May 29, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina junior Bradley Strong was today named to the Louisville Slugger All-America team as selected and announced by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Strong, a first-team All-Southern Conference selection as voted by the league's head coaches, was a third-team selection at second base.
Strong is the fourth Catamount to garner post-season All-America accolades under head coach Bobby Moranda. Last season, Tyler White was selected to the third team as a third baseman. Jacob Hoyle was a freshman All-America selection with Ross Heffley earning the same honor in 2009 before capturing first team All-America honors in 2011. All told, Strong is just the 14th different Catamount to garner one of the 19 different All-America honors from various publications.
Strong was also among two from the Southern Conference to land on the post-season squads, joined by Elon outfielder - and league player of the year - Casey Jones.
A three-year starter from Richlands, Va., Strong finished the 2014 season with a team-high .339 batting average, recording 81 base hits to rank second in the SoCon. Among his team-best 81 hits were a career-high 20 doubles - a mark which ranked him tied for 11th with seven others in the program's single-season record book. He closed the season riding a career-long 14-game hitting streak. Strong legged out six seasonal triples to not only tie him with two others for second in the single-season ledger, but also move into a tie for the runner-up position with Danny Jones (13, 1964-67) in the career record book with 13. Strong is just two triples shy of all-time record holder Martin Barrow (15, 1995-98).
Strong paced the SoCon with 58 runs scored and concluded the year second on the squad with 53 RBI including a team-high 25 two-out runs driven in. The speedy infielder stole a career-high 20 bases in 25 attempts giving him 45 thefts in his WCU career - 13th in the school record book.
During the 2014 season, Strong was 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. He earned SoCon Player of the Week plaudits on April 21 after batting .389 (7-for-18) with five doubles, four runs scored with three RBI.
Strong is slated to return to the St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox of the Northwoods League this summer where he finished the 2013 summer season. He finished last summer with a .309 (25-for-81) batting average to rank third on the team, tallying two doubles and a triple with nine runs driven in and seven stolen bases.
Collegiate Baseball - Louisville Slugger All-America Selections:
1992 - Matt Raleigh, SS - 2nd team
1994 - Jason Beverlin, P - 3rd team
1999 - Chris Moore, SS - 3rd team
2007 - Kenny Smith, 2B - 2nd team
2011 - Ross Heffley, 2B - 1st team
2013 - Tyler White, 3B - 3rd team
2014 - Bradley Strong, 2B - 2nd team
Baseball America - All-America Selections:
1994 - Jason Beverlin, P - 2nd team
American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) - All-America Selections:
1975 - Jerry Gaines, OF - 1st team
1977 - Keith Ebersole, 1B - 3rd team
1987 - Clint Fairey, 3B - 2nd team
1990 - Grant Brittain, 2B/SS - 1st team
1991 - Kevin Bellomo, OF - 2nd team
1993 - Phillip Grundy, RHP/UT - 2nd team
1994 - Jason Beverlin, RHP - 2nd team
2001 - Donovan Minero, OF - 3rd team