June 4, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina pitcher Bryan Sammons was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team as selected and announced Wednesday by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The first-year left-hander pitched in 21 games for WCU this spring compiling a 7-2 overall record with a pair of saves to also earn Southern Conference All-Freshman team plaudits.
Sammons joins a short list of former Catamounts to have been named to the Freshman All-America squad, becoming the sixth WCU player honored all-time. He joins the most recent selections under head coach Bobby Moranda in first baseman Jacob Hoyle (2012) and second baseman Ross Heffley (2009). Other Catamount honorees include Steven Strausbaugh (2005), Chris Moore (1996) and Phillip Grundy (1991) among the first-year elite in WCU history. Four of WCU's selections were later drafted by Major League Baseball squads.
Sammons was one of just five players from the SoCon named to the Freshman All-American team. He was joined by Samford teammates T.J. Dixon and league freshman of the year, Heath Quinn, and Georgia Southern duo Ryan Cleveland and Garrett Chapman.
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Sammons ranked fourth on the Catamount squad, tossing a combined 60 innings. Moving into the weekend starting role at mid-season, the southpaw made 10 starts among his 21 seasonal appearances with an ERA of 4.50. He recorded 57 strikeouts including a career-high seven in three different outings - home wins over UNC Asheville and Davidson and in a defeat to Furman.
In his Western Carolina debut, Sammons recorded two thirds of an inning to earn his first collegiate save in the season-opening victory over No. 2 Mississippi State. He secured the final two outs in the nail-biting bottom of the ninth inning, inducing a ground ball out to short to ice the Catamount victory. Two games later, he picked up his first career victory in a home shutout of Winthrop, striking out three in three innings of one-hit, shutout relief.
Sammons made his starting debut with five solid innings in WCU's convincing, 18-10, victory over No. 15 Clemson, pitching around four walks with five strikeouts surrendering four runs - three of which were unearned - on six hits. He tossed a career-long 7.2 innings in the starting role in a nonconference win over UNC Asheville.
Collegiate Baseball / Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America:
1991 - Phillip Grundy
1996 - Chris Moore, 3B
2005 - Steven Strausbaugh, OF
2009 - Ross Heffley, 2B
2012 - Jacob Hoyle, 1B
2014 - Bryan Sammons, SP