by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
MARTINEZ, Ga. - The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) announced the 2010 preseason baseball poll yesterday (Jan. 19). For the second straight year, Georgia College & State University was selected to finish fourth. The poll is compiled from votes by the head coaches around the league.
Georgia College received 89 points including one-first place vote and eight-fourth place votes. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.
The Bobcats fall in behind PBC favorite, USC Aiken, followed by Francis Marion University and North Georgia.
Tom Carty's squad finished third in the conference last year with a 37-19, 16-11 PBC mark. Georgia College has tallied six straight 30 plus-win seasons.
The Bobcats return five position starters including centerfielder and NCBWA All-American Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.). Harrell batted .350 with eight doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 41 RBI in 2009. He also paced the team with 106 total bases and 29 stolen bases. Senior classmates Kyle Allen (Conyers, Ga.), Steve Muoio (Rochester, N.Y.), Matt Pitts (Brunswick, Ga.) and Chandler Snell (Loganville, Ga.) join Harrell on the field. Allen, Muoio, Pitts and Snell combined for 309 total bases, including 16 homers and 114 RBI.
Senior lefty Clete Jessup (Darien, Ga.) and junior right-hander Eric Pettepher (Gordon, Ga.) are back on the mound in the starting rotation for Georgia College. The pitching duo went 12-5 combined last season. Also returning to the mound is ace-reliever, Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany). Dewald went 5-3 with a PBC-high 14 saves as a reliever for the Bobcats. The righty reliever was third on the team wit h 53 strikeouts and had a 4.20 ERA.
The Bobcats hit the field Friday, Feb. 5 in a doubleheader, hosting No. 7 University of Tampa at John Kurtz Field with the first game starting at 3 p.m.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, 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. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.