303 batting average with 12 of his 54 hits going for extra base hits ... Led the team with three triples ... Recorded 16 multiple hit games and five multiple RBI outings ... Drove in 24 runs on the season including a team-high tying 21 in Southern Conference play ... Batted .333 (34-for-102) in league play and hit .336 against right-handed pitching ... Was 4-for-8 (.500) with the bases loaded ... Added eight stolen bases (8-of-11) ... Named to the SoCon's All-Freshman team ... Tripled to right center field in his first collegiate at bat, driving in the season's first run in the home-opener against Fordham (February 17) ... Posted a perfect 4-for-4 outing with a double and three RBI at home against UNC Greensboro (March 24) ... Had a nine-game hitting streak from April 7 through April 25, posting a 12-for-37 (.324) ... Hit his first career home run to straight-away centerfield at Samford (April 21); Summer League: Played for the league-champion West Virginia Miners in the Prospect League during the summer of 2012 ... Ranked third on the team - and fifth in the league - with a .359 batting average (78-of-217) with 17 extra base hits including 10 doubles, six triples and a home run ... Drove in 37 runs and scored 57 runs ... Stole a Prospect League-leading 29 bases in 35 attempts ... Named a starter for the East Division in the Prospect League All-Star game.
Prior to Western Carolina: Played for his father, Brad, as the head coach of Richlands HS baseball team where he earned three All-Southwest District honors and was the Virginia Player of the Year in 2011 when hit a career-best .524 with a career-best 11 home runs ... Was a two-time All-State player and earned All-Region three times ... Set school career records for hits (134) - including a single-season best 48; batting average (.525); triples (24); home runs (19) and stolen bases (40) ... Is the first student-athlete from his high school to sign a scholarship to play NCAA Division I baseball ... Received a scholarship from the Allstate Foundation at teh VHSL Achievement Award Luncheon ... Was also a three-year starter on his high school football team, twice earning All-State honors at defensive back, wide receiver and return specialist ... Set the school record for career interceptions while also becoming the program's first-ever, two-year captain.
Personal: Full name is Bradley Stuart Strong ... Is the son of Brad and Mary Ann Strong ... Has a younger brother, Reece, who also plays baseball at WCU.
Career Game Highs: At Bats: 7, at Winthrop (4/15/14) Hits: 5, LA SALLE (3/2/14) Runs: 5, LA SALLE (3/2/14) Doubles: 2, nine times (MR: FURMAN, 4/18/15) Triples: 2, twice (MR: WOFFORD, 4/5/15) * (matched a school record) Home Runs: 2, at UNC Asheville (5/1/15)
RBI: 6, twice (MR: APPALACHIAN STATE, 4/21/15) Walks: 2, five times (MR: WOFFORD, 4/4/15) Hitting Streak: 26 games (End 2014-Start 2015)