Jaguar Baseball Archives 2011 Region 17 Champion

 

2012 Roster

2012 Schedule

May 19, 2012

Fidanza is Co-defensive Player of Year
as 7 Jaguars gather Region 17 accolades

John Fidanza was named Co-defensive Player of the Year as fellow Georgia Perimeter College baseball standouts David Van Horn and Wes Armstrong recently joined him on the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region 17 first team.

Wes Armstrong

David Van Horn

John Fidanza

Four Jaguars were named to the conference’ s second team— McLendon Hill, Antonio Allen, Monte’ Reese and Christian Turnipseed.

The selections are determined by the coaches of the league, which also is known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Following the conference tournament, held at Jaguar Field on GPC’ s Newton Campus, Allen was the lone Jaguar to make the all-tournament team.

Fidanza, a sophomore catcher who transferred from NCAA Division 1 Coastal Carolina College, parlayed an outstanding arm from behind the plate into the catcher’ s position on the first team and on the Gold Glove team.

He shares the Defensive Player of the Year award with first baseman Casey James of Darton College.

Antonio Allen

McLendon Hill

Finishing the season with an outstanding .987 fielding percentage, Fidanza committed only four errors in 42 games. He hit .269 with five doubles, a triple and 23 RBIs.

Van Horn, an outfielder who played his freshman season at the University of Tampa, led the GCAA with a .438 batting average, ranked 19th in the nation.

After leading the league in hitting and the nation in RBIs earlier in the season, Armstrong tailed off with an injury. But he battled back at the plate to finish fourth among GCAA hitters with a .406 average. He led the conference in runs (46) and doubles (19) and ended up third in RBIs (49).

The team’ s .332 batting average was tops in the conference and 18th in the NJCAA. The Jaguars finished with a 43-16 record and finished second in the regular-season conference standings.

Allen, a sophomore who was tournament MVP as a pitcher last season, spent this spring as a designated hitter. He hit .370, stole 10 bases and hit six singles in one game during the tournament, a rare statistic in any league.

Christian Turnipseed

Monte’ Reese

Turnipseed, a transfer pitcher from Charleston University in West Virginia, posted a 1.43 ERA, which ranked third in the GCAA. In 37 2/3 innings of relief, he struck out 49 and held opponents to a .200 batting average.

Freshman starter Reese came on strong as the season progressed, finishing 7-0 and leading the conference in strikeouts with 65 in 54 2/3 innings pitched.

Hill, last year’ s Gold Glove shortstop, made the second team with a .330 batting average and 17 stolen bases, tied for the team lead with Christopher Madera.

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May 14, 2012

Jaguars edged out of tourney, ending notable 43-16 season

NOTE: For Tuesday’s championship game report, scroll down.

The Georgia Perimeter College baseball season came to an abrupt end Monday, not the Jaguars’ hoped-for result in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament at GPC’s Newton Campus, yet unquestionably the closing of a successful season.

Georgia Perimeter, seeded second, lost to No. 4 Gordon College 6-4 Monday night after falling into the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament in the noon game, a 3-1 victim of top-seeded Middle Georgia College.

The Jaguars finish the season with a 43-16 record after a spring campaign that included significant winning streaks and top achievments by pitchers and hitters.

“I told the guys in our team meeting after the game that winning 43 games is a great accomplishment,” said GPC first-year head coach Stewart Bailey. “I said I was proud of them.”

Gordon (32-21) moves on to Tuesday’s championship round with Middle Georgia and will accompany the Warriors to this weekend’s East-Central district tournament, which pits Georgia’s top two teams against Tennessee’s—Columbia State Community College and Walters State Community College.

Tuesday’s GCAA championship round can be watched on web TV with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Gordon tagged GPC starter Andy Threatt for three runs in the first inning with an RBI single by Bobby Woodall and two runs batted in by Chance Bridges.

Wes Armstrong hit a two-run double in the third inning to put the Jaguars on the scoreboard, plating Trumon Jefferson and Garrit Church, both of whom had reached on bunt singles.

The Highlanders added runs in the fifth and sixth on an RBI single by Drew Adams and a double by Christian Davila.

The Jaguars rallied in the eighth inning to close it to 5-4. Armstrong and pinch hitter David Van Horn, nursing a hamstring injury, stroked back-to-back base hits. With two outs, McLendon Hill belted a two-run triple into the left field corner.

But Gordon collected insurance in the bottom of the inning with a single by Devon Bonin, an error and a run-scoring single by Brian Jacobs.

Six GPC pitchers struck out a combined seven batters, but walked five and allowed 11 hits.

Gordon starter Kevin Burgee pitched an excellent game, striking out only two, and allowing eight hits to secure the win. Zach Smith pitched 1 1/3 hitless scoreless, innings for the save, striking out two. Each walked only one.

In the first game of the day, aces Clay Garner of GPC and Joseph Boatright put on a pitchers’ duel with five shutout innings apiece, Boatright working on a no-hitter and Garner allowing only one hit. But in the top of the sixth, D.J. Driggers homered to give Middle a 1-0 lead.

Armstrong led off the seventh for the Jaguars with a double to the centerfield wall, and Sloan Strickland followed with a base hit. Middle coach Craig Young brought in the nation’s top-ranked pitcher, J.B. Wendelken.

With runners on first and third, Christian Van Camp met Wendelkin with a sacrifice fly that drove in Armstrong, tying it at 1-1.

Back came the Highlanders—Bo Way doubled for Middle in the eighth, Blake Shouse walked and Jake Fields bunted for a hit, chasing Garner. Then Caleb Bryson and Dylan Kelly hit RBI sacrifice flies off reliever Christian Turnipseed for the 3-1 lead.

With one out in the ninth, Van Camp chipped a single into left. But Hill’s and John Fidanza’s long flies to center and left fell a few feet short of tying home runs, and the Jaguars slipped into the losers’ bracket.

Garner (8-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings. He struck out five and issued two walks.

The winning pitcher for Middle was Wendelken (6-0), allowing three hits and a walk in two innings of relief.

GORDON 14, SOUTH GEORGIA 7

Gordon College exploded for 20 hits to advance to Monday’s all-important losers’ bracket final with Georgia Perimeter.

Gordon, seeded fourth in the tournament, scored four runs in each of the first, third and sixth innings. Drew Adams stroked four base hits, including two doubles, and Chance Bridges produced two doubles, two singles, two RBIs and three runs. Josh Wirsu was the winning pitcher.

Six pitchers took the mound for No. 5 seed South Georgia (28-32), with starter Mikey Rodriquez absorbing the loss. Tyler Bashlor led the Tigers at the plate with a single, double and triple and one run and one RBI.

The teams combined for 31 hits in the ball game, which was called after eight innings on the mercy rule (eight run lead after seven innings). Gordon played errorless ball and South Georgia committed only one error.

The Tigers end their season after a run in the tournament that fell short of last year’s runner-up finish, district championship and trip to the NJCAA World Series.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, MAY 15: MIDDLE GEORGIA 7, GORDON 6

Middle Georgia won the GCAA championship Tuesday at Jaguar Field behind timely hitting by the Warriors, especially Caleb Bryson, who hit a home run, double and sacrifice fly for four runs batted in. Bryson’s sacrifice fly to right field in the top of the 10th inning scored Bo Way and the winning run.

The Warriors (43-11) had from behind in the seventh inning and then squandered a 6-3 lead in the ninth to a last-ditch three-run Gordon rally.

Both teams will play in the East-Central district championship with Tennessee’s top two teams this weekend at Middle Georgia in Cochran.

Middle and Gordon (32-22) each scored a run in the first inning and another in the second. Middle’s Bo Way scored on an RBI single by Jake Fields, and Ben Donath came home on a wild pitch.

For Gordon, Brian Jacobs walked and scored on a fielder’s choice, and Jody Stone singled and trotted home on a bases-loaded walk.

Aaron Mizell lofted a home run to left field in the fifth inning, giving the Highlanders a 3-2 lead. But the Warriors’ Bryson doubled in a run in the top of the seventh, and Dylan Kelly drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.

Middle appeared to have insurance runs in the top of the ninth with Bryson’s two-run round-tripper. But Gordon rallied in their half to tie it 6-6 behind a two-run double by Bobby Woodall and a run-scoring single by Chance Bridges.

Then Bryson performed his final heroics with the game-winning sacrifice, plating Way and giving the Warriors the 2012 championship for the GCAA (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association).

The GCAA tournament was played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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May 13, 2012

Sunday games postponed till Monday

Sunday’s GCAA tournament baseball games—Georgia Perimeter vs. Middle Georgia and Gordon vs. South Georgia—have been postponed until Monday.

Monday’s game times will be the same as originally scheduled for Sunday. GPC and Middle will begin at noon; South and Gordon, 3:30 p.m.; and the winners will play at 7 p.m. Field conditions will determine whether the start times need to be moved back.

Watch this site for new developments, or visit the Jaguar Facebook and Twitter accounts, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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May 12, 2012

Jaguar bats too much for Darton

Last year’s MVP of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament is at it again this year.

Antonio Allen

Antonio Allen, MVP as a pitcher in 2011, led a hit parade at the plate Saturday, going six-for-six (all singles) and scoring three runs to power the red-hot Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars to a 11-6 victory over Darton College at the Newton Campus.

Seeded No. 2 in the tournament and enjoying a bye in Friday’s first round, Georgia Perimeter (43-14) pounded out 17 hits and got enough pitching to subdue the No. 3 seeded Cavaliers.

It was GPC’s 11th win in its last 13 games. The Jaguars advance in the winners’ bracket for a high noon showdown Sunday with the other surviving winner, Middle Georgia College.

All tournament games can be seen on web TV with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

How rare is Allen's feat, hitting six singles in one game? According to records, it has happened only 14 times in more than 100 years of play in Major League Baseball.

