|Attaway, Hoyle Named Preseason All-America|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Tuesday, 24 December 2013 10:07|
Western Carolina senior shortstop Aaron Attaway (Morganton-Freedom and Morganton-Patton) and junior first baseman Jacob Hoyle (St. Stephens) were both named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America teams Monday as chosen and released by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Both Catamount infielders landed
on the preseason publication’s third team.
The Catamount duo are the lone selections from the Southern Conference on the trio of preseason squads and were among 80 players recognized nationally.
The preseason All-America honor from Collegiate Baseball is the second for Attaway, who was also dubbed third-team preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) in mid-December. It is the first preseason accolade for Hoyle, who was dubbed postseason Freshman All-America back in 2012.
Attaway was a first-team All-SoCon selection and garnered second-team all-state plaudits a season ago, pacing the Catamounts and league with 97 hits and 68 runs scored. The Morganton, N.C., native batted a career-best .363, raising his career batting average to .323 through 170 career games played. Attaway drove in 54 runs, giving him 117 career RBIs, while also amassing 15 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs.
During the summer, Attaway was a midseason all-star in the California Collegiate League, playing for the San Luis Obispo Blues.
Hoyle played in 57 of WCU’s 59 games a season ago, finding a home at first base. The Hickory, N.C., product hit .310 in his second season on the diamond, collecting 29 extra-base hits, including 16 doubles to rank second on the team, two triples and 11 home runs – the third-most on the squad. Hoyle legged out three doubles in a single game against eventual Ohio Valley Conference OVC champion Tennessee Tech.
Overall, Hoyle ranked third on WCU’s 2013 squad with a career-high 52 RBIs, scoring 40 runs. He also saw time on the mound, throwing a combined 9 2/3 innings in four appearances, including one start.
Hoyle is a .309 hitter through the first two years of his collegiate career. He has 47 career extra-base hits with 30 doubles, two triples and 15 career home runs. Last summer, Hoyle hit .280 with the Morehead City Marlins of the Coastal Plain League with 10 doubles and four homers.
He threw a no-hitter against Watauga in the opening-round of the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference tournament in 2011. But lost the game, 1-0.
WCU Ranked in Preseason Poll
On the heels of a record-setting season in 2013 that included 39 victories, including 23 in league play, the Western Carolina Catamount baseball team has been tabbed 31st in the national preseason poll as selected and released by Collegiate Baseball. The Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll, as it debuted during the 1957 college baseball season.
It is the first time the Catamounts have appeared among the preseason rankings from Collegiate Baseball since 2008. WCU appeared in the “others receiving votes” section of the preseason poll in both 2006 and again prior to the 2008 season.
According to available research dating back to 1998, it also represents the highest preseason tabulation for the Purple & Gold.
WCU was joined in the poll by two fellow SoCon members as both Appalachian State and The Citadel earned nods in the “others receiving votes” portion of the poll. In addition to those two, five other of the Catamounts’ opponents in 2014 appeared among the national rankings including No. 21 Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Washington State and East Tennessee State.
Western Carolina will gear up for the 2014 season by hosting the fourth "Celebration of Catamount Baseball Fundraising Banquet" on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Hinds University Center. Former Catamount reliever and current Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland is slated as the keynote speaker as WCU again celebrates its 2013 SoCon regular-season championship, introduces its 2014 squad and unveils this season's "Leggett No. 7 Legacy" recipient.
The Catamounts open their SoCon regular-season title defense on Feb. 14-16 by hosting the Ohio Bobcats at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
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