MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Fresh off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, the Georgia College baseball team has eighteen players seeing action in collegiate summer leagues.
The Bobcats have participants scattered over 11 different leagues this summer, with the most being three each in both the Ohio Valley League (OVL) and the Perfect Game League (PGL).
Senior Steve Hazel's (Kentwood, Mich.) All-American season has carried over to the summer, as the catcher is hitting .500 (18-36) with 13 runs, one home run and 11 RBI. He was named the Western Major Baseball League Player of the Week, and leads both the Regina Red Sox and the league in hits and runs, and is second in RBI.
A pair of Bobcats have had success for the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League, as senior Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) is hitting .358 with 19 hits, nine runs, a home run and 12 RBI. He ranks second on the team and seventh in the league in RBI. Lefty Josh Taylor (Phoenix) has a 3.48 ERA over two starts, totaling 10 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.
Senior righty Jake Anthony (Canton, Ga.) is throwing smoke for the Charleston Cannons in the Valley League, going 1-0 with a save over three relief appearances. Over his 8 1/3 shutout innings, Anthony has struck out eight.
Sophomore righty Kyle Ward (Rincon, Ga.) and sophomore infielder Brandon Benson (Loganville, Ga.) are both seeing action in the Cal Ripken League, Ward on the Alexandria Aces and Benson with the Rockville Express. Ward gave up two runs in an inning of relief, while Benson is hitting .440 (11-25) with four runs and eight RBI.
In the PGL, senior Colton Montgomery (Cartersville, Ga.) and freshman Brandon Purcell (Glennville, Ga.) play for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, while senior Spencer Thomas (Loganville, Ga.) is pitching for the Newark Pilots. Montgomery has a .294 average with three RBI and two runs in his six games, while Purcell has added a run and a steal in limited duty. Thomas has one relief outing for the Pilots, going 2 2/3 innings with one run on three hits.
Righty Josh Pape (Locust Grove, Ga.) is pitching for the Mystic Schooners of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, and has posted a 4.50 ERA over two innings with a pair of strikeouts thus far.
The Pineville Pioneers of the Southern Collegiate League feature two Bobcats, as sophomore catcher Henry Rowland (Augusta, Ga.) is hitting .214 with a pair of runs and two RBI, while freshman Jack Spear (Atlanta) has one start, going three innings with a pair of earned runs and two strikeouts.
Freshman utility Sean Brophy (Milton, Ga.), freshman infielder John Davis (Marietta, Ga.) and freshman pitcher Brady Walsh (Marietta, Ga.) are all members of the Hoptown Hoppers in the OVL. Walsh has had the best summer thus far, going five shutout innings for the win in his lone start, allowing just one hit and fanning a pair. Brophy is hitting .238 with six runs and three RBI, while Davis is at .174 with three runs and one driven in.
Junior Jake Sandlin (Evans, Ga.) has made the furthest trip from home, playing for the Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League. Still shaking off the jet-lag, he has two hits, two runs and two RBI over four games.
Junior righty Jordan Brooks (Macon, Ga.) has made four relief appearances already for the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plains League, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five innings, but fanning six.
Freshman pitcher Michael McKinney (Dalton, Ga.) rounds out the group with a spot for the Litchfield Manowars of the Beach Collegiate Baseball League.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook 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.