Jaguar Baseball Archives 2011 Region 17 Champion
July 1, 2011
Straus goes pro, leads parade of ex-Jaguars headed to next level
At least 11 players who recently finished their careers at Georgia Perimeter College are headed to the next levels of baseball, including Kenny Straus, who recently signed with the Seattle Mariners.
Straus, an all-region outfielder who hit .350 with six home runs, was selected by the Mariners in the 26th round of the amateur draft. He was assigned to the Pulaski, Va., club in the rookie-level Appalachian League, becoming the eighth ex-Jaguar currently in the pros.
The other 10 players are headed to four-year schools. They are:
• Outfielder Kendall Lacey. The all-region selection has signed with Grambling State University in Louisiana after hitting .363 and leading the Jaguars in RBIs with 42.
• Catcher Scott Sarratt played two seasons at GPC and was region Defensive Player of the Year and the national Rawlings Gold Glove award winner at his position after his error-free sophomore year. He is going to Georgia State.
• Pitcher Trevor Walch, a righthander who finished 6-1 with a 3.19 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 62 innings, was an early signee with Southern Mississippi University.
• First baseman Jamie McMillan also signed early, with Mercer University of Macon. He was second team all-region his freshman season and came back in 2011 to hit .322 and drive in 30 runs.
• Outfielder T.D. Davis is headed to Georgia Southern after spending two seasons as the Jaguars’ regular left fielder. He was first team all-region in 2010.
• Pitcher Kevin Kyle, a lefthander, was an early signee with Kennesaw State University. His 2011 season was cut short by an injury as he finished 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA.
• Pitcher James Connell, who became the Jaguars’ closer as the season wore on, is also headed to Kennesaw State. The righthander finished with a 2.45 ERA.
• Outfielder/infielder/pitcher LeAndre Davis played two seasons with GPC at several positions, ending up as the starting center fielder on the 2011 team. The two-time draftee by the Minnesota Twins is on his way to Southern Polytechnic State University, an NAIA school in Marietta.
• Third baseman Travis Tarleton, used sparingly during his freshman season at GPC, is going to Atlanta Christian College, which is changing its name to Point University on July 1 and joining the NAIA.
• Pitcher Jarius Rhodes. The righthander is taking his lively fastball to Shorter University, an NAIA school in Rome. He was 2-2 in 2010, during which he was brilliant in stretches, but did not pitch for GPC in 2011.
The 11 players from the Jaguars’ 2011 team join 19 who moved up the year before and have at least one year of collegiate eligibility remaining. Some highlights on their 2011 seasons:
• Second baseman Hunter Pope led Savannah College of Art and Design with a .329 average and was all-league in the Sun Conference, an NAIA league. This summer, he has already been Player of the Week in the Valley Baseball League, a wood-bat summer circuit in Virginia.
• Righthander Jake Dyer became the closer at Georgia State, getting eight saves with a 3-0 record and an ERA of 1.67.
• Righthander Bryan Benzor, who went to Georgia after his freshman season at GPC, emerged down the stretch as a key setup man in the Bulldogs’ bullpen. He was 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA, with one of the wins coming against Georgia Tech at Turner Field.
• Righthander Alan Busenitz was in the bullpen at Kennesaw State, going 2-2 with a 6.83 ERA.
• Righthander Rob Crosby made 17 appearances for Augusta State with a 3.14 ERA.
• Righthander Jared Slaven was 4-4 with a 4.39 ERA for West Georgia, striking out 47 in 55 1/3 innings and winning Player of the Week in the Gulf South Conference, NCAA Division II.
• Outfielder Will Howard started 35 games for Kennesaw State.
• Catcher/third baseman Blake McCullers hit .283 for Shorter University, an NAIA school, and finished second on the team was 43 RBIs.
• Shortstop Dadynoel Lorenzo hit .305 for Shorter.
June 14, 2011
Sarratt wins national Rawlings Gold Glove Award
It turns out that Scott Sarratt’s good work in the field was noted far beyond the borders of the state.
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ catcher was the region Defensive Player of the Year, and now he has been awarded the national Rawlings Gold Glove Award at his position.
A Gold Glove is the top national fielding award a player can earn at his postion. It means Sarratt is considered the best fielding catcher among the member colleges of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The sophomore from Statesboro High School handled 312 chances this season without committing an error. As the Jaguars’ frontline catcher, he played in 42 games and started 35.
Sarratt will be headed to NCAA Division I to play at Georgia State, where he would be reunited with 2010 GPC battery mates Brandon Bast and Jake Dyer, the Panthers’ closer.
Another Jaguar teammate, catcher Blake McCullers, has been playing outfield for Georgia State. McCullers and Sarratt took turns behind the plate during GPC’s 2010 season, until McCullers began playing third base regularly.
Sarratt’s 2011 teammate, outfielder Kenny Straus, has signed with Georgia State but is also a Seattle Mariners draftee.
Another player from the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, pitcher Brice Baker of South Georgia College, also made the Rawlings Gold Glove team.
June 13, 2011
Former Jaguar Cornwell signs with Mariners
Ben Cornwell, who pitched briefly for Georgia Perimeter College in 2009, became the seventh former Jaguar currently in professional baseball when he signed with the Seattle Mariners as an undrafted free agent.
Cornwell has undergone Tommy John surgery since an outstanding career at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta. He made only three appearances for Virginia Tech in 2008 and two for GPC in 2009. He was granted a medical redshirt for his year with the Jaguars.
In two seasons at Georgia, the 6-foot-3 righthander made seven starts among his 28 appearances and was 2-4 with an 8.54 ERA in 45 1/3 innings.
Of the other six former Jaguars in the pros, only Marlon Byrd is in the major leagues. The star center fielder of the Chicago Cubs is on the disabled list after being hit in the face by a pitch. Byrd was an all-region center fielder for the Jaguars in 1999.
The other ex-Jaguars are: Nick Green, who is playing shortstop for the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles’ Class AAA affiliate. Green was an All-American for GPC in 1999 and a teammate of Byrd. He has 1,000 career major league at-bats in six seasons with seven clubs after getting his start with the Atlanta Braves.
Robby Hammock, after a couple of seasons in the minors with other organizations, is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks, catching for their AAA affiliate in Reno, Nev. He has appeared in 11 games this season and is on the disabled list. He last appeared in the majors in 2008 and was all-region at GPC in 1996 and 1997.
Anthony Carter, a right-handed pitcher drafted out of GPC in 2005, is in the bullpen for the Charlotte Knights, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He won his promotion to AAA with an all-star performance in the Southern League, where he saved 22 games last season.
Robby Hefflinger, who starred for the Jaguars in 2009 and was drafted in the seventh round by the Braves, is with the club’s low Class A affiliate in Rome after starting the season at the advanced level in Lynchburg, Va. He is the R-Braves’ regular left fielder.
Nathan Fawbush, a right-handed pitcher who played for the Jaguars in 2010, is at the rookie level in the organization of the Minnesota Twins, who drafted him in the 21st round last season. He made only three appearances in the Gulf Coast League before sustaining an injury. His 2011 club has not been announced.
Another potential Jaguar in the pros is outfielder Kenny Straus of the 2011 team, taken in the 26th round by the Mariners. He has signed to attend Georgia State.
June 10, 2011
Allen MVP, 6 Jaguars named to GCAA all-tournament team
Six players from Georgia Perimeter College recently were named all-tournament as the Jaguars won the championship of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association last month on their home field after also claiming the regular season title.
Freshman pitcher Antonio Allen was selected the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Allen pitched six strong innings in the opener as the Jaguars beat East Georgia 11-3. Later, in an elimination game against Middle Georgia, he came on in the ninth inning to get the final out—and the save—in a 10-7 victory. Middle Georgia had scored four times in the inning and had the tying run at the plate.
The Jaguars’ other selections were outfielder Kendall Lacey, outfielder/designated hitter Kenny Straus, second baseman Felton James, shortstop McLendon Hill and third baseman Garitt Church. The league announcement came after the NJCAA district and national tournaments were completed.
Lacey, a sophomore, was 8-for-16 in the tournament with three doubles and five RBIs. Three of his RBIs came in an 11-3 victory over Gordon in an elimination game.
James, a freshman, was 9-for-22 with three doubles and eight RBIs. He had at least one RBI in each of the Jaguars’ five games.
Straus, a sophomore, was 8-for-21 with four RBIs, getting at least one hit in each of the five games. The Seattle Mariners subsequently drafted him in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Hitting at the top of the lineup, Hill was 6-for-22 with three walks and three stolen bases. In the field, the freshman turned the tournament into a personal showcase at a key position.
Church, also a freshman, was 6-for-18 with six RBIs and two stolen bases. Three of the RBIs came in the opening victory over East Georgia.
The Jaguars lost to South Georgia in their second game, then won back-to-back elimination games before getting another shot at the Tigers in the final. GPC won the rematch 4-2, giving the school its first conference baseball tournament championship since 1999.
The other selections for the all-tournament team were second baseman Wesley Morris, first baseman Seth Foster and shortstop Logan Gaines of South Georgia; pitcher Casey Shiver of Gordon; second baseman Tony Cannaday of Middle Georgia; pitcher/designated hitter C.J. Lusted of East Georgia; and second baseman J.R. Van Wie of Andrew.
June 8, 2011
Lefthander Clay Garner wins NJCAA All-America honors
Georgia Perimeter College freshman pitcher Clay Garner added to his resume Wednesday when he was named an honorable mention All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Garner, whose nine victories tied for the lead in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, was first team all-conference. The lefthander was the workhorse of the Jaguars’ pitching staff as the team won both the regular season and tournament championships in the GCAA. Including postseason games, he pitched 73 innings and was 9-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 78 strikeouts.
A graduate of Loganville High School, Garner made an early impression in college, striking out 12 in five relief innings in the season opener. As the season went on, his ability to mix his fastball, curveball and change-up quickly won the respect of the region, as did his pickoff move. He finished with a team-leading five pickoffs.
Garner was at his best late in the regular season, pitching a five-hitter at South Georgia on April 30 in a seven-inning game, allowing a run in the first inning and nothing more. A week later at home, he pitched a five-hit shutout against Darton in a seven-inning game that wrapped up the pennant.
Two other players from the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA, claimed national honors. Region 17 MVP Dustin Dalken, a first baseman from Gordon, was a first teamer. Gordon shortstop Andy Almonte joined Garner on the honorable mention list.
June 7, 2011
Mariners draft Kenny Straus in 26th round
Kenny Straus, a sophomore outfielder and designated hitter for Georgia Perimeter College, was taken by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Straus, a left-handed hitter, finished with a .350 average, six homers and 39 runs batted in, near the team lead in all three categories despite missing 2 1/2 weeks with a contusion caused by fouling a ball off his calf. He led the Jaguars in doubles (17) and triples (three).
His performance won him first team all-region honors in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.
Straus, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 185 pounds, played in high school at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta and spent his freshman season at Duke before transferring to GPC. If he doesn’t go pro, he is signed to play next season for Georgia State.
The Mariners made him the 783rd player selected in the draft, after three others from the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
All three are from Middle Georgia. Pitcher Matt Taylor was taken 155th by the Baltimore Orioles, center fielder Patrick Smith 437th by the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Demondre Arnold 777th by the San Francisco Giants.
May 21, 2011
Walk-off 3-run home run ends Jaguars’ postseason dreams
The great American philosopher, Yogi Berra, once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Columbia State Community College well knows the truth in that musing.
Eric Lindsay lifted a three-run walk-off home run to give Columbia State a 4-3 victory over Georgia Perimeter College at the National Junior College Athletic Association East Central District tournament Saturday in Morristown, Tenn.
Lindsay’s high homer sailed past left-fielder T.D. Davis’ desperation leap at the fence and dropped a short ways beyond the 315-foot sign down the left-field line. The stunned Jaguars, who led from the second inning, walked off the field in disbelief as Lindsay rounded the bases and joined the Chargers’ wild celebration at home plate. It was Columbia State’s third come-from-behind victory in the postseason.
The blow was particularly unexpected because GPC starter Clay Garner had pitched a masterful game, handcuffing a powerful batting lineup until he was relieved in the ninth inning. Also, Lindsay, who hit the homer against reliever James Connell, is a .250 hitter who bats ninth in the Chargers’ lineup.
Garner gave up two earned runs on eight hits in 8 1/3 innings.
“Clay Garner pitched a heck of a game,” said head coach Danny Blue. “To do that against a great hitting team like that is a great accomplishment. But all hats off to Columbia State. They hung in there and got the job done.”
Columbia State head coach Mike Corn added to the praise of Garner. “That young man pitches with so much intensity and fire. He gets in and out of jams—he’s got that confidence going to get you out one way or another.”
Clint Wright (6-2) pitched a complete game for the Chargers to get the win. He turned it into a pitchers duel, allowing three earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a pair of walks in the victory.
Georgia Perimeter, champion of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, ends the season with a 42-17 record.
Columbia State (33-16) advances to Sunday’s 11 a.m. losers’ bracket final, playing seventh-ranked Walters State Community College, which was upset 3-2 in Saturday’s second game by Cinderella team South Georgia College. The winner of that game will play South Georgia College for the right to go to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., May 28-June 4.
After a Columbia State threat in the first inning, Garner sat down nine straight Chargers until Justin Pearson ended his no-hitter with a fourth-inning infield hit. Nick Howell added another infield hit in the fifth. Otherwise, Garner didn’t give up a bonafide hit until Mark Rayburn’s double in the sixth.
Meanwhile, GPC took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kendall Lacey doubled and Christian Van Camp drove him in with a single down the left field line.
In the top of the very eventful sixth, Kenny Straus led off with a hit; Felton James was hit by a pitch and Jamie McMillan reached on an error, scoring Straus. Van Camp drove in another run to give GPC a 3-0 lead. With Garner at the top of his game, the Jaguars smelled blood.
The Chargers finally got to Garner in the bottom half of the inning when Ethan Williams drew a leadoff walk and Rayburn moved him to third with his double. After a heads-up double play by the Jaguars that allowed Williams to cross the plate, Lacey got Garner out of the inning by throwing out Kyle Brouchu, who tried to stretch a hit down the right field line into a double.
Columbia State threatened again in the eighth. Howell got his second hit of the day; D.J. Armstrong singled and Williams laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Garner got out of the jam with a double play from him to catcher Jacob Johnson to Van Camp at first.
With one out in the last of the ninth, seventh-place hitter Blake Rogers hit the first pitch from Garner to start off the Chargers’ game-winning rally. Blue brought in Connell, a sidearm thrower, to face a right-handed pinch hitter, John Ragan. Ragan hit the first pitch for a double, setting up the two runners for Lindsay’s walkoff that handed the loss to Connell (2-1).
After the game, Corn noted, “We have a couple of good sidearm pitchers, so our guys have been batting against them in practice all year, and that helps.”
Said Blue: “It took a storybook finish to win it, but it happens. I’ve been there on both sides of that one. You don’t want to be on this side of it, but it was exciting. You can’t cry—you just have to move on.”
May 20, 2011
Jaguars come back, then fall in drama at district tourney
In a game that piled drama atop drama, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars were the victims of the final plot twist.
After giving up three unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning, the 14th-ranked Jaguars scored twice in their half, only to fall a few feet short of victory when Jacob Johnson’s long fly ball settled into the left fielder’s glove at the warning track, denying him a walk-off grand slam.
The 10-9 victory Friday afternoon gave No. 7 Walters State a berth in the winners’ bracket of the NJCAA East Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn., against South Georgia, which beat Columbia State of Tennessee 7-4
South Georgia and Walters State play at 3 p.m. Saturday, following the GPC-Columbia State game at 11 a.m. All games of the district tournament will be webcast on NHSBN.com. For a link, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on “Game Webcasts.” That will link to the tourney website, where the game links can be found by clicking on “Live Online Broadcast” in the left menu bar.
