JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After winning the South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday, Dillon Cate added three honors Thursday morning headlined by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Pitcher of the Week laurel. The red-shirt senior was also named the NCBWA Region Pitcher of the Week and Tennessee Sportswriters Asscociation Pitcher of the Week.
No Eagle had won a national honor in recent memory with the last member of the SAC to be named the National Pitcher of the Week coming on March 3, 2017 when Lenoir-Rhyne's Thomas St. Clair picked up the certificate.
The plaudit from the NCBWA Region encompasses the SAC, Peach Belt and Conference Carolinas. Vince Apicella was the last C-N hurler to win the honor on Feb. 17, 2016. He is the third hurler over the last several years to pick up a weekly award from the NCBWA as Carson Bryant was tabbed on April 7, 2015.
The redshirt-senior right-hander did not allow a hit over 7 1/3 innings with a career-high 15 strikeouts on the day while throwing 142 pitches, 83 for strikes and only allowing six balls to be put in play on the day. The Sevierville, Tenn. native allowed six walks and hit a batter in his effort.
In four of his seven full innings of work on Sunday, Cate retired the Timberwolves in 1-2-3 fashion as he sent down 11 straight batters from the third inning to a two-out walk of David Vinsky in the top of the sixth frame.
After striking out one in the first inning, Cate went on to K at least two in each of the next six while sending the side down in order on strikes in the fifth frame. The final out recorded by the flamethrower was a strikeout looking of Northwood lead-off man Colin Mclelland to start the eighth.
According to the record keeping, Cate reset the high mark for individual punch outs in a game during the program's Division II era. Previously Dustin Batson against Catawba on April 15, 2016 in 11 innings and Quinton Yocom against Tusculum on Feb. 18, 2015 in 9 1/3 innings had the mark of 14.
Clyde Wright holds the overall program record with 22 strikeouts in a 13-inning game during the 1965 NAIA National Championship season.
Cate will get the ball in game one of a three-game series against Newberry in the Palmetto State on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the Smith Road Complex for the Eagles.
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