Red Hawks rise to No. 11 in national baseball polls

Red Hawks rise to No. 11 in national baseball polls

HICKORY, N.C. — The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team jumped up six spots in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II poll, which was released on Tuesday.

The Red Hawks (11-6), who were ranked 17th in the NJCAA preseason poll on Jan. 25, are now the No. 11 team in Division II in the country.

Catawba Valley's pre-conference schedule has included facing several top-tier Division I teams, including Walters State, which is ranked No. 6 in the nation among Division I teams. The Red Hawks split their two-game series with the Senators on Sunday, Feb. 18.

The Red Hawks started their 2018 season with six-straight wins, including sweeps against Piedmont International and Limestone before splitting with Walters State. CVCC has swept or split in six of its seven series to start the season.

Included in the team's season success so far are two weekly player honors, including Julian Smith being named Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 12-18 and first baseman Kyran Russ being named Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 19-25.

The back-to-back weekly honors were the first in Catawba Valley baseball program history.

The CVCC baseball team returns to action on Wednesday with a road doubleheader against USC Lancaster. First pitch for game one is slated for 3 p.m.