MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – With this weekend’s season-opening series fast approaching, the No. 4 Georgia College baseball team and head coach Tom Carty will give Bobcat fans an inside look at the defending Peach Belt Conference (PBC) and NCAA Southeast Regional Champions. The preview was released over three days, finishing today with the outfield.
“Our outfield this season is quite possibly the most talented group of athletes we’ve ever had in those roles,” said Carty. “We’re extremely deep in these three spots, so deep the designated hitter will probably come out of this group as well. It’s going to be tough for the coaching staff to pick the starting group, but that’s a burden I’m happy to have.”
An NCBWA All-America Honorable mention in 2010, Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.) returns for his final season as a Bobcat. Ward hit .358 with 16 home runs and 87 RBI and was a mainstay in the middle of the lineup for the Bobcats. His quick, lively bat came through in the clutch on multiple occasions for the ‘Cats.
ABAC transfer Patrick Daugherty (Kennesaw, Ga.) had “the best fall of any of our players”, said Carty. “He was probably a steal for us, a little under-recruited. Working with assistant coaches Zeke Mitchem and Steve Moritz has really helped ‘Dock’ elevate his game.”
Listed as an ABAC Southeast Region Player to Watch, Josh Young (Lake Huvasu City, Ariz.) will look to fill a gap both at the top of the lineup and in leftfield. A “steady baseball player who does a little of everything well”, his two years in a wooden bat league at Arizona Western College have helped his offensive approach.
Fellow ABAC transfer Ikaika Anderson (Austell, Ga.) was a mid-year addition, and can play all three spots with a strong arm and good speed. The athletic outfielder has some pop and will need some time to learn the system with the rest of the team.
Junior Jim Moreland (Suwanee, Ga.) comes to GC from Gordon College. He has really pushed for a starting role with an impressive run in the fall that has carried over to early spring. Sophomore John Welborn (Locust Grove, Ga.) is slotted to redshirt the season. Freshmen Bradley West (Athens, Ga.) and Colton Montgomery (Cartersville, Ga.) and Heine Rivera (Fayetteville, Ga.) will all miss the year with an injury as well.
For Coach Carty to dub this group the deepest and most talented outfield in his time at GC really says a lot. In his time at Georgia College, four All-Americans have patrolled the outfield at Kurtz Field.
The Bobcats begin the 2011 season Friday, Feb. 4 with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at No. 5 University of Tampa.
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.