By Matthew Dalby, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College baseball team isn’t short on 2011 preseason accolades. A pair of seniors, Shawn Ward (Martinez, Ga.) and Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.), have been tabbed South Atlantic Region Pre-Season All-Americans.
Outfielder Shawn Ward, a JUCO transfer from Middle Georgia College, stepped in immediately for the Bobcats as he hit .358 with 16 home runs and 87 RBI on his way to All-PBC First Team honors. Ward also earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-Region First Team recognition as well.
Catcher Richard Pirkle, a three-year starter for GC belted a team-high 17 home runs to go along with a .354 average and 65 RBI. He was also an All-PBC First Team performer as well as a NCBWA All-Region Second Team honoree.
Also listed as a South Atlantic Region Player to Watch was senior pitcher Eric Pettepher (Gordon, Ga.), who was second on the Bobcat pitching staff in wins with seven. He also tallied 56 strikeouts in 69.1 innings of work.
JUCO transfer outfielder Josh Young (Lake Havasu City, Ariz.) was named as a South Atlantic Region Newcomer to Watch after hitting .360 last year for Arizona Western College.
Georgia College was named the preseason favorite to win the PBC this season and begins the 2011 season on the road at No. 5 University of Tampa Friday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.
The GCSU 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, 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.