MARTINEZ, Ga. – The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) announced its year-end baseball awards Thursday, with seven members of the No. 8 Georgia College & State University baseball team (35-14) picking up honors, along with head coach Tom Carty taking PBC Coach of the Year.
In just his third season at the helm of the Bobcats, Carty’s squad has dominated conference play, dropping just one series with a 19-5 league mark and the third PBC Championship in school history. An offensive juggernaut, Carty’s Bobcats lead the PBC in 10 offensive categories, including batting average (.357), home runs (73) and total bases (1021). Carty picks up the fourth PBC Coach of the Year trophy in school history, and the first since 2006.
Placed on the first team were second baseman Jason Veyna (Lamar, Colo.), starting pitcher Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany), catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.), and the entire Georgia College outfield of Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.), Shawn Ward (Martinez, Ga.) and Kyle Allen (Conyers, Ga.). Righty starter Eric Pettepher (Gordon, Ga.) earned a second team nod.
This was the second career all-conference mark for Dewald, as he was first team at relief pitcher in 2009. This year he moved to a starting role, going 9-1 with a 4.00 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 72 2/3 innings. He also had two shutouts and five complete games. He ranked first in the league in wins, second in strikeouts.
Harrell was a second-team selection in the outfield in 2009, this his second career honor. Harrell led the league in batting average (.474), was second in slugging (.763) and first in on-base percentage (.563). The senior led the league in runs (73), hits (92), and was second in total bases.
Pirkle was picked for the All-PBC team in 2008 at designated hitter. This season, he hit .367 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI. His batting average ranked 12th in the PBC, with his .741 slugging coming in third. He was also sixth in RBI and fourth in home runs. The last Bobcat to earn all-conference at catcher was Eddie Campbell in 2003.
Veyna hit .326 during the regular season with four home runs, 45 RBI and 40 runs. He also had 13 stolen bases and a .471 slugging percentage.
Allen patrolled leftfield for the Bobcats again this season, hitting .403 with six home runs, 41 RBI and 62 runs scored from the leadoff spot. His average was fourth in the PBC, his on-base percentage of (.515) also came in fourth. He led the league in walks at 45.
Ward was a great run-producer for the Bobcats in his first season, hitting .362 with 15 home runs and 75 RBI. The junior was third in the league in RBI, second in home runs and fourth in total bases (140).
Baldwin High grad Pettepher went 6-1 with a 4.95 ERA, adding 52 strikeouts over 60 innings. He started the season in the pen, and eventually worked his way into a weekend-starter role.
The seven players mark the most in school history to earn All-PBC recognition in a single year, topping the old mark of five set in 2007 and 1997. Fifty-two Georgia College players have now earned this distinction all-time. The seven this season was the most of any school, next closest being North Georgia with five.
Up next, the 2010 PBC Champions play in the opening round of the PBC Tournament against No. 25 USC Aiken Saturday, May 8 at 6 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, Georgia College 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.