For the second time this season, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball program has been awarded a national individual honor by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Red Hawks catcher Willie Gordon was tabbed the NJCAA’s DII Player of the Week on Wednesday. He joins teammate Trent Jones as a winner of a weekly NJCAA honor this season.
“I’m just really excited to be the second guy this year (to win a weekly NJCAA award),” Gordon said. “It’s good for the program, and it shows what kind of program we have here at CVCC and the players it has produced.”
A 6-foot-2, 220-pound catcher, Gordon tallied a.454 batting average in seven games last week. He recorded a team-best 10 hits, including two doubles and three home runs.
Two of Gordon’s homers came in the Red Hawks’ first game last week against Spartanburg Methodist, including the walk-off game winner against the Pioneers in game one of the doubleheader held March 5.
The sophomore from Denver, Colo. also drew three walks, scored eight runs and drove in 11 RBIs, and he finished the week with a .538 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
“Honestly, I was just seeing the ball really well and was really hunting for my pitch,” Gordon said of his performance last week. “I got it a few times and just tried to take advantage of it. A few of the at bats I had to grind out, but it ended up working out my way and benefitted the team.”
Behind Gordon’s play, the Red Hawks finished the week 6-1 and returned to the NJCAA DII rankings this week by receiving votes in its latest poll released on Tuesday.
A member of the CVCC’s President’s List with a 4.0 GPA, Gordon is just the sixth CVCC baseball player and first-ever Red Hawks catcher to receive an NJCAA weekly award — putting him in elite company.
“It’s pretty huge,” Gordon said of his honor. “I know we’ve had some really great catchers here — Riley Smith being one of the greatest to come out of this school. He’s up at Appalachian State now. It’s just really cool to kind of be the first catcher out of here to win that (weekly) award. It’s a huge blessing.”
This marks the second-straight year that the Red Hawks baseball program has received multiple weekly awards from the NJCAA in a season. Catawba Valley pitcher Julian Smith and first baseman Kyran Russ were both chosen in back-to-back weeks last spring.
NJCAA Players of the Week - CVCC Baseball
Bryce Hensley, pitcher - April 6-12, 2015
Craig Zalewa, third base - Feb. 15-21, 2016
Julian Smith, pitcher - Feb. 12-18, 2018
Kyran Russ, first base - Feb. 19-25, 2018
Trent Jones, outfielder - Feb. 4-10, 2019
Willie Gordon, catcher - March 4-10, 2019