The Jaguars were down 7-0 early in the game, victimized at one point by six consecutive strikeouts by Walters State starter Chris Costantino, who eventually tired and left after six innings. The Senators’ bullpen held serve until the bottom of the eighth, when the defense cracked.
After a single by Garitt Church and a walk to Antonio Allen, pinch hitter Sloan Strickland hit a one-out groundball to shortstop. Two overthrows later—on the same play—the Jaguars were within 7-5. Singles by McLendon Hill and Kenny Straus made it 7-7.
At that point, the Senators called on Cody Poarch (7-4) to pitch but got heroics from another Cody—left fielder Cody Stubbs, who dived and caught Felton James’ sinking liner and doubled Hill off second base, keeping the score tied.
In the top of the ninth, the Jaguars were the ones with defensive problems, messing up a ground ball and a bunt. A wild pitch by reliever Antonio Allen (3-1) let in one run, and the other two scored on a single by Josh Coker, putting Walters State ahead 10-7.
In the bottom of the ninth (because of seeding the Jaguars were the home team, even on Walters State’s field), Kendall Lacey started the rally with a one-out double. With two out and runners on first and third, LeAndre Davis drove home Lacey with a single.
Pinch hitter Christian Van Camp’s single drove Allen home, a play that proved controversial because of a collision at the plate. The umpires huddled and let the play stand, leaving the Jaguars behind by a run with runners on second and third.
After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Johnson, a backup catcher, pinned Stubbs to the wall in left field. Stubbs, who also homered in the first inning (his seventh in seven games), again made a game-saving catch
“When Jacob hit it, I thought, dang, it’s only 315 down the line here,” said Blue of Walters State’s cozy ballpark. “But had too much air under it. Wasn’t to be.”
Hill and Davis each had three hits for GPC (42-16)
Stubbs, Kendall Keeton, Corey Davis and Andrew Allen had two apiece for Walters State (43-13), which chased GPC starter Trevor Walch with four runs in the sixth inning. At one point he surrendered five consecutive hits, including a bad-hop single over Hill’s head at shortstop.“
Would have been a tailor-made double play,” said Blue. But it wasn’t to be.
SOUTH GEORGIA 7, COLUMBIA STATE 4
South Georgia College continued its improbable postseason run, rallying to a 7-4 victory over Columbia State Community College in the opening game of the tournament Friday morning.
Leading off the sixth inning with the score tied 4-4, Seth Foster belted a homerun for the eventual game-winner. Foster added a bases loaded RBI single in the ninth, driving in Kelcey Butts, who had singled, stolen second and moved to third on a walk and hit batsman. Jonathan Farabow drove in the final run with a base hit.
Coming into the tournament with a 10-game winning streak, Columbia State (33-15) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a walk by Nick Howell, hits by D.J. Armstrong and Ethan Williams and sacrifice fly by Justin Pearson.
South Georgia (31-31) tied it in the third with singles by Zack Hula, Kenny Sanderson, Butts and Logan Gaines. In the bottom half of the inning Williams doubled in Armstrong, who had singled, to regain the lead 3-2.
In the fourth the Tigers went up 4-3 on an RBI double by Foster and a RBI single by Wesley Morris. The Chargers tied it at 4-4 in the fifth when Williams was hit by a pitch and came home on a fielders choice.
Reliever Mikey Rodriguez earned the win, while Casey Delgado took the loss.
May 19, 2011
Jaguar Journal: District series will be played in a cozy ballpark
Georgia Perimeter College coach Danny Blue has never seen the ballpark at Walters State, but he’s heard a lot. “I hear it’s a crackerbox,” he said. “Some of the balls we hit would be out of there.”
Definitely. The dimensions are 315 feet down the lines, fanning out to 370 in the power alleys and 385 in dead center field. The Jaguars can count themselves fortunate that in their own giant ballpark, they usually pin more outfielders to the wall than the opposition.
How this plays out will become apparent this weekend when the 14th-ranked Jaguars play for a trip to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.—the National Junior College Athletic Association 10-team national tournament.
The other teams in the double-elimination district event are host Walters State Community College of Morristown, Tenn., Columbia State College of Tennessee and South Georgia College.
The ballpark has no lights, so games must start early. South Georgia, the No. 2 seed from Georgia, plays the NJCAA Region 7 (10 colleges in Tennessee) tournament winner Columbia State at 11 a.m. Friday, followed by GPC and Walters State at 3 p.m. A champion will be crowned Sunday or Monday.
The Jaguars (42-15) are the top-seeded team from Georgia because they won the Region 17 regular-season title, and then the tournament for good measure. Because the states handled things differently, Walters State (42-13) got the No. 2 seed in Tennessee as regular-season winner.
Even though the Senators were 2-2 in their tournament, they have to be considered the on-paper favorite, especially at home. They are ranked No.7 in the country and went to the JUCO World Series four times in the 2000s, most recently in 2008.
The Senators’ lineup contains four first team all-region selections, including outfielders Cody Stubbs (.411, 12 homers, 64 RBIs) and Shaun Ball (.394-10-48). Their ace pitcher, lefthander Shane Grimm (11-1, 2.51 ERA), also made all-region.
If he faces the Jaguars in the opener, Grimm will have to contend with balance in the heart of the GPC batting order, which includes righty swingers Felton James (.342-8-37) and Kendall Lacey (.368-3-42) as well as lefties Kenny Straus (.344-6-38) and Jamie McMillan (.333-2-29).
Blue just hopes the sight of short fences doesn’t make them too eager.
On the mound, the Jaguars have their own left-handed ace, Clay Garner (9-2, 2.71), who was first team all-region along with Straus, James and Lacey. McMillan was second team.
The Jaguars’ other starting pitchers in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament were Trevor Walch, Antonio Allen and Carter Harrison, plus lefty Andy Threatt. Any could pull bullpen duty as Blue mixes and matches to get to closer James Connell, who looked sharp in the tournament.
Making the district series is a milestone for Blue, who arrived five years ago with the program in the dumps, playing in a substandard facility. Now the Jaguars have a state-of-the-art ballpark on the Newton Campus and the chance to make it to Grand Junction for the first time since 1999.
“A lot of it had to do with the facilities and a great coaching staff. This staff is a class act—Stewart Bailey, Tim Burgess, Don Adams. You have to include Thomas Briscoe, our former assistant coach, in there, too. We’ve had great support from the school, the foundation, the booster club and the scholarship donors.”
He named many others who have provided exceptional support to the program, including vice president for institutional advancement Jeff Tarnowski, alumni director Collins Foster and vice president for financial and administrative affairs Ron Carruth.
“It’s been a team effort. And the most important thing was to get players. We’ve had some pretty good players.”
JAGUAR JOLTS: All of the district games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section. … South Georgia (31-30) played Walters State in an early event in South Carolina and lost 5-3. … Columbia State (33-14) made a trip to Barnesville and took two of three from Gordon. … Columbia State earned its berth by knocking 10th-ranked Chattanooga State out of the Tennessee tournament, 9-8 in 10 innings. The Chargers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. … Region 7 of the NJCAA represents 10 colleges in Tennessee, all with baseball teams. Region 17 (Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) consists of 22 colleges, eight of which have baseball teams.
May 16, 2011
Jaguars win conference championship
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars picked up some hardware they coveted Monday. In the process, they get to take a three-game winning streak to the district tournament in Tennessee this weekend.
The 19th-ranked Jaguars (42-15) scored three times in the first inning and held on for a 4-2 win over South Georgia in the championship game of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.
The victory produced the college’s first baseball tournament championship since 1999, though the Jaguars recently have been highly competive in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA.
Head coach Danny Blue praised his pitchers, starter Carter Harrison and reliever Matt Adams, for shutting off an offense that was hitting exceptionally well in the tournament.
“Carter did a heck of a job,” Blue said. “And then Matt came through with two big strikeouts in relief and shut them down in the ninth. If you point to who won the championship game, it’s those two. Also, give credit to the defense—and the hitters gave us enough runs to work with, though we had some opportunities and couldn’t get them across.”
As regular season champions of the GCAA—GPC’s second in three years—the Jaguars came into the four-day tournament assured of a berth in the four-team Georgia/Tennessee district tournament—the East-Central District of the NJCAA. That event starts Friday in Morristown, Tenn.
But the Jags took care of business, climbing out of the losers’ bracket to claim the undisputed state championship, winner of the league’s regular season and the tournament.
“People don’t know how tough that was, beating two really good teams yesterday—and South Georgia was hot,” Blue said. “We came out and shut them down.”
Fourth-seeded South Georgia (31-30) also got to celebrate Monday. Before they played GPC, the Tigers’ stunning come-from-behind 11-9 victory over third-seeded Middle Georgia assured them a district berth. With three innings remaining, the Tigers trailed by seven runs and then rallied for nine in the eighth and ninth innings.
South Georgia will play Columbia State on Friday at 11 a.m., with the Jaguars meeting the host team, third-ranked Walters State, at 3 p.m. The double-elimination event will conclude Sunday or Monday, with the winner advancing to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
As they had in their previous two victories, the Jaguars jumped to a lead in the first inning. After McLendon Hill singled and Kenny Straus walked, Jamie McMillan drove home the first run with a groundout. Consecutive singles by Sloan Strickland, T.D. Davis and Garitt Church produced a 3-0 lead.
It appeared a rout might be on, but Tigers starter Kale Watson (0-1) held his ground for five innings, departing after allowing eight hits.
The Tigers were held scoreless by Harrison (5-2) until the seventh, when they scored two unearned runs on singles by Shawn McGlynn, Brandon Cruce and Kelsey Butts and an infield error.
Harrison allowed seven hits and struck out five in his 7 1/3 innings.
South Georgia threatened again in the eighth before Adams relieved and shut the door with two strikeouts. Adams finished up for his first save.
The Jaguars plated an insurance run in the eighth on a walk and two-out singles by Straus and Felton James, with James getting the RBI. Straus, James, T.D. Davis and Clay Garner had two singles apiece as GPC produced 12 hits. Garner, an all-region pitcher, played most of the game in center field.
The East-Central District tournament at Morristown, Tenn., will be audio webcast. To listen to any of the games, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
May 15, 2011
Improbable sweep puts Jaguars in tournament championship game
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ hitters, all but dormant the day before, revived Sunday to defeat two Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association rivals.
In the afternoon, GPC eliminated Gordon College from the GCAA tournament with an 11-3 victory, all 11 runs coming in the first three innings. The game was called after seven because of the run rule.
As a blustery afternoon gave way to a chilly evening, the top-seeded and 19th-ranked Jaguars dispatched Middle Georgia for the fifth straight time this season, 10-7.
“When they are on, they are real good,” said coach Danny Blue. “We came out and got motivated and decided to do it.”
Indeed, the Jaguars’ circumstances made the achievement even more impressive. No matter their outcome in this tournament, they are assured a spot in the Georgia/Tennessee district series, which starts Friday in Morristown, Tenn. That berth came via winning the regular season championship in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Because of the twin wins, it’s possible for the Jaguars to add some extra hardware to the trophy case. South Georgia and Middle Georgia play an elimination game at noon Monday, with the winner meeting GPC for the championship at 4 p.m.
The Jaguars (41-15) set the tone early against second-seeded Gordon (33-24), which had lost a 1-0 game in 10 innings to Middle Georgia the night before. Kendall Lacey drove home three runs with a double and a single, while Jamie McMillan, Kenny Straus and Felton James added two RBIs apiece.
Mixing in four stolen bases and two wild pitches produced a rout against Gordon starter Josh Stevenson (8-6) and his successor, Blake Thomas.
“I think playing a tough ballgame the night before had an effect on Gordon,” said Blue.
On the mound, the Jaguars got 2 1/3 innings from Andy Threatt before James Connell (2-0) closed out the game with an extended appearance.
“A pretty strong performance,” said Blue.
The good tidings carried over to the second game. The Jaguars scored in the top of the first inning (by coin flip, they were the visiting team) and scored on a single by McLendon Hill, a hit batsman and a single by Felton James.
In the second, Garitt Church walked, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Scott Sarratt. A single by Straus eventually brought home Sarratt.
The third-seeded Warriors (37-20) threatened but never could wrest the lead from GPC starter Trevor Walch (6-1), who pitched six strong innings in his first appearance in two weeks. James helped out at second base by starting three double plays, and Walch closed out his stint with two strikeouts
“We thought we were only going to use him for a while, but he was lights out,“ said Blue. “He told me his arm felt better than it has for a long time.”
The Jaguars broke the game open in the fifth with four runs, aided by a bout of wildness by Middle Georgia starter Matt Taylor (7-5). After a walk, a hit batsman and a single by Lacey loaded the bases, LeAndre Davis drove home a run with a walk. Church followed with a two-run single, and Davis wound up scoring when Church was picked off first and caught in a rundown.
In the seventh, Davis was involved in a far odder play, driving home a run with a broken-bat single. That’s right, his aluminum bat broke off, leaving the handle in his hand
And on Monday, with the Jaguars’ pitching decimated by injuries and the rigors of a tournament, Davis may get his first start as a pitcher, Blue indicated Sunday night.
In addition to Walch and Cameron Hall, the Jaguars also used Antonio Allen against Middle Georgia. Hall retired the first seven hitters he faced before “he lost the plate,” as Blue put it.
Middle Georgia actually brought the tying run to the plate before Antonio Allen got the save by striking out the final hitter of the game.
“Antonio has been a blessing for us,” said Blue of Allen, who played at second base and left field before he took up collegiate pitching a month ago. Allen won Friday’s tournament opener against East Georgia with six strong innings.
Monday’s games will be webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
The GCAA tournament is being played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
May 15, 2011
South Georgia stays alive to play for a berth in Tennessee
Wesley Morris and James Donaldson drove home four runs apiece Sunday, leading South Georgia College to a 10-3 victory over East Georgia College in an elimination game in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament on the Newton Campus.
As the day wore on, the fourth-seeded Tigers (29-30) got what they hoped for—a shot at winning the GCAA’s second berth in the Georgia/Tennessee district series, which starts Friday in Morristown, Tenn. They will play third-seeded Middle Georgia on Monday at noon for the berth. The victor moves on to play top-seeded Georgia Perimeter College for the tournament title, with both teams already holding a ticket to Tennessee.
GPC is automatically in the Tennessee tournament for winning the regular season GCAA title.
South Georgia fell behind 2-0 before tying the score in the fourth on a two-run single by Morris, who also had a two-run triple in the Tigers’ five-run fifth off East Georgia starter Austin Meyer and his successor, Steven Vaughn. Donaldson doubled home three runs in the eighth.
Dylan Wall (5-4) pitched a complete game for South Georgia, scattering eight hits.
East Georgia finishes its first season in the GCAA at 22-32.
Monday’s games will be webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
The GCAA tournament is being played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
May 14, 2011
Jaguars fall to South Georgia, face an uphill climb in tourney
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars fell into the losers’ bracket of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament Saturday. To get to championship play, they’ll have to get past the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, Gordon and Middle Georgia, back-to-back on Sunday.
The Jaguars meet Gordon at 3:30 p.m., as the Highlanders lost 1-0 in 10 innings to Middle Gerogia in Saturday’s nightcap.
Of course, the 19th-ranked Jaguars have proved many times they are equal to such tasks.
“Resilience,” coach Danny Blue called it after an ugly 13-3 loss to South Georgia, which faced elimination from the tournament on the Newton Campus
But whether they win or not, the Jaguars will play on, facing No. 3-ranked Walters State on Friday in the Georgia/Tennessee district tournament in Morristown, Tenn.
That’s because the coaches of the CGAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, gave the regular season champion a pass into the four-team district event, where the teams will play for a berth in the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. The Region 17 tournament winner gets the other Georgia berth.
So for GPC the sting of Saturday’s loss to fourth-seeded South Georgia will fade quickly. Blue played his ace on the mound, all-region lefthander Clay Garner, but put him on a strict pitch count with an eye toward next weekend.
“He didn’t throw very well. I don’t think his heart was in it,” said Blue, who pulled Garner after three innings.
