PEMBROKE, N.C. — Within hours of receiving All-Region accolades from Daktronics, Lincoln Memorial University senior slugger Josh Coker was awarded with NCBWA All-Southeast Region first team distinctions, officials with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced on Thursday.
Josh Coker was the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and a Daktronics All-Southeast Region second team selection after leading the Railsplitters’ offensive onslaught during the 2014 campaign, which saw Lincoln Memorial (27-17-1) match the program record for league wins (16) and highest league finish (3rd). The Railsplitters led the league in batting average and slugging percentage while ranking second in on-base percentage, a tribute to Coker’s prodigious offensive production.
The Murphy, N.C., product was top-10 in the SAC in batting average (.357) and on-base percentage (.428) while leading the league and ranking ninth nationally in slugging percentage (.708). Coker finished second in the SAC and ninth at the D-II level in home runs with 13. Rounding out his stat line, Coker collected 15 doubles, 45 RBI, 33 runs scored and 109 total bases.
This marks the second honor awarded to Coker by the NCBWA during the 2014 season as he was named the National Hitter of the Week by the association after he slapped four home runs, a double and 12 RBI during a five-game stretch from March 5-8. During that flurry, Coker led the Railsplitters to a 13-12 win over Catawba by going 2-for-4 with two homers and five RBI. Less than a month prior to that, Coker had another defining moment by lifting off a pair of late-inning homers to carry the Railsplitters to a doubleheader sweep of arch-rival Tusculum on Feb. 17.
All told, Coker recorded 14 multiple hit games with 12 multiple RBI outings. From February 8 until March 15, the Walters State Community College transfer recorded a streak of 19-consecutive games reaching base safely. During that stretch, he compiled a team-high 14-game hitting streak.
In addition to his efforts in the batter’s box, Coker was vital to the Railsplitters’ pitching staff in a relief role. In 14 relief appearances, Coker broke the school’s single-season record for saves with eight, compiling a 1-1 record and a 2.70 earned run average. He fanned 19 batters in 20 innings pitched, allowing only six earned runs over that span. Along with his selection as the SAC Player of the Year, he was an All-SAC Second Team selection as a relief pitcher.