Georgia Perimeter College Jaguar Baseball
June 15, 2010
Former Jaguar a leading hitter in National League
For a few days former Georgia Perimeter College outfielder Marlon Byrd led the National League in hitting.
Byrd, playing center field this season for the Chicago Cubs, was hitting .333 in mid-June, with 9 home runs, 34 RBIs, 34 runs and 4 stolen bases. A few days earlier, his .337 batting average was at the top of the league.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said, as quoted on a baseball web site, “He’s been our best hitter, consistently all year. Marlon has been swinging it really well. I think he had one little dry spell for a week or so, and outside of that, he's been a model of consistency.”
A two-sport standout who was recruited by Georgia Tech out of Sprayberry High School, Byrd was torn between football and baseball. At Tech he suffered a career-threatening leg injury but got a second chance at Georgia Perimeter.
He had an outstanding season in center field for the Jaguars in 1999 and was selected to the All-Region 17 first team.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the 10th round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft. He made his Major League debut with the Phillies in September 2002.
Byrd played two seasons with the Washington Nationals and had three successful seasons with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the Cubs last winter. He’s batted in the fifth, fourth and third spots for Chicago, and is averaging.283 in nine seasons in the major leagues.
June 9, 2010
Jaguars selected in MLB draft
The Minnesota Twins selected Georgia Perimeter College sophomore pitcher Nathan Fawbush Tuesday in the 21st round of the Major League amateur draft. On Wednesday they picked freshman infielder LeAndre Davis.
Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers selected left-hander Matt Hill, who pitched for GPC in fall scrimmage games but was academically ineligible for the regular season this spring.
Fawbush, a 6-foot-7, 193-pound right-hander from McDonough and Union Grove High School, was pick No. 645 on the second day of the draft.
Pitching 63 1/3 innings, Fawbush posted a 4-2 record and a 4.55 earned run average for GPC this spring. He struck out 60 and walked 31, allowing 32 earned runs against a strong hitting conference.
Fawbush transferred to Georgia Perimeter from Walters State Community College (Tenn.), where he had compiled a 7-0 record in his freshman season. His fastball was clocked this spring in the low 90s and he throws an excellent curveball.
“Everybody likes his potential. He’s tall and has good arm strength. You can’t coach someone to be 6-7,” said GPC head coach Danny Blue.
“He was a big part of our program, part of the staff that had the lowest ERA in the conference.”
For the second straight year, GPC’s pitching staff led the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA Region 17) with a team ERA of 4.59. The Jaguars finished with a 36-19 record, after losing a three-game series to Middle Georgia College in the region tournament semifinals.
The Twins drafted Davis for a second time—they chose him in the 13th round last season after his senior year in high school. A 5-foot-10, 160 lb. all-state selection from Smyrna and Campbell High, Davis has an exceptional arm and led the Jaguars during the postseason with a .462 batting average.
“LeAndre really turned it around the last three weeks of the season,” said GPC hitting coach Stewart Bailey. “He started hitting the ball up the middle more, and made some unbelievable plays at third base, and that really helped his confidence in the field and at the dish.”
Blue said, “LeAndre and Nathan did a good job for us, and we’re proud they got drafted.”
Like Fawbush, Hill was a transfer to GPC—he pitched his freshman year at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in 2008.
The lefty posted a 3.14 ERA in 17 innings for the pirates and beat the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, Pensacola Junior College, early in the season. He throws a fastball in the high 80s and low 90s.
“He possesses a power arm and slider that pro scouts fall in love with,” Bailey said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t play for us this spring, but he has a chance now to play pro ball.”
May 24, 2010
Dyer, Busenitz claim postseason honors
Georgia Perimeter College sophomore righthander Jake Dyer only pitched once in the Region 17 playoffs, but was impressive enough to be named to the All-Tournament team.
Another Jaguars sophomore righthander, Alan Busenitz, built on his all-region honor by also making the East Central All-District team, which includes Georgia and Tennessee.
Dyer didn’t pitch the first weekend of the playoffs as Coach Danny Blue held him in reserve for a possible third game against Darton College. But the Jaguars swept and advanced to the semifinals against Middle Georgia College.
After the Jaguars lost the first game at Middle on May 8, Dyer got the call and responded with a complete game as the Jaguars won 11-1 in a game halted after seven innings because of the run rule.
Dyer finished with a seven-hitter, striking out five and walking three. He had to negotiate plenty of trouble early, working out of two-on jams in each of the first three innings. In the fourth, Middle Georgia pulled within 4-1 and loaded the bases with one out, but Dyer escaped again and cruised to the victory.
Dyer, from Conyers, Ga., and Salem High School, finished the regular season 6-4 with a 4.08 earned run average. He led the Jaguars with 10 starts and 64 innings pitched. As a freshman in 2009, he was 3-0 with a 5.35 ERA in 33 2/3 innings. He has signed to pitch for Georgia State University next year.
Busenitz, from Athens, Ga., and Athens Christian School, was 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA (second in the league) during the regular season, striking out 59 in 57 1/3 innings. He was 1-1 in the playoffs with an 11.42 ERA. As a freshman in 2009, he was 2-5 with a 5.54 ERA in 39 innings. He has signed to play at Kennesaw State University.
The All-Tournament team was dominated by region champion Gordon College, which placed six members on it: shortstop Andy Almonte, outfielder Chase Raffield, first baseman Dustin Dalken, outfielder Jim Moreland, pitcher Blake Thomas and pitcher Ted Pratt. Middle Georgia had three—outfielder Chandler Hall, second baseman Javy Sujo and pitcher Jarrett Leverett. South Georgia College (outfielder Josh Palmer) and Young Harris College (outfielder Chris Holloway) each had one.
Raffield was MVP of the tournament. The team was selected from nominations made by the coaches.
Aside from Busenitz, the other members of the All-District team from Region 17 were Sujo, shortstop Jonathan Hester and first baseman T.J. Rich of Middle Georgia; outfielder Kelly Williams of Gordon; and outfielder Matt Lowery of Young Harris. Lowery was also named the East Central Defensive Player of the Year.
May 9, 2010
Season ends with semifinal loss at Middle Georgia
Somebody forgot to inform Middle Georgia College lefthander Jarrett Leverett that the Warriors’ major weakness this season is pitching.
Leverett shackled the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars with an 11-3 victory Sunday in the deciding game of the NJCAA Region 17 baseball semifinals. But as he handled the Jags, they also shot themselves in the foot, committing five errors and allowing four unearned runs.
With the score tied at 2, Middle Georgia took advantage of the Jaguars’ shaky defense to score five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off freshman righthander Bryan Benzor (3-2).
The Jaguars weren’t able to retaliate as Leverett (4-3) went on to pitch the seven-inning complete game, allowing six hits and striking out five. At one point he retired 13 consecutive Jaguars.
The game was called early because of the 10-run mercy rule, as were all three games in the series at the Warriors’ storied Stuckey Field in Cochran. In Saturday’s doubleheader, the hosts won 16-2 in five innings, and GPC took the nightcap in seven by a score of 11-1.
Middle Georgia (34-18) goes on to face Gordon College in next weekend’s best-of-three final series.
Warrior coach Craig Young had pitched his ace, Zach Smith, in the opening game of the series, so the Jaguars hoped to hit Leverett as they had jumped on Jesse Scott in the 11-1 win.
For a short while, it seemed to be going according to plan. GPC (36-19) scored first as the teams traded runs in each frame of the first two innings. The second batter of the game, Hunter Pope, singled and, with two outs, stole second base. That enabled T.D. Davis to drive him home with a base hit.
Scott King repeated the feat in the second inning, reaching on an error, stealing after the second out, and scoring on a single by Dadynoel Lorenzo.
The Warriors answered with a run in the bottom of the first when T.J. Rich singled in Reggie Williams, who had led off with a hit and advanced to second on a throwing error.
Middle’s seventh-place hitter, Chandler Hall, lofted a second-inning home run, clearing the right-center wall by a couple of feet. That tied the game at 2-2.
In the third, Jamie McMillan became the third Jaguar to single and steal second base with two outs. After his hit, Leverett sat down 13 consecutive batters.
The floodgates opened in the disastrous fourth inning, which saw a wild pitch and three Jaguar errors, including a passed ball on a strikeout. Javy Suho, Hall, Tony Cannaday and Williams collected hits and scored. An outfield error permitted Drew McWhorter to reach first base and he also crossed the plate. Cannaday’s hit produced two RBIs.
Lefthander Drew Johnson relieved Benzor and got the visitors out of the inning.
Middle, the region’s defending champion, didn’t stop there. Hall recorded his second RBI with a hit in the fifth after Sujo led off with a double. Rich reached on an error in the sixth and scored on McWhorter’s RBI single.
Lorenzo drove in the third run for GPC in the seventh after LeAndre Davis smacked a two-out double, the Jaguars’ only extra base hit.
In the seventh, the Warriors went up by 10 on a walk-off double by Josh Purvis, scoring McWhorter and Cannaday, who had walked and singled, respectively.
A rare bright spot in the long day for the Jaguars: Benzor and Johnson shut down the region player of the year and home run king, Jonathan Hester, who went 0-for-4 at the plate.
Benzor pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 7 runs (3 unearned), and 2 walks, while striking out 4. In 3 innings, Johnson allowed 4 runs (1 unearned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, while fanning 3. Each pitcher registered a wild pitch.
Johnson had 11 strikeouts for the postseason, leading the Jaguars. LeAndre Davis was the leading hitter with a .462 average on three singles and three doubles. He scored 5 runs and had 4 RBIs. Pope followed with a .421 batting average.
The winner of next weekend’s best-of-three championship series in Cochran between Gordon and Middle Georgia will host the East-Central District playoff series May 22-23 against Tennessee’s winner. The winner of that series earns a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, for the NJCAA championship tournament, also known as the Junior College World Series.
May 8, 2010
Jaguars force decisive third game against Middle Georgia
Faced with the prospect of their season ending, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars fought back. They took an early lead on Middle Georgia, navigated several dangerous spots and won 11-1 Saturday in a game halted after seven innings by the 10-run rule.
The best-of-three NJCAA Region 17 semifinal playoff series is set to conclude Sunday at 3 p.m. in Cochran with the Jaguars’ deploying their hottest pitcher of late, freshman righthander Bryan Benzor.
Middle Georgia’s 16-2 victory in the first game—halted after 4 1/2 innings—put the Jaguars in a hole “but we really came through,” said coach Danny Blue.
The Jaguars’ rehabilitation against the top-seeded Warriors started with a two-run homer by T.D. Davis in the second inning. A single by Jamie McMillan, a double by Davis and a single by Will Howard made it 4-0 in the top of the fourth.
Meanwhile, Jaguars sophomore righthander Jake Dyer (7-4) was doing yeoman’s work keeping the Warriors off the scoreboard, pitching out of two-on jams in each of the first three innings. Middle Georgia broke through in the fourth, pulling within 4-1 on a run-scoring single by Reggie Williams. A walk loaded the bases with one out and two of the region’s most feared hitters, T.J. Rich and Jonathan Hester, coming to the plate.
Rich, the region’s batting champion, hit a screaming liner toward left field that was speared by the Jaguars’ third baseman, LeAndre Davis. Dyer put the finishing touches on yet another escape by striking out Hester.
“LeAndre had a great game at third,” said Blue.
Crisis averted, the Jaguars made it 7-1 in the fifth, helped by an error by Hester, the shortstop. Dadynoel Lorenzo, McMillan and Howard hit key singles in the inning.