Garner (9-2) allowed four runs on five hits and three walks.
The other four pitchers Blue tried—Matt Adams, Adam Lass, Josh Gobble and Brandon Thomas—couldn’t keep the Jaguars in the game.
South Georgia (28-30) wound up with 18 hits, including nine doubles.
All-region shortstop Logan Gaines had three doubles in a 5-for-5 day. Seth Foster also contributed three doubles. Kelsey Butts, all-region in center field, drove in three runs.
“They were swinging the bats real well,” said Blue. “They swung them well the night before [in an 11-6 loss to Middle Georgia.]”
GPC (39-15) never got much going on offense. One bright spot was three singles by leadoff man McLendon Hill, who also made several superb plays at shortstop.
“McLendon put on a show out there,” said Blue. “If he hits he could be a pro prospect.”
The Jaguars scored an unearned run in the first inning and pulled within 7-3 in the seventh with two more runs.
After Jacob Johnson and Hill singled, Felton James poked a two-out, opposite-field double just inside the line in right field. Two hits continued the recent run of hot hitting for James, an all-region selection.
Otherwise, the Jaguars were out of kilter. But that’s always subject to change quickly.
“We’ve got talent out there,” said Blue.
All games Sunday and Monday will be webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
The GCAA tournament is being played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
May 15, 2011
Middle Georgia edges Gordon 1-0 in 10-inning thriller
After having three runners tagged out at the plate—including one on a botched squeeze play—Middle Georgia finally pushed across a run in the 10th inning Saturday night, beating Gordon College 1-0 to gain the inside track to the championship round of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament on the Newton Campus.
The Warriors (37-19) will play at 7 p.m. Sunday against the winner of a 3:30 elimination game between Georgia Perimeter College (39-15) and Gordon College (33-23). The noon elimination game will match South Georgia (28-30) and East Georgia (22-31). The champion will be crowned Monday in a single game or two, depending on how many teams remain in the double-elimination event.
East Georgia stayed alive Saturday by eliminating Andrew 10-0 in a game called after eight innings because of the run rule.
The game between second-seeded Gordon and third-seeded Middle Georgia featured a classic pitching duel between two of the GCAA’s best, Casey Shiver for the Highlanders and Demondre Arnold for Middle. Shiver struck out 10, walked two and allowed seven hits, while Arnold scattered six hits, fanned four and issued four bases on balls.
But neither figured in the decision as they both stifled scoring opportunities and left it in the hands of relievers in the ninth inning..
In the bottom of the eighth, Middle Georgia loaded the bases with one out on two walks and hit batsman by Shiver. But Pat Smith failed to get a squeeze bunt down, leaving the runner hung out to dry, and then struck out.
In the Gordon ninth, Robbie Payne and Zach Lowery led off with back-to-back singles. On Shawn McCain’s fly out to center off new Middle Georgia pitcher Zach Hayden, pinch runner Josh Ellerbee tagged up and apparently moved to third—only to be ruled out for leaving second too early.
The Highlanders had another chance in the 10th, loading the bases before Hayden (2-2) struck out Ellerbee.
Middle Georgia plated the only run in the bottom of the inning, sparked by a one-out double by Tony Cannaday. After an intentional walk, all-region outfielder Khirus Ware drove a hard grounder past the third baseman off Ben Prestwood (2-2), who had entered with one out in the ninth. Cannaday beat the throw to the plate, and the Warriors remained the only team unbeaten in the tournament.
Tucker Darsey was the star of East Georgia’s lopsided victory, driving home two key early runs with a triple and a double and pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits. Brian Dowell drove in three runs for the Bobcats, and Darsey finished with three hits. Taylor Jackson, Ross Howard and J.R. Van Wie had two hits apiece for Andrew, which finished its season 21-30.
All games Sunday and Monday will be webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
May 13, 2011
Jaguars win tournament opener 11-3 over East Georgia
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars smacked the baseball around their home field early and often Friday, beating East Georgia 11-3 on the first day of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament on the Newton Campus.
“It was nice to get out of the chute like that,” said GPC coach Danny Blue of the Jaguars’ five-run first inning. “We really hit the ball well.“
The 19th-ranked Jaguars scored again in the fourth and four more times in the sixth, all off East Georgia ace C.J. Lusted (9-4), a first-team all-region selection. Jamie McMillan ended the game with a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Justin Eaton, giving the Jaguars (39-14) the early run-rule victory.
Antonio Allen pitched six innings for the victory, allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out two and walked two. Carter Harrison finished up.
“When Antonio is on, he’s tough,” said Blue. “He’s got a lot of movement and zip.”
After Allen gave up a leadoff walk and a run in the top of the first, GPC took control soon thereafter. McLendon Hill singled and stole second, then scored on a single by Kenny Straus. Felton James, the Jaguars’ hottest hitter of late, followed with a double and with one out scored on another double by Kendall Lacey. After the second out, Lacey scored on a single by Garitt Church, who stole second and scored on a single by LeAndre Davis.
“When we put it all together, we’re tough to beat,” said Blue.
Lusted soldiered through 5 2/3 innings, leaving in the sixth after consecutive singles by McMillan, Lacey, Christian Van Camp, Church and Davis. Lusted departed having thrown 130 pitches.
GPC pounded out 17 hits, 16 off Lusted. James and Lacey had three apiece.
With the victory, the top-seeded Jaguars advance to a 3:30 p.m. Saturday matchup against fourth-seeded South Georgia, an 11-6 loser to third-seeded Middle Georgia. Sixth-seeded East Georgia (21-31) plays at noon against fifth-seeded Andrew, which lost 5-4 to second-seeded Gordon.
Regardless of whether the Jaguars win the tournament of the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, they are assured of a spot in the Georgia/Tennessee district tournament, which starts May 20 in Morristown, Tenn.
Host Walters State is also assured a spot in the four-team double-elimination event, as is Columbia State, which won the state tournament in Tennessee. The winner of the GCAA tournament gets the fourth spot. If the Jaguars win the region tournament, the runner-up team also makes the trip.
The Jaguars have been slotted into the 3 p.m. game on May 20, against Walters State, which is ranked third in the country. The field at Walters State has no lights, meaning if the tournament goes to its full length, it might not be completed until Monday afternoon, the 23rd.
May 13, 2011
Gordon, Middle Georgia win first tournament games
Two teams facing do-or-die situations in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament—Middle Georgia and Gordon—took different paths to their opening day victories on the Newton Campus Friday.
Middle Georgia, seeded third, pounded on No. 4 South Georgia early, scoring eight runs in the first two innings on the way to an 11-6 victory. Gordon, seeded second, squeezed out single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to rally past fifth-seeded Andrew 5-4.
The winner of the tournament gains a berth in the Georgia/Tennessee district series, joining regular season champion Georgia Perimeter College. If GPC wins the tournament, the runner-up team also goes.
Middle Georgia (36-19) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a walk, a triple by Khirus Ware and a sacrifice fly. Doubles by Bo Way and Brandon Brown started the Warriors’ six-run second. Patrick Smith contributed a bases-clearing triple, chasing South Georgia starter Brice Baker (8-5).
The early outburst made a winner of Wyatt Brown (8-2), who struggled through a complete game, allowing 16 hits and four walks. He benefited from five double plays, one on a fly ball, and threw 140 pitches.
Middle Georgia produced 23 baserunners off five South Georgia pitchers—12 hits, four walks and six hit batsmen, plus a runner who reached on an error. Ware led the way with three hits.
Kenny Sanderson had four singles for South Georgia, while Kelsey Butts and Wesley Morris had three apiece.
Middle Georgia will play Gordon (33-22) at 7 p.m. Saturday. South Georgia (27-30) plays top-seeded GPC at 3:30. The noon losers’ bracket game matches Andrew (21-29) and East Georgia (21-31), the last two seeds in the tournament.
Down 4-2 in its game with Andrew, Gordon pulled within one run in the sixth on a solo homer by Zach Lowery, his 11th of the season. The Highlanders tied the score the next inning on singles by Andy Almonte and Landon Anderson and a muffed fly ball in center field.
In the eighth, a single by Chad Prain and two walks loaded the bases with none out for Anderson, who grounded into a double play, plating the go-ahead run.
Andrew Fessler (4-2) was the winning pitcher, going 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Bart Stapleton. Andrew loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before Ben Prestwood came on to get the final out, striking out cleanup hitter Jeremy Burns on a 3-2 pitch.
Almonte had three hits for the Highlanders and a key walk in the ninth.
Andrew used its two best pitchers, Kevin McCoy and Beau Thomas (4-4), but couldn’t pull off a victory. Dusty Davis had three hits for the Tigers, and Chris Smith drove in two runs.
May 12, 2011
Surratt and Blue head Jaguars’ eight region award winners
Georgia Perimeter College’s Danny Blue has won the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year Award for the second time in three seasons, aided in no small way by four all-region players and two Gold Glove winners on his roster, including the region’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Infielder Felton James, designated hitter Kenny Straus and pitcher Clay Garner all were named to the first team from the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
First baseman Jamie McMillan was named all-region second team.
Catcher Scott Surratt earned the Defensive Player of the Year Award as part of his Gold Glove citation. Shortstop McLendon Hill also won a GCAA Gold Glove.
In his fifth season at the college after a stellar high school coaching career, Blue has guided the Jaguars to a 38-14 record. Their 21-7 region mark clinched the GCAA regular-season championship, and a spot in the four-team Georgia/Tennessee district tournament as they prepare to open the region tournament on Friday.
Blue also won the 2009 Coach of the Year Award after leading the Jaguars to a breakout season, finishing 42-16 overall and capturing the NJCAA Region 17 regular-season championship with a 20-4 record.
“I think it says that I’ve got some good players,” Blue said when asked what the award meant to him. “Usually, all I do is write out the lineup card, and I don’t do that all the time—sometimes, Coach (Stewart) Bailey does.
“There are probably guys that deserve it more than I do, like Coach Phil Krum down at Andrew College in southwest Georgia or Coach Travis McClanahan at Gordon College. I’m not trying to be humble. I feel fortunate that we have good players, that we’ve got a good facility and it’s something I really appreciate greatly.”
James, a freshman from Newnan, is the Jaguars’ leading home-run hitter with eight, and is batting .331 with a team-leading .598 slugging percentage and has 29 runs batted in.
Straus, a sophomore from Atlanta, has a team-leading 15 doubles and is second both in homers, with six, and RBIs, with 36. He is hitting .339 in 45 games.
Garner, a freshman lefthander from Loganville, has been a pleasant surprise with a 9-1 record and a 2.44 earned-run average. He has struck out 74 batters in only 70 innings, while walking only 24—a strikeout-to-walk ratio better than 3-1. He has allowed only 63 hits. In nine starts, he has thrown five complete games and shared in three shutouts.
McMillan, a sophomore from Macon, is batting .336 with a home run and 25 RBIs. He also made the region second team last season.
Surratt, a sophomore from Statesboro, went the entire regular season without committing an error and helped the Jaguars throw out 36 would-be base-stealers.
Hill, a freshman from Midland near Columbus, has made only eight errors in 118 chances this season, solidifying GPC’s up-the-middle defense.
May 11, 2011
Jaguars to play East Georgia in GCAA tournament opener
It’s tournament time, and the six qualifiers from the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association will be scratching and clawing to win the four-day event. The pressure ratchets up with each passing inning.
Except on one team.
GCAA coaches wanted to properly reward the regular season champion, so they voted to give this year’s winner a couple of goodies—home field for the region tournament and an automatic pass into the four-team Georgia/Tennessee district tournament.
So the 20th-ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars already stand three victories away from the JUCO World Series in Colorado Springs, no matter how they fare in the double-elimination tournament, which starts Friday on the Newton Campus.
Of course, they will do their best. But the stakes will be considerably higher for the other five teams, one of which will join GPC in Tennessee. Should the Jaguars win the tournament, the team they beat in the final will go.
“It’s traditional that the top team doesn’t win if you look back on it,” said GPC coach Danny Blue of the tough and balanced GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The Jaguars’ journey starts Friday at noon against sixth-seeded East Georgia College. There will be three games a day in Covington on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with one or two Monday, as needed. The seedings and draw are posted in the region website, www.gcaa-sports.org.
All games are scheduled to be webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
The Jaguars were able to unseat defending tournament champion Gordon and defending regular season champ Middle Georgia with a rebuilt pitching staff led by lefthander Clay Garner, who is 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA, second in the league. For one reason or another, every pitcher who started a game in 2010 departed.
Righthander Trevor Walch (5-1, 2.89) and lefty Andy Threatt (4-0, 5.20) won big games down the stretch. But the pitcher everybody is buzzing about didn’t step on a collegiate mound until a month ago.
Antonio Allen pitched at Jonesboro High School but was a second baseman and occasional left fielder at GPC before heading to the bullpen. His lively fastball and ability to pound the strike zone earned him a start in the final week of the regular season, and he shut down Darton for eight innings.
“You’ve got a chance to win every ballgame if you throw strikes and catch the ball,”” said Blue.
In the bullpen, lefty Cameron Hall (4-4, 4.10) has thrown well lately, and righty James Connell has established himself as the closer.
In the everyday lineup, Blue tinkered a lot before decided on his mix of offense and defense. A key man has been third baseman and No. 3 hitter Felton James, who finished the season on a tear. His eight homers lead the team.
Also providing power are outfielders Kendall Lacey (.353, 3 homers, 36 RBIs) and Kenny Straus (.339, 6, 34).
Slick-fielding first baseman Christian Van Camp has been a pleasant surprise late in the season, raising his average to .379. Incumbent first baseman Jamie McMillan (.336, 1, 25) has been the designated hitter several times recently.
Clearly, the Jaguars have talent. But the ups and downs of a 38-14 season showed they often didn’t play to their potential.
“I don’t consider us a great-hitting ballclub or a great-pitching ballclub. Different guys have stepped up,” said Blue, who isn’t losing sight of the obvious: It isn’t easy to claw to the top of the GCAA.
Soon, the Jaguars will find out if they have the right stuff to produce the school’s first World Series team since 1999.
JAGUAR JOLTS: Second baseman Scott King missed most of the final regular season series with a wrenched knee. The Jaguars hope he returns for the tournament. … Opponents are hitting just .218 off Connell, who has the only sub-2.00 ERA on the staff (1.98). … Middle Georgia has the best team ERA in the league at 3.65, unseating the Jaguars (3.87) after a two-year reign in their spacious ballpark. … Shortstop McLendon Hill is the team leader with 18 stolen bases. … The Jaguars are 32-1 when they outhit their opponent.
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.
May 7, 2011
Jaguars claim region title, will host tournament
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars took care of business early Saturday, wrapping up the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title with a five-hit complete game by Clay Garner and a 5-0 victory over Darton College on the Newton Campus.
After the doubleheader was finished, coach Danny Blue got the traditional cooler soaking from his veteran players.
What happened in between took a little of the luster off a red-letter day in the baseball program’s history. Playing a makeshift lineup in the second game, the 20th-ranked Jaguars (38-14, 21-7) squandered leads early and late and committed five errors in a 7-5 loss.
“I expected more than we got,” said Blue, who wanted a better lead-in to the region tournament, which the Jaguars host starting Friday. Their game on the first day will be at noon against the sixth-seeded team.
By winning the regular season title—the second in three seasons—GPC is already assured a berth in the Georgia/Tennessee district tournament, which will be in Tennessee on May 20-22. The winner of the four-team, double-elimination district event heads to the JUCO World Series in Colorado Springs.
Garner (9-1) assured the Jaguars a stress-free day by twice pitching out of jams. He picked two runners off first and soldiered on when he once had to get four outs because of a dropped third strike. He finished with six strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.44, burnishing his all-region credentials.
“He’s a three-pitch guy—fastball, curveball, change,” said Blue. “Plus, he comes from the left side. That’s a plus.”
