Three Western Carolina University baseball players and four Catamount softball players were selected All-State by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA). Redshirt senior outfielder Matthew Koehler, sophomore infielder Justice Bigbie and junior catcher Luke Robinson were each named to 2019 University Division All-State Baseball teams.
It is the 11th consecutive season that WCU has landed players on the NCCSIA baseball squad, and the sixth-time since 2013 that WCU has placed three or more players on the team.
Drafted in the 32nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, Matthew Koehler adds All-State accolades. The Raleigh native paced the Southern Conference in batting average (.361) and slugging percentage (.649) this spring and was third in on-base percentage (.445).
Named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year, Justice Bigbie adds All-State to his list of awards. He recorded a team-best 75 base hits, 11 doubles and 12 homeruns including a pair of inside-the-park homers, while also ranking third in batting average (.355), second in on-base percentage (.446) and sixth in slugging percentage (.578).
Splitting time between catcher and first base, junior Luke Robinson tallied the All-State award. Robinson batted .299 with 60 hits including 11 doubles, four triples and 11 homeruns.
The Catamount softball players selected were senior outfielder Hunter Gibbons as a first team selection, junior shortstop Ashlyn Long, junior second baseman Erica Hayes and sophomore designated player Kailey McNeil as second team selections.
It is the ninth consecutive season the Catamount softball team has had at least one player honored by the NCCSIA.
Gibbons makes her third-straight appearance on the All-State first team. She ended her career as the leader in WCU record books with 35 homeruns and 129 RBI, tied for second for most career doubles with 35 and ranks second for most career runs scored at 109. For the season, she led the team with a .321 batting.
Making her second appearance on the All-State second team, Long was also a SoCon All-Conference second team selection. She finished with a .245 batting average along with 38 hits, 35 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, six homeruns and 24 RBI. Long had 12 multiple hit games and four multiple RBI games.
Hayes makes her first appearance on the NCCSIA team. She closed her junior season earning a spot on the SoCon All-Tournament team. For the season, she finished with a .238 batting average leading the team with 34 RBI. Hayes had 36 hits, 17 runs scored, six doubles, three triples, seven homeruns and had nine multiple hit games. In the three games in the SoCon Championships, Hayes had a .545 batting average with six hits, two triples and three RBI.
Playing in 44 games and starting in 39, McNeil made her first appearance on the NCCSIA second team. For the season she had a .232 batting average with 23 hits, 14 runs scored, four doubles, three homeruns and 12 RBI.