Allen and the Jaguars jumped on Darton starter Matt Aldrich (8-3) in their first at bat, scoring five runs on five hits. Allen led off with an infield hit, and the Jaguars followed with a diverse offensive display— a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Wes Armstrong and singles by Sloan Strickland and Trumon Jefferson, a stolen base by Jefferson and a 2-run triple by McLendon Hill.

Darton came right back in the top of the second with five runs— two unearned— on a double by Parker Nix, four singles and two errors by the Jags.

But Allen started it off again in the bottom of the second inning with a leadoff double, and Chistopher Madera plated him with a single. Armstrong doubled in Madera and reached third on an outfield error. A warning-track sacrifice fly by Strickland scored Armstrong, and GPC led 8-5.

Both pitchers put goose eggs on the scoreboard for the next four innings, but Darton scored one in the seventh on a hit batsman, an error and an RBI sacrifice groundout by Ryan Lemonds.

GPC answered with three in the seventh on a single by Jefferson, an RBI double by Allen, an error, a walk and an RBI single by Christian Van Camp.

Monte’ Reese (6-0) earned the win, allowing six hits, six runs, two unearned, two walks and striking out four in six innings. Landon Hayes got a save, with no runs attributed to him in three innings of work.

MIDDLE GEORGIA 7, SOUTH GEORGIA 3

Middle Georgia College hit three home runs in spacious Jaguar field to send South Georgia into the losers bracket.

After South Georgia took the lead in the first inning on a two-RBI hit by Zach Brigham, Middle Georgia went ahead in the third on a monster three-run homer to left-center field by Jake Fields.

The Warriors (41-11) added two in the fourth when Matt Fears hit a two-run double. Dylan Kelly added a two-run home run in the seventh, and D.J. Driggers blasted a solo round-tripper in the eighth.

J.D. Sabo singled in a run in the fourth for South Georgia, and Tylor Bashlor doubled and scored on a double play in the ninth.

Middle Georgia’s Sam Agnew-Wieland (7-2) got the win, while Ryan Doyle absorbed the loss for the Tigers.

SOUTH GEORGIA 3, DARTON 2

Down 2-1, South Georgia got two runs in the seventh inning to take the lead and stay alive in the tournament.

South’s Spencer Thomas got the save for Walker White by getting the final out in the eighth with the bases loaded and pitching a scoreless ninth. The Tigers (28-32) next will play Gordon College in the losers’ bracket Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Darton lit up the scoreboard in the second and third innings on an RBI single by Brian Alonso and an RBI sacrifice grounder by Cody Wofford.

South Georgia answered in the bottom half of the second as Brett Polachek got a hit, advanced to third on a passed ball and a balk and came home on a hit by Kaleb Holbrook.

The Tigers took the lead in the seventh with two runs off reliever Andrew Crumbley. Brandon Cruse drove in a run with a double and Bashlor sent home the game-winner with a single.

Darton exited the double-elimination tournament and ended its season with a 37-20 record.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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May 11, 2012

GCAA Tournament: Darton wins, meets Jaguars Saturday at 3:30

The Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament opened Friday, and the Jaguars know who their opponent will be Saturday—and it’s a familiar one.

No. 3 seed Darton College defeated No. 6 East Georgia College 10-2 in Friday’s second game at Georgia Perimeter College’s Newton Campus. The win sends Darton against Georgia Perimeter College Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

As the tournament’s second seed, Georgia Perimeter drew a bye for the first day of the six-team double-elimination tournament, as did the top seed, Middle Georgia College.

GPC and Darton played their GCAA home-and-away series last week, with the Jaguars coming out on top three games to one.

Darton’s A.J. Sunstrom (8-1) allowed no earned runs and only four hits, walked two and struck out five in the eight-inning game.

It was called on the eight-run-after-seven rule after the Cavaliers (37-19) scored four runs in the eighth.

Darton also scored four in the third inning, and the Cavaliers pounded out 11 hits. Russell Melton went three-for-four, and Cody Wofford had three hits in five trips.

East Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the second on a double by Seth Gower and scored again in the fifth when John Wesley doubled and came home on two errors. Austin Denney took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats.

All tournament games will be video broadcast online by Jockjive and veteran sportscaster Robert Williamson. To view the games, click on the links under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic. To view the brackets, visit the GCAA website.

SOUTH GEORGIA 8, GORDON 7

South Georgia College, seeded fifth, took an 8-0 lead by the fourth inning and held on to advance to Saturday’s noon game with Middle Georgia College.

Sophomore outfielder J.D. Sabo had three hits a run and two RBIs for the Tigers (27-30). Braddick Rowe and Brandon Cruce also rapped three hits apiece.

Gordon’s Grant Massey had three hits, and Devin Bonin, Brian Jacobs, Chance Bridges and Drew Adams all had two hits.

Jake Anthony got the win for South Georgia, while Jeb Dills absorbed the loss for Gordon.

GORDON 2, EAST GEORGIA 1

A classic pitchers’ duel between Gordon’s Kenny Anderson and Ashley Claxton finally was decided in the eighth innning when Bobby Woodall scored on Drew Adams’ two-out single. Gordon (31-21) advances to Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. game in the losers’ bracket.

Gordon took a first-inning 1-0 lead when leadoff hitter Devin Bonin was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a throwing error.

The Bobcats tied it in the top of the seventh. Tucker Darsey reached on a fielder’s choice, and Aaron Hoffer drilled a two-out RBI single up the middle.

Woodall led off the bottom of the eighth, was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Adams sent a grounder past third base to drive in the game-winning run.

Anderson went the distance to earn the win, allowing seven hits.

Claxton pitched a no-hitter through 4 1/3 innnings, gave up only four hits in 7 2/3 innings and was the hard-luck loser. East Georgia exits the tournament and the season with a 23-33 record.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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May 5, 2012

Jaguars capture bye in tournament

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars celebrated Cinco de Mayo with fireworks.

Adam Clark

Christian Van Camp

Playing their last game of the regular season, they erupted for seven fifth-inning runs in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday to beat Darton College 7-1 in Albany and claim a coveted bye in next weekend’s tournament.

Needing only one win for the No. 2 seed bye, Georgia Perimeter fell in the afternoon opener 9-2. But Christian Van Camp broke the second game wide open in the fifth inning with a three-run triple, and Adam Clark bent but never broke on the mound to secure the win.

The Jaguars (42-14, 22-10) finish in second place, six games behind Middle Georgia College in the final standings of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, Region 17 of the NJCAA.

As No. 1 and 2 seeds, Middle and GPC will sit out the first round of the region tournament Friday at GPC’s Newton Campus.

Darton (36-19, 21-11) drops into third place and will have to play in the first round of the tourney, which will be held Friday, May 11, through Monday, May 14. All games will be video broadcast online with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Clark scattered seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work Saturday, during which Darton stranded eight runners. He settled into a pitchers’ duel with Cavalier starter Jordan Villhauer, who sported a two-hit shutout through the first four innings.

Van Camp, a key figure in the Jaguars’ 13-inning 10-9 win Friday and 13-3 romp Tuesday over Darton, was two-for-four in Saturday’s clincher.

John Fidanza started the fifth inning rally by getting hit by a pitch. Garitt Church bunted Fidanza to second, and Antonio Allen drove him in with a base hit for the first run of the game.

The fireworks were on. Villhauer walked Trumon Jefferson; Wes Armstrong and Taylor Cato stroked RBI singles; and Christoper Madera singled to load the bases for Van Camp.

The left-handed hitter belted his triple to the right-center wall to clear the bases and give the Jaguars a 6-0 lead. McLendon Hill, three-for-four at the plate, knocked Van Camp in for the final run.

After Clark blanked Darton in the Cav’s next two at bats, reliever Nikolay Uherek came in to get the final two outs.

The Jaguars came into the four-game series needing to win three of four over Darton. They won Tuesday at GPC 13-3 and Friday 10-9 in 13 innings in Albany.

However, after the late night out getting back to the hotel, the Jaguars’ first game Saturday was a disaster. While Matt Aldrich was pitching a gem for Darton, the Jags’ All-American pitcher, Clay Garner, couldn’t find his groove, allowing nine hits; striking out only one and getting knocked out of the box in the 6th inning.

The big hit for the Cavaliers was a three-run home run by Cody Wofford that Jefferson almost caught at the wall with a high leap.

GPC scored the first run— usually a good sign as the Jaguars were 17-0 in games when scoring the first run. An error and wild pitch brought Jefferson get around the bases to third, and Armstrong’s sacrifice grounder to the right side sent him home

Breaking up Aldrich’s no-hitter, Allen and Jefferson slammed back-to-back triples in the sixth inning for GPC’s second run. But no further damage could be inflicted as Aldrich finished with four hits allowed and four strikeouts, stats that don’t reflect his domination of Jaguar hitters.

Georgia Perimeter’s first game in the double-elimination tournament could be with Darton. Friday’s games begin at 12 p.m. with fourth seed Gordon playing No. 5 South Georgia. No. 3 Darton faces No. 6 East Georgia College at 3:30, and the losers of those games play an elimination game at 7 that evening. Saturday at noon Middle Georgia will play the winner of Gordon-South Georgia, and the Jaguars will play at 3:30 against the Darton-East Georgia winner.

The GCAA tournament will be played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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May 4, 2012

Jaguars move into second place with 13 wild innings at Darton

Charles Dickens, had he been a baseball writer, would have described Friday night’s game as “The best of times and the worst of times.”

Indeed, in Dickensonian fashion the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars, outlasted Darton College 10-9 in a brilliant and sloppy 13-inning game that ran 4½ hours on the Cavaliers’ home field in Albany.

Under a nearly full moon, this game was a howler—a total of 16 bases on balls, 29 hits, 29 runners left on base, three hit batters, six errors, runner interference, three balks, nobody-knows-how-many wild pitches and one coach ejected.

And the Christians led a revival. GPC closer Christian Turnipseed, pitching like a seasoned starter, held off the Cavaliers for 4 1/3 innings, struck out nine and earned the win.

Christian Van Camp, known for his healthy on-base percentage, helped lead the Jaguars back from a 5-0 deficit by going three-for-four and reaching base in six of seven trips to the plate.

