June 30, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina put a combined seven players on the 2014 University Division All-State Baseball team as selected and released by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA). Three Catamounts - senior Adam Martin and junior infielders Jacob Hoyle and Bradley Strong - led the way with first team selections, while seniors Jordan Smith, Cody Jones and Taylor Sandefur, as well as junior Tyler Powell each earned second team plaudits.
A combined 26 players representing seven different universities across North Carolina were honored by the association with the release of its all-state teams. WCU's seven selections were the most by any school that submitted nominations - and the most for the program all-time, surpassing the five selections following the 2013 season. Including WCU's seven players, a combined 12 of the 26 were from Southern Conference rosters including four from UNCG and one from Elon.
Nominees for the annual all-state awards were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by the NCCSIA members.
Adam Martin adds the All-State accolade to a tremendous senior season which included being a first team All-Southern Conference selection as well as first team American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Atlantic Region. He hit a career-high .307 in his final year, collecting 25 extra base hits including a SoCon-high tying 14 home runs and 10 doubles. The Marietta, Ga., product paced the league with 65 RBI, recording 35 during the month of March en route to claiming conference player of the month honors.
A 10th-round selection by the Seattle Mariners in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, Martin is currently playing for the Everett AquaSox in the Class A Short-Season Northwest League in Everett, Wash.
Jacob Hoyle was likewise a first team All-SoCon selection, garnering plaudits at first base. He matched Martin for the conference-lead with 14 home runs as a part of finishing with a .332 batting average and a career-high 53 RBI. He added 11 doubles and moved into a first place tie in WCU's career ledgers for sacrifice flies with 17 over his first three seasons. Hoyle, a native of Hickory, N.C., was also named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Second baseman Bradley Strong had an all-around solid season, leading the Catamounts in batting average with a career-best .339, base hits with 81 including a team-pacing 20 doubles, and in runs scored with a conference-leading 58. He also led the team in thefts, stealing 20 bases to set a career benchmark. The Richlands, Va., product adds the all-state honor to his first team All-SoCon, second team All-Atlantic Region and third team Louisville Slugger All-America accolades.
Senior starting pitcher Jordan Smith caps his final season on the mound with the all-state plaudits. In 2014, the Liberty, N.C., native posted an 8-5 record and a career-low, 3.26 ERA, which ranked sixth in the league. A first team All-SoCon selection, Smith had two double-digit strikeout games en route to charting 82 strikeouts to rank fifth among conference hurlers. Smith closed his four-year career as the Catamount program's all-time leader in career games started (59) and career innings pitched (374.2)
Senior outfielder turned in a very solid final campaign where he was the picture of consistency both in the field and at the plate. Starting all 55 games in center field, Jones hit .308 on the year, recording hits in 45 of the team's games while reaching base safely in all but six of the outings (49-of-55). A two-time team captain, Jones ranked second on the team with 16 doubles and was fourth on the squad with a career-best 40 RBI. Jones, who is originally from Enka, N.C., was also named ABCA All-Atlantic Region following the season.
Converted pitcher Taylor Sandefur garnered All-State honors as a designated hitter in 2014, playing in 36 games with a .310 batting average. A redshirt senior from Mechanicsville, Va., Sandefur finished with 26 hits including five doubles and a home run with 13 RBI. Reinventing himself after an injury ended his pitching career, Sandefur - who was voted a team captain prior to the year - appeared on the watch list for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award for the Comeback Player of the Year.
Junior reliever Tyler Powell picked up all-state honors to go along with second team All-SoCon plaudits earned from the league's voting media. The Charlotte, N.C., product made 22 appearances on the season tossing 25 innings and closing with a 2-0 record and a career-best 13 saves. Among the regulars, finished with a team-best ERA at 1.44, surrendering just four earned runs on the season and limiting opponents to just a .189 collective batting average against. Powell tallied 23 strikeouts against 10 walks, tallying punch outs in 14 of his 22 appearances.
Founded in 2002, the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.
NCCSSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.
2014 NCCSIA All-State University Division Baseball Team
SP: Mat Batts, UNC Wilmington
SP: Heath Bowers, Campbell University
RP: Ryan Thompson, Campbell University
RP: Conor Lourey, High Point University
C: Adam Martin, Western Carolina University
INF: Hunter King, UNC Greensboro
INF: Jacob Hoyle, Western Carolina University
INF: Spencer Angelis, High Point University
INF: Bradley Strong, Western Carolina University
OF: Eric Kalbfleisch, UNC Greensboro
OF: Carlos Ortiz, North Carolina Central University
OF: Casey Jones, Elon University
DH: Matt Parrish, Campbell University
SP: John McGillicuddy, High Point University
SP: Jordan Smith, Western Carolina University
RP: Cas Silber, High Point University
RP: Tyler Powell, Western Carolina University
C: Carter Williamson, North Carolina Central University
INF: Sean Guite, UNC Greensboro
INF: Tyson Simpson, North Carolina Central University
INF: Zack Lee, North Carolina Central University
INF: Jordan McDonald, UNC Greensboro
OF: Matt Nadolski, Campbell, University
OF: Josh Greene, High Point University
OF: Cody Jones, Western Carolina University
DH: Taylor Sandefur, Western Carolina University
WCU's All-Time NCCSIA All-State Selections:
2014: Adam Martin, C (1st); Jacob Hoyle, INF (1st); Bradley Strong, INF (1st); Jordan Smith, SP (2nd); Tyler Powell, RP (2nd); Cody Jones, OF (2nd); Taylor Sandefur, DH (2nd)
2013: Tyler White, INF (1st); Aaron Attaway, INF (2nd); Julian Ridings, OF (2nd); Preston Hatcher, RP (2nd); Jeremy Null, SP (2nd)
2012: Ross Heffley, INF; Preston Hatcher, RP
2011: Ross Heffley, INF
2010: Matt Benedict, SP
2009: Brent Greer, INF
2007: Kenny Smith, INF