COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Georgia College baseball team (29-19) won the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) West Division, and as a result will face East No. 4-seed Lander University (34-16) in the opening round of the 2012 PBC Tournament Wednesday.
The Bobcats and Bearcats will square off at 4 p.m. at Golden Park in Columbus, Ga. A double-elimination format, the winner of that opener will take on the victor of East No. 2-seed Francis Marion University and West No. 3-seed Columbus State University.
When GC played Lander during the regular season, the Bearcats took the series 2-1 at John Kurtz Field. With the start pushed back by rain, Lander took the Sunday meeting 10-0, and then the opener of Monday’s doubleheader by a 5-4 score. GC rebounded to win 6-5 in the nightcap, scoring all six runs in the eighth inning. The game-winner was the first career hit by freshman second baseman Seth Bancroft (Sugar Hill, Ga.) a two-run single to center.
The three-game set was the only conference series the Bobcats lost this season.
The Bobcats dropped games to UNC Pembroke and FMU a year ago in this tournament, as the Bobcats have never won a PBC Tournament Championship, and neither has Lander.
Georgia College is led at the plate by senior shortstop Tanner Funk (Kearney, Mo.) and junior designated hitter Cody Maas (Alpharetta, Ga.). An All-American in 2011, Funk is hitting .362 with 15 doubles, scoring 49 runs from the leadoff spot. Maas hits in the middle of the order with a .340 clip, including eight home runs and 55 RBI.
Junior lefty Mike Guinane (Glenview, Ill.) has come on strong down the stretch, going 3-6 with a pair of complete games, owning a 3.00 ERA over 81 innings. The back end of the bullpen has been tough as well, with a pair of junior righties in Zach Hula (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Matt LaMothe (Troy, Mich.) putting the clamps on late. Hula has a 2.95 ERA and six saves over 39 2/3 innings, while LaMothe is at 2.70 with seven saves and 33 1/3 innings.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time 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.