MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College head baseball coach Tom Carty has announced that 13 student-athletes have signed their National Letters of Intent during the early-signing period to attend Georgia College and play for the three-time Peach Belt Champion (PBC) Bobcats in the 2014 season.
This class features 12 players from the Peach State and one from Arizona. Nine of the recruits will have freshman eligibility status, while the remaining four transfer from some of the top junior college programs in the country.
The 13-member class that will enroll at Georgia College in August and play the 2014 season includes: Tyler Bashlor, RHP/OF (Springfield, Ga./South Georgia College); Jerad Curry, C (Buford, Ga./Georgia Perimeter College); Josh Taylor, LHP (Phoenix, Ariz./Scottsdale Community College); Spencer Thomas, RHP (Loganville, Ga./South Georgia College); Brandon Benson, MIF (Loganville, Ga./Grayson High School) Zach Chandler, RHP (Roswell, Ga./Roswell High School); John Davis, MIF (Marietta, Ga./Blessed Trinity High School); Adam Grice, RHP (Evans, Ga./Greenbrier High School); Brandon Purcell, C (Glennville, Ga./Tattnall County High School); Jonah Stephens, LHP (Cedartown, Ga./Bremen High School), Kyle Ward, RHP (Rincon, Ga./Effingham County High School); Mason Ward, LHP (Canton, Ga./Cherokee High School); and Trent Wildermuth, OF (Marietta, Ga./Marietta High School).
“Coming off winning the West Division of the Peach Belt in 2012, we are extremely excited to keep the momentum rolling with the 2014 early sign class,” said Carty. “Our staff has been working hard since June identify the right players for Georgia College and our baseball program. Coach Zeke Mitchem, Recruiting Coordinator, did another stellar job organizing our staff to pursue this great group of future Bobcat student-athletes. Many of our positional and pitching needs were met with this class.”
“The job done by our staff in the early signing period will allow us to focus on filling a few more 2014 needs this Spring during the April signing period, and preparing the 2013 team for a run at another Peach Belt Championship. I want to thank coaches Mitchem, (Jud) Sullivan and (Brandon) Durden for their tireless efforts in recruiting this class which will help keep Georgia College Baseball at the top of the Peach Belt Conference.”
The Bobcats kick off the 2013 season Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. with doubleheader action against Mars Hill College at John Kurtz Field.
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 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.
South Georgia College
Bashlor will join the Bobcats as a possible two-way player from South Georgia College in Douglas, Ga. where he is coached by Jeff Timothy. As a freshman, he batted .287 with 16 extra base hits and recorded 15 stolen bases while patrolling mainly right field. He was awarded the Golden Glove for his defensive abilities by the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association. As a pitcher, Bashlor has been attracting professional attention, this past summer he was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. He has been used primarily as a closer in his college experience recording three saves last season while holding opponents to a .077 batting average.
Comments from Coach Carty: “Tyler is very physical and will help our team as a pitcher and hitter next season. He brings a plus arm to the mound that I am excited to work with as a pitching coach.”
Georgia Perimeter College
Curry will be entering Georgia College from Georgia Perimeter, but played his freshman season at Chipola Junior College in Florida. Jerad hit .255 with nine doubles and three home runs, also stealing three bases. In his 46 starts, he spent a majority of his time behind the plate assisting the team to the state Final Four.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “We are really excited about Jerad choosing Georgia College, he has experience and obvious baseball ability. He can fit our offense and provide pop to the lineup.”
Scottsdale CC (AZ)
Taylor is entering his second season at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona; in his freshman season he was a member of the 2012 World Series team coached by Alex Tierney. At the World Series, Josh drew the start against eventual National Champion and pitched brilliantly striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings. For the season, he pitched 56 innings striking out 49 to go with a 2.73 ERA.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “Josh is the long, repeatable, high velocity left hander that we were looking to sign in the early period. He has big-game experience and we feel Josh’s best days are still ahead of him.”
South Georgia College
Thomas is another in the line of quality South Georgia players to transfer to Georgia College; he enters his sophomore year experienced after throwing 67 innings for Coach Timothy a year ago. He recorded a 3.72 ERA and posted five wins in eight decisions, he also struck out 51 batters while walking only 12.
Comments from Coach Carty: “Spencer will be coming to us next Fall after two years of pitching quality innings at South Georgia. He comes from a very good high school program in Loganville and can fit our program in any role on the mound immediately.”