The Jaguars took a 1-0 lead in the second when Christian Van Camp was conked on the batting helmet by a pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Garitt Church.
They made it 3-0 in the fifth. Jacob Johnson led off with a single. After a walk to McLendon Hill, Kenny Straus dribbled a ball toward the mound that was scored an error. The first run scored when Felton James hit into a double play, and the second came in when the second baseman booted a grounder by Jamie McMillan.
Hill drove home the Jaguars’ last two runs with a single in the sixth as GPC took advantage of two walks by Darton starter Grant Shumate (3-3).
The second game was ugly as the Cavaliers (20-33, 9-19) twice overcame deficits. They erased a 5-4 deficit with three runs in the ninth off LeAndre Davis (1-1), the Jaguars’ fourth pitcher. With one out, Davis was touched for five straight singles.
“We had hoped to get a couple of more guys in to pitch,” said Blue, who added that he was pleased with the relief work of Matt Adams, who retired five consecutive hitters.
With the pennant clinched, Carter Harrison made the start, giving Trevor Walch more rest before the tournament. Harrison surrendered two hits and one unearned run in his four innings.
Oddly, the pitching victory went to Darton third baseman Michael Johnson, who retired one batter before becoming the beneficiary of the rally. Cavaliers ace Kevin Bibler came on in the seventh to record a one-pitch save—the final pitch of his JUCO career, because Darton didn’t qualify for the tournament. It was also the finale for 16-year Darton coach Glenn Eames, who is retiring.
All tournament games of the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, are scheduled to be video webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting at psblive.com. For links, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
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.
May 6, 2011
Jaguars cut magic number to one with 5-2 win
Felton James and Christian Van Camp provided the clutch hitting Friday night as the 20th-ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars moved to the doorstep of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title with a 5-2 victory over Darton College on the Newton Campus.
James and Van Camp each drove in two runs in the pivotal fifth inning as the Jaguars erased a 2-0 deficit with four runs.
The victory gave the Jaguars (37-13, 20-6) a magic number of one, meaning one victory or one loss by second-place Gordon will give them the pennant in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
With the regular season title—which would be the Jaguars’ second in three seasons—comes the privilege of hosting the four-day region tournament, which starts next Friday. The regular-season winner also gets an automatic bid to the Georgia/Tennessee district tournament, with the tournament winner getting the other bid. If the same team wins the regular season and tournament, the second-place team from the tournament goes.
GPC’s regular season ends Saturday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader against Darton (19-32, 8-18). The games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on “Game Webcasts” for a link.
The Jaguars’ big fifth inning made a winner of Andy Threatt (4-0), who pitched into the sixth inning before Cameron Hall finished up for the save. Hall allowed only one hit and one walk in his four innings.
With one out in the fifth, LeAndre Davis doubled and Garitt Church walked. Kenny Straus popped up to shortstop, but James followed with an opposite-field double to right, driving in two runs. After a walk to Jamie McMillan and a wild pitch, Van Camp delivered a tie-breaking two-run single to right field.
The Jaguars got their final run in the sixth when Sloan Stickland singled and pinch-runner Travis Tarleton eventually scored on a two-out single by Straus.
Davis, Van Camp and McLendon Hill each had two of the Jaguars’ 11 hits off Darton’s Jowell Nova (0-5), who went the distance.
James’ double continued his hot streak. He is 12-for-26 with four homers and eight RBIs in his last six games.
“Without him we’d be in trouble,” said Jaguars coach Danny Blue. “He’s always been able to hit a fastball, and now he’s hitting the breaking stuff better.”
James, a shortstop in high school and a third baseman for most of his time at GPC, also did a good job filling in for Scott King at second base, turning a pair of double plays. King is out for the remainder of series after twisting his knee in Tuesday’s game at Darton.
“We hope to get him back for the tournament,” Blue said of King.
The Jaguars want to go into the region tournament with a head of steam, even if they are assured a trip to Tennessee. They have won seven straight since losing both ends of a doubleheader to Gordon on April 16.
“We just need to get a few more clutch hits,” said Blue.
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.
May 3, 2011
Allen, James star in 5-1 victory at Darton
Antonio Allen pitched eight strong innings and Felton James continued his hot hitting as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat Darton College 5-1 in Albany on Tuesday.
The 20th-ranked Jaguars (36-13, 19-6) lowered their magic number for clinching the regular season title in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association to two. They are firmly in control of the race as the series shifts to Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus for a single game Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 2.
GPC needs any combination of victories or losses by second place Gordon College (17-8 in the region) totaling two on the final weekend to clinch the host’s role for the tournament May 13-16. Gordon will play three games at Andrew College Saturday and Sunday.
Darton (19-31, 8-17) still has a slim hope of slipping into the region tournament, which will include six teams playing a double-elimination format.
The regular season champion of the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, gets an automatic berth in the district tournament, which will decide the Georgia/Tennessee participant in the NJCAA World Series in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The region tournament winner gets the other berth from Region 17. If the regular season champion and the tournament winner are the same, the second place team from the tournament qualifies.
At Darton on Tuesday, Allen (2-0) stifled Darton in his first collegiate start, allowing seven hits and one unearned run. He walked one hitter and struck out two. James Connell pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
The Jaguars erased a 1-0 deficit in the sixth inning after Jamie McMillan led off with a single and Christian Van Camp walked. McLendon Hill bunted the runners over, and pinch runner T.D. Davis scored on a groundout by Scott King.
GPC broke the tie with three runs in the seventh. Garritt Church was hit by a pitch and stole second before scoring on a double by Kenny Straus. James followed with his eighth home run, leading the team.
The Jaguars scored their final run in the eighth when Scott Surratt reached on an error but received an RBI on the play.
James had three of GPC’s 10 hits, while Van Camp had two.
The losing pitcher was Darton ace Kevin Bibler (6-9), who lasted eight innings, allowing eight hits and four walks while striking out five.
The Friday and Saturday games at Jaguar Field will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc/edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
April 30, 2011
First place Jaguars sweep South Georgia in doubleheader, series
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars woke up Saturday morning in first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, then went out and smartly took care of business, beating South Georgia College 4-1 and 7-5 at George A. Cook Stadium in Douglas.
With the doubleheader and series sweep, the 20th-ranked Jaguars (35-13, 18-6) have a clear path to the regular season championship in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. If they sweep four games from Darton next week, they can’t be caught.
The regular season title carries twin prizes—the right to host the six-team GCAA tournament May 13-16 and an automatic berth in the district tournament, which will match two Georgia teams and two Tennessee teams. The tournament champ will get the other berth in the district event. If the regular season champion also wins the tournament, the second place team from the tournament will go.
“We had different people step up every game,” said GPC coach Danny Blue. “It was really a team effort.”
Clay Garner (8-1) pitched a five-hit complete game in the opener, allowing a run in the first inning and nothing more. He struck out four and was helped considerably by errorless defense in the infield, including a big league diving step by Garritt Church at shortstop.
The Jaguars went ahead 2-1 in the second inning. After Christian Van Camp led off with a double and the next hitter struck out, T.D. Davis doubled to right field. Van Camp, thinking the ball would be caught, advanced only to third. Scott King drove in both runners with a single, the first of his three hits in the game.
Felton James made it 3-1 with a solo homer in the third, his third of the series and team-leading seventh of the series.
The final run came in the fifth inning on a single by Church, two walks and a two-out wild pitch.
In the nightcap, the Jaguars twice took early leads over the Tigers (26-27, 13-12) but couldn’t hold them. They finally went ahead for good 6-5 in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by LeAndre Davis. In the seventh, a walk, a single by King and an error produced an insurance run.
Starter Trevor Walch, who was charged with five runs, departed after walking the first two runners in the fourth inning. Josh Gobble came on and issued another walk, loading the bases, before an infield single by David Reid-Foley tied the score at 5.
At that point, Gobble (1-0) buckled down and saved the game. He struck out a dangerous RBI man, Jeremy Donaldson, and induced a double play grounder from Seth Foster.
“Josh did a great job,” said Blue. “We put him in a tough situation.”
Gobble went on to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings, and Adam Lass secured the final out of the sixth. James Connell pitched a spotless seventh for his second save in two days and third of the season.
Kendall Lacey, Jamie McMillan and King had two hits apiece for the Jaguars. McMillan’s first hit, a double, produced two RBIs in the second inning.
Brice Baker (8-4), the losing pitcher as a starter in the first game of the series Wednesday night, came on in relief of Zack Hula and again took the loss. Frank Ambrosino (2-7) was the losing pitcher in the opener.
The Darton series opens Tuesday in Albany with a 3:30 game, then moves to Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus for a single game Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 2. The Friday and Saturday games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section for a link.
April 29, 2011
James homers twice as Jaguars win 7-4 at South Georgia
Felton James slammed two homers Friday night—including a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning—as Georgia Perimeter College beat South Georgia College 7-4 in a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association game at George A. Cook Stadium in Douglas.
James’ first homer, after a walk to Kenny Straus, rescued the Jaguars from a 2-0 hole in the fourth inning. He finished with four hits and now has six homers for the season, tied with Straus for the team lead.
The 20th-ranked Jaguars (33-13, 16-6) have won the first two games of the series against South Georgia (26-25, 13-10), with a doubleheader of two seven-inning games coming up Saturday at 1 p.m. The games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the "Game Webcasts" section for a link.
Cameron Hall (4-4) was the winning pitcher with 3 1/3 innings of one-run relief after starter Andy Threatt went five-plus innings. With runners on second and third in the ninth, James Connell secured the final two outs for his second save.
After Threatt left trailing 3-2, the Jaguars scored the tying run in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Garitt Church.
James, the leadoff hitter in the eighth, broke the tie with his second homer, this time off Tigers reliever Hunter Ross (1-3). But the Jaguars were far from through.
Christian Van Camp singled, chasing Ross in favor of Mikey Rodriguez, who was greeted by a single by Kendall Lacey. After a srikeout, Rodriguez hit Scott King, loading the bases, and then hit LeAndre Davis, driving home a run. Scott Surratt made it 7-3 with a single.
Surratt had three of the Jaguars’ 12 hits, while Van Camp had two after entering the game at first base in the fifth inning for Jamie McMillan, who was shaken up on a defensive play.
April 27, 2011
Allen’s performance a relief for Jaguars in 8-4 victory
Things were looking bleak for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars on Wednesday when Antonio Allen rode to the rescue.
Allen, in his fourth pitching appearance as a collegian, delivered 6 1/3 innings of shutout relief as GPC beat South Georgia College 8-4 in the series opener at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.
The victory pulled the 20th-ranked Jaguars (32-13, 15-6) within a half-game of first-place Gordon in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. GPC and South Georgia (26-24, 13-9) finish the four-game series in Douglas with a single game Friday evening and a doubleheader Saturday.
Allen entered the game in the third inning and stranded a runner at second with a strikeout. In the bottom of the frame, the Jaguars scored four runs to take a 5-4 lead.
“He gets a lot of sinking action on his pitches and hides the ball well,” said GPC coach Danny Blue “Plus he’s sneaky fast [sometimes approaching 90 mph].”
Allen—who pitched quite a bit in high school at Jonesboro but figured to be a position player at GPC—came out of the bullpen pounding the strike zone and finished with seven whiffs against a team with a .327 batting average, second in the league to Middle Georgia.
“When you throw strikes, you can win a lot of games,” said Blue.
Allen (1-0) didn’t walk anybody and allowed four singles. Three of those runners were erased on the basepaths, two on double plays and one on a memorable pickoff.
South Georgia’s Seth Foster broke way too early on a steal attempt, but avoided the tag of Jaguars first baseman Jamie McMillan. In the rundown, Foster got caught near second base by Allen, who moved like an NFL cornerback.
In the eighth, after the first two Tigers runners reached base, Allen induced a double play and LeAndre Davis ended the threat with a full-out diving catch in left center.
After South Georgia built a 4-1 lead against Jaguars starter Matt Adams, GPC rallied in the third. Kenny Straus, back after sitting out 2 1/2 weeks with a calf injury, doubled home Garitt Church, who reached on an error. Straus scored on a groundout to first by McMillan for the second out of the inning.
Kendall Lacey and T.D. Davis followed with back-to-back solo homers for a 5-4 lead.
The Jaguars scored twice more in the fifth off South Georgia starter Brice Baker (8-3) after Lacey and T.D. Davis led off with singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Scott King and a strikeout, Scott Surratt singled home Lacey and Davis scored on a wild pitch.
T.D. Davis also doubled home a run in the sixth, finishing with three hits. Lacey also had three. King, LeAndre Davis and Felton James had two apiece as the Jaguars finished with 15.
“It was good to see T.D. come through. He looked like he did last year,” said Blue. The homer was Davis’ second. He had nine last season.
All games in Douglas will be webcast on NHSBN.com. For a link, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
April 26, 2011
Tuesday’s baseball game rained out, rescheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Tuesday’s home baseball game against South Georgia College has been rescheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. because of threatening weather.
April 17, 2011
GPC salvages win to stay on Highlanders’ heels
Once again Zach Lowery hit a three-run home run against his former teammates and threatened a sweep.
But this time Trevor Walch and the Jaguars would have none of it as Georgia Perimeter College pieced together enough runs Sunday to overcome Gordon College 4-3, take one of the four-game series with the visiting Highlanders and stay in the thick of the race for first place in the conference.
Lowery, the sophomore centerfielder who played at GPC last season, had hit three-run and two-run runs Saturday and a three-run blast in Tuesday’s series opener at Gordon. Sunday, after Dustin Dalkin opened the fourth inning with a base hit and Robbie Payne walked, he walloped a Walch pitch a mile over the left field scoreboard to give Gordon a 3-2 edge.
Walch, a right-handed transfer from Oklahoma State University, recovered to pitched a three-hit complete game, retiring 13 straight batters from the fourth and eighth innings.
“Walch is the big story with his three-hitter. He came through for us,” head coach Danny Blue said. “This was the perfect example of good pitching, big defensive plays and no defensive mistakes. We got a few clutch hits and took advantage of their mistakes.”
Along with the Jags’ error-free effort, defensive highlights included diving stops by second baseman Scott King and first baseman Christian Van Camp. With a runner on first in the ninth inning, Walch knocked down a sizzling line drive by Lowery, picked up the ball and fired to second to force the lead runner by a half step.
The victory keeps GPC (31-13, 14-6) within a half game of Gordon (27-18, 14-5) in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association standings. The first-place team at the end of the regular season will host the conference tournament May 13-16.
Felton James delivered GPC’s first two runs with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the first inning and another sac fly in the third frame.
After Lowery’s homer, the Jags regained the lead in the fifth when Jamie McMillan singled in Scott Sarratt. In the sixth, Scott King singled, advanced to third on two wild pitches and came home with the winning run on a bases-loaded walk.
Van Camp led the Jaguars at the plate with a double and single in three trips, including the base-on-balls that drove in King.
Walch (5-1) threw 130 pitches, walking four and striking out five. The losing pitcher for Gordon was reliever Andrew Fessler.
The Jaguars, with numerous players nursing injuries, get a much-needed rest until hosting South Georgia College on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 p.m. That game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 4:50. Visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
The Jaguars home games are played at GPCs Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 16, 2011
Former Jaguar Lowery leads Gordon to twinbill sweep
Zach Lowery celebrated his homecoming at Jaguar Field in a big way.
The Gordon College center fielder hit two home runs and was torrid at the plate all day to lead the Highlanders to a wild 12-4, 17-5 doubleheader sweep of his former teammates at Georgia Perimeter College. This after his three-run homer helped beat the Jaguars in Tuesday’s game at Gordon.
The losses drop the Jaguars, ranked 13th in the nation, to 30-13 and 13-6 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Gordon (27-17, 14-4) moves 1 1/2 games ahead of the Jaguars at the top of the GCAA standings. The first-place team at the end of the regular season will host the Region 17 tournament May 13-16.