A two-run homer by Lorenzo in the sixth put the finishing touch on the rout. Dyer, once on the ropes, wound up going the distance, keeping the Warriors (33-18) off balance with breaking pitches and changeups. Jesse Scott (4-1) was the losing pitcher.
McMillan was 4-for-4. Howard finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
The comeback put the fate of the Jaguars (36-18) in the hands of Benzor, who has won the past three weekends and at one point put together 15 consecutive scoreless innings.
“We feel like we’ve got a good guy going,” said Blue. “But they are a good fastball-hitting team.”
The Warriors scored five runs in the first inning of the opener and three more in the second off the Jaguars’ all-region starter Alan Busenitz (7-2). The pounding continued until the mercy rule kicked in, ending the 18-hit barrage against Busenitz and the bullpen.
Hester drove in four runs in support of Zach Smith (8-3).
Blake McCullers went 0-for-3 but drove in both the Jaguars’ runs with groundouts.
Sunday’s winner will face the winner of the Gordon-South Georgia series next weekend in the conference finals. Those teams also split Saturday, with Gordon winning 14-4 and losing 7-6 in Douglas.
May 6, 2010
Hefflinger hits grand slam for Rome Braves
Robby Hefflinger, who led Georgia Perimeter College to the Region 17 regular-season championship last season, had his biggest day as a pro Thursday, hitting a grand slam as the Rome Braves beat Hagerstown 9-5 at home.
Hefflinger, playing only his eighth game for Rome in the Class A South Atlantic League, also had a run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly, giving him six RBIs. The right fielder joined the club late after being held back in extended spring training while recovering from an illness.
The R-Braves had been no-hit for four innings before four singles, a hit batsman and a walk produced two runs. Hefflinger’s grand slam, his first homer of the season, gave them a 6-4 lead. The game was played before 3,328 fans.
Hefflinger, who stands 6 feet 5 and weighs 235 pounds, was the Atlanta Braves’ seventh-round pick in last summer’s amateur draft, the 208th player chosen overall. He spent the 2009 season in the rookie-level Appalachian League with the Danville (Va.) Braves, hitting .242 with seven homers and 37 RBIs. He missed some time with a hand injury sustained while running into the fence in right field.
At GPC last season, Hefflinger mostly pitched and played right field, but also saw time at first base and catcher. He hit .324 with 11 home runs while making the all-region, all-district and all-tournament teams. As a pitcher, he was 7-0 with a 2.68 earned run average.
Daily coverage of Hefflinger and the rest of the Rome Braves is available at www.romebraves.com.
May 1, 2010
Jaguars sweep first-round playoff series at Darton
One swing of T.D. Davis’ bat made the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ day.
In this case, that swing produced a grand slam in a seven-run eighth inning that propelled the Jaguars to a 7-5 victory at Darton in the opening game of the NJCAA Region 17 playoffs. GPC wrapped up the best-of-three series by winning the nightcap 10-4.
“We were hanging in there and got the big blast at the right time. It was one of those storybook jobs. Maybe like Jack Armstrong [the hero of old-time radio fame],” said coach Danny Blue.
The stout two-out blow over the fence in left-center wiped out Darton’s 3-2 lead and was the eighth homer of the season for Davis, an all-region outfielder as a freshman. He leads the team in that department.
With the sweep in Albany, the Jaguars move to the semifinals, again on the road, at Middle Georgia College in Cochran. The best-of-three series starts Saturday at 3 p.m.
The seven-run inning made a winner of all-region righthander Alan Busenitz (7-1), who went seven innings, spotless except for three runs allowed in the second inning. “He did a heck of a job except for that one inning,” said Blue.
GPC’s rally started with three singles and a hit batsman off Darton starter Kevin Bibler (5-3), who baffled the Jaguars for seven innings as he had in a complete-game victory the weekend before. After Michael Castro secured the second out of the inning, Jake Smith came on issued a walk, loading the bases before Davis delivered the slam for a 6-3 lead. Scott King singled home Will Howard, who had doubled, for the final run.
Nathan Fawbush replaced Busenitz and found trouble in the eighth, allowing two runs before Drew Johnson got the final four outs for the save.
In the second game, Jaguars starter Bryan Benzor (3-1) extended his streak of shutout innings to 15 before he was chased by three runs in the sixth.
“He started looking a little uncomfortable out there after throwing a heck of a five innings,” said Blue.
Johnson returned and went finished with 3 2/3 scoreless innings for his second save of the day. He struck out seven, including the final three batters of the game.
The Jaguars got three hits apiece from second baseman Scott King and designated hitter Hunter Pope. Zach Lowery, starting in left field while Davis moved to right, hit a solo homer and LeAndre Davis scored three runs.
King was 6-for-11 in the doubleheader, Pope 6-for-10.
King, in the lineup mostly for his defense, “gave us something we didn’t expect to have,” said Blue. “LeAndre had big hits and made two great defensive plays.”
Now it’s on to Cochran to face Middle Georgia, the regular-season champion. The Warriors beat the Jaguars, who tied for fourth place, two of three in Covington.
“We’re all pretty much the same,” said Blue of the remaining teams in the playoffs. “It all depends on whether we get good pitching. A lot rides on the pitching.”
To listen to the GPC-Middle Georgia semifinal series Saturday and Sunday, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
JAGUAR JOLTS: Archived broadcasts of the two Darton games are available at NHSBN.com, linked from www.gpc.edu/athletic. ... Darton shortstop John Duran and center fielder Darnell Duckett showed why they won Gold Gloves, robbing the Jaguars of base hits several times. ... GPC had one player on the Gold Glove team, Blake McCullers as a catcher. He also plays third base. ... Blue made a subtle switch in the batting order, swapping Patrick Henry to fifth and T.D. Davis to sixth. It paid off when Henry walked ahead of Davis’ grand slam. ... Leadoff hitter Dadynoel Lorenzo had trouble with Darton pitching for two consecutive weekends but doubled home a run and eventually scored in the fifth inning of the second game. ... After losing 10-6 at GPC on April 1, Middle Georgia returned two days later and swept a doubleheader by a combined score of 26-14.
April 28, 2010
Jaguars head back to Albany to start playoffs
Going into the season, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars were banking on pitching—and they got it, leading NJCAA Region 17 in earned run average for the second consecutive season.
They also expected defense and hitting, which turned out to be spotty. As a result, the Jaguars find themselves on the spot, traveling to Albany to face Darton in the first round of the region playoffs. The best-of-three series begins with a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m., with a deciding game Sunday at 2 if necessary.
“We hate having to travel. But that’s the way the ball bounced,” said coach Danny Blue of GPC’s 12-9 region record, tied for fourth place. That tie was three-way with Darton and Young Harris on a fault line in the standings, and the rules gave the nod to Darton, with GPC seeded fifth and Young Harris sixth. The top four teams host the bottom four in first-round series.
The oddity is that the Jaguars played their final regular-season series at Darton last weekend, losing the first game and then sweeping a doubleheader. The rematch makes for interesting dynamics, and Blue is concerned about how his team will hit against Darton freshman righthander Kevin Bibler.
“We don’t match up well with him,” said Blue of the soft-tosser who beat the Jaguars 6-2, allowing eight hits and a walk in a complete game. “He’s a submariner who gets a lot of movement on his pitches.”
Of course, the Cavaliers will be facing sophomore righthander Alan Busenitz, who gets movement on his pitches, too. His curveball is among the best in the league, as was his regular-season ERA, 2.67, as he went 6-1 record and made first team all-region after spending most of the season as a closer.
GPC’s other starters last weekend were sophomore Jake Dyer (6-4, 4.08) and freshman Bryan Benzor (2-1, 3.77), who has a streak of 11 consecutive shutout innings. In addition to Bibler, Darton coach Glenn Eames used two sophomore righthanders, Brandon Swann (4-5, 7.64) and Jake Smith (5-6, 6.61).
With Saturday’s doubleheader do-or-die, all pitching patterns go out the window. But there is a number worth noting: GPC’s 4.24 ERA, compared with Darton’s 7.08.
In the hitting department, first baseman Jamie McMillan leads the Jaguars at .386 and was 7-for-11 last weekend. Catcher Blake McCullers is at .385 with a team-leading 47 runs batted in. Second baseman Hunter Pope was 5-for-10 last weekend, raising his average to .350. Left fielder T.D. Davis leads the team with seven home runs.
Shortstop and leadoff hitter Dadynoel Lorenzo has cooled off of late but is still hitting .350.
Blue is looking for production up and down the lineup.
“We haven’t hit well in the clutch all year,” he said. “We just could never really get a hit at the right time.”
After a breakout 42-16 season and winning the conference regular-season title, the Jaguars go into this postseason with 33 victories and 17 losses. Nine of those losses were by one or two runs.
“I think we’ve got a little better team than our record shows,” said Blue. “Regardless of what happens, we’ve had a good year.”
JAGUAR JOLTS: The games from Albany will be webcast on NHSBN.com, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic. ... Darton all-region third baseman Drew Shields, one of the league’s leading hitters, was 1-for-13 last weekend. … Where some Jaguar sophomores will be playing next season: Busenitz and outfielder Will Howard (Kennesaw State), Dyer (Georgia State), Pope (Savannah College of Art and Design), Lorenzo (Shorter), pitcher Jerod Slaven (West Georgia) and outfielder Drew Dentler (Southern Poly). … McCullers has about 10 offers but hasn’t decided. … Pitchers Brandon Bast and Rob Crosby and first baseman Brac Barton also have offers. … At the booster club-sponsored team banquet Tuesday, McMillan was honored for having the highest batting average, Busenitz for the lowest ERA and McCullers for the most RBIs. Pope received the Coach’s Award. … Lorenzo, a sophomore, will hit with wooden bats (and against plenty of NCAA Division I pitchers) this summer in the Coastal Plain League, playing for the Columbia Blowfish … McMillan, a freshman, was offered a summer wooden bat spot this summer with the Covington (Va.) Lumberjacks in the Valley League. But as a freshman he had to decline in order to remain eligible to play for the Jaguars next year, according to NJCAA rules.
April 28, 2010
Four Jaguars named to All-Region team
Blake McCullers, a sophomore standout at catcher and third base and one of the top hitters in the conference, has been named to the NJCAA All-Region 17 first team for a second time and has earned the Gold Glove catcher award again since winning it last season.
Two of his Georgia Perimeter College teammates—sophomore pitcher Alan Busenitz and freshman left fielder T.D. Davis—also made the first team. Freshman first baseman Jamie McMillan was selected to the second team by the league’s coaches. No coach could vote for his own players.
“Blake has been one of the best players in this conference for the two years he has been here,” said coach Danny Blue of McCullers, who hit .385 in the regular season with four home runs and a team-best 47 runs batted in. He also drew 21 walks, tops on the team.
McCullers, who hails from Loganville and Loganville High School, is considering offers from at least 10 four-year colleges. Last year after earning a spot on the region first team he went on to be named to the East-Central All-District team, composed of two-year colleges from Georgia and Tennessee.
Busenitz, used as a closer most of the season before moving into a starting role, led the Jaguars with a 6-1 record and a league-best 2.67 ERA. His work was instrumental in GPC claiming the conference ERA crown (4.24) for the second consecutive year.
“He had the best credentials of anybody considered,” said Blue of Busenitz, who has signed to play in Division I at Kennesaw State College. Busenitz, a native of Athens, attended Athens Christian School.