The outcome catapulted the Jaguars, winner of eight of their last nine games, past Darton into second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

“It was just a crazy game—full moon and everything—and we were lucky to come up with a win, but we’ll take it,” said GPC head coach Stewart Bailey.

With the win, GPC improves to 20-9 in the conference, 41-13 overall, and is poised to capture the coveted No. 2 seed for next week’s six-team GCAA tournament. The first and second-place teams in the league’s final regular season standings earn a bye in Friday’s three first-round games.

The Jaguars must beat Darton in one of two games Saturday to finish second behind Middle Georgia College, which clinched the top seed a week ago.

The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader—featuring two of the best lefthanders in the league, GPC’s Clay Garner and Darton’s Matt Aldrich—will be audio webcast at 1:50 p.m. with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic. The second game’s broadcast will begin at approximately 3 p.m., depending on the length of the first.

Darton (35-18, 20-10) jumped off to a 5-0 lead, courtesy of four uncharacteristic GPC errors. Jaguar starter Sam Bragg pitched an excellent 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing no earned runs.

Cavalier starter A.J. Sunstrom made it a pitching duel as he threw a two-hitter and held a 5-0 lead through five innings. But he tired in the sixth, allowing three singles and a walk to load the bases.

Then the Jaguars began to pound away at Darton’s bullpen. Taylor Cato belted a three-run double; John Fidanza bunted Cato to third and Trumon Jefferson plated him with a sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar relievers—Nikolay Uherek, Landon Hayes, and Tripp Sheppard—held the Cavaliers at bay to give their hitters time to work.

Sloan Strickland and Van Camp, both of whom were two-for-three in the Jaguars’ 13-3 win over Darton Tuesday at GPC, started a rally in the eighth inning with base hits. After Fidanza and Garitt Church singled and Trumon Jefferson was hit by a pitch, the Jags had finally seized the lead, 8-7.

GPC’s lead was short-lived—in the bottom half of the inning, Darton’s Parker Nix singled in a run to tie the game at 8-8. But in another plot twist, Darton coach Scot Hemmings vigorously argued a call with the plate umpire and was ejected.

Then closer Turnipseed (3-1) proved he could be a starter, too, blanking Darton until the 13th inning. That’s when Jaguar shortstop McLendon Hill led off the top half of the inning with a single and advanced to third as Antonio Allen reached on an error and swiped second base in the ensuing confusion.

Confusion devolved into chaos for Darton as Cato and Van Camp were hit by pitches to score a run and Fidanza walked with the bases loaded to make it 10-8.

The Cavaliers managed a run in their half of the inning, but Turnipseed fanned Nix to end the game.

GPC played without the leading hitter in the conference, right fielder David Van Horn, who had suffered a minor strained hamstrung in Tuesday’s game. His status for next week’s tournament remains uncertain. But the pitching staff came through Friday, striking out 14 Cavaliers and stranding 16.

It was enough, despite nine walks, to set the table Saturday for Garner, an all-region, all-district, All-American selection last season.

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May 1, 2012

Jaguars kick off crucial series with a ‘W’

One down and two to go.

That’s the thinking after the red-hot Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars defeated Darton College 13-3 Tuesday at the Newton Campus to pull into a second place tie with the Cavaliers.

Righthander Monte Reese (6-0) pitched a solid 6 1/3 innings to earn the win, and Garitt Church went three-for-three with four RBIs, including a bases-clearing triple that gave the Jaguars a 6-0 lead after three innings.

“Monte pitched a great game,” said head coach Stewart Bailey. “He was hitting 92 on the radar gun, struck out five and didn’t walk anybody.”

Coming into the four-game series, Georgia Perimeter needed three wins to claim the conference runner-up spot and No. 2 seed in the upcoming Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. With Tuesday’s victory the Jaguars and Darton are knotted in second place, both at 20-9 in the league.

The series moves to Darton in Albany on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will be audio webcast with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The second seed carries a distinct advantage on the first day of the tourney, which runs Friday, May 11, through Monday the 14th. The first and second seeds get byes while the third seed plays No. 6 and four plays five. Then the losers play an elimination game Friday evening.

Middle Georgia College (26-6 in the GCAA) has clinched the regular-season conference championship and the tournament’s top seed.

The Jaguars (40-13 overall) posted three big innings to subdue Darton Tuesday, four in the third and three in the fifth and sixth.

Sloan Strickland and Christian Van Camp (both of whom finished two-for-three) started it off in the opening frame with RBI singles, scoring Christopher Madera and Wes Armstrong.

In the bottom of the third, Trumon Jefferson drove in a run on a bases-loaded error and Church chalked up three with a hit to right field that turned into a triple when Kevin Manos attempted a diving catch and missed.

The Jags put up three more in the sixth on RBI singles by Church and Jefferson and a run-producing groundout by John Fidanza. In the seventh, the ten-run rule ended the game when Stickland doubled and Chase Macon scored from first base with a head-first slide to the plate.

“It was a huge offensive game. It was a huge pitching game,” Bailey said. “We still have to face two good arms at Darton, but hopefully we’ll keep going in this same direction.”

Ryan Lemonds singled and scored a run in the fifth for Darton (35-17 overall). He started a two-run rally in the seventh with a hit, moving around to score on a balk and a bunt. Andre Wilson relieved Reese, who allowed nine hits and three earned runs, and got the Jags out of the inning.

The Jaguars suffered a disturbing setback when right fielder David Van Horn, leading hitter in the league, pulled a hamstring and sat out early in the game.

“It’s going to take a while to heal,” Bailey said. “He’ll have an MRI in the morning. We’ll miss him, but we should be good—we have three other guys in that position who can play.”

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April 28, 2012

Jaguars split a doubleheader with Andrew, will play Darton for second place

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ mission in the season-ending series against Darton has been clarified: They need to win three out of four to claim second place.

Saturday’s results left Darton at 20-8, the Jaguars a game back at 19-9.

A frustrating doubleheader split with Andrew at home cost the Jaguars a chance to go into the final series needing merely a split. Andrew won the first game 1-0, GPC the nightcap 7-4.

After outscoring Andrew 18-4 in the first two games of the series, the Jaguars ran headlong into a four-hitter by lefthander Marc Monroe and a flawless defensive game by a team not known for such things.

“Same song, different verse,” said Jaguars coach Stewart Bailey. “We’ve had several times we were sleepwalking for some reason.”

Clay Garner (8-2) was the hard-luck loser, scattering six hits and yielding an unearned run in the first inning. He struck out nine.

“He pitched another great game and we weren’t able to help him out,” said Bailey.

Twice now Garner has been on the wrong end of a 1-0 score.

At the plate, the Jaguars had their best chance against Monroe (7-5) in the third inning after Antonio Allen led off with an opposite-field single and Garitt Church pushed a bunt past the pitcher. McLendon Hill sacrificed the runners to scoring position, but Christopher Madera struck out and Wes Armstrong grounded to short.

From there, Monroe closed out the game, giving up two singles to Sloan Strickland and nothing else.

In the nightcap, Adam Clark (7-1) was solid but not spectacular for 4 1/3 innings, working around four errors.

When Andrew (21-29, 10-18) crept within 6-3 in the fifth inning on a bases-empty homer by Dalton Weightman and put more two runners in scoring position, Bailey went to the bullpen for Taylor Cato, who hadn’t pitched since March 30. Cato got out of the inning with a sacrifice fly and a groundout.

Christian Turnipseed earned his third save with two scoreless innings.

The Jaguars won the game with their opposite-field hitting against Andrew lefty Chance Armour (1-6). They got three hits from Hill and two each by David Van Horn, Strickland, John Fidanza and Trumon Jefferson.

In the second inning, Van Horn singled and scored on a triple to the right field corner by Strickland, who came home on a single by Fidanza.

GPC scored four more times in the fifth, helped by a walk and a misplayed tap to the mound. Church, Jefferson, Hill and Madera hit consecutive RBI singles for a 6-2 lead.

Strickland knocked home the final run in the fifth, completing a five-hit series that included a double and a triple.

“We really executed well in the second game,” said Bailey.

The Darton series starts with a single game at Jaguar Field on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and moves to Albany for a single game Friday night and a doubleheader on Saturday. All games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic. Darton comes in having lost six of its last eight games, but the Cavaliers pulled out a split at Middle Georgia on Saturday, 6-3. They lost the opener 4-1.

Middle Georgia is the regular season champion and will host the district tournament (two teams from Georgia, two from Tennessee) starting May 18. The other Georgia team will be the region tournament champion, or the runner-up if Middle wins. The region tournament will be at GPC starting May 11.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 27, 2012

Jaguars win, set sights on second place

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars ran their winning streak to six Friday night with a 7-2 victory over Andrew College at Jaguar Field in Covington but still saw their narrow path to first place turn into a dead end.

Because of a quirky schedule caused by a nine-team league, Middle Georgia gets a bye in the final week and has just two games left. The Warriors beat Darton on Friday, running their league record to 25-5. With eight losses, there’s no way the Jaguars can catch them.

Darton, at 19-7, still has a glimmer of hope of finishing first, but would need to fulfill a tall order—sweeping Middle Georgia in a doubleheader on Saturday and then sweeping GPC in a four-game series next week.

Of course, the Jaguars (38-12, 18-8) have other ideas and instead will be measuring the number of times they have to beat Darton to secure second place.

“We got a conference win, and hopefully things will keep snowballing,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey. “With the pitching staff we have, we would feel comfortable going into the tournament as the second seed.”

The six-team tournament—which affords the top two finishers a first round bye—starts May 11 at Jaguar Field, with the champion to be crowned on May 14. That champion and the regular season winner advance to the district tournament against two Tennessee teams on May 18-20 at the home of the regular season winner.

Sam Bragg (8-3) pitched six strong innings Friday, striking out seven, but required 101 pitches, sending Bailey to his bullpen a tad earlier than planned.

“Sam did a good job, but his pitch count got up,” said Bailey. “We didn’t want to overextend him.”

