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Catamount Diamond Notes: Summer Update, August 17

Hunter Brister's story is a finalist for the Tom Walter Inspiration Award.

Aug. 17, 2012

Cullowhee, N.C. - With the onset of fall class's just days away across the nation, the various summer baseball leagues are reaching their close. For Western Carolina sophomore Bradley Strong, the summer ended in a dog pile - a celebratory mass of humanity as he and his West Virginia Miners' teammates celebrated the championship in the Prospect League.

Strong, who led the league with 29 stolen bases, gave the Miners an early lead with a solo homerun in the first inning of the decisive championship game. Strong finished 3-for-11 (.273) in the playoff series with the aforementioned home run and a triple, driving in two runs.

Here is a brief update on other Catamount baseball players in various summer leagues:

Brister's Story a Finalist for the Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award:
Hunter Brister, a rising senior pitcher for the Catamounts, assisted neighbors in his hometown of Pleasant Grove, Ala., following a series of devastating tornadoes on April 27, 2011. Brister drove to nearby Hueytown and walked more than three miles to reach his home. "It was like a war zone," Brister told the Asheville Citizen-Times. "Everything was completely torn apart." To remember the event, he writes the numbers "427" in the mound each time he pitches.

The Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award recognizes examples of inspiration in baseball at the collegiate level and is named for Tom Walter, the head coach at Wake Forest who donated a kidney to freshman outfielder Kevin Jordan prior to the 2011 season.

In addition to Brister, one other Southern Conference representative is among the 10 finalists up for the award in former College of Charleston outfielder Marty Gantt.

The 2012 award winners will be announced on August 21.

Tyler White Named Hitter of the Week:
Western Carolina senior Tyler White earned Coastal Plain League (CPL) weekly honors in the final week of the regular season, making the most of his seven starts on the week. The Forest City, N.C., native posted a league-high 14 hits, four of which were doubles. Playing first base for the Gastonia Grizzlies, White was best in the league with 13 RBIs and 21 total bases



During the summer, White was also tabbed the offensive MVP of the CPL's all-star game. He ranked seventh in the league with a team-leading .319 batting average, driving in 38 runs with 13 doubles and five home runs.

Updates on Current Catamounts in Various Summer Leagues:
Aaron Attaway - Thomasville (N.C.) HiToms, Coastal Plain League:
Started 44 of the 45 games in which he saw action during the summer ... Finished with a .177 batting average, collecting 29 hits including seven doubles and two home runs with 12 RBI ... Stole nine bases in 11 attempts ... Amassed 114 fielding assists and 64 putouts along the infield.

Hunter Brister - Rockbridge (Va.) Rapids, Valley League:
Left the Tennessee Big Train to join Rockbridge in the Valley League ... Three of his four appearances with Tennessee were starts, posting a 2-1 record ... With the Rapids, made six relief appearances for a combined 4.2 innings ... Finished with a 13.50 ERA, allowing seven runs on seven hits, only one for extra bases ... Struck out three against four walks.

Adam Curtis - Waynesboro (Va.) Generals, Valley League:
Made eight starts on the season, tossing 46.1 innings ... Finished with a 4.08 ERA and a 3-1 record ... Struck out 27 batters against 14 walks ... Only nine of the 51 hits allowed on the summer were for extra bases ... Limited opponents to a .280 batting average against.

Bryce Danielson - Forest City (N.C.) Owls, Coastal Plain League:
Made 13 appearances including three starts, posting a 1-1 overall record with one save ... Finished with a 3.56 ERA through 30.1 innings pitched, surrendering 17 runs with 12 earned on 27 hits - only five going for extra bases ... Recorded 22 strikeouts against 28 walks.

William Frazier - Lake Norman (N.C.) Copperheads, Southern Collegiate Baseball League:
Has made two relief appearances, combining to toss two innings with a 4.50 ERA ... Allowed one earned run on two hits, working around two walks with three strikeouts.

Luke Gragg - Lake Norman (N.C.) Copperheads, Southern Collegiate Baseball League:
Batting .266 (17-for-64), seeing action in 23 games this summer ... Has legged out three doubles ... Has also driven in 11 runs ... Has walked and been plunked five times ... Was named a North Division Midseason All-Star.

Preston Hatcher - Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Cape Cod League:
Joined the squad later in the summer ... Made 14 relief appearances, tossing 15.0 innings with a 3.00 ERA and an 0-1 record ... Struck out 18 batters against eight walks on the summer.

Jacob Hoyle - Waynesboro (Va.) Generals, Valley League:
Finished ranked third on the team with a .348 (56-of-161) batting average with 19 extra base hits including 11 doubles and a triple and seven home runs ... Had a .559 slugging percentage ... Drove in 38 RBI ... Also made 11 pitching appearances for a combined 14 innings with a 2-1 record and a 1.29 ERA ... Walked 12 against 22 strikeouts giving up three runs, two of which were earned ... Was selected as the Generals' player of the week earlier in the summer ... Named to the midseason All-Star team in the Valley League.

Cody Jones - Gastonia (N.C.) Grizzlies, Coastal Plain League:
Finished the summer batting .284, third on the team ... Started 48 of the 50 games in which he saw action ... Recorded 54 hits in 190 at bats including seven doubles and drove in 18 runs ... Was 11-of-15 in stolen bases.

Adam Martin - St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox, Northwoods League:
Finished the summer hitting .258 with eight extra base hits including six doubles and two home runs as a part of a .358 slugging percentage ... Drove in 13 runs with one stolen base.

Tyler Powell - Gastonia (N.C.) Grizzlies, Coastal Plain League:
Made 17 appearances including two starts, tossing 27 innings on the summer ... Finished with an 8.67 ERA with 26 of the 28 runs allowed being earned ... Struck out 18 against 23 walks ... Only seven of the 30 hits allowed went for extra bases.

Austin Neary - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Northwoods League:
Finished second on the team with a .306 batting average (57-of-186) including 18 extra base hits with 11 doubles, one triple and six home runs ... Scored 24 runs ... Stole nine bases in 14 attempts.

Bryant Noteboom - Wilson Tobs, Coastal Plain League:
Played in 17 games, making 55 at bats with West Virginia in the Prospect League before leaving the squad ... Was batting .218 with three doubles ... Joined the Coastal Plain League team and Wilson ... Started nine of the 12 games in which he saw action, hitting .256 with four doubles, two homeruns and six RBI.

Julian Ridings - Waynesboro (Va.) Generals, Valley League:
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.

Danny Schneider - 6-4-3 Cougars (Georgia), Sunbelt League:
Made four appearance on the summer (12.00 ERA), working six innings of one-hit relief ... Issued 12 walks with three strikeouts.

Jordan Smith - Cotuit (Mass.) Kettleers, Cape Cod League:
Made nine appearances on the summer including four starts, tossing 27.2 innings ... Finished with a 2-3 overall record and a 6.83 ERA ... Posted 21 strikeouts against just six walks.

Dykota Spiess - Forest City (N.C.) Owls, Coastal Plain League:
Started 32 of the 36 games in which he say action, finishing with a .196 batting average ... Collected 21 hits including six doubles and a home run, driving in eight ... Was a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases ... Walked 13 times and was plunked eight times.

Bradley Strong - West Virginia Miners, Prospect League:
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.

Tyler White - Gastonia (N.C.) Grizzlies, Coastal Plain League:
Led Gastonia with a .319 batting average, good enough for seventh in the Coastal Plain League ... Started 50 of the 51 games in which he saw action ... Finished the summer 61-of-191 with 13 doubles and five homeruns, driving in 38 runs ... Walked 29 times with five HBP's to go along with his .419 on-base percentage.