MIF Grayson High
Coming off a Final Four appearance a year ago in Class 5A, Benson will look to finish his career at Grayson High School with Coach Jed Hixson on another high note. He is the returning shortstop and three-year letterman; this past summer Brandon was selected to the Georgia Top 100 event.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “We have high expectations for Brandon. He is a middle infielder that has good feet and arm strength. His best tool may be his bat, he creates good bat speed and has a feel for hitting.”
Roswell High School
Chandler will compete his senior season for Coach Mike Power at Roswell High School. He comes off an excellent summer that saw him garner All-Tournament honors at the 18U Perfect Game WWBA event. In high school he has received the Best Defensive and CY Young awards along the way.
Comments from Coach Carty: “We saw Zach this Fall after he had made a conversion to a sidearm delivery. He showed a good slider and a feel for pitching from the side which will transfer to immediate opportunities next season.”
Blessed Trinity High School
A two-sport athlete at Blessed Trinity High School, Davis has had a tremendous amount of success in both football and baseball. Last season, he was a member of the 2A Region 5 Championship club that reached the Elite 8 for Coach Andy Harlin. That same season Davis was awarded All-Region First Team.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “It is easy to like John, he is a tremendous athlete that plays at one of the best high school programs in the state. We look for him to develop quickly and have an outstanding career at Georgia College.”
Greenbrier High School
Grice is entering his senior season for the Greenbrier Wolfpack and Coach Chris Wilkins, a GC Baseball alum. The 2012 team reached the state finals in Class 4A. As a member of that team Grice was used in the closer role. He recorded seven saves on the season with a sub 1.00 ERA, collecting two wins along the way.
Comments from Coach Carty: “Adam is another unconventional pitcher who throws from the submarine slot and will be very effective because of his ability to throw strikes with two pitches from down under. He comes from a very good high school program that has produced other Georgia College alumnus.”
Tattnall County High School
Purcell comes from Tattnall County High School where he plays for Coach Jeff Kaiser in Region 2 AA, one of the best in the state. As the high school’s starting quarterback, Purcell brings leadership to the catcher position. He is a career .400 hitter at the high school level, which has garnered him All-Region honors for both his sophomore and junior seasons. He was also a Georgia Dugout Club Top-100 selection.
Comments from Coach Carty: “Brandon is a very athletic catcher who brings strong leadership qualities. He should fit in the mold of other Bobcat catchers who have been very successful here.”
Bremen High School
Stephens will enter Georgia College after graduating from Bremen High School where he competes for Coach Mark Clark. As the staff ace, Stephens held opponents to a sub .200 batting average while striking out well over one an inning; this earned him the team’s best pitcher award. Being selected to the All-Area and All-Region teams signified his outstanding 2012 season; in addition, he was selected to the Georgia Dugout Club Top-100.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “We look for Jonah to come in and compete immediately. He has a feel for pitching and the confidence it takes to excel at Georgia College.”
Effingham County High School
Kyle Ward will be entering his senior season for Coach Brett Griffin and the Effingham County High School Rebels. As a junior, Kyle Ward was awarded All-Region First Team and All-Greater Savannah honors; boasting a 1.33 ERA. This past summer Kyle Ward was selected to the Georgia Dugout Club Top-100.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “Kyle has a very quick arm that we’ve seen in the upper 80’s. His feel for his off-speed pitches will give him a chance to contribute immediately.”
Cherokee High School
Mason Ward will play his senior season for Coach Jason McDaniel at Cherokee High School. As a junior, Mason Ward posted a 6-3 record to go with a 2.20 ERA and well over a strike out an inning average. In addition he won the team’s Silver Slugger award while playing first base. Further, he was selected to the All-County and All-Region teams. Heading into his senior season he has been placed on the Preseason Under Armour and Perfect Game All-American Teams, largely due to his outstanding summer playing for the 2012 National Champion--18U East Cobb Yankees.
Comments from Coach Carty: “Mason is a very talented and projectable left handed pitcher who has ability as a hitter as well. He throws three pitches for strikes and pitched at a high level this summer in the East Cobb Baseball program. We expect Mason to earn quality innings in 2014. Mason’s father Todd played here for Coach John Kurtz so we are excited about having a former GC Baseball player’s son in our program.”
OF/1B Marietta High
Wildermuth is transferring for his senior year to Marietta High School and will be playing for Coach Chris Stafford. At Etowah High School last year, Wildermuth was awarded All-County while hitting .365 and driving in 25 runs. During the summer, he played for the East Cobb Blue Jays, capping off an excellent season garnering All-Tournament honors.
Comments from Coach Mitchem: “Trent is a great fit for our program, a left handed hitter with definite extra base potential. He is an improving runner and possesses a terrific baseball IQ.”