Landon Hayes recorded an out in the seventh but the next three runners reached, one on an error.

With GPC ahead 4-2 and runners on first and third, lefthander Andy Threatt arrived to defuse the threat with a pickoff. After a walk replaced the baserunner, Threatt got Nate Ferrell, one of the top hitters in the league, to ground out to first.

After Andrew (20-28, 9-17) gift-wrapped three runs in the seventh with a couple of errors and other misplays that didn’t show up in the scorebook, Tripp Sheppard and Nikolay Uherek each pitched a scoreless inning for GPC.

The Jaguars also took advantage of an error in the second, when they took a 1-0 lead. After singles by David Van Horn and Christian Van Camp put runners at first and third, Van Camp stole second and Van Horn scored when the catcher’s throw sailed into center field.

John Fidanza and Cody McCance drove in runs in the sixth, giving the Jaguars a 4-1 lead, after losing pitcher Lance Shelton (1-3) hit two batsmen.

The Jaguars try for a series sweep Saturday when they face the Fighting Tigers in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. The games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 24, 2012

Reese moves to 5-0 as the Jaguars beat Andrew 11-2 on the road

Monte Reese turned in his fifth consecutive strong start since moving into the region rotation, allowing one run in five innings Tuesday as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat Andrew College 11-2 in Cuthbert.

The series concludes with three games at Jaguar Field in Covington— Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 1. The games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Reese (5-0) allowed one run in five innings, allowing three hits. He walked four and struck out three. His earned run average is 1.49.

The righthander departed with a 4-1 lead, which the Jaguars (37-12, 17-8) padded with another run in the seventh inning, two more in the eighth and four in the ninth.

Landon Hayes followed Reese with three hitless innings. Andre Wilson pitched the ninth.

The Jaguars finished with 15 hits, three by David Van Horn, who is in a race for the region batting title with teammate Wes Armstrong. Van Horn is now hitting .445, just behind Armstrong (.447 after a 1-for-3 day).

Jacob Johnson, Garitt Church and McLendon Hill had two hits apiece.

Kyler Timmerman drove home three runs with a triple in the ninth inning.

The Jaguars took advantage of three walks, three wild pitches, a hit batsman and five errors by Andrew (20-27, 9-16), which is fighting for one of six berths in the region tournament at Jaguar Field, which starts May 11.

GPC committed four errors.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 21, 2012

Jaguars squeak by West Georgia Tech 2-1, then take nightcap 13-2

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars finished a whirlwind weekend of good work Saturday with a doubleheader victory over West Georgia Tech in Carrollton, 2-1 and 13-2.

The series sweep was the first of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association season for the Jaguars (36-12, 16-8), who are chasing Darton and Middle Georgia with eight games remaining.

Clay Garner (8-1) pitched the Jaguars to victory in the opener, outdueling fellow lefthander Brad Bartlett (4-5) of West Georgia Tech. Garner scattered six hits in 6 2/3 innings before Christian Turnipseed got a one-pitch save.

The Jaguars scored 10 runs in the first two innings of the nightcap, providing a cushion for starter Adam Clark (6-1). Christian Van Camp drove in four runs, Trumon Jefferson and Cody McCance two apiece.

“Today was what we’ ve been trying to do,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey. “We’ ve been trying to put together a complete game, and today we had two of them— pitching, hitting and defense. This is the type of GPC baseball we want to see.”

The Garner-Bartlett duel went to the seventh inning, when the Jaguars sneaked ahead, helped by miscues in the field.

McLendon Hill led off with a single to left and took second when the ball was misplayed. After McCance sacrificed him to third, Antonio Allen lofted a fly ball near the line in right field. Phillip DePriest appeared to be slightly in foul ground when he elected to catch the ball, allowing Hill to tag and score.

After a single and a walk in the bottom of the seventh, Garner departed. Turnipseed got pinch hitter Jamie McKnight to fly out to left, ending the game. The save was the second for Turnipseed, who struck out the previous six batters he faced in the series.

The Jaguars jumped on West Georgia Tech starter Ryan Turner (6-7) early in the nightcap.

Helped by an error, a walk and a hit batsman, GPC scored six runs in the first inning, which included two-run singles by Van Camp and Jefferson.

In the second inning, David Van Horn doubled, Taylor Cato singled and John Fidanza smoked a line drive off Turner’ s ankle, forcing his removal. Van Horn was forced to hold third on the unusual play, and Van Camp greeted reliever Josh Hill with a two-run single.

Fidanza scored on a wild pitch, and McCance knocked home the 10th run with a sacrifice fly.

“We were very excited about our batters’ approaches at the plate,” said Bailey.

The reviews were more muted for Clark, who walked three and hit a batter while allowing two runs in his five innings. Andre Wilson and Andy Threatt finished as Bailey used his bench liberally.

“We got some guys in who deserved some at-bats,” he said.

The Jaguars got five hits from the cleanup spot, three from Van Horn and two more by Chase Macon. Jefferson also had three hits.

Wes Armstrong, the region’ s leading hitter, as 0-for-4 when he broke through with a hit in the seventh inning, giving him four for the day and nine for the series.

West Georgia Tech, fighting for a spot in the six-team region tournament, fell to 9-15 in the GCAA, 19-28 overall.

The Jaguars next play Tuesday at Andrew at 3 p.m. The teams will complete the series with a single game Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 1 at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus. The three home games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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April 20, 2012

Jaguars rally from 5 runs down to beat West Georgia Tech 11-8

Early on, it appeared the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars might be slammed. It didn’t turn out that way.

Down by five runs, the Jaguars immediately went to work offensively and got strong bullpen work from Nicolay Uherek on Friday, pulling out an 11-8 victory over West Georgia Tech in Carrollton.

The Jaguars (34-12, 14-8) are up 2-0 in the series, which concludes Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Carrollton. The games will be audio webcast, with links available under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Uherek (2-1) gave up three hits in 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Jaguars starter Sam Bragg, who departed in the third after surrendering a grand slam to Sean Watson.

Behind 6-1, the Jaguars rallied. After a single by Wes Armstrong and a walk, Christian Van Camp doubled home two runs in the fourth and later scored on an error.

A solo homer by Christopher Madera pulled GPC within 6-5 in the fifth, and the Jaguars got over the hump in the sixth with some help.

A walk, a sacrifice bunt by Garitt Church, an error and a groundout by Madera tied the score before Armstrong singled home the go-ahead run.

The Jaguars scored another run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Trumon Jefferson and two more in the eighth on an error, a walk and consecutive singles by David Van Horn, Van Camp and John Fidanza.

A double by Madera and a single by Armstrong produced the final run in the ninth. Madera and Armstrong had three hits each as the Jaguars pounded out 15.

After the work by Uherek, Tripp Sheppard and Christian Turnipseed wrapped up the game, Turnipseed earning his first save. As he did the night before, Turnipseed struck out the side in his only inning.

The losing pitcher for West Georgia Tech (19-26, 9-13) was Justin Hobby, working in relief of starter Chase Patterson.

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April 19, 2012

16 strikeouts by Reese, triple by Johnson produce win over West Ga. Tech

Monte Reese and the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ stellar bullpen combined for a two-hitter against West Georgia Tech on Thursday night, striking out 16.

But the gaudy numbers didn’ t produce anything close to a shutout, so the Jaguars needed a hero at the plate. Jacob Johnson was up to the task with a two-out, tie-breaking triple in the seventh inning of a 6-3 victory at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.

The series concludes with three games in Carrollton on the campus of the University of West Georgia. Friday’ s single game starts at 2 p.m., with a doubleheader Saturday at 1. All games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The hard-throwing Reese didn’ t allow a hit, or even allow a Golden Knights player to hit the ball out of the infield, until the sixth inning as the Jaguars took a 3-0 lead. Things changed quickly.

A walk and a hit batsman put two runners on, and Christian Prichard knocked one home with a single, West Georgia Tech’ s first hit. A second hit and a stolen base left two runners in scoring position with two out.

Reese made Phillip DePriest his 12th strikeout victim, apparently ending the inning. Johnson, the catcher, had to dig the pitch out of the dirt and throw to first. His throw went up the right field line. Tie game.

“He was visibly upset in the dugout,” said Jaguars coach Stewart Bailey. “I give him a lot of credit for mental toughness, coming back and getting that big hit.”

Golden Knights starter Hayden Patitta (1-2) departed with one out in the seventh and two on, Antonio Allen via an infield hit and Wes Armstrong on a walk. Reliever Josh Hill retired David Van Horn on a popup before Johnson poked his opposite field triple to the right field corner.

A hit by Christian Van Camp plated pinch runner Trey Hagey with the final run.

Johnson and Armstrong had two hits each as GPC (33-12, 13-8) finished with 11. The big hit early was a triple by Christopher Madera in the third inning. Madera then scored on a single by Armstrong, his team-leading 41st RBI.

Van Horn singled home another run in the fifth, and it appeared the Jaguars might cruise home behind Reese.

“He’ s got the best ‘no-hit’ stuff on our staff,” said Bailey. “We’ re trying to get him to command the strike zone a little more.”

Reese had a lapse in the second inning, walking two, then mowed down the Golden Knights (19-25, 9-12) until things turned ugly in the sixth. After the disastrous 12th strikeout, Andy Threatt came on to get the third out on a tap to the mound.

Christian Turnipseed (2-1), Tripp Sheppard and Landon Hayes closed out the game, each with a scoreless inning, facing the minimum. Turnipseed, another hard thrower, struck out the side.

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April 14, 2012

Jaguars no-hit in opener, lose nightcap in extra innings

It was “Chamber Day” Saturday at Jaguar Field on the Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus, a festive, carnival-like atmosphere. But it wasn’t a gala affair for the Jaguars on the field.

Clay Garner pitched a good game but took his first loss, 1-0, as the Jaguars couldn’t get a hit in support. Photos/Sue Ann Kuhn

After being no-hit in the opener, the Jaguars rallied from four runs down in the second game. But they never got over the hump, losing 6-4 to East Georgia College.

