Bobcat Baseball Tabbed #1 in Region, Two on Preseason All-Region Team

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SAVANNAH, Ga. – Fresh off a trip to the Division II World Series in 2010, the defending Peach Belt Conference (PBC) and NCAA Southeast Region Champion Georgia College baseball team was picked No. 1 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason Poll, the organization announced Friday.

Lefthanded starter Jason Nicholas (Wentzville, Mo.) and rightfielder Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.) also earned slots on the fifteen-member Preseason All-Region Team.

Ward had an amazing 2010, his first season as a Bobcat. He led the team and the PBC with 87 RBI and scored 55 runs. He hit .409 with runners in scoring position and .358 overall, recording 88 hits, 16 of them being home runs. Ward garnered ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Team honors, was named to the NCBWA All-Region First Team and All-PBC First Team. He was also an All-American honorable mention in the NCBWA.

Nicolas made an impact as well in his first season in a GC uniform. He posted a solid 7-2 record, and a 4.33 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 81 innings, but it was his strong postseason that positioned Nicholas among the region's elite.

The Bobcats were tops among the 10 teams ranked in the region, earning five of the six first-place votes. One of five PBC teams on the list, the Bobcats beat out No. 2 Columbus State University, and No. 3 Francis Marion University as well as No. 7 North Georgia and No. 8 USC Aiken. Mount Olive College was fourth and earned the remaining first-place vote, while Catawba took the fifth slot.

Head coach Tom Carty's Bobcats begin the 2011 campaign on the road for a three-game set with the University of Tampa, beginning with a doubleheader Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

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/GCSUBobcats 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.