Davis, a native of Evans who played at Greenbrier High School, won the nod from rival coaches with his power and consistency—a .349 average with a team-leading seven home runs and 35 RBIs. Some crushing home runs in conference games carried the day.
“They looked at the stats, and the stats were pretty good,” said Blue.
McMillan led the team with a .386 batting average, collecting five homers and 42 RBIs, but was shut out of consideration for the first team by the region’s bumper crop of quality infielders. He was switched to first base after starring as a catcher at Tattnall Square Academy in Macon.
“He had a heck of a year,” said Blue.
April 24, 2010
Jags take two in Albany; Benzor tosses 3-hit shutout
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars did what they wanted to Saturday—sweep a doubleheader from Darton in Albany—but decamped for the Newton Campus knowing little about what they’ll be doing next weekend.
Freshman righthander Bryan Benzor pitched a three-hit shutout in the seven-inning second game as the Jaguars won 5-0. They won the nine-inning opener 9-6.
The victories moved GPC to 12-9 in NJCAA Region 17, tied with Darton as part of a logjam in the middle of the standings. It will be Sunday night, or later, before playoff seedings are determined because Saturday’s other region doubleheaders—Abraham Baldwin at Young Harris and Middle Georgia at South Georgia—were postponed a day by rain.
The top four teams in the region get home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Should the Jaguars wind up in a two-way tie for fourth with Darton, they would get the nod on the basis of winning two of three head to head.
Sophomore righthander Jake Dyer (6-4) started the opener for the Jaguars and allowed six runs (three earned) in 7 2/3 innings before Nathan Fawbush relieved. Two inherited runners scored on a double before Fawbush snuffed the Cavaliers with four consecutive strikeouts.
The Jaguars took control early, batting around and scoring five runs in the third inning. The outburst, which included a run-scoring double by T.D. Davis, chased Darton starter Brandon Swann, who took the loss.
GPC later built a six-run lead. Blake McCullers, Hunter Pope and Jamie McMillan each had two RBI. McCullers was 3-for-3 and also walked twice.
The second game started as a pitchers duel between Benzor (2-1) and Darton’s Jake Smith.
GPC broke through in the fourth when McMillan took second on a hit and an error, then scored on two groundouts. Pope doubled home a run in the fifth. Both were 2-for-3, as was Drew Dentler, who had an RBI in the two-run sixth.
In the meantime, Benzor stayed in command, walking three and striking out six. It was his second straight complete seven-inning game. Last weekend he shut down South Georgia 5-2.
The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 23, 2010
Jags lose 6-2 in Albany
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ hopes of finishing in the first division of NJCAA Region17 took a hit Friday night when they lost 6-2 at Darton.
The Jaguars (31-17, 10-9) conclude their three-game series against the Cavaliers in Albany with a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m.
A sweep would vault the Jaguars past Darton, which is 12-7 in the region, in a head-to-head tiebreaker. But even passing the Cavaliers might leave the Jaguars in fifth place and facing a road trip in the first round of the playoffs next weekend, depending on the results of other series on the final weekend of the regular season.
Friday’s game turned sour quickly when Alan Busenitz (6-1), a reliever most of the season and the conference ERA leader at 2.13, started and gave up three runs in the first inning. Erick Gaylord and Jeremy Boyd contributed two-out hits for the Cavaliers.
The Jaguars answered with single runs in the second and fifth innings, Scott Surratt and Hunter Pope driving them in with two-out singles. Darton scored once in the sixth and twice in the seventh, putting the game away.
Busenitz allowed six runs (five earned) in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five. Drew Johnson finished up for GPC with 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief.
Kevin Bibler went the distance for Darton, allowing eight hits and one walk while striking out six.
April 22, 2010
Jaguar Journal: Home-field advantage in others’ hands
The final weekend of NJCAA Region 17 regular-season play has produced a load of “what ifs” similar to the climax of an NFL season.
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars could finish second, or sixth, or anywhere in between. They’d like to land at least fourth, because the top four teams play the first round of the playoffs at home as the teams are seeded 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7 and so on.
First, the standings: Middle Georgia (15-3 in the region) has clinched first place. At this point, the Warriors are followed by Darton and South Georgia at 11-7, GPC and Gordon at 10-8 and Young Harris at 9-9. Abraham Baldwin (4-14) and Andrew (2-16) are certain to be riding a bus in the first round.
The final-weekend matchups are GPC at Darton, Middle at South, ABAC at Young Harris and Andrew at Gordon.
The best outcome for the Jaguars, of course, would be a three-game sweep in Albany, South Georgia losing at least two of three to Middle and Gordon losing at least once to Andrew. Under that scenario, GPC would claim second place.
Even if Gordon sweeps Andrew to tie GPC at 13-8, the Jaguars would win the tiebreaker and No. 2 seed because two weeks ago they took the three-game series at Gordon 2-1.
If a sweep at Darton isn’t in the cards, GPC could still climb to second place with nine losses—but it would require an outrageous amount of help. Middle would have to sweep South Georgia, possibly a tall order. Young Harris would need to lose a game to ABAC, because GPC lost their series to Young 2-1.
Those same nine losses could also spell fifth place, depending on the other results—sweeps by Young and Gordon (quite possible) and one win by South Georgia, which won its series with the Jags last weekend.
Winning only one game at Darton would almost certainly consign the Jaguars to the second division and a road trip in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Friday, April 30.
Not that a road trip is the kiss of death, because as Jaguars coach Danny Blue has noted, “Everybody is capable of beating everybody else.”
After the first-round playoff matchups are set (hopefully Saturday night, barring weather problems), the coaches will meet Monday to hash out dates and handle other business, including selecting the All-Region first and second teams.
The teams are loosely based on positions, but sophomore Blake McCullers could be selected as a catcher, even though he has logged considerable time at third base. His .389 average would seem to make him a lock to repeat as a first-teamer.
Sophomore pitcher Alan Busenitz (6-0, 2.13 ERA) will also receive strong consideration for the first team. Another sophomore, Jake Dyer (5-4, 4.15) could crack the second team.
Among position players, shortstop Dadynoel Lorenzo (.384) will get an all-region look. He was a Region 17 Gold Glove winner last season, as was McCullers.
Other Jaguars have a shot at all region, but the competition is stiff. Those lineups are loaded when you have five teams battling for second place on the final weekend.
April 21, 2010
GPC bats come alive vs. Shorter JV squad
Thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number. But on Tuesday, the unlucky numbers were two and three.
While Georgia Perimeter College was busy scoring 13 runs in both ends of a doubleheader, Shorter’s junior varsity recorded the unlucky numbers and got swept at the Ledbetter Baseball Complex in Rome.
In the first game, Jamie McMillan hit a home run and a double for three RBIs in 3 at bats. Dadynoel Lorenzo went 3-for-3—all singles—and stole two bases. Patrick Henry was 3-for-4, while Blake McCullers drove in four runs and LeAndre Davis had 3 RBIs.
T.D. Davis drove in three runs in the nightcap as the Jaguars improved to 31-16.
There were only two innings in the doubleheader that the Jaguars failed to score—the sixth inning of the first game and the third inning of the second. Bobo Gales scored three times as a courtesy runner for Scott Sarratt and stole two bases. After taking over right field, Gales drove in two runs with a double that just missed being a grand slam home run.
Henry went 4 for 7 in the doubleheader.
Starter Rob Crosby (4-0) went four innings, allowing three hits, for the win in the first game. In the nightcap, reliever Drew Johnson (4-2) tossed two strong innings, striking out four, to get the win in relief of Brandon Bast, who came up one inning short of the required four.
The Jaguars finish their regular season at Darton College in Albany this weekend. Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s twinbill starts at 2 p.m.
Because the Jaguars are battling four other teams, including Darton, for second place and No. 2 seed in next week’s Region 17 tournament, the scores will be updated at this Web site frequently throughout all three games.
April 17, 2010
Benzor shines for Jags
Bryan Benzor’s freshman season went on hold opening day when he walked off the mound with a shoulder problem. On Saturday, 2 1/2 months later, he finally notched his first collegiate victory when the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars needed it most.
“I wish we’d had him all year. He’s just now getting ready. We needed that,” said coach Danny Blue after Benzor shut down South Georgia College 5-2 to give the Jaguars a split of a NJCAA Region 17 doubleheader at the Newton Campus.
South Georgia won the opener 8-5. With the split, the Jaguars (29-16, 10-8) kept their hopes alive for a first-division finish in Region 17. They may need a sweep at Darton next weekend to avoid a road series in the first round of the playoffs, although numerous scenarios exist because of the logjam in the standings.
“We need a little help,” said Blue. “Every team is capable of beating everybody else.”
Benzor (1-1), a righthander from Grayson High School, had pitched only 17 innings before Saturday. The previous weekend at Gordon, he had left with a lead after 3 2/3 innings, a third of an inning short of collecting a victory in a seven-inning game.
This time, he pitched through trouble, even though Blue had the bullpen on alert.
After a single, a double and another single pulled South Georgia (33-19, 11-7) within three runs in the third inning, Benzor got cleanup hitter Josh Palmer to ground into a double play. Aside from an error in the seventh, Benzor was perfect the rest of the way.
The final tally: A five-hitter, four strikeouts, one walk, 11 outs on ground balls, one satisfied coach.
“He pitched steady, keeping the ball down,” said Blue. “He threw strikes and didn’t put guys on base with walks before the hits.”
The Jaguars produced all the offense Benzor would need with a five-run second inning that unfolded quickly. The big hits were a two-run triple by Dadynoel Lorenzo and a run-scoring double by Blake McCullers off Tigers starter Tony Allbritton (4-5). David Oneal arrived with shutout relief, but it was too late.
GPC’s victory helped relieve the sting of the opener, when shaky defense led to four runs in the second inning by South Georgia. After T.D. Davis hit a solo homer in the fourth, tying the score at 4, the Tigers scored four more runs off Jaguars starter Jake Dyer (5-4).
Greg Fietsam (4-2), the Tigers’ hottest pitcher of late, hung on for 8 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits but no walks.
Davis homer over the left field fence—“It was crushed,” said Blue—was his seventh, the best total on the team.
The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 16, 2010
South Georgia outslugs GPC
Jeff Woolverton and 790 The Zone Day was a winner for little leaguers but a loser for the Georgia Perimeter College baseball team.
In a key conference game for both teams, South Georgia College ignited an early offensive explosion and beat Georgia Perimeter 8-6 Friday at GPC’s Newton Campus.
Racking up six runs in the third inning, the visitors held on as Georgia Perimeter’s attempts to put together a big inning fell short. The game in a way paralleled the Jaguars’ 18-8 loss last Friday at Gordon College.
“What killed us was the big inning again,” said GPC head coach Danny Blue. “Last week it was seven runs in the first inning. Tonight it was six. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we can repeat last Saturday’s outcome.”
The teams play a doubleheader Saturday, and Blue referred to last week’s rebound by the Jaguars after their Friday drubbing by sweeping the Saturday twinbill at Gordon 8-2 and 6-4.
Woolverton, a coach and radio sports talk show host at 790 The Zone, conducted a baseball clinic for youth players on the adjacent softball field and sat in a few innings during GPC’s audio webcast of the baseball game.
GPC starting pitcher Jarius Rhodes got rocked by six hits in the third inning, including RBI doubles by Chris Thompson and Logan Gaines.
Nate Fawbush relieved and did a decent job staving off the Tigers, except for two runs in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Andrew Anderson and an RBI single by Josh Palmer.
The Jaguars (28-15, 9-7) tallied in the first inning on singles by Blake McCullers and Jamie McMillan and an infield error that allowed McCullers to cross the plate.