East Georgia’ s John Butler pitched the opening gem, walking two and hitting a batter while outdueling GPC’s Clay Garner for a 1-0 win.

The Jaguars’ first two-game losing streak in region play left them 12-8, facing an uphill battle to claim one of the top two seeds in the tournament. They have a dozen games remaining, including a season-ending series with first-place Darton.

“We’ ve got to take care of things and see how it goes,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey.

The Jaguars (32-12 overall) meet West Georgia Tech at home on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The loss was the first of the season for Garner after seven victories. He allowed seven hits and a walk.

“Clay didn’ t have his best stuff, but he’ s one of those guys who finds a way to battle,” said Bailey.

It was Chamber Day and a festive occasion, but Jaggy Jaguar and trainer Don Adams couldn’t get festive over the final results.

Butler (4-5) came into the game with an ERA of 5.49 before handing the Jaguars their fifth one-run loss in the region, helped by a couple of diving catches in the field.

“You’ ve got to give them credit,” said Bailey. “All of the close plays didn’ t go our way.”

The Jaguars fell behind in the nightcap as East Georgia (18-24, 9-11) scored four runs (two earned) off starter Adam Clark, who lasted 3 1/3 innings. The bullpen trio of Christian Turnipseed, Tripp Sheppard and Landon Hayes shut off the spigot, giving their teammates time to rally.

The Jaguars scored twice in the fourth and tied the score in the sixth.

David Van Horn started the late rally with a double. With one out, Christopher Madera blooped a single to center, Taylor Cato walked and John Fidanza ripped a two-run single that East Georgia third baseman Chris Lusted tried to backhand, only to have it deflect off his glove.

A sacrifice bunt by Garitt Church and a hit batsman reloaded the bases off Steven Vaughn before lefthander Ashley Claxton came on to strike out fellow lefty Trumon Jefferson. The scheduled seven-inning game ended in the ninth after East Georgia scored twice on a hit batsman and a homer by Tucker Darsey off Hayes (1-3).

“You’ ve got to give our guys credit for coming back,” said Bailey. “We had multiple opportunities. But right now we’ re not doing it.”

The Jaguars had 10 hits, three by Van Horn and two by Fidanza.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 13, 2012

Bragg’s arm, Van Horn’s 4 RBIs lead Jaguars

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars parlayed 11 hits, five walks, five stolen bases, three hit batsmen and a stout pitching performance by Sam Bragg into an 8-3 victory over East Georgia College on Friday night at the Newton Campus.

Coach Stewart Bailey was slightly disappointed by the lack of execution in certain situations, so call the second straight victory in the series workmanlike rather than anything resembling flawless.

“We have some things we have to keep working on,” he said.

David Van Horn knocked in four runs with two hits. Wes Armstrong had three hits and two RBIs, plus a stolen base after a play when nobody was looking.

“Our goal is seven runs and 10 hits. We feel like with our pitching, if we can get that we will be OK,” said Bailey.

The early runs—three in the third, three in the fifth—were plenty to support Bragg, who pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, before running into trouble in the seventh.

Landon Hayes finished, facing eight hitters and retiring seven. The other reached on an error.

“Sam had his A-game for six innings,” said Bailey. “He’s learning how to pitch. The sky is the limit for him. He’s throwing three pitches for strikes.”

East Georgia chased Bragg (7-3) with three runs in the seventh, likely the oddest inning of the Jaguars’ season. After a walk, a double to deep center field off Christopher Madera’s glove and an infield error gave the Bobcats their first run.

Bragg struck out Brent Madden and got Kyle Norton to fly out to shallow right field. Van Horn made the catch and a strong throw home. The runner at third held up, until—the throw hit the dropped bat in front of the plate and skipped away, allowing the second run to score. A single by John Wesley drove home the third run, bringing on Hayes.

In the bottom of the inning, the Jaguars walked three times and had a hit batsman, but didn’t score because a bunt turned into a double play.

The Jaguars’ productive early innings were helped by wildness by East Georgia starter Austin Meyer (2-6).

In the third, a walk to Garitt Church was followed by a double by Antonio Allen and an RBI single by Madera. Van Horn’s two-run hit came with two out.

In the fifth, Allen was hit by a pitch. With one out, Armstrong singled and Van Horn followed with a two-run hit, later scoring on a single by McLendon Hill.

The Jaguars (32-10, 12-6) will go for the series sweep Saturday when they face the Bobcats (16-24, 7-11) in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. The games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

It will be a theme day at the ballpark, billed as "Chamber Day," featuring fun activities for children and a raffle for a set of Michelin tires and four tickets to a Braves game. Concessions proceeds will benefit the Miracle League, a Rockdale County baseball league for physically challenged youth.

Admission price for Chamber Day is $5 and a can of food, and children 12 and under are admitted free with two cans of food. Food donations will go to Springfield Baptist Church to serve the needy.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 10, 2012

Jaguars support Reese with 7-run third, go on to beat East Georgia

Monte Reese struck out 10 batters in five-plus innings Tuesday and got big offensive support early as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat East Georgia College 12-5 in Swainsboro in the opener of a four-game series.

Reese (4-0) pitched five shutout innings before being charged with a pair of runs in the sixth in his second region start. He allowed four hits and two walks.

Nikolay Uherek, Andre Wilson and Justin Guy finished.

Meanwhile, GPC (31-10, 11-6) took control with seven runs in the third inning, ending a dry stretch of 15 innings in which they had scored only one run.

Antonio Allen and McLendon Hill had three hits each, Wes Armstrong and David Van Horn two apiece. Garitt Church drove in three runs, Armstrong two. Armstrong now has 38 RBIs, tops on the team.

The Jaguars are hitting .334 as a club, the top average in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Of the 12 runs yielded by East Georgia (16-23, 7-10), only six were earned as the Bobcats committed four errors. They also left 13 men on base.

The remaining three games will be played at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus, Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 1. All three games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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. Follow the Jaguars on Facebook and Twitter.

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April 7, 2012

Jaguars get plenty of pitching, but split doubleheader

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars tried two approaches to pitching Saturday—individual and committee—with good results both times. But timely hitting again was a problem, and the result was a doubleheader split.

After the Jaguars beat South Georgia College 5-0 with a complete game shutout by Clay Garner and five runs in the first inning, they dropped the nightcap 2-1 despite fine chances to win in the sixth and seventh innings.

“What’s killing us is a lack of execution,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey. “It’s really frustrating to lose a conference game that way.”

The Jaguars are 30-10 overall, 10-6 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, going into Tuesday’s 3 p.m. game at East Georgia. They play the Bobcats at home Friday at 7 p.m. before the series concludes with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. The home games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Garner (7-0) scattered six singles and walking one in his seven-inning complete game. He struck out eight, including the final two hitters of the game.

The Jaguars gave him a cushion in the first inning, helped by two South Georgia errors and three walks by Walker White (4-6). McLendon Hill drove in the third run with a bases-loaded walk, then Trumon Jefferson knocked another run home with a groundout and Garrit Church capped the big inning with an RBI single.

But GPC couldn’t score the remainder of the game despite finishing with 11 hits, including two each by Madera, Wes Armstrong, Van Horn and Church. They left 12 on base, a menacing omen for the nightcap.

Down 2-0 and mostly shut down by South Georgia’s Ryan Doyle (2-4), the Jaguars started a promising sixth inning with consecutive singles by Hill and Jefferson. Christopher Madera tried for a sacrifice but wound up beating it out the bunt, loading the bases.

Things still looked promising even after David Van Horn grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, plating the only run. But Christian Van Camp struck out, leaving Jefferson at third.

The seventh inning started nearly as well. Sloan Strickland walked and Taylor Cato singled, chasing Doyle. But pinch hitter Cody McCance, hitting against reliever Mikey Rodriguez, failed to get down a bunt, striking out. Church moved the runners to second and third with a groundout, prompting South Georgia to intentionally walk Hill, loading the bases.

With Jefferson due up, Bailey countered with the region’s leading hitter, Wes Armstrong. He flied out to center, ending the game.

“We just didn’t get the big clutch at-bat,” said Bailey.

In the end, the Tigers did. It came in the third inning after Jaguars starter Landon Hayes (1-2) walked two hitters and Kaleb Holbrook laid down a sacrifice bunt. Zach Brigham slapped a single to right field, producing a lead that stood up.

Hayes, normally the Jaguars’ closer, started as Bailey turned the entire game over to the bullpen and was rewarded with a combined two-hitter.

Adam Clark, Andy Threatt and Christian Turnipseed shut down South Georgia (18-24, 8-12) the rest of the game, but the Jaguars couldn’t avoid the “slip” loss Bailey often talks about. That’s a loss to a second division team that proves costly in the final standings.

“It’s like losing two games,” he said.

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April 6, 2012

7 shutout innings by Bragg put Jaguars on track for 7-0 win over South Georgia

Sam Bragg kept hanging up shutout innings Friday evening until his Georgia Perimeter College teammates could accomplish something at the plate. Things eventually worked out well in a 7-0 victory over South Georgia College at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.

“Sam did a great job of getting back on the horse and going at it,” said Jaguars coach Stewart Bailey, referring the Bragg’ s two-inning stint at Gordon on Sunday. “He was the star of the night when we weren’ t hitting. He kept putting up zeroes.”

The Jaguars (29-9, 9-5) broke through with an unearned run in the fifth inning and put the game away with a five-run eighth. They are up 2-0 in the four-game series, which concludes Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Both games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Bragg allowed five hits in seven innings, striking out four without yielding a walk. Christian Turnipseed worked the eighth—scoreless, but not free of drama—and Adam Clark had a 1-2-3 ninth. Clark usually starts on Fridays but has been battling illness.

With the Jaguars ahead 2-0 and runners at first and third, Turnipseed got cleanup hitter Braddock Rowe to ground to shortstop. The double play wasn’ t turned, but the umpires ruled that pinch runner J.D. Sabo was guilty of interference while sliding at second base. JUCO sliding rules are more strict than those in professional baseball.

