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UNCW freshman standout Casey Golden and Western Carolina University (WCU) hurler Bryan Sammons were named Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America by Collegiate Baseball this week.
Sammons, a left-hander and Hoggard grad, pitched in 21 games for WCU this spring, compiling a 7-2 overall record with a pair of saves to also earn Southern Conference All-Freshman team honors.
Sammons joins a short list of former Catamounts to have been named to the Freshman All-America squad, becoming the sixth WCU player honored all-time. Four of WCU’s selections were later drafted by Major League Baseball squads.
The Wilmington native was one of just five players from the SoCon named to the Freshman All-American team. He ranked fourth on the Catamount squad, tossing a combined 60 innings. Moving into the weekend starting role at mid-season, the southpaw made 10 starts among his 21 seasonal appearances with an ERA of 4.50. He recorded 57 strikeouts including a career-high seven in three different outings– home wins over UNC-Asheville and Davidson and in a defeat to Furman.
Golden, who was a member of the CAA’s All-Rookie squad, saw action in 55 games, including 53 starts in centerfield as a freshman. The Siler City native batted in the leadoff spot in the UNCW lineup in 45 games.
Golden hit .269 and led the lineup with 223 at bats. His compiled a .404 slugging percentage on the strength of 12 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He scored a team-high 35 runs and knocked in 29 runs, ranking third on the team. He also tied for the team lead nine stolen bases.
Defensively, Golden committed just one error in 137 total chances for UNCW. Recruited as an infielder, Golden quickly settled into centerfield and started the final 53 games of the season.
Golden becomes UNCW’s ninth Freshman All-America with the last being Corey Dick in 2012.