CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Western Carolina senior shortstop Aaron Attaway and junior first baseman Jacob Hoyle were both named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America teams Monday as chosen and released by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Both Catamount infielders landed on the preseason publication’s third team.
The Catamount duo are the lone selections from the Southern Conference on the trio of preseason squads and were among 80 players recognized nationally.
The preseason All-America honor from Collegiate Baseball is the second for Attaway, who was also dubbed third-team preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) in mid-December. It is the first preseason accolade for Hoyle, who was dubbed postseason Freshman All-America back in 2012.
Attaway was a first-team All-SoCon selection and garnered second-team all-state plaudits a season ago, pacing the Catamounts and league with 97 hits and 68 runs scored. The Morganton, N.C., native batted a career-best .363, raising his career batting average to .323 through 170 career games played. Attaway drove in 54 runs, giving him 117 career RBIs, while also amassing 15 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs.
During the summer, Attaway was a midseason all-star in the California Collegiate League, playing for the San Luis Obispo Blues.
Hoyle played in 57 of WCU’s 59 games a season ago, finding a home at first base. The Hickory, N.C., product hit .310 in his second season on the diamond, collecting 29 extra-base hits, including 16 doubles to rank second on the team, two triples and 11 home runs – the third-most on the squad. Hoyle legged out three doubles in a single game against eventual Ohio Valley Conference OVC champion Tennessee Tech.
Overall, Hoyle ranked third on WCU’s 2013 squad with a career-high 52 RBIs, scoring 40 runs. He also saw time on the mound, throwing a combined 9 2/3 innings in four appearances, including one start.
Hoyle is a .309 hitter through the first two years of his collegiate career. He has 47 career extra-base hits with 30 doubles, two triples and 15 career home runs. Last summer, Hoyle hit .280 with the Morehead City Marlins of the Coastal Plain League with 10 doubles and four homers.