So South Georgia didn’t get the run, and the Jaguars scored five in the eighth. After a single by Garitt Church, a sacrifice bunt by Antonio Allen and singles by Christopher Madera and Wes Armstrong, South Georgia’ s infield committed back-to-back errors.

A bases-loaded walk to Cody McCance plated the third run, and Trumon Jefferson capped the big inning with a two-run single.

“It was great we were able to put up that five-spot and get some breathing room,” said Bailey.

The hit gave Jefferson three RBIs. He also drove home GPC’ s first run. After McCance reached on a two-out error and alertly moved to second on a short wild pitch, sliding head first, Jefferson bled a single off the first baseman’ s glove on the backhand side.

It was the Jaguars’ first hit after they spent four-plus innings baffled by the offerings of South Georgia starter Jake Anthony (3-5), specifically his change-ups.

“There were a couple of times we only saw four or five pitches in an inning,” said Bailey. “You’ ve got to tip your hat to that guy.”

And also to Bragg (6-3), who was able to pitch out of a few spots of trouble as the Jaguars slowly built a cushion.

David Van Horn made it 2-0 in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly after singles by Madera and Armstrong. Madera, Armstrong and Jefferson had two hits each as GPC got only seven, all singles.

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April 3, 2012

Jaguars pound out 17 hits but struggle to win 7-3 at South Georgia

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars hung up some big numbers Tuesday in Douglas—17 hits, 17 runners left on base.

After a 7-3 victory over host South Georgia College, coach Stewart Bailey was still looking for timely hitting. But he was happy nonetheless.

“Getting a conference victory on the road is a great start to the week,” he said after the Jaguars raised their record to 28-9, 8-5 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The teams conclude the four-game series at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus with a single game Friday night at 6 and a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. All games will be webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

David Van Horn had four of the Jaguars’ hits, driving home two runs. Christian Van Camp had three hits and three RBIs, two of them on a triple in the eighth inning. Wes Armstrong also had three hits.

Van Horn (.453) and Armstrong (.449) are first and second in hitting in the GCAA. Van Horn has eight hits in three games, and Armstrong has looked comfortable at the plate after sitting out two weeks with a hamstring injury.

“David has had some really good at-bats,” said Bailey. “He and Wes have been our best hitters with two strikes. Now we need to get one more guy going and have kind of a three-headed monster in the lineup.”

GPC broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with an RBI single by Trumon Jefferson but wasn’t out of the woods even even after scoring three more times in the top of the eighth. A turning point came in the bottom of t he inning when lefthander Andy Threatt entered the game with two runners on and none out.

As Threatt struck out Zach Brigham, Aaron Drew broke from second on the pitch and was easily gunned down by GPC catcher John Fidanza, who had an unobstructed shot with a lefty hitter at the plate. Fidanz has now thrown out 14 of 21 would-be base stealers.

South Georgia (17-22, 7-10) pushed home a run, but GPC got more insurance in the ninth with back-to-back singles by Christopher Madera after two walks. Tripp Sheppard closed out the game.

Hungry for pitching early in a series, the Jaguars got it from first-time region starter Monte Reese (3-0), dominant at times in allowing two unearned runs in five innings.

“He did exactly what we wanted him to do, which was get the game to the bullpen,” said Bailey.

Christian Turnipseed was perfect before two innings before walking two men at the start of the eighth, bringing on Threatt, who faced only one hitter and bagged two outs. Tripp Sheppard finished for his fourth save.

Reese struck out three and walked five, but he was hardly the only pitcher who had trouble throwing strikes in the ugly game. Each team walked eight.

Spencer Thomas (2-2) took the loss, going 5 1/3 innings. Workhorse reliever Mikey Rodriguez was charged with GPC’s three runs in the eighth, and South Georgia coach Jeff Timothy wound up using four more pitchers.

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.

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April 1, 2012

Garner pitches Jaguars to victory, but Gordon claims nightcap

For the first time in the series, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars got solid starting pitching Sunday and rode it to a 5-2 victory over Gordon College in the first game of a doubleheader at Highlander Field.

Lefthander Clay Garner tied the Highlanders in knots with his breaking pitches and location, finishing with a three-hitter.

The second game didn’ t go so well for hard-throwing righthander Sam Bragg, who gave up seven runs in two innings. Gordon went on to win 9-5, gaining a split of the four-game series.

“Clay definitely did the job for us. He had a good selection of pitches and good location,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey. “ But taking a split definitely hurt us.”

The Jaguars (27-9, 7-5) next play Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Douglas against South Georgia. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Garner (6-0) allowed at least one baserunner in each inning but deftly handled each situation, including a crucial juncture in the sixth inning, when the Highlanders brought the tying run to the plate with two out. Center fielder Christopher Madera ended the inning with a sliding catch on a sinking liner.

Garner struck out seven and walked four.

The Jaguars staked him to a 4-0 lead after three innings, getting a run-scoring double and a solo homer from David Van Horn. Madera doubled home the final run in the sixth.

The nightcap turned into a showcase for Gordon third baseman Bobby Woodall, who drove home six runs. After going 0-for-2 in the opener, he doubled home a run in the first inning, then hit a three-run homer in the second and a two-run homer in the fifth.

Bragg (5-3) left after two innings with GPC 7-1 in arrears. Christian Turnipseed struck out four in two perfect innings before Woodall connected in the fifth following a single by Aaron Mizell, who was 3-for-3.

Oddly, the Highlanders (15-16, 5-7) struck out 11 times in between mounting their 10-hit attack.

The Jaguars battled back, but never got over the hump. Christian Van Camp homered in the fourth, and GPC brought the tying run to the plate in the fifth with two out before Gordon reliever Andrew Fessler snuffed the rally with a strikeout.

In the seventh, the Jaguars scored twice as Fessler struggled to the finish line, walking three men in the inning. With the bases loaded and none out, a dropped flyball at the warning track in center field gave GPC hope. But the effect of the disputed play was muted when the Highlanders got a forceout in the confusion about whether the ball was caught.

Fessler wrapped up the game with two strikeouts, preserving the victory for Kevin Burgee (3-1), who went the first 4 1/3 innings.

“We just need somebody in clutch situations to step up and get the big hit. That didn’ t happen in the second game today,” said Bailey. “ But I give Gordon credit. They swung the bat as good as anybody has against us all year.”

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March 31, 2012

Saturday’s doubleheader postponed to Sunday

The Jaguars’ doubleheader at Gordon College scheduled for Saturday was postponed until Sunday, April 1 because of rain. The first game will begin at 2 p.m., and both will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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March 30, 2012

Wirsu flirts with no-hitter as Gordon upsets Jaguars 8-3

On Tuesday the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars pounded out 14 hits. On Friday they were no-hit for the first eight-and-a-third innings and managed only four hits in the game. Frank Sinatra should have sung, “That’s Baseball.”

The Jaguar bats were silenced Friday by Gordon College pitcher Josh Wirsu as the hosts won an 8-3 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association victory in Barnesville. This, after Georgia Perimeter defeated Gordon in Tuesday’s comeback victory 14-10.

A freshman from Harlem, Ga., Wirsu sat the Jaguars down in order for the first 14 batters, until McLendon Hill drew a base on balls in the fifth inning. Then Wirsu survived an hour rain and lightning delay to no-hit GPC until John Fidanza drove an RBI single over third base in the eighth.

The loss drops Georgia Perimeter to 26-8, 6-4 in the GCAA, which is also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Gordon (14-15, 4-6) opened with a hit parade against Adam Clark, who was uncharacteristically off his game on the mound. Leadoff man Devin Bonin started it off with a hit in the first inning as the Highlanders erupted for six hits and five runs. Michael Stemle and Brian Jacobs each stroked two-run singles.

The Highlanders resumed the onslaught with three runs in the second frame, highlighted by a two-run double into the right field corner by Chance Bridges.

However, reliever Taylor Cato, taking over in the bottom of the third inning, turned the potential rout into a pitchers’ duel. In four innings he restricted Gordon to two hits while striking out two, walking four and hitting a batter.

With two on and no outs in the the seventh, Andre Wilson relieved Cato and promptly got a grounder that should have resulted in an out but instead turned into an error that loaded the bases.

From that point, Wilson put Gordon down in order, striking out three of the six outs he induced.

The Jaguars’ bats came alive too little and too late. After McLendon Hill reached on an error in the eighth, John Fidanza’s single ruined Wirsu’s no-hitter, and pinch hitter Cody McCance immediately followed with a bunt single to load the bases. But Wirsu doused the threat with a strikeout and a fly out.

His shutout evaporated in the ninth inning, when the Jaguars pieced together three runs. Trumon Jefferson walked; David Van Horn was hit by a pitch and Christian Van Camp reached on a fielder’s choice.

Then, with two outs, Hill singled to drive in Jefferson for the Jags’ first run. Fidanza smacked a double to the right-center gap to score Van Camp, and Hill tallied the final run on an error. Reliever Dylan Griffin finally got a pop-up to shortstop for the game-ending out.

Fidanza finished with two hits in four trips, and Hill— who had three hits Tuesday— reached three times with the RBI single, error and a walk.

The Jaguars return to Barnesville Saturday for a 2 p.m. doubleheader The games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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March 27, 2012

8-run inning sends Jaguars past Gordon

After watching three hours plus of walks, timely hitting, lead changes and assorted odd happenings, Georgia Perimeter College coach Stewart Bailey observed, “It was like an arena football game, and I’m just glad we had the last at-bat.”

The pitching might have been off target most of the evening, but his analogy wasn’t.

The No. 9-ranked Jaguars (26-7, 6-3) scored eight runs in the sixth inning to pull out a 14-10 conference victory over Gordon College on Tuesday at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.

The teams play the last three games of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association series in Barnesville—on Friday at 4 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 2. All three games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Jaguars pounded out 15 hits, including three each by McLendon Hill and Trumon Jefferson, and walked 10 times. They also stole four bases, two by Garrit Church, and did lots of little things right on a day they didn’t get their customary superior pitching.

