Bobcat Baseball Preview: Outfield

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - As the baseball season approaches, the Georgia College & State University sports information department will take an in-depth look at the 2009 Bobcat team in a three-part series. Today's installment is the second of three, focusing on the outfield.

The 2009 Bobcat outfield has the potential to be one of the fastest in school history. With plenty of competition for the corner outfield spots, players that lose the starting roles there will be strong candidates to fill the designated hitter opening.

Junior Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.) returns to his role in centerfield. A player with speed for the next level, "Harrell allows us some stability at the top of the lineup, and an every-day guy in centerfield", according to head coach Tom Carty. "Sean is also ever-improving as a defensive centerfielder."

Harrell hit .373 in 30 games last year, smacking three home runs and driving in 26 while scoring 35 times. He was also 17-for-19 in stolen bases, setting the table for the middle of the Bobcat order. He missed 27 games with injury, but when in the lineup the Bobcats were 20-10. They got off to a 9-3 start with him before the injury.

In right, senior Danny McCorkell (Wentzville, Mo.) and Derek Johns (Waynesville, Ga.) give Georgia College different looks.

A .293 hitter with 40 runs and 20 stolen bases a year ago, McCorkell is probably the best defensive player of the bunch, and could figure into all three outfield spots. He has plenty of speed, evidenced by his team-best 20 swipes in 22 tries, and is a great bunter.

Johns was "Mr. Run Production" for GCSU in 2008, driving in a team best 62, and scoring a team-best 50. He hit .296 with five home runs and also stole 16 bases.

In leftfield, newcomer Kyle Allen (Conyers, Ga.) looks to be the early favorite, as the junior transfer from South Georgia College adds an extra speedy left-handed bat. Allen simply doesn't strike out, and will be looked at in one of the top-two spots in the order.

Junior Andrew Evans (Milledgeville, Ga.) gives coach Carty a powerful right-handed option in left and at the DH spot. Evans hit .295 with six home runs and 26 RBI in 2008. Johns is also in the depth chart in left.

Freshman Ryan Holland (Duluth, Ga.) returns to active duty after redshirting his first season a year ago. An infielder by trade, Holland will work in the outfield after a solid fall season, developing his crucial utility-man skills. Martin Dewald (Manheim, Germany) is the team's closer, but his switch-hitting bat could also be used off the bench or in the outfield.

The Bobcats throw the season's first pitch Thursday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m., hosting No. 36 Erskine College.

Visit www2.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.