Bobcat Baseball Gets Three NCBWA Region Honorees

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WILSON, N.C. – The Georgia College baseball team put three players on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-Southeast Region teams, the organization announced recently.

Outfielder Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.) and shortstop Tanner Funk (Kearney, Mo.) each earned first team slots, while catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) appeared on the third team.

The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Co-Player of the Year, Ward put up gaudy numbers in 2011. A .398 hitter, Ward paced the PBC in RBI at 61, adding a slugging percentage of .612 and 49 runs scored. Ward makes it two-straight seasons on the first team, as he was joined by Sean Harrell (2006-10) a year ago. Ward and pitcher Martin Dewald (2009-10) are the only two-time first-team selections in school history.

In his first year with the Bobcats, Funk was second on the team in hitting at .393 with two home runs and 54 RBI. He also led the PBC in doubles with 20. He slugged .520 and scored 45 runs. Funk is the first Bobcat shortstop to take honors in the three-year history of this awards program.

Pirkle is now a two-time NCBWA All-Region recipient, after being named to the second team in 2010. The senior backstop hit .301 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI. Pirkle finished second in the PBC with the home run total, adding a .566 slugging percentage and 13 stolen bases.

All-time, GC baseball has put 10 student-athletes on the NCBWA All-Region squads. Funk and Ward will now move on to the All-America ballot, where Ward was an Honorable Mention honoree in 2010.

The Bobcat baseball team went 35-17 in 2011, a season that saw them hold down the No. 1 spot in the country for two weeks. The Bobcats finished second in the PBC West, honoring three all-region players, including PBC Co-Player of the Year Ward.

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.