CVCC's Bender named DII National Pitcher of the Week

CVCC's Bender named DII National Pitcher of the Week

HICKORY, N.C. — For the first time in program history, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball program has won two-straight national weekly pitching honors.

Red Hawks sophomore Logan Bender was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DII Pitcher of the Week on Wednesday — one week after CVCC freshman Blake Dockery earned the honor.

Bender shattered the CVCC school record for strikeouts in a game, fanning 18 Fayetteville Tech batters in Saturday's 1-0 conference win. The previous record was 14, which was held by four different pitchers, including Bryce Hensley (2014-15), Julian Smith (2016-18), Trae Starnes (2017-19) and Dockery (2018-19).

Bender now has 102 strikeouts this season — the second-most for a Red Hawk pitcher in a single season. He also has 19 percent of the total 527 strikeouts by the entire Catawba Valley pitching staff. Those 527 punch outs rank second-best among all of DII schools.

This is also the fourth time the CVCC baseball team has received a weekly NJCAA honor this season — another program record. Right fielder Trent Jones and catcher Willie Gordon both earned NJCAA Player of the Week honors earlier this season.

The CVCC baseball team returns to action on Friday for first-round action in the Region 10/Southeast District tournament in Greenville, N.C.

The Red Hawks (32-19, 15-7) face Southeastern-Whiteville (25-23, 15-9) in the opening round at 1 p.m. Friday at the Minges-Overton Complex on the campus of Pitt Community College.