Junior pitcher Chris Caudle continued his success this season as he earned Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for the Bears on April 7.
Caudle earned a First-Team All-Region selection by the National Junior College Athletic Association for his 2013 season with Crowder College in Neosho, Mo.
Caudle transferred to UCA before the 2014 season after posting a 1.88 earned run average for Crowder, the same college that current senior starting shortstop Justin Treece played for before transferring to UCA.
Caudle said he considered transferring to UCA as his second season at Crowder College was drawing to a close.
“When my sophomore season was finishing at Crowder, I had my mind set on two schools, UCA and Nicholls State,” he said. “I chose UCA because I really like the campus and they have the type of major that I wanted to work towards.”
He said attending UCA is a family tradition.
“Both of my parents and my brother attended UCA,” he said. “My dad played baseball here and my mother played basketball. My brother was here in the honors school.”
Caudle’s Pitcher of the Week performance came against Southeastern Louisiana on April 5, in which he threw a one-hit shutout against the Lions in UCA’s 3-0 win.
“For me, being named Pitcher of the Week shows that I have been doing my best for the team and I was definitely happy about it,” he said. “But after it was over I just wanted to focus on the next game.”
Caudle emerged as the Saturday starter in the Bears’ pitching rotation.
He talked about the adjustment from junior college to Division I baseball and his expectations for the team for the rest of the season.
“I had some trouble adjusting [to Division I]at first, but I just kept working hard to get better and make it a little easier,” he said. “I feel like we, as a team, have not been playing as well as we have shown in previous games this season. I do believe we will come together and finish off the season strong.”
The Bears are currently 21-15 overall and tied for second in the SLC standings at 10-8, and are two games back from first place.
Caudle said he wants to find a job after college with his interior design degree, if a baseball career doesn’t pan out.
Caudle is 6-3 on the season and is sixth in the conference in earned run average with 2.20.
He is tied with two other pitchers for the lead in complete games this season with three.
Caudle is holding opponents to a .229 batting average, which gets him inside the top 10 in the conference.
UCA hopes for a repeat performance of his April 5 outing as they look to finish the season on a good note.