Sept. 2, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Several of Western Carolina's returning baseball players were honored and recognized by the various summer wooden bat leagues, as well as the Perfect Game cross checking organization following the conclusion of play.
A mid-season all-star and the offensive MVP of the Coastal Plain League (CPL) All-Star Game, senior Tyler White was named a first-team, post-season all-star by the CPL as a designated hitter/utility player. White ranked seventh in the league in batting, hitting .319 during the summer with 38 RBI to rank tied for second. The Forest, City, N.C., native finished with 13 doubles and five home runs.
White collected 61 hits on the summer to rank second in the CPL, while his 36 runs scored placed him fourth among all players in the league. White was additionally tabbed the league's hitter of the week in Week 9.
After leading the Valley League in batting average last summer, WCU junior outfielder Julian Ridings was named the top prospect in the league by Perfect Game. Joining Ridings on the Perfect Game list from the Valley was sophomore Jacob Hoyle who was ranked 14th by the group. The two played together in Waynesboro, Va., during the summer.
Ridings led the Valley with a .419 batting average with a .657 slugging percentage including seven home runs. He also swiped 15 bases in 18 total attempts. The Shelby, N.C., native had 13 doubles and three triples for the Generals, tallying 45 runs scored on the summer. Hoyle batted .348 with 11 doubles, a triple and seven home runs among his 56 hits of the summer.
Ridings was additionally listed as a second team summer collegiate All-America selection by Perfect Game.
Sophomore infielder Bradley Strong was named a post-season all-star in the Prospect League at third base playing for the West Virginia Miners during the summer months. Strong, who ranked fifth in the league with a .359 batting average, was a part of the league championship team, pacing the four-year old Prospect League in stolen bases with 29. He additionally recorded 10 doubles, six triples and a home run coming in the first inning of the championship-clinching game.
Strong was also tabbed as the 21st best prospect out of the Prospect League.
Already amidst off-season individual workouts and conditioning, Western Carolina and head coach Bobby Moranda are scheduled to open their allotted fall practice sessions in mid-September and which will continue into early October. WCU returns 25 players which saw action a season ago including seven position starters and four starting pitchers including all three in the weekend rotation.