MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Senior catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) was announced prior to the game as the John Kurtz Award recipient, then promptly powered a 6-1 win for No. 19 Georgia College baseball (33-15, 13-9 PBC) over No. 14 Armstrong Atlantic (33-13, 14-8 PBC) at Kurtz Field Friday night.
The Kurtz Award is the annual honor for the top individual on the GC baseball team, handed out since 1994, the honor is in memory of legendary head coach John Kurtz, a GC Athletics Hall of Famer with 577 career wins that put GC baseball and athletics as a whole on the sporting map.
Pirkle's bomb came to lead off the five-run fourth inning, swatting an 0-1 pitch off the scoreboard in left center. The senior catcher now leads the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) in home runs with 12. The five-run inning was in support of lefty starter Mike Guinane (Glenview, Ill.) who improved to 9-1 with 7 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and a run while fanning five.
A crafty bunt single by centerfielder Patrick Daugherty (Kennesaw, Ga.) with two down and runners on second and third caught the Pirate defense off guard, bringing in the first run in the second inning. Daugherty finished with two RBI. Shortstop Tanner Funk (Kearney, Mo.) was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, extending his team-leading hit streak to 10 games.
For AASU, starter Trent Landa (4-5) took the loss in 3 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs. Designated hitter Josh Heath had three singles in four trips.
The victory puts the Bobcats at a half-game behind Columbus State University for the top slot in the PBC West Division.
The Bobcats close out the regular season with Senior Day Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. taking on the Pirates in a doubleheader.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, back-to-back winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.