Catawba Valley Community College’s Logan Bender has been selected as the Region X baseball pitcher of the year, according to a press release from CVCC Athletics.
Bender, a redshirt sophomore, posted a 7-0 record and 0.75 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts) this season. He threw three complete games and his 102 strikeouts rank sixth among all NJCAA Division II pitchers.
It’s the second straight year a Red Hawk has won the award after Julian Smith received the honor last season.
Additionally, Bender and teammate Blake Dockery were both chosen to the All-Region X first team. Dockery, a freshman, went 5-2 with a 1.04 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 10 starts this season.
“It’s a well-deserved accomplishment that reflects their dominance all year,” CVCC coach Paul Rozzelle said via the release. “These two have set a mighty high bar for our staff in terms of production, and it’s been really fun to watch these guys continue to grow and get better. They haven’t just had good years; they have had some of the best years ever in terms of our programs history.”
Together, the duo have combined to allow just 10 earned runs this season as they have formed a dominant 1-2 Saturday punch for a Red Hawk pitching staff that ranks second in the nation with 527 strikeouts.
“I feed off (Bender’s) energy from the way he pitches,” Dockery said via the release. “He’s been pitching really well, so I feel like I have to match that. I feed off that pretty well.”
Dockery and Bender have each earned NJCAA Division II pitcher of the week honors – Dockery for the week of April 22-28 and Bender for the week of April 29-May 5. It’s the first time in program history that two pitchers have won national weekly honors in back-to-back weeks.
“Whenever we go out and perform, we want to beat each other,” Bender said via the release. “We just try to build off it every outing.”
L-R track and field completes final season meet
The Lenoir-Rhyne men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Montreat Last Chance Meet on Thursday with two athletes setting new personal bests, according to a press release from LRU Athletics.
Kylie Dahlberg topped her best time in the women’s 800-meter run by finishing in 2:16.71, barely edging teammate Paiton Fair (2:16.74) for the top spot. Essence Newkirk also set a new career mark, completing her 100-meter hurdles race in 14.86 seconds.
Additionally, Saidah Hardwick improved on her NCAA qualifying time for the 400-meter dash with a mark of 55.18 seconds.
Lenoir-Rhyne athletes who have qualified will now turn their attention to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on May 23 in Kingsville, Texas.