Monday, April 24, 2017

Smith Named SoCon Baseball Player of the Week

Western Carolina outfielder/first baseman Matt Smith has been named the Southern Conference Player of the Week for all baseball games from April 17 through 23.

Smith hit .571, slugged 1.143 and had an on-base percentage of .700 as the Catamounts swept VMI after a midweek loss at Gardner-Webb. Smith hit two home runs and two doubles, walked three times, was hit by three pitches, scored five runs and drove in nine. He struck out just once in 20 plate appearances on the week.

Against the Runnin’ Bulldogs on Wednesday, Smith was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored as WCU fell 7-5. The center fielder was on base three times, also drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch, and he stole his 10th base of the season.

In the series against VMI, the outfielder returned to first base, where he was an All-SoCon performer and tournament MVP a season ago. He responded by going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in Friday’s opener and followed that up with three hits, two of which were homers, and a career-high seven RBIs in game two, which started Friday and finished Saturday after being suspended due to inclement weather. Smith reached base five times in the game, all in the first six innings of the 19-3 win.

In Saturday’s finale, he reached on a single and was hit by a pitch, scoring a run as Western Carolina picked up a 10-5 win that made coach Bobby Moranda the winningest coach in school history. Smith pushed his current streak of reaching base safely to 20 games and his current hitting streak to seven. (Courtesy the Southern Conference)

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