The first of the two seven-inning games was tied at 4-4 going into the last inning, but the Highlanders struck for eight runs. Lowery, who played for GPC last season after first signing with Mississippi State University, blasted his second three-run home run of the week. Shawn McCain hit a bases-clearing double to open the floodgates, and Dustin Dalken belted a two-run homer.
Georgia Perimeter managed only three hits against winning pitcher Bart Stapleton (5-2). The Jaguars scored on an RBI double by Kendall Lacey, a solo home run that T.D. Davis poked to right field, an RBI double by LeAndre Davis and an run scored on a groundout by Jacob Johnson.
Starter Clay Garner (7-1) took his first loss of the season, despite striking out 11 in 6 2/3 innings.
In the second game, the Jaguars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Felton James and a bases-loaded single by T.D. Davis.
But Gordon exploded for nine runs on nine hits in the top of the second. GPC starter Cameron Hall (3-4) gave way to utility man Antonio Allen, who has made three appearances on the mound this week.
Allen shut down the visitors until the sixth inning, when they again batted around for five runs, powered by a two-run homer by Lowery, who had five hits in the game. Andy Almonte drove in Gordon’s final run in the seventh as Gordon finished the game with 20 hits.
The Jags chipped away at the lead with an RBI sacrifice fly by Jamie McMillan in the second inning; Christian Van Camp’s scamper across the plate on a wild pitch in the third and Kendall Lacey’s run-scoring reach on an error in the fourth.
But they drew no closer than 9-5 as reliever Ben Prestwood (3-1) retired the final 11 GPC batters to get the win.
The teams finish their four-game series Sunday at 2 p.m., a make-up of Friday’s rainout. The game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 1:50. To listen in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
April 15, 2011
Today’s baseball game with Gordon College postponed, moved to Sunday at 1 p.m.
Because of oncoming rain, today’s baseball game with Gordon College at the Georgia Perimeter College field has been postponed.
The game is rescheduled for Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m.
The weekend’s three-game series will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic. Sunday’s broadcast begins at 12:50 p.m., and Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1:50 p.m. Saturday is Veteran’s and Alumni Day at the stadium.
April 14, 2011
Jaguars beat Piedmont’s JV team with 3 in 12th
The 13th-ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars took a break from Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association play Thursday for a trip to Demorest that took longer than expected. It took a dramatic comeback in the ninth and eventually 12 innings to produce an 11-8 victory over the JV team of Piedmont College.
Antonio Allen was the man of the hour, scoring the tying run in the top of the ninth. He reached on a two-out error, stole second and third and came home on an errant throw by the catcher.
In the 11th, Allen walked and again stole second and third with two out, but couldn’t score.
In the 12th, after the Jaguars scored three times in the top of the inning, Allen moved from left field to pitch, securing the save with a 1-2-3 inning.
James Connell (1-0) was the winning pitcher, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Jaguars (30-11) return to GCAA action at home Saturday at 2 p.m., hosting Gordon College in a doubleheader of two seven-inning games for first place in the league. The teams play again Sunday at 1 p.m. at GPC, a reschedule of Friday’s postponed engagement.
Piedmont took a 4-0 lead in the first inning off GPC starter Matt Kerul before the Jaguars chipped away and finally tied the score at 5 on a solo homer in the fifth by Felton James. The hosts reclaimed the lead with a three-run eighth, setting the stage for Allen’s heroics.
Connell and Allen were the fifth and sixth pitchers for GPC as coach Danny Blue used his bullpen and bench liberally in the nonregion game.
Scott King had four of GPC’s 13 hits, while Sloan Strickland and Christian Van Camp had two apiece. The Jaguars also walked 11 times.
Colton Bryant had three hits for Piedmont, which plays in NCAA Division 3.
The three Gordon games will be webcast, beginning at 1:50 p.m. Saturday and 12:50 Sunday. To tune in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
The Jaguars home games are played at GPCs Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 14, 2011
Jaguars ranked No. 13 in nation
After a four-game sweep of Middle Georgia College, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars catapulted from No. 25 to thirteenth place in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll released Wednesday.
Middle Georgia, a perennial baseball power, had been ranked twelfth in the weekly coaches poll but dropped out of the top 25 this week. With the sweep of the Warriors, Georgia Perimeter (29-11, 13-4) gained national attention and took over first place in Region 17, also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.
It is believed that the No. 13 ranking is Georgia Perimeter’s highest rating in the baseball poll since 1998 or 1999.
After a Thursday visit with the Piedmont College JV’s, the Jaguars return to their home field Friday and Saturday for three games with Gordon College, the second-place team in the conference and 2009 champion. The Highlanders defeated GPC 15-5 Tuesday in Barnesville in the first game of the schools’ four-game series.
The weekend series will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic. Friday’s broadcast begins at 4:50 p.m., and Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1:50 p.m. Saturday is Veteran’s and Alumni Day at the stadium.
The Jaguars home games are played at GPCs Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.
April 12, 2011
Jaguars drop first game of Gordon series, 15-5
After a sweep of Middle Georgia, the 25th-ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars found trouble in Barnesville on Tuesday night, losing 15-5 to Gordon College.
A grand slam by Kendall Lacey in the third inning was one of the few highlights for the Jaguars (29-11, 13-4), who saw their lead in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association shrink to a half-game over the Highlanders (25-17, 12-4).
The teams conclude their four-game series with a single game Friday at 5 p.m. at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus and a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at 2. Those games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on “Game Webcasts” for a link.
Coach Danny Blue tried five pitchers, and all gave up at least two runs. Adam Lass (2-2), who worked after starter Andy Threatt lasted only 2 1/3 innings, took the loss. Lass entered the game with the best ERA in the league, 1.35.
Gordon’s Casey Shiver (5-2) went five innings for the victory, striking out eight.
Lacey’s slam came after singles by Scott Surratt and Garitt Church and a misplayed bunt. It gave GPC a 4-3 lead.
The Jaguars scored their final run in the fifth on doubles by Felton James and T.D. Davis. Their 5-4 lead was swamped by five Gordon runs in the bottom of the inning, three of which came on a homer by Zach Lowery, who played for GPC in the 2010 season.
The Highlanders padded their margin with two runs in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh. The game was halted by rule when the margin reached 10 runs.
April 9, 2011
Jaguars beat Middle Georgia twice more, complete sweep
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars rode the hot bat of Felton James and outstanding damage control by their pitching staff to a doubleheader sweep Saturday, beating Middle Georgia College 5-2 and 12-3 in Cochran.
The 25th-ranked Jaguars are 29-10 overall and have a grip on first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 13-3 region record. They play another contender, Gordon College next week with a game in Barnesville on Tuesday night and three more at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus next weekend (Friday evening and a doubleheader Saturday afternoon).
All four Gordon games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu.athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section for links.
After producing five RBIs Friday night (including a grand slam), James drove home six more runs Saturday with a homer, a double and two singles. He also walked three times.
Clay Garner (7-0) pitched a complete game in the opener, allowing a pair of runs in the first inning and nothing more. He pitched around six hits, six walks, two errors and a hit batsman, consistently frustrating the Warriors, the hitting leaders in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Garner, a lefthander, helped himself twice by picking off runners in key situations. With two on in the fifth inning, he coaxed a double play. In the seventh and final inning, the Warriors put the tying runs on base before Garner struck out Chris Brooks to end the game.
Middle Georgia (27-14, 9-7), ranked No. 12, left 10 men on base. For the doubleheader, the Warriors left 19.
The Jaguars took a 3-2 lead in the third inning. After a two-out single by Jamie McMillan, a walk to James, a hit batsman and an RBI walk by Scott King, LeAndre Davis delivered a two-run single.
McMillan also singled in the fifth ahead of James’ homer off losing pitcher Jesse Scott (3-4).
The Jaguars took care of business early in the second game, scoring three runs in the first and seven in the second.
James doubled home the first two runs in the first and later scored on an error.
In the second, a double by Scott Surratt and singles by King and Kendall Lacey loaded the bases before James drew a walk from Warriors starter Kelly Holt (5-3). Devin Rentz relieved Holt and walked Sloan Strickland before T.D. Davis cleared the bases with a double. LeAndre Davis followed with another double and scored on a single by Surratt.
Staked to a big lead, Jaguars starter Trevor Walch and his successors allowed seven hits and six walks but no big innings. Carter Harrison (4-2) pitched 3 1/3 innings and was credited with the victory.
April 8, 2011
Jaguars slam Middle Georgia 11-5, lead series 2-0
Felton James punctuated a good night of hitting by Georgia Perimeter College with a grand slam in the ninth inning, breaking open a close game as the Jaguars beat Middle Georgia College 11-5 in Cochran on Friday night.
The 25th-ranked Jaguars (27-10, 11-3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) led 6-5 going into the final inning. After a single by Garitt Church, a double by Kenny Straus and an intentional walk to Kendall Lacey, Jamie McMillan singled home a run.
James followed with his slam, giving him five RBIs for the night.
Cameron Hall (3-3) was the winning pitcher, going five effective innings in relief of starter Matt Adams. Hall struck out seven. James Connell worked 1 2/3 hitless innings for the save.
McMillan produced four of the Jaguars’ 13 hits. Lacey had two.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, GPC retaliated with three runs in the second, the first on a bases-loaded single by LeAndre Davis. The other two runs came in on an error.
Middle Georgia’s other error figured in the scoring as GPC tallied twice in the seventh, breaking a 4-4 tie. After Davis walked and Church sacrificed, Lacey delivered a two-out RBI single. McMillan followed with a single and went to second on an error, with Lacey scoring.
Middle Georgia, ranked 12th, fell to 27-12, 9-5 in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Patrick Smith and Brandon Brown had three hits apiece for the Warriors.
DeMondre Arnold (2-2), working in relief of starter Wyatt Brown, took the loss.
The Jaguars lead the series 2-0 going into Saturday’s doubleheader (two seven-inning games) at Stuckey Field in Cochran.
April 5, 2011
Jaguars move into first place with win over No. 12 Middle Georgia
Andy Threatt and Clay Garner turned in memorable pitching performances, and Kenny Straus starred at the plate as Georgia Perimeter College defeated Middle Georgia College 9-5 Tuesday to move into first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.
The nationally ranked teams entered the game—heavily attended by pro and college scouts—tied atop the conference with 9-3 records, 2 ½ games ahead of third place Gordon College. Their season series continues Friday and Saturday at Middle Georgia’s Stuckey Field in Cuthbert.
Winning before a large crowd at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus, Georgia Perimeter improves to 26-10 overall and 10-3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Middle Georgia dips to 27-11, 9-4. The winner of the regular season title hosts the conference tournament May 13-16.
“It was a great team effort. Everybody worked hard tonight,” GPC head coach Danny Blue said. “Now, if we can just stay focused like that at Middle Georgia this weekend, we’ll be in good shape.”
The Jaguars were ranked 25th in last week’s National Junior College Athletic Association poll, while Middle held the No. 12 spot.
Facing the top hitting club in the conference, Threatt (3-0) gave up two runs in the first inning and then settled in for four innings, giving his teammates time to cut the deficit at the plate.
Middle Georgia starter Matt Taylor (6-3) led off the game with an infield single and eventually scored on a sacrifice by Bryson Caleb. Dylan Kelly doubled in a second run and the Warriors had a 2-0 lead.
Straus put GPC on the scoreboard in the third inning with a high home run that just cleared the right field fence a few feet from the foul pole.
GPC took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Garitt Church beat out a high hopper to third base, Straus doubled and Kendall Lacey drove them in with a line single up the middle.
The Warriors came back in the sixth on an RBI triple by Patrick Smith and a sacrifice grounder by Bo Way.
But in the bottom half of the sixth, the Jaguars erupted for four runs. Scott King knocked in McLendon Hill with a double that was mere inches inside the first base bag. Church scored King in with a two-out single. Straus drove in Church and then scored when Lacey diverted the Warriors’ attention in a botched pick-off attempt and rundown that ended with Lacey safely back at first base.
In the seventh, the Jags padded their lead when McMillan doubled to the right-center wall, McLendon Hill walked and Scott Sarratt lofted a two-run Texas-Leaguer into center field.
The visitors chased Threatt in the eighth inning and threatened a big rally. With runners on first and second and no out, Blue brought Garner in from the bullpen.
Garner—who struck out eight Saturday in a 4-0 six-hitter against Andrew College—fanned two batters, but didn’t get out of the inning without an RBI single by Way. Striking out two more in retiring the side in the ninth, he threw first-strike pitches to seven of the nine batters he faced, and 25 of his 31 pitches were strikes.
Showing a repertoire of off-speed and breaking pitches and a fastball with movement, Threatt allowed four earned runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out five in seven innings of work.
“He’s the type of guy who is a battler. He came in and did a great job for us,” Blue said.
Straus collected three singles in addition to the home run and double as GPC finished with 15 hits, but struck out 13 times, eight at the hand of Taylor. The Warriors had 10 hits.
Friday, the teams resume the series at Middle Georgia at 7 p.m. They finish with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday that will be audio broadcast online, beginning at 1:50. To tune in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
April 2, 2011
Jaguars back on track with twinbill sweep at Andrew
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars got stellar pitching Saturday afternoon from Clay Garner and Trevor Walch, beating Andrew College 4-0 and 3-1 in a doubleheader in Cuthbert.
Garner (6-0) pitched a six-hitter in the opener, striking out eight. He allowed six hits and didn’t walk anyone.
Walch (4-1) followed up with a five-hitter, striking out nine. He allowed five hits and one walk, and the run he yielded was unearned.
The victories lifted the 25th-ranked Jaguars to 25-10, 9-3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Their next action is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home against 12th-ranked Middle Georgia College, the start of a key four-game series between nationally ranked teams.
GPC took a 2-0 lead two batters into Saturday’s first game. Leadoff man Garitt Church singled and Kenny Straus hit a home run, his fifth of the season. As a ballclub playing in a spacious home park with the new, deader composite bats, the Jaguars have hit only 10 homers overall.
The Jaguars scored twice more in the sixth after Jamie McMillan walked and McLendon Hill singled. After a sacrifice bunt by Scott King, McMillan scored on a wild pitch. Jacob Johnson reached on an error but received credit for batting in the second run.
Andrew starter Steven Barnett took the loss, going five innings.
In the nightcap, GPC forged a 2-0 lead in the third on a single by Scott Surratt and two errors. They went ahead 3-1 in the sixth on an RBI single by Felton James after Kendall Lacey led off the inning with a single.
Andrew’s Kevin McCoy was the hard-luck loser, allowing five hits and one earned run. He struck out seven.
Tuesday’s game with Middle Georgia will be webcast. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
April 1, 2011
Andrew College downs Jags with 5-run inning
Andrew College broke a 3-3 tie with five runs in the seventh inning to down Georgia Perimeter College 8-3 Friday in Region 17 baseball action at Cuthbert.
The loss drops Georgia Perimeter to 23-10, 7-3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The Jaguars remain in Cuthbert to play Andrew (14-17, 6-4) again Saturday in a doubleheader.
GPC returns to its home field Tuesday at 7 p.m., hosting region rival Middle Georgia College. That contest will be audio webcast, beginning at 6:50. Click on the link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”
March 29, 2011
Four unearned runs send Andrew past Jaguars 4-0
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars 4-0 loss to Andrew College on Tuesday night at the Newton Campus was quick—one hour and 50 minutes, out of character for nine innings of college baseball.
But it wasn’t painless.
All of the runs were unearned, and walks played a part. The Jaguars had only four hits, all singles, off Andrew’s Chance Armour (1-0), who pitched a complete game.
The shutout was the first by a GPC opponent since Valentine’s Day of 2010, and that was a seven-inning game.
“The defense didn’t help, but if you don’t score you don’t win,” said GPC coach Danny Blue. “We didn’t even threaten, except for one time. [Armour] pitched a heck of a game. You have to tip your hat to him. His kind of off-speed stuff gives us trouble.”
GPC’s Matt Adams (0-1) struck out eight in six innings, allowing only one hit, a swinging bunt up the third base line. But he was done in by four walks and two errors.
