by Tyler Peck, sports
information graduate assistant
AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) announced the 2009 preseason baseball poll yesterday (Jan. 20). Georgia College & State University was selected to finish fourth. The poll is compiled from the head coaches from around the league.
The Bobcats received 56 points including two-second place votes. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.
Georgia College comes in behind PBC favorite, Columbus State University, North Georgia and USC-Aiken.
The Bobcats finished fifth in PBC last season with a 33-24, 15-12 PBC mark. The Bobcats have chalked up five straight 30-win seasons.
Georgia College has nine position starters returning along with two-thirds of its rotation from the 2008 season. Sophomore All-PBC designated hitter Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) returns after hitting .338 and slugging .581. Joining him is a three-year starter at shortstop in Chandler Snell (Loganville, Ga.), as well as two-year starter at catcher in 2008 Preseason All-PBC nominee Pete Paris (Seranton, Pa.). Righty Eric Pettepher (Gordon, Ga.) was a solid 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA as a freshman, and joins junior lefty Clete Jessup (Darien, Ga.) as returning starting pitchers.
Second year head coach Tom Carty brought in 16 new players for 2009, many of whom will immediately compete for starting roles and valuable playing time.
Visit www.GCSU.edu/Athletics 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.