The see-saw that started in the first inning swung Gordon’s way again midway through the game. The Highlanders scored four runs in the fourth for a 9-6 lead. Another run in the sixth on a double by cleanup hitter Bobby Woodall—his fourth RBI—made the score 10-6.

The Highlanders (13-15, 3-6) elected to deploy bullpen ace Zach Smith when the Jaguars threatened in the fifth. When Smith got the third out, and it appeared Gordon coach Travis McClanahan had made a wise decision.

In the sixth, everything went the Jaguars’ way. After three hits, three walks and a catcher’s interference call, Gordon’s lead was toast. Smith (1-2) was pulled in favor of Dylan Griffin, who was charged with the final two runs.

Hill, Antonio Allen and David Van Horn each produced two-run singles in the big inning. Allen and Van Horn came through with two out.

“I give our guys a lot of credit for coming back,” said Bailey. “We got some great two-out hitting.”

It started early, when Christopher Madera doubled home two runs with two out in the second. Actually, Madera’s hit might have been a single, but he dared the Highlanders to throw him out at second. The throw was off target, allowing Jefferson to score.

It was the fifth inning before GPC was able to hold Gordon off the scoreboard in an inning. After the big rally, the Jaguars were hungry for pitching, and they got it—consecutive scoreless innings by Christian Turnipseed, Clay Garner and Landon Hayes to wrap up the game. The outing counted as Garner’s usual early-week throwing in preparation for his scheduled start Saturday.

After GPC starter Nicolay Uherek and then Andy Threatt were tagged for four runs apiece, Monte Reese (2-0) came on in the fourth and wound up getting the win.

Jaguar pitchers walked seven batters and hit three. They also struck out eight, but two of them wound up on first base after swinging at wild pitches. A homer by Gordon’s Christian Davila in the second inning was the fourth by an opponent this season.

“I just hope this win gets us going for the weekend,” said Bailey.

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March 20, 2012

Van Camp’ s hot hitting helps Jaguars sweep DH at Chattanooga State

With a bye week in the region, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars hit the road again Tuesday and swept a doubleheader from Chattanooga State Community College, 9-5 and 3-2, behind the hitting of Christian Van Camp.

Van Camp had two hits and drove in three runs in the opener. As one of a handful of regulars in the lineup for the second game, he was 3-for-3, including a leadoff triple in the sixth inning. Kyler Timmerman drove him in for the winning run.

The No. 9-ranked Jaguars (25-7) are off until next Tuesday, when they host Gordon at 5 p.m. That game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Nikolay Uherek started the opener and went four innings, allowing two earned runs. Christian Turnipseed worked the next two innings and Tripp Sheppard the final two. Sheppard (1-0) got the victory when the Jaguars were forced to extra innings but won with four runs in the top of the eighth.

David Van Horn and Jacob Johnson had four hits apiece. Van Camp had a double and a single, as did Christopher Madera. Garitt Church hit two singles as the Jaguars produced 18 hits.

Monte Reese started the nightcap and allowed an earned run in four innings. Andy Threatt (3-2) got the victory with a scoreless fifth, then Landon Hayes earned his fifth save with two scoreless innings.

Timmerman had two hits.

Chattanooga State, which is among the “ others receiving votes” in the national poll, fell to 25-8.

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.

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March 17, 2012

Two runs allowed; a mere split gained

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars yielded two runs in two conference games Saturday in Tifton. Unfortunately, the second run led to a 1-0 loss in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The Jaguars (23-7, 5-3) won the opener 9-1, but the ABAC run again was significant. It was a home run with one out in the seventh inning, breaking up a no-hit bid by Clay Garner (5-0).

Sam Bragg (5-2) was the hard-luck loser in the second game, allowing just two hits and an unearned run in the fifth inning.

“Sam pitched a great game,” said GPC head coach Stewart Bailey. “Clay pitched a great game. That was a series that we should have swept. I hope it doesn’ t hurt us down the road.”

The loss came after the Jaguars, ranked ninth in the NJCAA poll, had convincingly won the first three games of the home-away series by a combined score of 32-6. They were eyeing a much-needed sweep, considering the competitiveness of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

The Jaguars had 15 hits in the opener, including three each by Garitt Church and Wes Armstrong. David Van Horn drove in three runs, while Jacob Johnson and Armstrong drove in two apiece.

Johnson” s two-run double capped a three-run first inning. Aided by fielding miscues by the Stallions (14-15, 2-6), the Jaguars scored twice more in the second inning and took a 7-0 lead in the fourth off Eric Ricks (4-3).

Meanwhile, Garner was far from his sharpest but still had allowed only four walks and a hit batsman until the seventh, when Michael Crowe pulled a lofty home run over the left field wall. Justin Guy immediately replaced Garner and gave up a double before finishing the game for a combined two-hitter.

In the second game, the Jaguars were denied the sweep of the four-game series despite eight hits (giving them 23 for the day), three by Van Horn and two by Church.

The key inning was the fifth. With one out, Cody McCance singled and went to third on a double by Christopher Madera off the glove of ABAC” s third baseman. Van Horn also hit a ball to third, but Les Evans elected to dive at McCance, who alertly scrambled back to the bag. Evans missed the tag, leaving the bases loaded.

But ABAC’s Josh Pape (4-2) got a popup from Christian Van Camp and an innning-ending grounder to second by Ben Venters.

In the bottom of the inning, Crowe led off with a single, and things started going wrong when Bragg misplayed a sacrifice bunt attempt. Brad Blount hit a grounder to short, but the Jaguars could only get a force at second when McCance’s relay throw from second base went in the dirt at first.

When Cedrick Daniell hit another double play ball to short, the relay pulled Van Camp off the bag at first and Crowe scored the only run of the game.

Or not. That was the Jaguars’ view of the play, but the umpire saw it differently.

The Jaguars got but one more baserunner off Pape, who kept them off-balance with a collection of breaking stuff. Nine of GPC’s 21 outs came on pop-ups to the infield or in foul territory.

“I tip my hat to the guy [Pape],” Bailey said. “He’s their best pitcher. He threw off-speed pitches in fastball situations and we didn’ t adjust.”

The Jaguars next visit Chattanooga State Community College Tuesday for a nonconference doubleheader. They have a bye from region play next week and face Gordon the week after that, starting with a home game on Tuesday, March 27.

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March 16, 2012

Jaguars unleash 23-hit attack, beat Abraham Baldwin 13-5

The No. 9-ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars broke a tie with a five-run seventh inning and went on to a 13-5 victory over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton on Friday night.

The series continues Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. The games will be audio webcast beginning at 12:50, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Monte Reese (1-0) earned the pitching victory, going three innings in relief of starter Adam Clark. Reese allowed one hit and no earned runs, lowering his ERA to 0.60, while striking out six and walking two.

Clark gave up seven hits and four earned runs in his five innings, striking out four.

The Jaguars (22-6, 4-2) pounded out 23 hits, including three apiece by Antonio Allen, Christopher Madera, Christian Van Camp and Garitt Church. John Fidanza had a big hit in the five-run seventh inning, which broke a 4-4 tie.

ABAC falls to 13-14 overall, 1-5 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. The Stallions lost the rain-shortened first game of the series 10-0 at Jaguar Field on Tuesday night.

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March 13, 2012

Jaguars win rain-shortened game 10-0

Sophomore lefthander Andy Threatt pitched five solid innings and got ample support from hitters—and a save by Mother Nature—as Georgia Perimeter College defeated Abraham Baldwin College 10-0 Tuesday at GPC’s Newton Campus.

An unexpected thunderstorm ended the game in the eighth inning as the visitors were in the midst of a five-run rally. After conferring, the coaches, Georgia Perimeter’s Stewart Bailey and Abraham Baldwin’s Steve Janousek, agreed that the final score reverts back to the last completed inning, a ruling that will have to be ratified by the league office.

Georgia Perimeter, ranked sixth in the NJCAA coaches poll, improves to 21-6, 3-2 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. ABAC drops to 13-13, 1-4.

Threatt (2-2) earned the win, allowing three hits, walking two, striking out five and nailing a runner at first base with his quick pick-off move. Ethan Conway (2-3) took the loss for ABAC.

“It was good for Andy to get some mound time,” Bailey said. “Hopefully, this will get him going.” Because of an injury, Threatt hadn’t pitched since Feb. 28.

At the plate GPC knocked out 13 hits before the rain came. Wes Armstrong led the way with three hits in four trips, including two doubles. He drove two runs, boosting to his nationally-ranked RBI total to 31.

“We got some great two-out hitting and some great situational hitting, and that’s what we’re looking for,” Bailey said.

Also collecting two RBIs were McLendon Hill, Antonio Allen and Christopher Madera. Allen was two-for-four with an RBI triple; Christian Van Camp (two-for-three) hit a triple; David Van Horne and Madera added doubles; Trumon Jefferson went two-for-three and McLendon Hill two-for-four.

The Jaguars grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, beginning Armstrong’s double to the wall. Van Horne doubled him in and then came around to score on a base hit by McLendon Hill.

In the fourth inning, Van Camp drove a triple down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice fly by John Fidanza.

The Jags erupted for three runs in the fifth frame and four in the sixth, powered by a nine-hit binge.

Trey Hagey came off the bench to preserve the shutout in the top of the seventh, scooping up a hit in center field and throwing out a runner at the plate to end the inning. It got reliever Nikolay Uherek out of a jam as he pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings, allowing two hits and fanning two.

But against reliever Justin Guy in the eighth, the Stallions stampeded for five runs. With two runners on base and two outs, they were reined in by lightning and a torrential downpour, ending the rally.

The Jaguars travel to Tifton Friday for a 6 p.m. game at ABAC. The four-game series concludes with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. Saturday’s games will be audio broadcast online with a link under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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March 10, 2012

Jaguars split DH, series with Middle Georgia

Georgia Perimeter and Middle Georgia, expected to duel for the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, split their Saturday doubleheader as well as their opening region series.