Andrew scored twice in the first after Adams walked the first two batters of the game. Brandon Phillips bunted back to the mound and Adams tried for the force at third, but the ball wound up at the fence. One run scored on that play, and the second scored on a sacrifice fly by Ross Howard.
The Tigers’ final two runs came in the sixth. After a walk and a single by Phillips, Taylor Jackson tried to bunt up the first base line, but Jamie McMillan’s throw forced the runner at third. With two out, Dusty Davis hit a towering fly to the outfield that was dropped, allowing both runners to score.
Carter Harrison finished the game with three shutout innings for GPC, but the Jaguars (23-9, 7-2 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) never dented the plate and wound up taking only their second loss in 18 games. Andrew raised its record to 13-17, 5-4.
GPC’s best threat came in the fourth, when singles by Felton James and McMillan put runners at first and third with one out. But Andrew first baseman Hank Towery speared a liner by Kendall Lacey and stepped on first for the double play.
“Just bad luck there,” said Blue. The teams finish their four-game series with a single game at Andrew on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.
The Jaguars’ next home game is Tuesday, April 5, against Middle Georgia at 7 p.m. It will be Rockdale Youth Baseball Association Night. To listen to the audio webcast of that game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on “Game Webcasts.”
March 26, 2010
Jaguars back on track with two wins at East Georgia
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars struck for big innings Saturday and got a 10-strikeout performance from Trevor Walch in sweeping a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association doubleheader at East Georgia College, 19-8 and 5-2.
The Jaguars (23-8, 7-1) have won 16 of 17 games going into a Tuesday night meeting with Andrew College at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus. Their only loss during the streak was to East Georgia Friday night, 8-6.
In the first game, GPC broke a 6-6 tie with five runs in the sixth inning and buried the Bobcats (13-18, 3-5) with eight more runs in the seventh, the final inning.
Jamie McMillan singled home two runs in the sixth and turned his ankle rounding first base, causing him to leave the game. After McLendon Hill doubled, Antonio Allen tripled home two more runs.
Twelve Jaguars batted in the seventh. The major blows in the inning were a two-run single by Kendall Lacey and a bases-loaded double by Garitt Church, who drove in five runs in the game.
Clay Garner (5-0) was the winner despite giving up six runs, five earned, in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three. Josh Gobble mopped up in the final inning. The losing pitcher was C.J. Lusted.
In the second game, Walch (3-1) pitched the seven-inning complete game, striking out 10. He allowed four hits and walked one.
The Jaguars staked Walch to a four-run lead in the first inning. After singles by Kenny Straus and Felton James and a wild pitch, Christian Van Camp walked. After an error, a balk and a hit batsman, LeAndre Davis doubled home two runs.
East Georgia scored twice in the first before Walch shut them down the rest of the game.
GPC scored an unearned run in the third. Allen got the RBI on a groundout.
The Bobcats’ Euric King also pitched a complete game and yielded only five hits, including two doubles by Davis. King struck out five and walked one.
Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game against Andrew will be webcast. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click in the “Game Webcasts” section for a link.
March 25, 2011
East Georgia gets revenge as Jaguars’ win streak ends at 14 in Swainsboro
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ 14-game winning streak ended on the road Friday afternoon with an 8-6 loss to East Georgia College.
Having won a game apiece, the teams conclude their four-game Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association series on Saturday at noon. The Jaguars fell to 21-8, 5-1 in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. East Georgia is 13-16, 3-3.
East Georgia broke a 5-5 tie with two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off GPC reliever Adam Lass (2-1), working in relief of starter Kevin Kyle.
A double by C.J. Lusted, one of his three, plated both runs. Lusted drove home another unearned run in the eighth off GPC’s James Connell, finishing with 4 RBIs.
Each starting pitcher gave up five runs, all earned. The Jaguars’ Kyle left after two innings, in which he allowed six hits and two walks. East Georgia starter Austin Meyer lasted four innings, departing with a 7-5 lead. The victory went to Justin Eaton, who also went four innings. Tucker Darsey secured the save by pitching the ninth.
The Jaguars took their only lead in the top of the first, 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by Kendall Lacey. GPC tied the score at 3 in the second on doubles by McLendon Hill and Antonio Allen and a single by Christian Van Camp.
The same part of the batting order was productive again in the fourth as the Jaguars tied the game at 5 on singles by Hill and Allen, a double steal and a two-run double by Van Camp.Hill and Allen finished with three hits apiece as the Jaguars produced 10.
GPC’s next home game is Tuesday at 7 p.m. as the Jaguars host Andrew College on “Newton County Government and Public Safety Night.” That game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 6:50. To listen in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 23, 2011
Jaguars slip past East Georgia 5-4 in 11 innings
On their fourth try, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars finally produced late-inning heroics.
After pushing the winning run into scoring position in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings Wednesday evening, the Jaguars scored in the 11th for a 5-4 victory over East Georgia College in a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association game on the Newton Campus.
“We kept getting them to second or third and couldn’t get them home,” said coach Danny Blue, who is enjoying a 14-game winning streak, the longest of his tenure at GPC, which started in 2007. “We played through some tough breaks today. I’m proud of that.”
The GPC 11th started with a walk to Jamie McMillan and a hit to left field by McLendon Hill. McMillan, with the situation in front of him, made it to third on a close play and Hill wound up at second with a double. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Scott King drew a game-ending walk from East Georgia reliever Tucker Darsey.
Adam Lass (2-0), GPC’s fourth pitcher, got the win. Carter Harrison started and pitched into the seventh, allowing two runs. Cameron Hall and LeAndre Davis worked effectively before Lass started the 11th.
“LeAndre did a heckuva job,” said Blue. “They all did out of the bullpen.”
Lass’ scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 0.87, one of the best in the nation.
The Jaguars tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by Kenny Straus, a single by Kendall Lacey, a double by McMillan and a sacrifice fly by Hill. Straus drove home another run in the second with a single.
GPC (21-7, 5-0) went ahead 4-2 in the fourth on singles by Bobo Gales and Garitt Church, a groundout and a two-out passed ball. But eight innings of courageous relief work by East Georgia’s Steven Vaughn kept the Jaguars at bay, allowing East Georgia to catch up in the eighth.
After a single by Brian Dowell, a walk to Aaron Hoffer and a double steal, an error plated two unearned runs off Hall.
Left fielder Kyle Norton of East Georgia (12-16, 2-3) foiled the Jaguars’ chance to win in the 10th with a diving catch in left field on a drive hit by Lacey with two out. The Bobcats had a chance to score in the top of the inning, but Davis induced a double play grounder from Hoffer with runners at first and second and one out.
The teams conclude their four-game series in Swainsboro on Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday (doubleheader) at noon. Fans should be advised that the Bobcats have no seating at their park, so lawn chairs are recommended.
GPC remains tied with Middle Georgia College for first place in the GCAA standings (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association). The rivals have had almost identical seasons so far, as Middle Georgia also sports a 14-game winning streak and a 22-7 overall record, 5-0 in the conference. Their first showdown will be April 5 at Jaguar Field.
The next home game for the Jaguars is Tuesday, as Andrew College visits for another Region 17 match-up. The game, Newton County Government and Public Safety Night at the stadium, will be audio webcast beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 6:50 and the first pitch at 7 p.m. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
March 20, 2011
McMillan doubles home game-winning run in 9th
The red-hot Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars weren’t about to let an ugly inning spoil their day.
After six unearned runs put them in a hole, they battled back for their 13th consecutive victory, 7-6 over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on a blustery Sunday afternoon at the Newton Campus.
Sophomore first baseman Jamie McMillan was the hero, doubling home the winning run after Kendall Lacey walked leading off the ninth.
“We played well, except for that one inning,” said coach Danny Blue after the Jaguars went to 20-7 by completing a four-game sweep of ABAC in their first Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association series.
But “that one inning,” the fourth, was a doozy. All six of the runs, charged to GPC starter Trevor Walch, came with two out. After the first pair scored on a dropped fly ball, four straight singles compounded the damage.
When Walch was replaced with a 2-2 count on Les Evans, Adam Lass completed the strikeout and went on to pitch 4 1/3 innings of sterling relief. LeAndre Davis (1-0) got the final two outs in the top of the ninth and wound up with the victory.
“LeAndre blew it up there pretty good,” said Blue. “They had trouble getting around on him.”
Meanwhile, the Jaguars were industrious at the plate, chipping away at ABAC starter Josh Pape. Three errors by the Stallions helped the Jaguars pull within 6-5 with three runs in the seventh.
Garitt Church knocked home one run with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, and a second run scored on the play when the shortstop’s throw to first base went awry. Kenny Straus and Lacey followed with singles, Lacey getting an RBI.
In the eighth, Church knocked home the tying run off Stallions reliever Jake Stinson (0-5) after singles by Felton James and Antonio Allen. T.D. Davis, who reached on a force, scored the run.
After Lacey was caught on the elbow by a 3-2 pitch leading off the ninth, the Jaguars eschewed the bunt. McMillan delivered a liner that rolled to the wall in right center.
“This was a big conference win. You have to win these games,” said Blue.
McMillan had three of the Jaguars’ 12 hits. Allen contributed two after a 4-for-4 game on Saturday.
Stuart Brooks and Billy Hutchins had two hits apiece for ABAC (10-17, 0-4).
The Jaguars play East Georgia on the Newton Campus at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be audio webcast. For a link, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
March 19, 2011
Jaguars run winning streak to 12 with sweep of ABAC
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars pushed their winning streak to a dozen games Saturday afternoon with systematic 6-1 and 9-2 victories over Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College at the Newton Campus.
The Jaguars (19-7, 3-0) will try for a series sweep of ABAC (10-16, 0-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
In Saturday’s games — which were seven innings each — the Jaguars almost displayed the formula coach Danny Blue has been trying to perfect. Their defense was flawless, and the small breakdowns in pitching and at the plate could be forgiven.
“We’re still trying to get everything just right,” said Blue, who knows the Jaguars must hit on all cylinders to be a power in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Kevin Kyle (4-1) was the winning pitcher in the opening game, allowing two hits and four walks in five shutout innings. “He didn’t have his best stuff, but he pitched through it,” said Blue.
Adam Lass struck out four in two innings of relief, allowing the Stallions’ lone run.
The hitting star was Kendall Lacey, who drove home three runs with a pair of doubles off ABAC starter Blake Williams (3-2). Garitt Church had two hits and scored three times, and Kenny Straus banged an RBI triple off the wall in right center, then scored on a wild pitch in the third inning as the Jaguars scored twice to take a 3-0 lead.
An error and singles by Scott Surratt and Church preceded Lacey’s two-run double in the fourth. Church drove home the first run of the inning.
In the second game, Jaguars starter Clay Garner pitched a complete game five-hitter, with three of the hits coming as he wrapped up the lopsided win in the seventh. Working crisply and baffling the Stallions with his outstanding curve and changeup, he didn’t walk a batter and at one point retired 13 in a row.
The Jaguars took a 5-1 lead after three innings, with two of the runs scoring on wild pitches by ABAC starter Tyler Purvis. Jamie McMillan was credited with a steal of home on the fifth run when he touched the plate before Antonio Allen was tagged out after breaking for second to avoid a pickoff attempt.
In 4 2/3 innings, Purvis gave up nine hits (all singles), four walks and four wild pitches. A couple of infield errors added to his distress.
The Jaguars extended their lead to 9-1 with three runs in the sixth. Pinch hitter Christian Van Camp drove home one with a single, McLendon Hill two more with a bases-loaded single.
Allen was 4 for 4. Church and Straus had two hits apiece. Sunday’s game will be webcast on NHSBN.com. For a link, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section.
March 17, 2011
Jaguars claim twinbill, run winning streak to 10
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars got solid, walk-free starts from Cameron Hall and Carter Harrison on Thursday afternoon in a doubleheader sweep of Southern Union State Community College at the Newton Campus. The scores were 4-1 and 7-5.
GPC (17-7, 1-0) has won 10 straight going into Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association games this weekend at home against Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game are each scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Hall (2-2) pitched six shutout innings in Thursday’s opener, allowing five hits. LeAndre Davis finished up.
The Jaguars took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Kendall Lacey, the co-leading hitter in the GCAA (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association). Lacey—who finished the day hitting .400, tied with another Jaguar, Garitt Church—had another RBI in GPC’s three-run fifth inning.
Jacob Johnson led off with a walk, one of six drawn by the Jaguars off Southern Union starter Trey Preston (0-3). After a sacrifice bunt, Kenny Straus delivered an RBI single. Lacey followed with a double and scored later in the inning on a single by T.D. Davis.
In the nightcap, Harrison (3-2) allowed two runs in five innings, striking out five and leaving with a 5-2 lead. Justin Guy, Brandon Thomas, Paul Rojas and Josh Gobble also worked for the Jaguars, with Gobble gaining the save.
GPC took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Antonio Allen and went up 5-0 with four runs in the third, chasing Southern Union starter Christian Bragg (1-3) in the process.
After a walk, Sloan Strickland smacked a two-run homer. After a single by Church, a pitching change, a balk and a hit batsman, the third run scored on an error on a groundball hit by Seth Newton. Christian Van Camp drove in the fourth with a double.
Straus drove home the Jaguars’ final two runs with a double in the fifth, going 3-for-7 in the doubleheader.
Southern Union, of Wadley, Ala., is 21-11, including four losses to GPC.
Saturday’s games will be webcast on NHSBN.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts” section for a link.
March 15, 2011
LeAndre Davis’ throw saves Jaguars in 5-4 victory
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars put together timely hitting in a four-run sixth inning but needed heroics on the last play to beat Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 5-4 in Tifton on Tuesday afternoon.
With the bases loaded and one out, Adam Lass entered in relief and got Stuart Young to fly out to center field. When pinch runner Alex Byrd tagged up, center fielder LeAndre Davis gunned him down, with catcher Scott Surratt applying the tag.
For Lass, it was a one-pitch save. The victory went to Trevor Walch (2-1), who worked the first six innings, allowing two runs, one earned.
The game was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association opener for both teams, who will conclude their four-game series Saturday and Sunday at the Newton Campus. GPC is 15-7 after its eighth straight victory. ABAC fell to 10-13.
Down 2-0 to Stallions starter Jeremy Rosier, the Jaguars finally came alive in the sixth with a leadoff single by Kendall Lacey and a double by Jamie McMillan. McLendon Hill and Scott King each singled home runs, tying the score at 2.
After a fielder’s choice and a walk to Davis loaded the bases, Surratt broke the tie with a two-run single. A potential fifth run was cut off when Davis was thrown out at the plate after a single by Kenny Straus.
The Jaguars finally got that fifth run in the eighth inning on a single by Garitt Church and a double by Straus. It turned out to be crucial when ABAC scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a single by pinch hitter Les Evans off the Jaguars’ James Connell, who had replaced Andy Threatt.
Straus and King each had three of GPC’s 14 hits. Lacey, Hill and Surratt had two apiece.
Rosier, who doubled as designated hitter as well as the starting pitcher, had three of ABAC’s 11 hits. He started the ninth inning rally with a single before Byrd pinch ran and was thrown out by Davis to end the game.
The Jaguars will warm up for the weekend action with a home doubleheader Thursday at 2 p.m. against Southern Union State Community College of Wadley, Ala. The scheduled webcast of those games has been cancelled because of a conflict with a GPC women’s basketball appearance in the NJCAA national championship tournament.
Saturday’s home doubleheader with Abraham Baldwin begins at 1 p.m., as will Sunday’s single game. All three ABAC games will be audio webcast, beginning 10 minutes before the first pitch. To listen, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link in the “Game Webcasts.” section.
Jaguars sweep Southern Union State
Georgia Perimeter College wrapped up a mid-week baseball trip in Alabama Thursday having overcome everything but Mother Nature.