Will Howard and Scott Sarratt drove in runs in the third inning with base hits. Then in the seventh, Dadynoel Lorenzo singled, and McCullers lofted a two-run home run over the left field fence.
Lorenzo finished the scoring in the ninth, hitting a triple and coming home on a sacrifice grounder by Hunter Pope.
Continuing his hot bat of late, Lorenzo stroked three hits and McCullers and Howard each had two. For the Tigers (32-18, 10-6), Josh Palmer collected three and four players had two hits apiece—Steward Drew, Logan Gaines, Wesley Morris and David Reid-Foley.
Rhodes (2-2) absorbed the loss, and Drew Johnson shut off a Tiger threat in the ninth by striking out two and forcing a final ground-out. For South Georgia, Justin Fordham (4-3) got the win.
The teams finish the series with two games Saturday as they jockey for home-field advantage for the first round of the NJCAA Region 17 tournament. The top four teams in the region regular season standings will host the bottom four in the three-game series of the first round, to be played on April 30 and May 1.
Coming into this weekend, Middle Georgia held a somewhat comfortable two-game lead in first place, while Gordon College, GPC, South Georgia, Darton College and Young Harris College were bunched together in the standings and scrambling for the other three home-field seeds.
GPC travels to Darton next weekend for a final attempt to finish in the top four.
Saturday’s South Georgia games will be webcast on NSHBN.com. Because of a noon Jaguar softball broadcast at Emory University, the baseball show begins at 3:30 p.m., joining the first game in progress. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 14, 2010
Lorenzo leads No. 24 GPC in twinbill
Dadynoel Lorenzo’s main job in leading off is to get on base and score runs. But in a Tuesday doubleheader with Piedmont College’s junior varsity, the Georgia Perimeter shortstop also showed he can drive runs in.
Lorenzo had six RBIs as Georgia Perimeter swept Piedmont 12-3 and 4-1 in Demorest. It marked the Jaguars’ 14th victory in their last 18 games.
Wednesday Georgia Perimeter received news that drives home the recent success. The Jaguars entered the national rankings at No. 24 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll, joining two other conference foes, Middle Georgia (No. 18) and Young Harris College (No. 25).
Lorenzo was the spark for big innings that made the difference in both games Tuesday. In the opener, after doubling in one run in a four-run third inning, he singled in two more in a five run seventh. In the nightcap, he flexed his muscles with a three-run homer in a decisive fifth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Jaguars (28-14, 9-6) the lead for good.
GPC’s Rob Crosby (3-0), who started the first game, got the win by going four innings, allowing only one run and striking out five. Cameron Hall and Tyler Akins finished up on the mound, while Hunter Pope (who also went 3-for-4), Scott Sarratt and Will Howard each drove in two runs.
Brandon Bast (1-2) pitched 4 2/3 innings in the nightcap, allowing only two hits and one unearned run. Drew Johnson came on in relief and pitched impressively, going the final 2 1/3, allowing only one walk for his second save. Pope also contributed an RBI double in the second game.
The Jaguars return home for the weekend, playing host to region rival South Georgia at 6 p.m. Friday and for a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The series represents a crucial moment for the Jaguars. The Tigers, who are 27-10 since mid-February, are tied with GPC and Darton College for third place in the Region 17 standings at 9-6, one game behind Gordon College (10-5). The top four regular-season finishers get home-field advantage in the first round of the tournament on April 30.
With Middle Georgia ensconced in first place at 12-3, the four second- and third-place teams are battling to avoid fifth place, as is Young Harris (8-7). After facing South Georgia, GPC visits Darton the following weekend.
All three South Georgia games will be webcast on NSHBN.com. To listen to a broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
April 10, 2010
Jaguars bounce back for sweet sweep
On the Saturday afternoon after a misspent evening in Barnesville, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars turned to sophomore righthander Jake Dyer, who responded in spectacular fashion.
Dyer battled Gordon for the 123 pitches necessary to wrap up an 8-2 victory in the nine-inning first game of a doubleheader against one of the best-hitting teams in NJCAA Region 17.
As good as Dyer was, the day got better. The Jaguars made an early lead stand up for a 6-4 victory in the seven-inning nightcap, erasing the sour memories of a 10-run loss the evening before.
“Baseball is a game of skill, not of emotion,” said coach Danny Blue. “You can’t get too up or down.”
Dyer (5-3) started out baffling the Highlanders with curveballs that complimented a fastball clocked over 90 mph several times. As his arm tired, he started mixing in more changeups. The game ended with an against-the-wall catch in left field by T.D. Davis with the bases loaded.
“Jake set the tone for the day,” said Blue.
At the plate, Patrick Henry had a three-run homer and Blake McCullers a three-run double as the Jaguars (26-14, 9-6) turned a 1-1 tie into an 8-1 run lead.
Shortly after Henry’s homer in the fifth inning, the Highlanders pulled starter Bryant Kerns (4-4), who took the loss.
In the second game, the Jaguars took a 2-0 lead early, quickly fell behind and then went ahead for good on another longball, this time a three-run shot by Jamie McMillan off Josh Stephenson (5-2) in the third inning.
On another day, GPC starting pitcher Bryan Benzor might have gotten the chance to work out of a two-out, two-on jam in the fourth. On this day, with the stakes high, Blue handed the two-run lead to ace reliever Alan Busenitz (6-0), who turned in 3 1/3 innings of relief for the victory.
“We wanted to get a situation [for Busenitz],” said Blue.
When the Highlanders (29-16, 10-5) threatened with none out in the sixth, Busenitz induced a groundball from Andy Almonte, one of the top hitters in Region 17, that turned into double play. After Gordon plated a run in the seventh and put another runner on third, Busenitz wrapped up the win with his fifth strikeout.
The Jaguars’ next games are Tuesday, a doubleheader against the Piedmont College JV team at Demorest starting at 5 p.m.
The next home game is Friday at 6 p.m. against South Georgia College. Jeff Woolverton of 790 The Zone will toss out the ceremonial first pitch and conduct a baseball clinic for young players at the GPC complex. The game will be webcast at NHSBN.com, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.
The three-game series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. as the Jaguars try to make a late run at the region title, which they won last season. The top four teams host playoff series against the bottom four on April 30 and May 1.
April 9, 2010
Jaguars overpowered at Gordon
T.D. Davis and Blake McCullers smacked home runs for Georgia Perimeter College on Friday, but not much else went right in an 18-8 loss to Gordon College at Highlander Field in Barnesville.
The teams conclude their three-game NJCAA Region 17 series Saturday with a doubleheader at 2 p.m., nine innings followed by seven. Both games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Check the link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.
The Jaguars (24-14, 7-6) started the evening with consecutive singles by Dadynoel Lorenzo, Hunter Pope, McCullers and Jamie McMillan and a 3-0 lead.
The Highlanders (29-14, 10-3) responded in their half of the first with seven runs, the first on a bases-empty homer by Kelly Williams with two out.
The final three runs came home on a double by Aaron Dobbs on the first pitch from GPC reliever Drew Johnson. All seven runs were charged to Jaguars starter Jarius Rhodes (2-1), but only three were earned.
Davis’ two-run homer gave the Jaguars hope, pulling them within 7-5 in the top of the third. But Gordon came back in the bottom half of the inning to score five off Johnson.
Nathan Fawbush, normally a starter, came on to get the final out of the third and was still on the mound on with two out in the bottom of the eighth when a two-run single by Dobbs ended the game on the 10-run rule.
McCullers’ three-run homer in the seventh gave him four RBIs for the game. Davis had three RBIs.
Jim Moreland was 4-for-4 for the Highlanders, who have won 16 of their last 17 games.
The winning pitcher was Pat McGowan (6-2), who proved to be an able custodian of an early lead, allowing 11 hits but walking only one. The Jaguars’ three pitchers issued nine walks.
“You can’t walk nine and expect to get anything done,” said Jaguars head coach Danny Blue.
GPC is home next weekend for the next-to-last series of the Region 17 regular season, hosting South Georgia at 6 p.m. Friday and for a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m.
April 6, 2010
Jaguars put on their rally caps
Georgia Perimeter College staged two impressive rallies at Cleveland State Community College, but only one paid off in the victory column.
In the opener of a doubleheader, the Jaguars scored four runs in the top of the seventh to pull out a 7-5 victory. In the second game, they fell behind by six and rallied to tie, only to lose 10-6 in extra innings.
NJCAA Region 17 play resumes Friday with a 6 p.m. game in Barnesville against Gordon College. The teams conclude their series with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on Saturday. All three games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Check the link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.
The doubleheader split in Tennessee left GPC at 24-13 overall, 7-5 in Region 17. Gordon is co-leader in the region at 9-3.
The Jaguars’ rally in the first game made a winner of Drew Johnson (3-2), who worked in relief of starter Rob Crosby. Bryan Benzor pitched the bottom of the seventh for the save.
Will Howard’s three-run homer gave the Jaguars a lead, but they were down 5-3 going into the seventh.
Hunter Pope and LeAndre Davis had RBI singles and Jamie McMillan had an RBI double in the big rally off Cleveland State’s Quentin Bowman, who gave up four earned runs in a third of an inning and was tagged for the loss.
In the second game, the Jaguars struck for three runs in the fifth inning and three more in the top of the seventh, tying the score at 6. McMillan had two RBIs in the fifth, taking the team lead with 31, and started the seventh with a single. The big hit was a two-run double by Patrick Henry.
Cleveland State walked off with the victory on a grand slam by Cody Ferrell off Blake McCullers (0-1). Scott Spears was the winning pitcher.
Dadynoel Lorenzo continued his excellent work in the leadoff spot for GPC, going 5-for-8 in the doubleheader and raising his average to .380. McMillan was 4-for-9 and leads the team in hitting at .396. Davis was 3-for-6.
The Jaguars’ final home games of the regular season are April 16-17 against South Georgia College.
April 3, 2010
Middle Georgia ends Jaguars’ nine-game streak
After winning the first game of the series, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars couldn’t hold down hot-hitting Middle Georgia College and lost a doubleheader, 14-10 and 12-4 Saturday at the Newton Campus.
The losses ended a nine-game winning streak by the Jaguars (23-12, 7-5 in NJCAA Region 17).
“They’re the best-hitting team in this conference and probably the best in the Southeast,” said Jaguar head coach Danny Blue. “They’ve got legit power. You don’t get homers out of this park that easily.”
“They’re the best-hitting team in this conference and probably the best in the Southeast,” said head coach Danny Blue of the Jaguars (23-12, 7-5 in NJCAA Region 17), who came into the day with a nine-game winning streak.
“They’ve got legit power. You don’t get homers out of this park that easily.”
The Warriors (21-12, 9-3) set the tone by grabbing a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the opener, which included a grand slam by Javy Sujo. Middle homered three more times, two by Josh Purvis and one by Jonathan Hester, who leads the region with 16.
After falling behind 8-2, the Jaguars chipped away. After GPC pulled within 10-8 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors came back with four in the eighth, three on Purvis’ second homer.
“I was proud of the way we fought in the first game,” said Blue.
Righthander Nathan Fawbush (4-2) took the loss, surrendering eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Righthander Bryan Benzor was more impressive in his four innings of work. “I thought he came in and did a good job,” said Blue.
Blake McCullers had three hits and three RBIs in for the Jaguars. Dadynoel Lorenzo, Hunter Pope, Patrick Henry and Scott King had two hits each as GPC collected 14 and eight walks but wound up leaving 13 runners on base.
