Bryson Bowman, OF (2013-14)
Bryson Bowman became Catawba Valley's first MLB Draft pick after being selected in the 33rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees.
Bowman had an outstanding career with the Red Hawks, leading them to two regular-season league titles. Bowman finished his CVCC career ranking second in program history with 78 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Bowman had a career .350 batting average with the Red Hawks with 28 extra base hits, including nine home runs. Bowman was a first team All-Region as both a freshman and sophomore (2013-14). Bowman was also selected to the All-Region Defensive Team in 2013 and was named an NJCAA All American in 2014.
Upon leaving CVCC, Bowman earned a scholarship at Western Carolina. In his first season at WCU, Bowman helped the Catamounts to the Southern Conference Tournament title and to an NCAA regional appearance. Bowman hit .326 with 35 extra base hits, including 13 doubles, three triples and 19 home runs, which ranked him third in the SoCon and in the top 10 of NCAA DI baseball. Bowman was a second team All-Southern Conference selection by both the league's head coaches and voting media and was named SoCon Player of the Week in March 2016.
After declining to sign with the Yankees, Bowman return to Western Carolina and finished his senior season with a team-best .381 batting average, 59 RBI and 11 home runs — becoming the 16th player in school history to win the Catamounts' Triple Crown award. He earned first team All-SoCon honors and shared SoCon Player of the Year honors. STORY
Julian Smith, LHP (2016-18)
Left-handed pitcher Julian Smith became the first Red Hawk baseball player to be drafted directly from CVCC on June 6, 2018. The N.C. State signee was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2018 MLB Draft with the 464th overall selection.
The 6-foot-4, 192-pound left-handed pitcher rewrote the Catawba Valley record books during his final season in a Red Hawk uniform. He set the CVCC single-season and career records for strikeouts (130 and 181, respectively).
Smith also tied Cole Whitney's single-season record for wins on the mound (eight), and he led all CVCC pitchers this spring in innings pitched (79.0) and ERA (2.51).
During the season, Smith was also named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Pitcher of the Week, and at season's end, he was tabbed the first-ever Region X Pitcher of the Year. STORY
Bryce Hensley, LHP (2015)
Former Catawba Valley baseball standout Bryce Hensley, who finished his collegiate career at UNC Greensboro, was selected with the 662nd pick in the 22nd round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
Hensley finished his four-year career with the Spartans with an 18-13 record in 50 appearances. He allowed 268 hits, 157 runs (131 earned), 80 walks and struck out 206 batters in 237.2 innings pitched.
The 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher, who was a part of CVCC's last NJCAA DII World Series run in 2015, ranks sixth all-time in games started in a career at UNCG and is tied for the sixth most wins in a career. STORY
Zach Hammer, RHP (CVCC recruit)
CVCC signee Zach Hammer — an Alexander Central product — heard his name called in the 21st round (620th overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft by the New York Mets.
The 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher was 5-2 on the mound for the Cougars during his senior season. He allowed 19 hits, 18 runs (16 earned), 27 walks and struck out 67 batters in 40.2 innings pitched. STORY
Garrison Burress, SS (2017-19)
Red Hawks shortstop Garrison Burress was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 1,209th pick in the 40th and final round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
A Granite Falls, N.C. native, Burress exploded on to the scene as a freshman for CVCC, finishing first in triples (3), second in RBIs (45), extra-base hits (25) and doubles (15), third in hits (64) and stolen bases (13) and fourth in runs scored (50) and home runs (7). The 6-foot-1, 165-pound shorstop's .346 batting average and .573 slugging percentage were also among the team leaders. STORY
Charles Hall, RHP (2015-17)
Former Catawba Valley baseball standout Charles Hall, who finished his collegiate career at Tusculum College, was selected with the 1,004th pick in the 33rd round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
Hall finished his CVCC career ranking third in three career pitching categories, including games started (19), innings pitched (109.1) and strikeouts (110). He also ranks eighth in strikeouts per nine innings during a single season (11.17).
After graduating from CVCC in 2017, Hall earned an opportunity to play baseball at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. where he went on to leading the nation in strikeouts (148) in 2019. Hall also set the NCAA Division II record for strikeouts in a game (22) against Queens University of Charlotte on March 15, 2019.
Hall finished his senior season at Tusculum with multiple accolades for his play, including South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Pitcher of the Year, Conference Commissioner's All-Region first team, North Carolina Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA) Division II National Pitcher of the Week, SAC Pitcher of the Week and NCBWA Postseason All-Region second team. STORY