The Jaguars swept Southern Union State Community College 11-6 and 11-1 in Waldey to go 3-0 in the neighboring state. Two days earlier, they downed Gadsden State Community College 8-2 in a scheduled doubleheader halved by rain.
GPC (14-7) extended its win streak to seven in the completed twinbill with decisive wins over the Bison (9-5).
In the opener, the visitors scratched out only six hits but made the most of them, aided by eight walks and two errors.
Bases-loaded walks and a hit-by-pitch in the third brought in four of eight runs. With both errors and a catcher’s interference committed during the inning, the Jaguars needed only one hit.
Later, right fielder Kenny Straus drove in three runs with two hits. Second baseman Felton James laced two doubles and sent home three runs.
Starting pitcher Andy Threatt survived an unsteady performance, allowing all six runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 2-0.
The nightcap, called after five innings because of the 10-rule run, was tension-free and more cleanly played for the Jaguars. They accumulated 12 hits and avoided any fielding errors.
Adam Lass earned his first pitching decision of the season with four shutout innings.
Shortstop Garritt Church was busy at the plate and on the bases. He had three hits and three runs. Catcher Sloan Strickland and center fielder McClendon Hill had matching statistics: three RBIs, two hits.
After a busy stretch of games, the Jaguars are off until next Tuesday, on the road against versus ABAC in Tifton. Their long absence from home ends next Thursday with a rematch against Southern Union on the Newton campus.
Hall pitches Jags to 5th win in a row
Playing its third doubleheader in as many days, the Georgia Perimeter College baseball team setlled for one win and one rainout.
The Jaguars, following a four-game, weather-delayed sweep of Lincoln Trail on Sunday and Monday, traveled west to beat Gadsden State Community College (Ala.) 8-2 on Tuesday for their fifth straight win. The second game was washed out after four innings.
Sophomore pitcher Cameron Hall (1-2) tossed a complete (seven-inning) game for his first win of the season. He did not walk a Gadsden batter while striking out five and allowing seven hits and two earned runs.
His biggest support came from first baseman and cleanup hitter Jamie McMillan, who rang up a home run, two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
Felton James and Garritt Church also rapped two hits apiece. Leadoff hitter Antonio Allen contributed two stolen bases and crossed the plate twice.
GPC (12-7) made the most of five errors by the Cardinals (6-12).
The Jaguars carried a precarious 2-1 lead into the fifth inning, when they broke out with four runs to seal the deal. Starter William Hill took the loss for Gadsden State.
GPC returns to Alabama for a twinbill Thursday against Southern Union State in Wadley.
Next Tuesday the Jaguars open their Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association schedule at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.
Their next home appearance is March 17, a return engagement with Southern Union. That 2 p.m. doubleheader will be broadcast online with a link under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic, as will a Saturday, March 19, doubleheader with ABAC beginning at 1 p.m. Both broadcasts will open 10 minutes before game time.
March 7, 2011
Jaguars heat up at plate, sweep another doubleheader
A day after being held to seven hits in two games, Georgia Perimeter College made more noise at the plate Monday and swept another doubleheader from Lincoln Trail College, 6-4 and 15-6, at the Newton Campus.
Freshman righthander Carter Harrison (2-2) was the winning pitcher in the opener, allowing three runs in four innings.
LeAndre Davis, a converted infielder seeing his first significant action on the mound, pitched the final three innings for the save. He allowed two hits and a walk.
The Jaguars erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the first. After Antonio Allen led off with a single and Kenny Straus reached on an error, Kendall Lacey drove them home with a double. Lacey scored on a single by Jamie McMillan.
GPC took a 6-1 lead in the third inning when McLendon Hill and Garitt Church singled ahead of a two-run double by Scott King.
Jeff McNeely went the distance for Lincoln Trail.
In the second game, the Jaguars pounded out 18 hits and scored all six times they went to the plate, helped by five errors by Lincoln Trail (0-4).
Christian Van Camp, Hill and Felton James led the way with three hits apiece, while T.D. Davis, Lacey and Bobo Gales had two apiece.
Van Camp, who replaced McMillan at first base, had three RBIs, while T.D. Davis, Gales and James contributed two apiece.
Freshman lefthander Paul Rojas pitched four innings for the victory, allowing one run on three hits and two walks. Trevor Walch, Justin Guy and Alex Riopelle mopped up with an inning apiece.
The Jaguars (11-7) are scheduled to play their third doubleheader in three days on Tuesday at Gadsden State Community College of Alabama. Their next home date is a twinbill against Southern Union State Community College of Alabama on March 17 at 2 p.m.
March 6, 2011
Well-armed Jaguars sweep DH from Lincoln Trail
Lefthander Kevin Kyle pitched a three-hit complete game, striking out 11, as Georgia Perimeter College beat Lincoln Trail College 3-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday on the Newton Campus.
Another lefty, Clay Garner, pitched six shutout innings in the nightcap as the Jaguars (9-7) completed the sweep with a 6-2 victory. Lincoln Trail, of Robinson, Ill., was opening its season. The teams are to play another doubleheader at noon Monday.
Kyle walked only one batter in raising his record to 3-1.
The Jaguars broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, helped by two of their three hits in the game. Kendall Lacey led off with a double and scored when McLendon Hill reached on an error. Hill, who was credited with an RBI, stole second and eventually scored on a single by Scott Surratt.
Justin Hancock was the losing pitcher, going 5 2/3 innings.
In the second game, Garner (3-0) allowed five hits and two walks, striking out nine. James Connell, making his first appearance, finished the game and allowed two runs in the seventh inning.
The Jaguars produced only four hits but took advantage of seven errors. Four of GPC’s six runs were unearned.
After the Jaguars went ahead 1-0 in the first, they added a pair of runs in the second. T.D. Davis led off with a double and went to third on an error. Scott King reached on an error by the third baseman but was credited with an RBI. He came around to score on a wild pitch, a balk and a groundout by Jacob Johnson.
GPC’s two runs in the fourth came without benefit of a hit.
March 4, 2011
Saturday doubleheader postponed
Georgia Perimeter College postponed its Saturday doubleheader with Lincoln Trail College because of the probability of heavy rain. The games were rescheduled for Monday at noon.
Sunday’s twinbill has been moved back from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to give the diamond time to dry. The first game will begin earlier if the field is dry enough to play games.
The audio webcast also will be cancelled. The next Jaguar baseball broadcast will be on March 17, GPC vs. Southern Union College.
March 1, 2011
Jaguars split doubleheader again with Cleveland State
Jamie McMillan singled home the go-ahead run in the top half of the final inning Tuesday as Georgia Perimeter College beat Cleveland State Community College 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, Tenn.
Four unearned runs cost the Jaguars the nightcap, 6-4. Saturday the teams split a twinbill Saturday at GPC in the same fashion, with the Jaguars winning the opener 5-4 and dropping the second game 4-3.
Garitt Church reached on an error to begin the Jaguars’ seventh inning of the first game and moved to second on an errant pickoff throw. After two walks, McMillan delivered an RBI single, his third hit of the game.
GPC took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning when McLendon Hill tripled home a run and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Surratt.
Matt Adams pitched the first four innings, striking out six and allowing three hits and two unearned runs. Andy Threatt (1-0) finished up with three one-hit innings, gaining the victory.
In the second game, Adam Lass started and lasted 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run. Cameron Hall (0-2) came on and surrendered four unearned runs in the fourth inning, putting Cleveland State ahead 5-3. Josh Gobble, Brandon Thomas and Justin Guy finished up.
Hill and Kendall Lacey had two hits apiece for the Jaguars, while Kenny Straus hit a solo homer in the first inning. T.D. Davis drove in two runs in the fourth with a single, giving GPC a short-lived 3-1 lead.
The Jaguars (7-7) have four games scheduled this weekend, Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders against Lincoln Trail College of Robinson, Ill. Game time both days is 1 p.m. at the Newton Campus.
Sunday’s doubleheader will be audio broadcast online. To listen to the webcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.“
February 26, 2011
Close as can be: Jaguars split one-run decisions with Cleveland State
Georgia Perimeter College split a couple of one-run games Saturday with Cleveland State Community College at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus. The Jaguars took the opener, fraught with drama, 5-4, then handed over a nice lead to lose the nightcap 4-3.
GPC, which received votes in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll, ended the day as it began, with a .500 record at 6-6. The teams reconvene Tuesday on the Cougars’ campus in Cleveland, Tenn.
As they did in defeat, the Jaguars nearly wasted a three-run lead in the win. Jamie McMillan’s single in the third, sending home Scott Sarratt (hit by pitch), kick-started GPC with the tying run.
Two innings later, T.D. Davis singled in Kendall Lacey, who had reached on a base hit, for a 2-1 GPC lead. They expanded it to 4-1 in the sixth, McLendon Hill racing home an error and Sarratt on a fielder’s choice.
Cleveland State jumped on starter Kevin Kyle for three runs to tie it in the seventh.
But, in the bottom, after a double play seemed to assure extra innings, GPC filled the bases on a hit and two walks. Then Kenny Straus drove home Hill with a climactic single. Carter Harrison (1-2) earned the win in relief of Kyle.
The Jaguars forged in front 3-0 in Game Two. McMillan’s sacrifice fly plated Straus in the first. Lacey homered in Garitt Church, who had walked, in the third.
GPC starter Trevor Walch (0-1) yielded two runs each in the fourth and fifth.
With three innings at bat to tie or go ahead, the Jaguars sent up only nine hitters, losing their only baserunner on a pick-off.
After Tuesday’s visit at Cleveland State, the Jags return to their home field Saturday and Sunday for a pair of doubleheaders with Lincoln Trail College of Illinois.
Sunday’s twinbill will be audio broadcast online. To listen in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
February 24, 2011
Four pitchers combine for shutout
Adam Lass and three relief pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout as Georgia Perimeter College defeated Atlanta Christian College 8-0 Thursday at Jaguar Field on GPC’s Newton Campus.
Lass, a freshman left-hander, allowed three hits and struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings. Clay Garner (2-0) got the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief, striking out three and allowing only one base runner, a hit batsman.
Josh Gobble and Matt Kerul completed the shutout, pitching an inning each. It was GPC’s second shutout of the season—the Jaguars shut out Gadsden State Saturday, also by an 8-0 score.
Led by Scott King’s two hits and two RBIs, Georgia Perimeter (5-5) collected 11 hits and ran wild on the base paths with seven stolen bases. McLendon Hill and Garritt Church swiped two bags apiece.
The Jaguars jumped ahead in the first inning when Jamie McMillan singled Hill in and scored on a double by Seth Newton. Church reached on an error, scoring Newton, and King stroked an RBI double to make it 4-0.
GPC struck again in the fourth on a triple by Kenny Strauss that scored Felton James. The next inning Christian Van Camp walked, stole second, and came home on a hit by Church, who then scored on a double by King.
In the sixth, Bobo Gales singled and Van Camp drove him in for the final run.
Saturday, the Jaguars host a doubleheader with Cleveland State Community College of Tennessee, starting at 1 p.m.
February 22, 2011
Jaguars fall to Piedmont JV team in 10th inning
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars led early and late Tuesday but wound up losing 6-5 in 10 innings to the Piedmont College junior varsity team.
Three unearned runs—two in the eighth and one in the 10th—proved the undoing of the Jaguars, who committed seven errors.
Freshman lefthander Andy Threatt started for Georgia Perimeter (4-5) and allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, striking out four without issuing a walk.
Threatt was followed to the mound by Mech Melder, Alex Riopelle, Justin Guy and Trevor Walch, with Guy (0-1) tagged for the loss after giving up a leadoff single in the top of the 10th. Two passed balls and an error plated the go-ahead run.
Kenny Strauss led GPC at the plate with two singles and an RBI. Jamie McMillan and Scott Sarratt also drove in runs for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars play at home Thursday against Atlanta Christian College, a late addition to the schedule. They play a home doubleheader Saturday against Cleveland State Community College of Tennessee, starting at 1 p.m.
February 19, 2011
Jags split doubleheader with Gadsden State
Sophomore lefthander Kevin Kyle fanned eight in six shutout innings Saturday, leading Georgia Perimeter College to an 8-0 victory over Gadsden State Community College on the Newton Campus.
Gadsden State rebounded in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 9-2.
Kyle (2-1) allowed two hits and walked two. Brandon Thomas pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Jaguars (4-4) broke a scoreless tie with eight runs in the sixth inning. Travis Tarleton drove in two with a double. Garitt Church and Scott King also had RBIs in the big inning.
“It was like bam-bam-bam. We just started hitting the ball,” said GPC coach Danny Blue. “In the second game it was like Jekyll and Hyde with all the errors and walks.”
A two-run double by LeAndre Davis in the nightcap gave the Jaguars a 2-0 lead in the second inning. But Gadsden State scored six runs, only three of them earned, off Jaguars starter Carter Harrison (0-2) in five innings.
Freshman lefthander Hunter Brister of Gadsden State (1-4-1) pitched a six-hit complete game for the victory.
The Jaguars next play at home at 5 p.m. Tuesday against the JV squad from Piedmont College.
February 15, 2011
Jaguars pay back Pirates with big sticks
The best answer to an intentional walk is to have the next batter make the other team pay.
Scott King, Georgia Perimeter College’s 5-foot-6 second baseman, did that Tuesday afternoon, with a two-run triple in the seventh inning crucial to the Jaguars’ 9-6 victory over Chattahoochee Valley Community College on the Newton Campus.
In the process, GPC (3-3) paid back the 17th-ranked Pirates (6-6), who beat them 13-1 in Phenix City, Ala., on Friday.
Righthander Trevor Walch got the pitching victory with 5 1/3 innings of solid work in relief of starter Clay Garner. Walch allowed two runs, both earned, and struck out six.
“He’s tough when he’s throwing strikes and keeping the ball down,” said coach Danny Blue of Walch, a transfer from Oklahoma State. “We’ve got a lot of above-average pitchers.”
Another of those pitchers would be Garner, a freshman lefthander from Loganville H.S. Weakened by the remnants from case of the flu, he lasted three innings as the starter and gave up four runs, two earned.
After falling behind 4-1, the Jaguars struck for five runs with two out in the second inning, helped by two hit batsmen by Pirates starter Dustin Dunagan. McLendon Hill drove in two of the runs with a single, Jamie McMillan one with a base hit and Kenny Straus two more with a double on a fly ball the center fielder lost in the sun.
GPC wrapped up the game in the seventh after Strauss led off with the third of his three doubles. With two out, the Pirates ran a 3-0 count on Felton James and decided to walk him intentionally. Zach Mays came on and gave up the triple to King, a superior gloveman who is building a reputation as a clutch hitter. Another double by Scott Surratt put GPC ahead 9-5.
King’s big hit brought a smile to Blue’s face, but the coach was not happy with others in his lineup.
“We didn’t do the little things you have to do to score runs,” he said.
Georgia Perimeter finished with 11 hits—including the three doubles by Straus, a triple and a single by McMillan and a double and a single by King, who is 5-for-11 this season.
The Jaguars, who were playing their home opener, return to the Newton Campus on Saturday to face Gadsden State Community College in a doubleheader at 2 p.m.
February 12, 2011
Jaguars lose two to No. 18 Chatt State
The Georgia Perimeter College baseball team bumped into an opponent Saturday that lived up to its lofty billing.
The Jaguars (2-3) dropped a doubleheader 5-1 and 9-2 at Chattanooga State Community College, ranked 18th in the National Junior College Athletics Association poll. GPC scratched out only seven hits in the two-seven inning games just above the Tennessee-Georgia border.
A home run by rightfielder Kenny Strauss in the first inning of the opener got the day started right. But a single by centerfielder McClendon Hill was the only other Jaguars hit in Game One.
The Tigers tied it in the third off pitcher Carter Harrison, then roughed him up for three runs in the fourth. Relievers Trevor Walch and Adam Lass limited the Tigers to one run the rest of the way.
In the nightcap, GPC also struck early, Strauss driving in second baseball Antonio Allen for a 1-0 lead. Chattanooga equalized in the bottom of the inning, then bunched eight runs between the fourth and sixth.