Despite a mediocre pitching line in six-plus innings, Warriors starter Blaine O’ Brien (4-1) collected the victory. Cameron Blinn finished.
Middle took control of the second game early, sending 13 men to the plate in a nine-run third inning. T.J. Rich had a double in the inning off Jaguars starter Jake Dyer (4-3) and a triple off successor Cameron Hall, scoring both times.
“Jake didn’t have much support out there,” said Blue, referring to three errors by the Jaguars. They committed four in the first game, as did Middle.
GPC didn’t get a hit off Middle starter Jesse Scott (3-0) until the fourth inning. A four-run outburst in the fifth didn’t make a dent in the outcome as the Jaguars fell two games off the pace in Region 17. Five teams are scrambling for the top four seeds for the region tournament, which provides a home-field advantage in the opening round.
“Right now we just want to be in the top four so we don’t have to play on the road,” said Blue.
The Jaguars get their crack at first-place Gordon next weekend in Barnesville, playing a single game at 6 p.m. Friday and a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday. The twin bill will be nine innings in the opener, seven in the nightcap.
Their midweek matchup will be Tuesday in Cleveland, Tenn., a doubleheader against Cleveland State Community College at 2 p.m.
The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’ s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 1, 2010
Jaguars trip Middle Georgia; extend win streak to nine
Middle Georgia College came to Jaguar Field Thursday tied for first place with a 7-2 record in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Conference, Region 17 of the NJCAA. The Warriors returned home tied with Georgia Perimeter College in second place at 7-3.
Georgia Perimeter got solid pitching from Jarius Rhodes and Alan Busenitz and two big rallies at the plate to make a statement with a 10-6 victory at GPC’s Newton Campus. It was the ninth consecutive victory for the Jaguars.
Next project on the Jaguar agenda: sweep a Saturday doubleheader with the Warriors and then look to knock Gordon College out of first place in the conference. Gordon sits atop the conference with a 7-2 mark.
GPC travels to Gordon for a three game series on April 9 and 10.
Rhodes started on the mound and gave up six runs in five innings but struck out eight. Busenitz (5-0) got the win with four sterling innings of relief, striking out six while allowing no runs on two hits.
Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, GPC (23-10, 7-3) pounded out four runs. The big hits were an RBI triple by freshman Scott King, his first extra base hit of the season, and a run-scoring double by Jamie McMillan.
Middle Georgia starter Zach Smith (5-3), who entered the week with a 2.18 earned run average, left the game after McMillan’s two-bagger, and took the loss.
After Middle Georgia took a 3-0 lead, the Jaguars racked up five runs in the second inning with Blake McCullers clearing the bases with a three-run double.
In the seventh King drove in the final run for the victors. King, McMillan and Dadynoel Lorenzo each stroked two hits in the game and McCullers collected four RBIs.
Saturday GPC and Middle Georgia (19-11, 7-3) begin their doubleheader at 2 p.m. Both games will be audio webcast, with the Jaguar Journal pregame show beginning at 1:50. To hear the broadcasts, visit gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 30, 2010
GPC takes doubleheader at Gadsden State
Dadynoel Lorenzo had seven hits in nine trips to the plate, including a home run, to lead Georgia Perimeter College in a baseball doubleheader sweep over Gadsdsen State Community College 3-1 and 10-5 Tuesday in Gadsden, Ala.
Lorenzo, a sophomore infielder who came in with a .326 batting average, led off the first game with a hit and scored on a double by Blake McCullers. T.D. Davis drove in McCullers to give Georgia Perimeter a quick 2-0 lead.
It was all the cushion starting pitcher Bryan Benzor (1-1) would need to get the win. The right-hander from Grayson H.S. pitched a strong game and got solid relief from lefty Cameron Hall.
In the fifth inning Lorenzo finished GPC’s scoring with a solo home run.
“He was the offensive story for the day. He did all the hitting,” said coach Danny Blue. “But the story of the first game was the pitching. Benzor and Hall were outstanding.”
In the second game, the Jaguars (22-10) jumped off to a 10-1 lead by the fifth inning but right-handed starter Rob Crosby (2-0) needed a little help from Drew Johnson in relief to stave off a Gadsden State (13-19) rally.
Lorenzo smacked a pair of doubles and Patrick Henry and T.D. Davis collected multiple hits for GPC.
The Jaguars return to their home field Thursday for a key Region 17 game, hosting Middle Georgia College at 7 p.m. The Warriors sit atop the region standings, along with Gordon College, with a 7-2 conference record. GPC is one game behind at 6-3, as are Young Harris College and South Georgia College.
Middle Georgia won two of three last weekend against Young Harris, which is ranked No. 9 in the NJCAA national poll.
Saturday GPC and Middle Georgia return to Jaguar Field to play a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.—a game of nine innings, followed by a game of seven innings.
All three Middle Georgia games will be webcast on NSHBN.com. To listen to a broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
The Jaguars’ home baseball games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga.,30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11 east of Covington.
March 27, 2010
Jaguars sweep Andrew College
Sophomore righthanders Jake Dyer and Alan Busenitz turned in sparkling pitching performances as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars swept a Region 17 doubleheader from Andrew College, 8-1 and 12-0, on Alumni Day at the Newton Campus.
Dyer (4-2) went eight innings in the opener and struck out eight, allowing four hits. In the seven-inning nightcap, Busenitz (4-0) pitched a one-hitter for five innings, striking out four.
For the day, the Jaguars issued just one walk.
With the double dip, GPC (20-10, 6-3) swept the three-game series and pushed its winning streak to six. During those six games, the Jaguars have outscored opponents 64-14.
GPC fell behind 1-0 in the opener before taking control with a four-run second inning off Andrew starter Howie Shackelford (0-5). The Jaguars added a single run in the sixth after a leadoff double by T.D. Davis and scored three more times in the eighth off reliever Tyson Smith.
Leadoff hitter Dadynoel Lorenzo drove in three runs, Patrick Henry and Will Howard two each. Davis had three of the Jaguars’ 13 hits, while Henry, Howard and Lorenzo contributed two each.
In the second game, GPC scored seven runs in the first inning off Jake Waters (1-5), who was tagged for all 12 runs, nine earned, in five innings. Howard and Scott King contributed two-run singles.
Blake Hudson also drove in two runs for the Jaguars as coach Danny Blue got several subs some playing time.
The Jaguars have another midweek tuneup next week—a road doubleheader at Gadsden State Community College—before Region 17 play resumes Friday at 7 p.m. against Middle Georgia at the Newton Campus. A Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m.—a game of nine innings, followed by a game of seven innings—completes the series.
All three games will be webcast on NSHBN.com. To listen to a broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
Middle Georgia won two of three at home in their weekend series against Young Harris, which is ranked No. 9 in the country. The Warriors won 12-2, lost 5-2 in 14 innings and came back to win the final game 10-5.
With the two wins, they moved to 7-2 in conference play, a game ahead of the Jaguars.
March 26, 2010
GPC opens series with Andrew on winning note
After allowing Andrew College a short-lived lead, Georgia Perimeter College took control Friday night and rode a complete-game performance by Nathan Fawbush to a 6-1 baseball victory on the Newton campus.
The teams go at it twice more Saturday, same place at 2 p.m.
Fawbush (4-1) doled out four hits, all singles, and struck out 13. He settled down after the first inning, when the Fighting Tigers jumped ahead.
GPC (18-10, 4-3) got all the runs it needed in the third inning with Jamie McMillan’s bases-loaded double. Scott King and Dadynoel Lorenzo, each of whom had singled, scored.
McMillan’s run-producing triple in the fifth punctuated a three-run outburst. That sent home Hunter Pope, whose single had plated Lorenzo. T.D. Davis accounted for the third run by doubling in McMillan.
Next inning, Patrick Henry doubled and Pope singled him home to give Fawbush lots of room for error. He didn’t need it, showing solid control with two walks.
Pope and McMillan accumulated three hits apiece. Lorenzo swiped two bases off Andrew (8-24, 0-7).
Saturday’s first game of the doubleheader will be audio webcast. To listen to the broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and follow the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 23, 2010
Jaguars’ offense makes its mark
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars have their offense in gear, fulfilling one item on head coach Danny Blue’s wish list.
“A lot of these guys are beginning to swing it a little bit,” said Blue after the Jaguars beat USC-Salkehatchie 16-5 and 14-0 in a doubleheader on the Newton Campus.
Next on his list: Defense and pitching. Again, the day provided some positive developments.
Freshman lefthander Drew Johnson (2-2), expected to be a key contributor in the Jaguars’ conference, NJCAA Region 17 games, started the opener and allowed one run on two hits in five innings, walking two and striking out four. “He looked pretty good,” said Blue.
In the nightcap sophomore right-hander Rob Crosby, freshman left-hander Cameron Hall and sophomore right-hander Tyler Akins combined for the shutout, allowing eight hits and a lone walk. Hall (2-1) got credit for the victory and praise from Blue for “keeping the ball down and throwing strikes.”
An impressive wrinkle on defense came courtesy of Blake McCullers, who started the game at third base. McCullers, normally the Jaguars’ starting catcher and an all-region, all-district selection last season, turned in a sparkling performance from the opening inning, when he started an around-the-horn double play.
“McCullers just played the heck out of third base,” said Blue. “And [freshman Scott] Sarratt did a great job catching. It gives us another option.”
Sarratt was 4-for-4. McCullers, T.D. Davis and Patrick Henry had two hits apiece off USC-Salk starter Dustin Pannell (0-4), who was tagged for 11 of the runs.
In the first game, Davis had three hits, including a two-run homer, his team-leading fifth of the season. McCullers had three hits and four RBIs.
GPC ran up an 8-1 lead off losing pitcher Terrance DeVoe (2-2) before the roof fell in on USC-Salk (9-16-1) in the fifth inning when five errors led to seven runs for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars (17-10), who have scored 47 runs in their last four games, will try to improve their 3-3 record in the region against Andrew College on Friday at 7 p.m.
The series will continue with a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m. That will be Alumni Day, and the first game will be webcast at NHSBN.com. To hear the broadcast, visit gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 20, 2010
Extra-inning heroics produce split
Georgia Perimeter College got a grand slam from T.D. Davis in the first inning but needed extra-inning heroics from Blake McCullers to pull out an 8-7 victory over No. 9-ranked Young Harris College on the Newton Campus.
McCullers, hitting with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning of a scheduled seven-inning game, slammed a pitch to the wall in left field but only got credit for a single, his seventh hit of the three-game series. The victory gave the Jaguars (15-10, 3-3) a doubleheader split. The Mountain Lions (23-5, 5-1) won the first game 11-9.
“We quit beating ourselves,” said Jaguars coach Danny Blue. “We had a good shot in the first game today, too.”
A bright spot of the day was freshman righthander Jarius Rhodes, who mixed lively 90 mph fastballs with sharp-breaking curves for six innings. A couple of walks and some shaky defense proved costly in the fifth as Young Harris rallied for five runs and a tie at 6.
“He deserved a better fate,” said Blue.
Alan Busenitz, who worked in both ends of the doubleheader, picked up the victory with two innings of scoreless relief. “He has a pretty rubber arm,” said Blue, indicating Busenitz might see more late-inning work.
The losing pitcher was Jake Montgomery, the Mountain Lions’ regular first baseman, as coach Rick Robinson couldn’t squeeze enough out of a depleted bullpen.
Davis’ grand slam was his fourth homer of the season. Hunter Pope went 4-for-4 and drove in two runs.
