College report: Hoggard grads receive ACC, SoCon honor; New Hanover alum recognized in rookie season

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NC State’s Joe O’Donnell as named ACC Pitcher of the Week by the conference office following his complete game against Notre Dame.

Joe O'Donnell. Photo courtesy- NC State Athletics
Joe O’Donnell. Photo courtesy- NC State Athletics

O’Donnell (3-1) went the distance last Friday to lead the Wolfpack in a 9-1 win over the Fighting Irish, scattering four hits over nine innings for his third win of the year.

The former Hoggard standout retired nine of the first 11 faced, then 15 of 18 starting in the fourth inning. O’Donnell walked four and struck out four on 121 pitches. The complete game marks the first for a Wolfpack pitcher since Carlos Rodon pulled the feat on April 25, 2014 against Georgia Tech.

The junior right hander from Wilmington collected his first ACC weekly award of his career, and the third for a Wolfpack player this season. In-town team Chance Shepard (Ashley/Wilmington) won back-to-back ACC Player of the Week awards February 29 and March 7.

Sammons recognized for work on and off the field 

Western Carolina junior pitcher Bryan Sammons was named the General Shale Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week for competition that was held March 16-22. Selections are made by the league office from nominations submitted by the media relations office of each conference school.

Bryan Sammons. Photo courtesy- Western Carolina Athletics.
Bryan Sammons – Photo courtesy Western Carolina Athletics

The honor is the first Student-Athlete of the Week nod for Sammons and first for the baseball program since April of 2013. Sammons is the third Western Carolina student-athlete this academic year to be named the SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week, joining football linebacker Daniel Riddle (Oct. 28) and softball pitcher/infielder Taylor Sigmon (Feb.17).

For a second straight week, Sammons (3-1) was dominant against a Power Five conference foe, limiting Kansas State to just two singles through seven innings of his Saturday start, scoring the 6-2 victory that gave WCU the series win over the Big XII opponent – WCU’s first, three-game series victory this spring.

Sammons retired the first nine hitters of the game, carrying the no-hitter into the fourth inning before allowing a single. The Wilmington native struck out seven against three walks, pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning, the Wildcats’ only threat against the southpaw. Sammons limited K-State to a .095 batting average against.

Trey Croom. Photo courtesy- N.C. Wesleyan Atheltics
Trey Croom – Photo courtesy N.C. Wesleyan Athletics

Majoring in engineering technology, Sammons boasts a 3.452 GPA, and is a two-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll recipient.

Croom earns USA South weekly award

The USA South Athletic Conference has released its weekly awards for March 21st and Trey Croom was named baseball’s Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.

The freshman third baseman from Wilmington went a combined 5-for-15 (.333) with a .733 slugging percentage, six RBIs, three runs scored, two home runs and two walks as N.C. Wesleyan posted a 3-1 record last week. In an 11-9 win over St. Andrews, Croom was 1-for-4 with two RBI, one run scored and one home run. In winning two out of three games versus USA South foe Greensboro, Croom was a combined 4-for-11 with four RBI, two runs scored, one home run and two walks.

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