By the time GPC catcher Jacob Johnson homered in the seventh, the outcome was determined.
Kevin Kyle took the pitching loss as GPC was hurt by three errors.
The twin defeats ended an unsuccessful road trip, which began with a Friday loss to No. 17 Chattahoochee Valley Community College.
The Jaguars’ long-awaited home opener, pushed back by a rainout, is now set for Tuesday at 1 p.m. on the Newton Campus, featuring a rematch with Chattahoochee Valley. Weather permitting, the Jaguars will play their next six games (on four dates) at home.
Tuesday’s game will be audio broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 12:50 p.m. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
February 11, 2011
Pirates plunder Jags at Chatt Valley
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars hopped a bus to face 17th-ranked Chattahoochee Valley Community College on Friday and ran smack into the River Pirates’ ace pitcher.
The result was a 13-1 loss as Mike O’Neal pitched a five-hit complete game. He didn’t allow a walk and struck out seven.
Jaguars coach Danny Blue auditioned four pitchers ticketed for the bullpen—Cameron Hall, Brandon Thomas, Matt Adams and Andy Threatt. Of the quartet, only Threatt was able to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard, although all four runs off Hall in the first inning were unearned.
Threatt allowed a hit in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two.
The Jaguars’ five hits—by Scott King, LeAndre Davis, Garritt Church, Felton James and Scott Sarratt—were all singles. King drove in GPC’s only run, in the second inning.
Bryce Dial and Vincente Andrews drove in three runs apiece for Chattahoochee Valley (4-4). The victory dropped the Jaguars to 2-1 going into Saturday’s doubleheader at No. 18 Chattanooga State Community College.
February 6, 2011
Kyle’s arm, hot bats lead Jaguars past Wallace State-Hanceville
Clemson transfer Kevin Kyle pitched five shutout innings Sunday as Georgia Perimeter College beat Wallace State-Hanceville 9-2 at the Kevin Miller Memorial Baseball Bash in Panama City, Fla.
Kyle, a righthander from Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, allowed three hits and a walk, striking out three. The three hits, all singles, came in the third inning. Kyle got out of that based-loaded jam by starting a plate-to-first double play and then retired the last six hitters he faced.
Freshman Carter Harrison of Calhoun H.S. followed with three hitless innings before giving up three hits and both Wallace State runs in the ninth. Freshman Josh Gobble of Thomas Central H.S. secured the final out of the game.
The Jaguars staked Kyle to a 4-0 lead after two innings and cruised to their second consecutive win at the Bash, hosted by Gulf Coast Community College.
Kendall Lacey, a transfer from Central Alabama Community College, had a two-run double in the first inning. Freshman Felton James also drove in two runs, one on a solo home run in the second, and the other on a double in the fifth.
Duke transfer Kenny Strauss had three hits for GPC, while Jamie McMillan and James produced two each as the Jaguars amassed 14 off five Wallace State pitchers. Strauss’ day included a run-scoring triple in the second inning.
The Jaguars’ assignments this weekend figure to be tougher—a single game Friday against Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala., and a doubleheader Saturday at Chattanooga State Community College. Chattahoochee Valley is ranked 17th in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll, and Chattanooga State is No. 18.
The first home game will be on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. in a rematch with Chatt Valley. That game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 12:50. To listen to the webcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”
February 5, 2011
Garner’s 12 K’s, Strauss’ homer lift Jaguars in season opener
The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars finally got a chance to open their season Saturday and made it a rewarding experience with a 6-3 victory over East Mississippi Community College at the Kevin Miller Memorial Baseball Bash in Panama City, Fla.
Freshman lefthander Clay Garner struck out 12 batters and pitched five shutout innings in relief, while designated hitter Kenny Strauss, a transfer from Duke, turned the game around with a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
The Jaguars play Wallace State-Hanceville on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on the final day of the rain-shortened event hosted by Gulf Coast Community College
Righthander Trevor Walch, a transfer from Oklahoma State, started for GPC and departed after four innings, behind 3-1. He allowed six hits and struck out four.
Garner, from Loganville H.S., allowed only two hits in his five innings and earned the win.
The Jaguars pulled within 3-2 in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single by right fielder Kendall Lacey, a transfer from Central Alabama Community College
They went ahead for good in the sixth after a two-out error opened the door. Leadoff hitter McLendon Hill from Columbus H.S. doubled, setting the stage for Strauss’ three-run blast. After a double by Jamie McMillan, an error helped the Jaguars score their final run later in the inning.
Hill, Strauss, McMillan and Lacey each had two of GPC’s 13 hits.
Two of the runs charged to Walch were unearned as the Jaguars made four errors in the game.
The next home game on the Newton Campus is Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. against Chattahoochee Valley Community College of Phenix City, Ala., ranked No. 17 in the preseason national poll.
January 31, 2011
February 1 game postponed
The February 1 game has been postponed due to rain. The new date will be announced soon.
January 30, 2011
Jaguars enter season with solid hitters, smart pitchers
The Georgia Perimeter College baseball Jaguars are banking on power and finesse to deliver them to the top of the standings in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.
The power resides in the bats of proven commodities such as Jamie McMillan and T.D. Davis, plus a host of exciting newcomers. The finesse part will come from a rebuilt pitching staff for a team that has led the GCAA in earned run average two years in a row.
“We don’t have a large number of power arms,” said head coach Danny Blue. “But we have a lot of pitchers who know how to pitch and have great breaking balls.”
The Jaguars finished 36-19 last season, 12-9 in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Their record tied for fourth place. After beating Darton on the road in the first round of the playoffs, they lost at Middle Georgia in the semifinals.
Coaches around the NJCAA must expect much from this 2011 Jaguar squad. Georgia Perimeter didn’t break the top 20, but received votes in the national coaches preseason poll.
The path to national contender status starts in the infield, where sophomores return—McMillan at first base, LeAndre Davis at shortstop and Scott King at second base.
McMillan (.386, 5 home runs, 43 RBIs) is a left-handed hitter who signed to play at Mercer University after leading the Jaguars at the plate and making the all-region second team as a freshman. “We feel good about him,” said Blue.
Davis is a two-time Minnesota Twins draftee who struggled last season before coming on strong at the end, playing a variety of positions. He carried over that momentum to fall scrimmages.
King, a slick gloveman, stepped up his hitting in the fall but could be pressed for playing time by speedy Antonio Allen, a freshman from Jonesboro H.S. “He’s a super surprise,” said Blue of Allen. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get him in the lineup. He hit about .500 in the fall.”
At catcher, the Jaguars have sophomore Scott Surratt, who “has been throwing the heck out of the ball,” according to Blue. Backups include Jacob Johnson of Loganville H.S., who is coming off shoulder surgery and hopes to be ready for region play, and Sloan Strickland of Gainesville H.S.
Third base, a problem last season, is likely to be manned by Felton James of East Coweta H.S., a shortstop in high school who has shown Blue “lightning hands” in the field and power at the plate.
For backups, the Jaguars have Travis Tarleton of Heritage H.S. at third base and Garritt Church of Collins Hill H.S. at shortstop. “Garritt is automatic out there, and he swings the bat pretty good,” said Blue.
The anchor of the outfield in left will be sophomore T.D. Davis (.339, 9 homers, 43 RBIs), who developed into one of the region’s best power threats and was selected to the all-region first team. “If he just has the same year he had last year, we’ll be OK,” said Blue.
A freshman, McLendon Hill, moves to center field at GPC after playing shortstop at Columbus H.S. “He may be the best athlete on the team,” said Blue. “He’s got speed and a great arm. We think he can be a special type of player.”
Candidates for right field include transfers Kenny Strauss from Duke and Kendall Lacey from Central Alabama Community College, where he was all-league. Both have shown mettle at the plate and either could wind up as designated hitter, as could Allen or Christian Van Camp of Creekview H.S., who also plays first base. Seth Newton of East Coweta H.S. provides outfield depth.
“Hitting-wise, we could be dynamite in the middle of the order,” said Blue.
But don’t expect lots of home runs, at least not at the Jaguars’ spacious home field on the Newton Campus. It tends to produce triples and doubles. GPC averaged more than seven runs a game last season.
On the mound, almost everybody who started a game last season has departed. Roles for the replacements will be sorted out in the opening weeks, with righthander Trevor Walch, a transfer from Oklahoma State, near the top of the list.
“He’s a sinkerball pitcher,” said Blue. “If he keeps the ball down, he could be one of the best pitchers in the conference.”
Walch has signed with Southern Miss, and another transfer headed to NCAA Division I is lefthander Kevin Kyle, who started his career at Clemson. “He’s going to be able to help us,” said Blue. “He’s sneaky fast.”
A signee to watch is righthander Carter Harrison, who won statewide honors at Calhoun H.S. “He’s a three-pitch guy who knows what he’s doing,” said Blue. “He has an innate knowledge of the game.”
Lefthander Clay Garner of Loganville H.S. “has a major league breaking ball and change-up,” according to Blue. Andy Threatt of Lakeside H.S. is another lefty who relies on finesse.
Other candidates for the bullpen, all left-handed, are sophomore Cameron Hall, Paul Rojas of Northgate H.S. and Adam Lass of Union Grove H.S.
The sorting process begins Feb. 1 with a home doubleheader against Chattanooga State, which went to the NJCAA World Series in 2010 and is ranked 13th in the national preseason poll. Region 17 play begins in March, and there are new wrinkles.
The playoff three-game series format is history, replaced by a six-team double-elimination tournament hosted by the champion of the regular season. Two Region 17 teams will advance to the district tournament, as will two Tennessee teams, with the winner getting a ticket to the nationals.
Gordon won the Region 17 tournament last season after Middle Georgia won the regular season. Both should be strong again, along with South Georgia.
“It’ll be competitive as all get-out,” said Blue.
August 3, 2010
Baseball tryout for GPC students
A baseball tryout will be held for Georgia Perimeter College students on Thursday, August 19, at 5 p.m. at the Jaguar stadium on the Newton Campus.
Any student with college-level skills who wishes to try out for the Jaguar baseball team should report with sufficient gear such as glove and spikes.
GPC’s Newton Campus is located at 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11. From Atlanta take Exit 98, turn right off the ramp onto Route 11 and go approximately a half mile to the campus entrance on the right. Proceed on the driveway to the stadium at the far end of the campus.
For more information send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 14, 2010
Former Jaguar Marlon Byrd a hero in National League All-Star victory
In a video interview before Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Marlon Byrd said, “I look around and see all of these big dogs,” referring to the outstanding players who regularly appear in the annual summer classic.
Then Byrd, the Chicago Cubs’ center fielder who played for Georgia Perimeter College in 1999, took the field and proved he’s a big dog, too.
His head’s-up fielding, batting and base-running were keys to the National League’s 3-1 victory over the American League in Anaheim, Calif., the NL’s first All-Star triumph since 1996.
With the AL leading 1-0 in the seventh inning, Byrd came to the plate with runners on first and third and two outs. Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Thornton threw two quick strikes to put him in a deep hole.
But Byrd fought back with a quality at-bat, fouling off pitches, working a full count and finally drawing a walk. That loaded the bases for Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann.
McCann hooked a double into the right field corner, and Byrd sped around the bases from first to put the Nationals on top 3-1.
But the Americans threatened in the ninth. With one out and David Ortiz on first base, John Buck hit a soft fly to right-center field. Byrd sprinted from center field, threatening to make the catch, so Oriz had to hesitate between first and second base, waiting for the catch or the bounce.
Byrd played the bounce, spun, threw and forced out Ortiz at second base. Instead of having runners on first and second with one out, the AL had only Buck on first and two outs. It was the defensive play of the game. The next batter made the final out.
At Georgia Perimeter, Byrd, from Marietta and Sprayberry High School, played on the exceptional 1999 team coached by Tom Cantrell. He earned a spot on the All-Region 17 squad and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of the season. This is his ninth season in the Major Leagues.
July 13, 2020
GPC Baseball Alumnus Byrd on NL All-Star team
Marlon Byrd, who played center field for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars in 1999, has achieved a distinction only a small percentage of baseball players achieve. The Chicago Cubs center fielder will be on the National League roster for tonight’s All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif.
In his ninth season in the majors, Byrd, 32, made the All-Stars through voting by the players. Tonight’s game, the 81st Major League All-Star Game, will begin at 8 p.m., EDT and will be broadcast on FOX TV.
It’s not the first time Georgia Perimeter has had an alumnus named to a Major League All-Star team. Infielder Mike Sharperson, who played for the college in 1980-81 when it was DeKalb College, served on the NL All-Star team in 1992, the only representative for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Byrd leads the Cubs in batting average (.317), hits (105), doubles (27) and total bases (159). He has 40 runs batted in and nine home runs. For a short while in June, he led the National League in hitting with an average over .333.
When Byrd, a Marietta native, graduated from Sprayberry High School in 1995, he was heavily recruited in both football and baseball. He chose a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech, but suffered a career-threatening leg injury.
Following three operations to avoid paralysis in the nerves, he recuperated enough to get back on the baseball field but his career at Georgia Tech was finished.
Georgia Perimeter’s head coach at the time, Tom Cantrell, gave him a second chance, and Byrd made the most of it. He had a stellar season in center field for the Jaguars in 1999, making the NJCAA All-Region 17 first team.
“He came in overweight and worked his tail off,” Cantrell said. “He played the game so aggressively. Hated to lose. He wanted to be the best player he could be.”
Selected in the 10th round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Byrd made his Major League debut in September 2002. In 2003 he hit .303 for the Phillies and finished fourth in the league’s Rookie of the Year balloting.
After playing two seasons with the Washington Nationals and three with the Texas Rangers, he landed a three-year, $15 million contract with Chicago last winter.
A teammate on that 1999 Jaguar team, all-region and All-American Nick Green, also made the big leagues, playing for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, among others.
Along with Byrd and Green, other standouts for the 1999 Jaguars were all-region players Sean Pittman; Nick Deckon; Green’s twin brother, Kevin, and All-America Andy Hussion.
“It was truly special,” Pittman said. “All of us got along, we loved playing baseball together, and we enjoyed coming to the park every day ready to compete.”
Byrd has a second connection to Georgia Perimeter—his uncle, Al Byrd, is a longstanding member and former chairman of the GPC Foundation Board.
June 22, 2010
Former GPC star Hefflinger on steady RBI pace for Rome Braves
Despite missing the first three weeks of the season with an illness, former Georgia Perimeter College star Robby Hefflinger has become an offensive force for the Rome Braves in his first taste of Class A ball.
Hefflinger went into the South Atlantic League all-star break with 38 runs batted in, on a pace to drive in more than 90 for the season. His total was near the top in the Atlanta Braves’ organization.
His batting average at the break was .267, with 16 doubles and two home runs.
In his eighth game at Rome, on May 6, Hefflinger made a splash with the fans, hitting a grand slam in a 9-5 victory over Hagerstown. A run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly gave him 6 RBIs for the day.
He had 4 RBIs in a home game against Charleston, S.C., started on May 16 and completed the next day.
Another thing that has impressed the Rome fans: his .384 average in home games.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound right fielder was the Braves’ seventh-round draft choice in 2009, the 208th player picked overall. He spent last season with the Danville Braves of the rookie-level Appalachian League, hitting .242 with seven homers and 37 RBIs.
At GPC before the draft, Hefflinger mostly played right field and pitched, but the Gainesville High School grad also caught and played first base. He made the all-region, all-district and all-tournament teams, catching the Braves’ eye with a .324 average and 11 home runs, several of the tape-measure variety.
“He has what they call ‘light-tower power,’” GPC coach Danny Blue said at the time. “He can hit the ball out of the ballpark on any pitch and to any place in the park.”
Hefflinger was 7-0 as a pitcher with a 2.68 earned run average as the Jaguars won the regular-season championship in Region 17. He struck out 60 in 57 innings.
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.