The first game was frustrating for both coaches as their pitching staffs issued a total of 20 walks. The Mountain Lions led 6-0 before their defense unraveled. The Jaguars pulled within 9-7 with a four-run sixth inning but never could get over the hump.
Four walks in the ninth left the Jaguars’ with the tying runs in scoring position before Montgomery nailed down the save. He was Young Harris’ sixth pitcher of the game.
McCullers had three hits, and Jamie McMillan drove in three runs with a pair of singles and a bases-loaded walk.
The Jaguars are back in action Tuesday against USC-Salkehatchie with a doubleheader at home at 2 p.m. The next Region 17 games are next weekend, a three-game series against Andrew College, with the first game Friday at 7 p.m.
March 19, 2010
Jaguars fall to No. 9 Young Harris
Georgia Perimeter College crafted an early lead, failed to add to it, then watched it slip away in a 7-5 loss to No. 9-ranked Young Harris College in an NJCAA Region 17 matchup on the Newton Campus.
The Jaguars (14-9, 2-2) conclude their series against the Mountain Lions (22-4, 4-0) with a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m., with a nine-inning game followed by a nightcap of seven innings. The games will be webcast on NHSBN.com.
Righthander Nathan Fawbush (3-1) took the loss for GPC, which used five pitchers who issued a total of 14 walks. Enough of Young Harris’ six hits came at opportune times to produce the victory.
Righthander Ben Nelson (3-0) got the win with four innings in relief of starter Mitchell Knox. Adam Camara pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
Blake McCullers had three hits for the Jaguars, while Patrick Henry, Jamie McMillan and T.D. Davis had two apiece. Brandon Curson hit a solo homer for Young Harris.
The Jaguars had a 3-0 lead in the third and the bases loaded when a plate-to-first double play ended the inning. In the fourth, with the score tied at 3, another bases-loaded double play snuffed the threat.
Young Harris broke the tie with two runs in the fifth. Will Callaway drew a walk and later scored on a walk to Jake Montgomery. A sacrifice fly by Ethan Herron plated the second run.
A double by Chris Holloway started a two-run eighth for Young Harris and extended his hitting streak to 26 games. GPC twice sent the tying run to the plate twice but couldn’t rally.
March 15, 2010
Jaguar Journal: Big Braves debut for Hefflinger
Jaguar baseball alumni Robby Hefflinger made his spring training debut for the Atlanta Braves Sunday, and it was a good one.
Hefflinger, in only his second year as a pro, hit an RBI pinch-hit single in the sixth inning to give the Braves their last run in an 8-5 loss to Houston at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla.
With runners on first and second base, Hefflinger faced Roy Corcoran, a Class AAA pitcher for the Astros. He fell behind 0-2 and then worked a full count, laying off two tempting curve balls. Then he rapped an outside corner pitch to right field to drive in Eric Duncan.
Hefflinger played his rookie season with the Danville Braves after being drafted last June. He was instrumental in Georgia Perimeter’s 42-16 turnaround season last spring, leading the team with 11 home runs and posting a 7-0 record on the mound.
March 14, 2010
Abraham Baldwin avoids sweep by Jaguars
Georgia Perimeter College had a chance to complete a three-game conference sweep at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, but it slipped away in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday in Tifton.
Jeremy Stevenson’s pinch-hit double off reliever Drew Johnson scored Andrew Arp from first, helping the Stallions to a 4-3 victory over the Jaguars.
The Jaguars, 14-8 and 2-1 in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association, got all three of their runs in the fifth inning, aided by a pair of ABAC infield errors.
Dadynoel Lorenzo’s sacrifice fly and Drew Dentler’s RBI single lifted Georgia Perimeter into a 3-3 tie. But the Jaguars simply weren’t able to sustain an attack against Stallion starter Massey, who pitched a complete game, despite scattering 10 hits.
“We just didn’t hit it very well,” Georgia Perimeter coach Danny Blue said. “We just didn’t get on it.”
GPC got a strong performance out of starter Alan Busenitz, who went 6 2/3 innings, allowing only five hits and three runs (only one earned). He struck out six and walked four, but none of the free passes led to a run.
ABAC’s Patrick Daugherty gave the Jaguars problems throughout the three-game set, going 5-for-12 with nine RBIs. He gave the Stallions a 1-0 lead Sunday when his ground out drove in Ikaika Anderson, who had doubled to lead off the home half of the first inning.
The Stallions (15-14, 1-2) made it 2-0 in the fourth, when Jeremy Rosier’s sacrifice fly to center drove in Colby Ralston, who likewise led off the inning with a double.
Johnson came on in the seventh to face the dangerous Daugherty and got him to ground out. But the Jaguars’ luck ran out in the ninth and Johnson (1-2) took the loss.
GPC hosts nationally ranked Young Harris College next Friday at 7 p.m. and in a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m. Young Harris, ranked 11th in the NJCAA poll, has an early lead in the conference with a 3-0 record, while the Jaguars, South Georgia College and Middle Georgia College share second place with 2-1 records.
All three games will be audio webcast, with the Jaguar Journal pregame show beginning 10 minutes before the game. To hear the broadcasts, visit gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 13, 2010
Georgia Perimeter takes doubleheader at ABAC
One game was a study in perseverance, the other an exercise in shock and awe. Georgia Perimeter College used both methods to sweep a conference doubleheader against Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton on Saturday.
Georgia Perimeter won 12-6 to complete the sweep after fighting for an 8-5, nine-inning win in the opener. With the wins the Jaguars improved their record to 14-7 overall and jumped off to a 2-0 record in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).
In the shock-and-awe nightcap, the Jaguars quickly got to ABAC starter Ricky Edwards, touching him for four runs in the first two innings as Jamie McMillan and Will Howard belted two-run home runs. Patrick Henry hit a two-run single in the fourth and Matt Tunnell doubled in another run to make it 7-1.
Ten Jaguars went to the plate in the fifth against reliever Zach Harbin, bringing five runs home. T.D. Davis, Blake Hudson, Drew Dentler, Matt Tunnell and Blake McCullers drove them in to make it 12-2.
ABAC’s Patrick Daugherty smacked a grand slam in sixth. Jake Dyer (3-1) got the win for GPC, striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings. After Daugherty’s grand slam, Drew Johnson relieved and eventually struck out the final two batters to finish off the Stallions.
The first victory was the more difficult. The Jaguars took the lead three times, only to see the Stallions rally three times. But Davis’ two-run single in the ninth gave Georgia Perimeter the lead for good, and Howard added an insurance RBI single to provide the margin of victory.
Jaguar starter Nathan Fawbush started strong, taking a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before Daugherty broke it up with a wind-blown solo home run.
With the score tied 3-3, McMillan homered to lead off the eighth, and Howard added an RBI double to give the Jaguars a 5-3 lead. But Daugherty hit a two-run homer off Fawbush, tying the score 5-5.
Zach Mullis relieved Fawbush and recorded a strikeout before two singles put the Jaguars in jeopardy. Jarius Rhodes relieved Mullis and got a fly out to end the threat. Rhodes (2-0) stuck around for another inning to pick up the victory.
March 11, 2010
Friday ABAC game rescheduled for Sunday
Because of rain the Friday, March 12, baseball game between Georgia Perimeter College and Abraham Baldwin College will be postponed until Sunday, March 14, at 1 p.m. Also, the Saturday, March 13, doubleheader between the teams will be moved back from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
March 9, 2010
Fawbush sharp against Shorter JV; Hall picks up first win
Right-hander Nathan Fawbush, one of the top pitchers in NJCAA Region 17, threw two hitless tuneup innings against Shorter College’s JV team as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars won 6-2 at the Newton Campus.
Shorter won the first game of the doubleheader 10-6.
The Jaguars (12-7) open conference play against Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton on Friday at 7 p.m. in a game that will be webcast on NHSBN.com.
The teams play a doubleheader on Saturday, a nine-inning game followed by one of seven innings.
Fawbush, a transfer from Walters State (Tenn.) who went to Union Grove High School, lowered his earned run average to 1.16 while striking out four. He walked two, but both were caught stealing by catcher Scott Sarratt.
Freshman Cameron Hall (1-1), of Brookwood H.S., followed Fawbush with four solid innings for his first win, striking out five. Sophomore Blake McCullers, the Jaguars’ regular catcher, made a rare appearance on the mound in the seventh.
GPC scored all its runs in the first three innings. Charley Boring drove in two of the runs, while Hunter Pope and Ryan Cato knocked in one each with extra-base hits.
In the first game, the Jaguars built a three-run lead for lefty starter Drew Johnson, but things changed quickly when he left after three innings. Brandon Bast (0-2) got only two outs in the fourth and was charged with six runs, three earned.
For the game, the Jaguars committed six errors.
T.D. Davis drove in two runs with three singles. Jamie McMillan drove home two runs with a double.
To hear Friday’s audio webcast of the Jaguars’ conference opener at Abraham Baldwin, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.” The Jaguar Journal pregame show begins at 6:50 p.m.
GPC’s next home game will be on Friday, March 19, at 7 p.m. against conference rival Young Harris College, ranked 11th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll.
Jaguar home games are played at the Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga. 30014. The stadium is just south of the intersection of I-20 and Ga. 11 east of Covington.
March 6, 2010
Jaguars take two one-run wins over Lincoln Trail
With the NJCAA Region 17 schedule approaching, the Georgia Perimeter College baseball team got a big boost of confidence Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of Lincoln Trail College of Robinson, Ill. The Jaguars took the first game 3-2, then rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win in the nightcap.
After a home game Tuesday against Shorter College, the Jaguars (11-6) start NJCAA Region 17 play March 12 and 13 with three games at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.
Pitchers did the heavy lifting for the Jaguars (11-6) in the doubleheader against Lincoln Trail, but the bats were just lively enough to record the sweep. In the bottom of the seventh of Game 2, first baseman Jamie McMillan (who had three hits) drove in shortstop Dadynoel Lorenzo, who had reached on an error and been sacrificed to second. Lorenzo had two hits, including a double, in the opener and scored the eventual winning run in the fifth inning.
“He’s what makes us go,” said Jaguars head coach Danny Blue. “He’s starting to turn it on.”
Alan Busenitz (2-1) pitched six innings in the opener for Georgia Perimeter, giving up seven hits (all singles) and two runs while striking out seven. Drew Johnson got the save. “Busenitz didn’t have his best stuff but he had enough to keep us in the game,” said Blue.
Rob Crosby started the second game and gave up three runs in four innings. Reliever Jake Dyer (2-1), who started the day with an ERA of 0.52, picked up the win by blanking the Statesmen on two hits over the last three innings.
“Jake Dyer has been lights-out all year,” Blue said. “He’s been exciting to watch.”
The coach said the overall pitching this season has been “terrific” and he hopes the hitters can pick it up with the conference schedule ready to start soon.
Lincoln Trail starter Chuck Ghysels handcuffed the Jaguars much of the way in Game 2, recording 10 strikeouts in six innings. But they tied the score in the sixth when Drew Dentler, who had doubled, came home on an error.
The Jaguars had seven hits in each game. Zach Lowery had two singles and an RBI in the opener. Second baseman Scott King reached base three times in the nightcap, via a walk, single and error. He drove in two runs and stole two bases.
Besides Dentler, Charley Boring and T.D. Davis had doubles in the second game. Will Howard had a double in Game 1.
GPC’s next home game is Friday, March 19, at 7 p.m., against region rival Young Harris College. Young Harris (14-2) is ranked 11th in the NJCAA coaches poll. The teams play a doubleheader on the following day at 2 p.m.
