Cullowhee, N.C. - On the strength of batting over .500 in four games last week and collecting a total of 10 base hits, Western Carolina senior catcher Spencer Holcomb was today named the Southern Conference Player of the Week for games played May 7-13. Additionally, Holcomb was also named one of Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week for his efforts.
The weekly awards are the first of Holcomb's career with his SoCon honor representing the second weekly award for a Catamount this season joining redshirt freshman RHP Chase Walter who collected pitching honors a week ago. Holcomb is just the 10th different Catamount to collect national weekly honors for WCU dating back to 2002, earning WCU's 15th award. He was one of 11 players honored on Monday by Collegiate Baseball newspaper -- and the seventh different player in the SoCon to collect one of eight weekly national awards this season.
Selections are made and announced by the SoCon office and staff of Collegiate Baseball, respectively, from nominations submitted by the sports information professionals at conference schools.
Holcomb tore the cover off the baseball, finishing the week 10-for-18 for a team-leading .556 batting average, posting four multi-hit games to extend his active hitting streak to a career-long 10-straight that now includes eight games with multiple hits. He has also reached base safely in a team-best 22-consecutive games, also the longest stretch of his collegiate career. Holcomb tallied five extra base hits last week including hitting a homerun in all four games to amass a 1.278 slugging percentage, driving in six runs while scoring eight times.
A product of Pfafftown, N.C., Holcomb opened the week with a 4-for-5 showing against the fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers in midweek action, belting a home run and a double in matching his single-game career-high in hits. He then posted three-consecutive, two-hit outings against the SoCon's second-place team, Samford, going 2-for-5 in game one before back-to-back efforts of 2-for-4.
In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, Holcomb's two-run home run in the fourth inning pushed WCU ahead for good in the 10-9 victory with his solo shot in the ninth inning of game two providing the Catamounts' only run production in a 5-1 loss.
In Sunday's home finale on Senior Day, Holcomb dropped a run-scoring single into center field in the third inning to tie the game at two before giving the Catamounts their only lead of the day, hitting WCU's second homer of the fifth inning on a shot launched to left field that made it 4-3 at the time.
For the season, Holcomb's active hitting streak has moved him into the team lead for seasonal batting average, hitting .343 (57-for-166) with 17 extra base hits including 11 doubles and six homers. Holcomb has been an iron man behind the plate, catching 47 of WCU's 49 seasonal games. He enters this week tied for first in the SoCon for runners caught stealing having thrown out a career-high 21 to give him 39 over his four-year career.
Samford freshman left-hander Samuel Strickland collected SoCon Pitcher of the Week honors following his four-hit outing in Saturday's game two of the doubleheader in Cullowhee.
Western Carolina (7-42) hits the road for its next four games before the 2018 Southern Conference Baseball Championship, presented by Holston Gases. WCU visits Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night (6:30 pm) before facing Morehead State on Wednesday (4:00 pm). The Catamounts are slated for a pair of neutral field games at McNair Field -- home of the Forest City (N.C.) Owls -- this weekend, playing the VCU Rams on Friday evening (7 pm) and Saturday afternoon (2 pm).
Each game is slated to be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with live streaming audio available online through CatamountSports.com, with in-game updates made available through social media channels using the handle, @Catamounts.
Western Carolina's National Weekly Award Winners:Feb. 18, 2002: Ryan Schade -- National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Hitter of the Week: Hit .692 (9-for-13) in a three-game series sweep of Wright State ... Finished with four doubles and six RBI;
March 27, 2006: Trey McDaniel -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Finished 11-for-15 in five games with three hrs, 13 runs scored and 12 RBI;
March 27, 2006: Blake Murphy -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Posted an 11-for-20 (.550) performance with three home runs, three doubles and collected a staggering 19 RBI;
March 29, 2006: Trey McDaniel -- National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Hitter of the Week;
May 22, 2006: Jonathan Greene -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Hit five home runs and two doubles in four games, finishing 13-for-18 with nine RBI, seven runs scored;
March 13, 2007: John Ingram -- College Baseball Foundation (CBF) National Honor Roll Players of the Week: Hit .520 (13-for-25) in five games with five extra base hits including three hrs, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored;
March 20, 2007: John Ingram -- College Baseball Foundation (CBF) National Honor Roll Players of the Week: Batted 10-for-22 (.455) with a pair of home runs and two doubles;
April 3, 2007: Barrett Shaft -- College Baseball Foundation (CBF) National Honor Roll Players of the Week: Finished the week 10-for-17 (.588), accounting for 12 total runs, scoring five and driving in seven;
May 14, 2007: Blake Murphy -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Belted six home runs over a five-game span, finishing 10-for-18 (.556) with seven extra base hits during a 5-0 week for WCU ... Finished with 12 RBI and scored 16 runs;
February 18, 2013: Jeremy Null -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Struck out a then career-high 13 in seven innings of work in an 8-5 home win over Washington State;
April 22, 2013: Jeremy Null -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week: Fanned a career-high 14 batters in eight innings of work in Friday's series-opening victory over GSU ... WCU went on to sweep the Eagles for the first time since 2003;
February 18, 2014: Jeremy Null -- Collegiate Baseball's "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Pitcher of the Week: Struck out 12 batters in eight innings of work against second-ranked Mississippi State, scattering three hits while keeping the Bulldogs scoreless keeping the Bulldogs scoreless;
April 11, 2016: Kramer Ferrell -- Selected as a Collegiate Baseball "Louisville Slugger" National Player of the Week after batting .636 with seven hits, five for extra bases for a 1.636 slugging percentage ... Drove in 10 runs while scoring six, boasting a .714 on-base percentage.
April 3, 2017: Bryan Sammons - Selected as a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after striking out a career-high 14 batters in a 4-3 win over The Citadel.
May 14, 2018: Spencer Holcomb - Selected as a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after batting .556 (10-for-18) with five extra bases including four home runs, homering in four-straight games for a 1.278 slugging percentage ... Posted four, multi-hit games including a career-high tying four hits at fifth-ranked Clemson.