Jaguar home games are played at the Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga. 30014. The stadium is just south of the intersection of I-20 and Ga. 11 east of Covington.
March 5, 2010
Ninth inning does in Jaguars in 4-2 loss to Lincoln Trail
Georgia Perimeter College couldn’t take advantage of a stellar effort by starting pitcher Jarius Rhodes as Jaguars relievers surrendered the decisive runs in the ninth inning of a 4-2 loss to visiting Lincoln Trail College Friday. The defeat came in the opener of a three-game series with the Statesmen from Robinson, Ill.
Rhodes went eight innings for the Jaguars (9-6), allowing only two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out six. He left with the score tied 2-2. Georgia Perimeter scored both its runs in the second inning. With one out, LeAndre Davis singled, Hunter Pope delivered an RBI triple and Dadynoel Lorenzo drove in Pope with a single.
The Jaguars’ bats were relatively silent the rest of the game. Lincoln Trail starter Mark Roberts allowed only two other hits in eight innings of work.
With the score tied, Cameron Hall relieved Rhodes to start the ninth inning for the Jaguars and promptly got into trouble by hitting the first batter. After a single and a balk, Hall was replaced by Jarod Slaven. A groundout, intentional walk and sacrifice fly brought in two runs for the Statesmen before Drew Johnson came in and recorded the third out.
The Jaguars had one more chance, and Lincoln Trail reliever Colin Ullery walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. But a strikeout stranded the runners and ended the game.
The teams meet again in a doubleheader Saturday, with the first game starting at 1 p.m.
Jaguar home games are played at the Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga. 30014. The stadium is just south of the intersection of I-20 and Ga. 11 east of Covington.
February 28, 2010
Jaguars fall in 10th inning
Georgia Perimeter College got an early look at NJCAA Region 17 rival South Georgia College and lost 8-7 in 10 innings in Douglas, Ga.
Zach Lowery and Blake McCullers each drove home two runs for the Jaguars (9-5). McCullers had a solo home run in the fifth inning that gave GPC a 6-5 lead.
Starter Nathan Fawbush (3 1/3 innings) and Alan Busenitz (4 2/3) allowed two earned runs each. Zach Mullis took the loss as the Jaguars committed six errors.
Chris Thompson hit two home runs and drove in three runs for South Georgia.
The game did not count as a conference game. GPC opens its conference schedule, Region 17 (also known as the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association) on March 12 at Abraham Baldwin College.
The Jaguars play at home this Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, against Lincoln Trail College of Robinson, Ill. Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m., and Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 1 p.m.
Tuesday’s doubleheader with Chattanooga State Technical Community College has been postponed.
The Jaguars’ home baseball games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga.,30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11 east of Covington.
February 27, 2010
Home runs power Jaguars over ABAC
Charley Boring, Dadynoel Lorenzo and John Doolittle homered for Georgia Perimeter College in a 13-1 victory over Abraham Baldwin College in Douglas, Ga., Saturday.
The seven-inning game, hosted by South Georgia College, does not count in the NJCAA Region 17 standings.
Righthander Jake Dyer (1-1) went six innings for the victory, allowing an unearned run on five singles. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
Bryan Benzor pitched the final inning for GPC (9-4), which plays South Georgia on Sunday.
The Jaguars went ahead 5-0 in the first inning as Drew Dentler contributed a two-run double.
Boring hit a solo homer in the second.
GPC scored four more in the third, two on a double by Hunter Pope and two on Lorenzo’s homer. Doolittle hit a three-run homer in the fourth.
Stallions starter Cory Bolden gave up all 13 runs, nine of them earned.
The next home game is March 5 against Lincoln Trail College of Robinson, Ill., at 3 p.m.
The Jaguars’ home baseball games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga.,30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11 east of Covington.
February 25, 2010
Jags split with Piedmont
Georgia Perimeter College made a six-run second inning stand up for an 11-5 victory over the JV team of Piedmont College of Demorest in the second game of a doubleheader on the Newton Campus.
The Jaguars lost the first game 10-7.
Rob Crosby was the winning pitcher in the nightcap, allowing one earned run in four innings and striking out eight. After Cameron Hall and Jaron Slaven worked, Jarius Rhodes finished with two strong innings, allowing only a walk.
Catcher John Doolittle’s two-run double was the big hit in the six-run second inning.
In the opener, starter Brandon Bast was tagged for six runs (three earned) in three innings, erasing an early lead.
The Jaguars (8-4) next play two NJCAA Region 17 opponents, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and South Georgia College, during a weekend event in Douglas that doesn’t count in the conference standings. GPC plays ABAC at 3 p.m. Saturday and South Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The next home game is March 5 at 3 p.m. against Lincoln Trail College of Robinson, Ill.
February 21, 2010
Jaguars sweep in South Carolina
Nathan Fawbush pitched a complete game and Patrick Henry stroked a 10th inning, game-winning RBI single as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars swept a doubleheader at USC-Salkehatchie in Allendale, S.C., Sunday 4-2 and 2-1.
In the opener, Fawbush, a freshman from McDonough, Ga., gave up two unearned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts, one walk and a hit batsman.
Georgia Perimeter (7-3) collected seven hits off Salkehatchie’s Bobby Wilkins, who also pitched a complete game. Charlie Boring, Will Howard and T.D. Davis doubled for the Jaguars.
LeAndre Davis scored first for GPC in the third inning, reaching on an error, advancing to third base on a throwing error and scoring on a wild pitch.
The Jaguars struck again in the fifth on Howard’s double, a single by LeAndre Davis and a pick-off play that brought in Howard. In the seventh, Boring singled, T.D. Davis doubled and Wilkins balked, plating Boring. Howard then singled in T.D. Davis.
In the 10th inning (third extra inning) of game two, with the score tied 1-1, Howard singled and stole second. After the Indians intentionally walked T.D. Davis, Henry won the game with his RBI base hit.
GPC managed an unearned run in the fourth inning off Indians starter Ryan Rowe.
Jake Dyer started for the Jaguars and went 4 2/3, giving up no runs on two hits. Alan Busenitz pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief and got the win. He faced 22 batters and gave up an earned run in the 6th on three hits, including a double by Jayvon Sanders.
On deck for Georgia Perimeter is a Thursday doubleheader at home with Piedmont College. The first game begins at four p.m.
February 20, 2010
Jaguars’ bats alive and well in DH sweep
John Doolittle had waited a long time for the opportunity, and he made sure to capitalize on it. Doolittle, Georgia Perimeter College’s backup catcher, delivered a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Jaguars to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Gadsden State Community College in the first game of a Feb. 20 doubleheader.
The Jaguars (5-3) kept right on hitting in the second game, riding a seven-run second inning to a 12-6 victory and a sweep.
Doolittle, who missed the entire 2009 season with an injury, put an exclamation point on the Jaguars’ climb all the way back from a 6-0 deficit. The game-winner came in his first at-bat; he had replaced starter Blake McCullers after the sixth.
Second baseman Dadynoel Lorenzo started the decisive rally by reaching base on a throwing error by Cardinals shortstop Cory Adams. Jamie McMillan, another late-inning entry for GPC, drilled a double to the wall to send Lorenzo to third. An intentional walk loaded the bases with none out before Doolittle delivered.
The Jaguars dug themselves a deep hole in the second inning when Gadsden State batted around and scored six runs. The trouble started with one out when third baseman Patrick Henry made a throwing error. Georgia Perimeter starter Zach Mullis then surrendered consecutive doubles in the gap, putting the Cardinals up 2-0. Mullis struck out Josh Calvard, but the batter reached on a wild pitch. After a wild pickoff throw, two singles and a hit batsman, the score was 5-0 and Mullis was gone.
Lefty reliever Cameron Hall, entering with the bases loaded, walked his first batter to force in a run. Hall settled down and struck out Kevin Garnett to end the inning, then pitched three more scoreless frames to keep his team in the game.
Rob Crosby and Drew Johnson followed Hall to the mound and shut down the Cardinals the rest of the way. Johnson ended up getting the victory.
The Jaguars finally broke through in the fourth against Gadsden State starter Hunter Brister. Center fielder Will Howard, who had three hits in the game, lined a two-run single to make it 6-2.
The score stayed the same until the bottom of the seventh, normally the final inning of a doubleheader game. Four singles and a walk brought the Jaguars within 6-5 with no outs, and T.D. Davis was issued an intentional walk, bringing up Howard. The lefty swinger delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game, but Hunter Pope grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the second game, Gadsden scored three times in the first inning off Jaguar starter Jarius Rhodes, but in the second inning GPC sent 12 men to the plate and scored seven times. The big blow was a bases-clearing double by Zach Lowery.
The Jaguars added three more in the third, with Jamie McMillan blasting a home run.
Georgia Perimeter ended up with 15 hits in the nightcap, the same number as in the opener. Rhodes went 4 2/3 innings to pick up the win.
After a Feb. 21 trip to Allandale, S.C., to play two against USC-Salkehatchie, the Jaguars return home Feb. 25 for another twin bill, against Piedmont College. The first game starts at 4 p.m.
February 16, 2010
Jaguars handle No. 17 Chatt Valley
Georgia Perimeter College adjusted their hitting approach—a bit more artistry, a little less blacksmithing—and the payoff was a 7-2 victory over No. 17-ranked Chattahoochee Valley Community College at GPC’s Newton Campus.
Weary of whiffs—48 strikeouts in the first five games—Jaguars coach Danny Blue suggested adjustments. OK, maybe more than suggest.
“We talked about shortening up our swings, putting the ball in play more,” said Blue. “We hadn’t been doing the things it takes to win.”
A 4-for-4, 3-RBI day by catcher Blake McCullers and six shutout innings by starter Nathan Fawbush helped push the Jaguars to 3-3 and avenge an 11-inning loss to the Pirates in Phenix City, Ala., on Feb. 7.
Of GPC’s 12 hits, 10 were singles. One of the two doubles, by McCullers, drove home two runs in a three-run first inning off Pirates ace Jeff Shields. The strikeout artist did fan four in six innings but gave up another run in the fourth on a two-out single by McCullers.
Meanwhile, Fawbush was doing his best Houdini imitation on a bitter afternoon when gripping the ball was difficult. The sophomore righthander allowed 10 baserunners—three hits, four walks and three hit batsmen. But nary a one crossed the plate.
Well, at least not technically. The Pirates’ Tom Richardson apparently scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth but was called out on appeal for leaving third base too early.
Fawbush, who struck out five, left the bases loaded. Alan Busenitz and Drew Johnson finished up, Busenitz allowing a solo homer to Richardson in the eighth.
The Jaguars added an insurance run in the seventh and two more in the eighth, with T.D. Davis, LeAndre Davis and Drew Dentler getting the RBIs. Pinch-hitter Hunter Pope started the eighth with a double.
“If you play steady and play solid, you win your share,” said Blue. “You’ve got to do the little things.”
The game was audio webcast on NHSBN.com. The GPC athletics Web site at www.gpc.edu/athletic has a link to the archived broadcast.
The Jaguars next play Saturday at home, two seven-inning games against Gadsden State Community College starting at 1 p.m. The next day they visit Allandale, S.C., to play two against USC-Salkehatchie, also at 1 p.m.
February 14, 2010
Jaguars split on the road
After six days of fighting inclement weather, Georgia Perimeter College split a doubleheader against Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala., winning 3-2 in the opener and losing the nightcap 1-0.
The Jaguars are 2-3 after splitting four games against Southern Union, also their opening-day opponent.
GPC’s next game is Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Newton Campus against No. 17-ranked Chattahoochee Valley Community College, which beat the Jaguars 6-5 in 11 innings a week ago in Phenix City, Ala. The game will be webcast starting at 2:55 p.m. To access the broadcast, click on the link at www.gpc.edu/~athletic.
Freshman righthander Zach Mullis (Dublin H.S.) started Sunday’s first game and was sharp, allowing only a solo homer to Chad Grant in 4 2/3 efficient innings. Sophomore Nathan Fawbush (Union Grove H.S.), a transfer from Walters State Community College in Tennessee, picked up the save.
The Jaguars scored all three of their runs in the third inning when Southern Union starter Ron Frost of Decatur, Ga., allowed five walks and two hits. GPC freshman first baseman Jamie McMillan (Tattnall Square Academy) had a two-run single. Freshman shortstop LeAndre Davis (Campbell H.S.) got the other RBI with a bases-loaded walk.
In the second game, sophomore righthander Jake Dyer (Salem H.S.) was the hard-luck loser, allowing only an unearned run in four innings. That lone run stood up for the victory as the Jaguars managed only two hits on an afternoon growing more chilly by the minute.
Gary Ashcraft got the victory for Southern Union, Tyler Norwood the save.
February 12, 2010
Saturday baseball games postponed
The Saturday baseball games have been postponed due to inclement weather.
February 7, 2010
Jaguars fall to No. 17 CVCC
Georgia Perimeter College tried to stake an early claim to a spot in the NJCAA Top 25 but fell agonizingly short, losing 6-5 in 11 innings to No. 17-ranked Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala.
The Jaguars (1-2) tied the score at 4 in the top of the eighth inning on a solo homer by T.D. Davis (Greenbrier H.S.), his second of the season. They went ahead 5-4 in the 11th on an RBI single by Patrick Henry (Flowery Branch H.S.), but mishandling of a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the inning paved the way for the Pirates to score twice. Their first try for the winning run was cut down at the plate by a throw from right fielder Zach Lowery (Kennesaw Mountain H.S.).
Lefthander Drew Johnson (Starr’s Mill H.S.), who sent the game to extra innings by striking out two in the ninth, took the loss. The winner was Brian Alder, who pitched the final two innings for Chattahoochee Valley (5-0).
Blake McCullers (Loganville H.S.) was 3-for-6 for the Jaguars. Lowery had two doubles and T.D. Davis had a double as well as his homer.
Alan Busenitz (Athens Christian) started for GPC and allowed three runs (two earned), striking out three and walking two in 4 1/3 innings. Bryan Daniels, Rob Crosby (Starr’s Mill), Cameron Hall (Brookwood H.S.) and Jarius Rhodes (East Coweta H.S.) worked in relief before Johnson shut the door in the ninth with the potential winning run on second.
Pirates starter Derek Varnadore went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
The Jaguars’ defensive problems started early when the Pirates scored twice in the first without benefit of a hit. GPC committed four errors, Chattahoochee Valley three.
GPC clawed back to tie the score at 3 in the fifth, the big hit a two-run, two-out single by LeAndre Davis (Campbell H.S.). Lowery started the rally with a double and scored on a single by McCullers.
After the Pirates went ahead in the sixth on a homer by Tom Richardson, the Jaguars rallied again on T.D. Davis’ homer.
The Jaguars’ next games are Tuesday, Feb. 9, against Chattanooga State Technical Community College at the Newton Campus. The doubleheader (two seven-inning games) starts at 2 p.m., with the opener to be webcast on NHSBN.com.
February 3, 2010
Jaguars split on opening day
The 2010 Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars came out of the chute spraying hits to every corner of—and out of—their spacious ballpark on the Newton Campus.
They pounded out an eight-run second inning on the way to an 11-5 victory over Southern Union State Community College of Wadley, Ala., befitting a team getting votes in the NJCAA preseason poll.
But as sunny afternoon gave way to chilly evening, so too did their bats cool down. Southern Union held GPC to five hits in the nightcap, winning 4-2. Both games were seven innings.
“It’s like we got satisfied and went into cruise control and never came out,” said Jaguars head coach Danny Blue.
The winning pitcher in the opener was sophomore Nathan Fawbush, who starred at Union Grove High School and spent his freshman season at Walters State Community College in Tennessee, going 7-0 with a 1.47 ERA.
Fawbush, a lanky righthander, allowed six hits but only one run, walking one and striking out three in four innings.
“He’s going to give us a chance whenever he’s on the hill,” said Blue.
The Jaguars chased Southern Union starter Hunter Gayle after 1 1/3 innings.
GPC freshman T.D. Davis (Greenbrier H.S.) had a two-run homer, sophomore Dadynoel Lorenzo (Tucker H.S.) a two-run triple and first baseman Jamie McMillan (Tattnall Square Academy) a two-run single in the monstrous second inning as the Jaguars sent 12 men to the plate.
McMillan was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Davis, sophomore transfer Will Howard (Columbus H.S. and Gulf Coast Community College) and Lorenzo contributed two hits each. Davis had three RBIs.
Two freshmen—Drew Johnson (Starr’s Mill H.S.) and Zach Mullis (Dublin H.S.)—wrapped up the lopsided win in relief of Fawbush.
In the second game, sophomore righthander Chase Horn handled the Jaguars for five innings with a good fastball and an exceptional changeup. Both GPC runs were unearned and came on a single by third baseman Patrick Henry (Flowery Branch H.S.), a transfer from Valdosta State.
Jaguars freshman starter Bryan Benzor (Grayson H.S.) went 2 1/3 innings and was tagged for four hits and three of the runs.
“We didn’t play very good defense [in the second game],” said Blue. “Part of that may be the weather and the lack of practice.”
Sophomore Jake Dyer (Salem H.S.), freshman Jarius Rhodes (East Coweta) and sophomore Alan Busenitz (Athens Christian) all threw well in relief for the Jaguars, who tried to rally in the seventh but left the tying runs on base.
The Jaguars visit Phenix City, Ala., on Feb. 7 to play Chattahoochee State Community College, ranked No. 17 nationally in the preseason poll. The next home game is Feb. 9 against Chattanooga State Community College.
January 27, 2010
Jaguars well-armed for 2010
The 2010 edition of Georgia Perimeter College’s baseball squad faces the daunting task of following up a breakout season.
Entering his fourth year at GPC, head coach Danny Blue has taken the Jaguars from doormat to respectability to the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association regular-season title. In last season’s league tournament, top-seeded GPC went into the final day with two chances to beat Middle Georgia for the title and came up short both times, 10-6 and 13-4.
Even so, the final record was 42-16, which brought national recognition back to a program that has enjoyed it for several extended periods dating to the 1960s.
“Talent-wise we’re better, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the results will be better,” said Blue, voted by his peers as GJCAA Coach of the Year.
The 2009 Jaguars had a team ERA of 3.92, by far the best in the league and phenomenal for college baseball. Even though the four biggest contributors have moved on, Blue predicts “pitching will be the strength of our ballclub” again.
A noticeable difference will be a change in style, with finesse giving away to power. Look for more pro scouts to visit the Jaguars’ state-of-the-art stadium on the Newton Campus, radar guns in tow.
One pitcher covers both ends of the equation. Sophomore righthander Jake Dyer (3-0, 5.35 ERA) was in the low 80s with his fastball last season. In the fall scrimmages, he stepped it up to 88-91 mph.
Other returnees are righthanders Rob Crosby (4-0, 2.86), Tyler Akins (1-1, 1.64, 1 save), Alan Busenitz (2-5, 5.54) and Brandon Bast (1-1, 6.75).
They’ll have to compete with a crop of talented newcomers, starting with righthander Nathan Fawbush, a transfer from Walters State in Tennessee who throws in the low 90s. “We’re excited about him,” said Blue.
Transferring from Truett-McConnell, which no longer is a member of the GJCAA, are righthanders Jarod Slaven, who already has signed to play at West Georgia, and Tyler Walton.
Coming from high school are righthanders Bryan Benzor of Grayson (Grayson H.S.), Zach Mullis of Dublin (Dublin H.S.), Jarius Rhodes of Sharpsburg (East Coweta H.S.) and Cameron Hall of Snellville (Brookwood H.S.), plus a lefty who doesn’t fit the power mold, Drew Johnson of Peachtree City (Starr’s Mill H.S.).
“Johnson was lights out this fall. He pitched as well as anybody on the staff,” said Blue, who can also call on freshman lefties Bryan Daniels of Peachtree City (Starr’s Mill H.S.) and Mech Melder of Milledgeville (Georgia Military College Prep).
The man who’ll be handling the deep and talented pitching staff most days will be sophomore catcher Blake McCullers, all-region last year when he hit .390 (fifth in the region) with three homers and 41 runs batted in.
McCullers is a Division I-type hitter who’ll bat third, fourth or fifth. He also won the Gold Glove for his agility and strong arm.
“It’s a big plus when you don’t have to worry about the running game, and he shuts it down,” said Blue.
The Jaguars also had a Gold Glover at shortstop, Dadynoel Lorenzo (.287, 2 HRs, 32 RBIs). Now Lorenzo will shift to second base, a transition Blue expects him to make seamlessly.
The new shortstop is strong-armed freshman LeAndre Davis of Smyrna (Campbell H.S.), who declined to sign with the Minnesota Twins after being drafted in the 13th round last summer.
Other newcomers to the middle of the infield are Blake Hudson, a transfer from Walters State, and two freshmen — Ryan Cato of Appling (Greenbrier H.S.) and Scott King of Grayson (Grayson H.S.).
“I wouldn’t trade our defense in the middle of the infield for anybody’s,” said Blue.
At one corner of the infield, sophomore third baseman Hunter Pope (.291, 1 HR, 19 RBIs) will be pushed by a talented hitter, Patrick Henry, a transfer from Valdosta State. Sophomore Matt Tunnell (.348, 6 RBIs) provides even more depth.
At first base, sophomore Brac Barton (.220, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs) faces competition from two left-handed-hitting freshmen, Jamie McMillan of Macon (Tattnall Square Academy) and Mitch Stephan from Germany.
Sophomores return at the two corner outfield spots, with Charley Boring (.405, 6 HRs, 28 RBIs) in left and Drew Dentler (.353, 1 HR, 19 RBIs) in right. A transfer from Gulf Coast Community College in Florida, Will Howard, has been penciled in for center field.
Boring, who sports an exceptional arm, came on at the end of last season, hitting three homers in the state tournament. “Him getting hot was a big reason we had the success we did,” said Blue.
But Boring could wind up at DH, depending on the contributions of transfer Zach Lowery from the University of Mississippi and freshman T.D. Davis of Evans (Greenbrier H.S.). Both could also supply power.
With depth overflowing, Blue will be looking for offense. Facing a schedule loaded with doubleheaders, he even has the flexibility to give McCullers more rest from his daily duties. The catching backups are John Doolittle, a transfer from Lake Sumter Community College in Florida, and freshman Scott Sarratt of Statesboro (Statesboro H.S.)
Blue can also call on returnees Zac Bui (.318, 8 RBIs) and Bobo Gales (injured in 2009) for outfield duty.
“We should have a tremendous amount of power,” said Blue. “Hitting will be the whole key. If we can score a few runs, this will be a very special team.”
Blue will start mixing and matching when the Jaguars open with a doubleheader at home next Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. against Southern Union Community College of Alabama.
The conference season begins with three games in Tifton against Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on March 12-13.