After losing 3-2 in 11 innings, the Jaguars (20-6, 2-2) came back in the nightcap to produce the first real offensive outburst of the series, scoring six runs in the first two innings and winning 7-1.

Sam Bragg (5-1) was the beneficiary of the early scoring and held Middle Georgia (15-6, 2-2) to one run in four innings, striking out seven. Taylor Cato pitched a scoreless inning and Monte Reese two to close out the game.

Caleb Bryson led off the Warriors’ second inning with a triple and scored on a groundout by Dylan Kelly, but later there was potential for more damage. With the bases loaded and two out, Bragg induced leadoff hitter Bo Way to ground out to first base.

The Jaguars took advantage of control problems by Middle Georgia starter Jeremy Holcomb (2-2) and an unusual play to score four times in the first.

After hits by Antonio Allen and Wes Armstrong and a walk to David Van Horn loaded the bases, a wild pitch plated the first run. After a walk to John Fidanza reloaded the bases. McLendon Hill delivered a two-run single through the hole into left field. Fidanza stole third on the front end of a double steal and scored on a misplay by the Warriors, technically getting credit for two steals on one play.

In the second, Allen doubled and scored on two wild pitches by Holcomb, who came in with an 0.51 ERA. After Armstrong walked, Middle Georgia coach Craig Young replaced Holcomb with Eric Alonzo. Singles by Christopher Madera and Sloan Strickland provided a 6-1 lead.

Allen and Armstrong had three hits apiece, Madera two.

In the opener, the Jaguars had chances but lost in the 11th on an unearned run off Christian Turnipseed (1-1). Clay Garner started and gave up two runs in six innings. Landon Hayes followed with four scoreless innings.

Trumon Jefferson and Christian Van Camp had two hits apiece, but Jaguar hitters struck out 13 times.

For the series, GPC pitchers allowed only seven runs in 40 innings.

The Jaguars next play Tuesday at home at 5 p.m. against Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. That game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.

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March 9, 2012

Johnson’s RBI wins Clark’s 1-0 pitching duel

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars and Middle Georgia got more excellent pitching Friday night as the series shifted to Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus, and this time GPC came out on top, 1-0 in a classic that lasted well under two hours.

Adam Clark allowed three hits and fanned seven in seven innings. Photo/Sue Ann Kuhn

The No. 6-ranked Jaguars (19-5), who lost 3-2 in 13 innings in Cochran on Tuesday night, got the run in the seventh inning on a bloop single to shallow left field by Jacob Johnson, who drove home Wes Armstrong from second base with one out.

Adam Clark (5-0) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for the victory, striking out seven and facing just two batters over the minimum because of a double play.

Christian Turnipseed pitched a perfect eighth, and Tripp Sheppard allowed a two-out single to Khirus Ware in the ninth before striking out No. 3 hitter D.J. Driggers to end the game. The save was Sheppard’s third.

Alex Roberts (3-1) pitched the eight-inning complete game for No. 15-ranked Middle Georgia (14-5), which advanced just two runners to scoring position.

Driggers singled and stole second with two out in the first, and Jake Fields doubled with one out in the fifth before Clark got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

Taylor Cato and Antonio Allen had two hits apiece for GPC.

The teams complete the opening region series Saturday afternoon on the Newton Campus with a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The Jaguars are expected to start their top two pitchers, returning All-America lefthander Clay Garner and freshman righthander Sam Bragg. The games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under 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.

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March 6, 2012

Jaguars fail to cash chances, lose region opener to Middle Georgia in 13th

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars and Middle Georgia Warriors took turns showcasing outstanding relief pitching Tuesday night.

When the arms race finally ended after 13 innings, the Warriors were 3-2 winners.

“They threw everything they had at us but the kitchen sink, and we threw everything we had back at them. It was really pitching dominance,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey after the battle at Stuckey Field in Cochran between the No. 6-ranked Jaguars and No. 15 Warriors.

With the jousting entertainment that lasted more than three hours, the teams kicked off what likely will be a spirited race for the regular season title of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association that will carry over to the region tournament and perhaps the district tournament after that. As they say in the news business, this story has legs.

The teams play three more times this week at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus, Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 1. All three games will be audio webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Jaguars (18-5, 0-1) yielded two runs in the first inning, tied the score in the seventh and left numerous uncashed chances along the way. Of their 10 men left on base, seven were stranded in scoring position.

“We needed somebody to step and deliver a quality at-bat,” said Bailey.

The most glaring shortcoming came in the fifth inning after Warriors starter Devin Rentz walked the bases loaded with nobody out. Hard-throwing Zach Hayden came out of the bullpen and preserved the shutout, striking out the first two men he faced.

“If we had scored just one run there, it would have made a big difference,” said Bailey.

The Jaguars finally scored in the seventh on a single by McLendon Hill, a groundout, a tap back to Hayden that was misplayed but scored a hit, a run-scoring groundout by Garitt Church and a single by pinch-hitter Ben Venters, who went to third when the ball scooted through the right fielder.

At that point, coach Craig Young of Middle Georgia (14-4) summoned an even harder thrower, J.B. Wendelken. He got the third out that time and held off every subsequent Jaguar threat, pitching through the 12th inning.

Stephen Glaze (1-1) worked the 13th for the victory.

Meanwhile, Jaguars starter Nikolay Uherek settled down after a shaky start to pitch four good innings. Clay Garner, who will start this weekend, followed with two scoreless innings, Christian Turnipseed with three, Tripp Sheppard with two and Landon Hayes with one.

From the second inning through the 12th, the Warriors managed only four hits and didn’t get a runner past second base, striking out 10 times. GPC catcher John Fidanza stifled two potential winning rallies by catching runners stealing.

But a stolen base by Middle Georgia figured in the outcome. Hayes (1-1) got the first two outs of the 13th before walking D.J. Driggers, who stole second.

After an intentional walk, third-string catcher Trey Benefield dribbled the softest of grounders in a perfect spot between short and third. With the ball on his backhand side, Hill tried to keep it in the infield but slid and wound up knocking it away a few feet, enough to allow Driggers to score.

“A seeing-eye hit,” said Bailey.

In hits of all varieties, the Jaguars had 11 to Middle Georgia’s eight. Wes Armstrong had three hits, raising his average to .469. Hill, Fidanza and Venters had two each.

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.

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March 1, 2012

Jaguars tune up for Middle Georgia with a doubleheader sweep

The Georgia Perimeter College got the feel-good doubleheader sweep they were looking for Thursday, beating the Shorter University JV team 11-3 and 11-1 at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.

“After losing a couple of games, I told them there was a lot of pressure on them to come out and play the game of baseball.” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey of his No. 6-ranked team. “I also told them that the toughest opponent they’ll play all year is themselves — so don’t beat yourself.”

The Jaguars (18-4) took their coach’s advice to heart, piling up runs with solid approaches at the plate that produced more than a few highlights. Christian Van Camp hit a grand slam and had six RBIs in the opener, and Wes Armstrong also homered, part of a four-RBI day that raised his total to 28, among the best in the country.

Adam Clark (4-0) and Sam Bragg (4-1) tuned up for region starts with four shutout innings apiece. As a staff, the Jaguars struck out Shorter hitters 25 times in the twin bill.

“It was good to get something positive heading into the conference season,” said Bailey. “I feel like it’s the second season.”

And that season starts Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Cochran with a game against No. 15-ranked Middle Georgia. The series continues with a single game Friday and a doubleheader Saturday at Jaguar Field. All games will be webcast, with links available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars took control of the first game early and wrapped things up with a seven-run fifth inning. Two walks and a bunt single by McLendon Hill with the infield playing back loaded the bases for Van Camp, who pulled his slam to right-center, helped by a stiff breeze.

It was the first homer for the Jaguars, who have concentrated on spraying the ball around their spacious ballpark. The second was to follow shortly.

Garitt Church tripled and scored on a single by Antonio Allen, the designated hitter. After two outs, Armstrong homered, also to right-center.

“Taking a good approach to hitting and winning are contagious,” said Bailey. “So are bad hitting and losing.”

Clark struck out seven in his four innings. Justin Guy and Taylor Cato followed with scoreless frame before Christian Turnipseed found a spot of trouble in the seventh, allowing the Hawks’ three runs on three singles and a walk, with a two-base error thrown in.

In the second game, the Jaguars went ahead 3-0 in the third and never looked back. Christopher Madera, hitless for the day, tripled home Ben Venters and scored on a double by Armstrong, who eventually scored on a wild pitch.

GPC finished with 12 hits, with Cato and Sloan Strickland getting two apiece. Armstrong, Kyler Timmerman and Chase Macon drove in two runs apiece.

Bragg struck out seven in his four innings. Allen followed with a scoreless inning in just his second pitching appearance of the season after winning MVP honors in the 2011 region tournament for his pitching.

Andre Wilson and Tripp Sheppard each worked an inning as the long day wound down.

“Time to get ready to go,” said Bailey. “It’s time to take care of business.”

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February 29, 2012

Jaguars break into NJCAA poll at No. 6

On Leap Year Day 2012, the Georgia Perimeter Jaguars jumped from unranked to the sixth spot in the first National Junior College Athletic Association poll of the regular season.

The ranking, a tribute to both first-year head coach Stewart Bailey and former coach Danny Blue, is the highest at least since the late 1990s. (Records are sketchy and memories faded of DeKalb College’s early powerhouses, when the school fielded teams at the North, Central and South campuses.)

The Jaguars (16-4) play their final tuneup before the region season Thursday at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus, meeting Shorter University’s JV team at 3 p.m. for a doubleheader. The games will be audio webcast with a link under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The region opener is next Tuesday in Cochran at 6 p.m. against Middle Georgia, which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll but fell to No. 15. The Warriors are 9-3.

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.

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February 28, 2012

Punchless Jaguars lose a road doubleheader to Cleveland State

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars had a tough day at the plate in Tennessee on Tuesday, losing a doubleheader to Cleveland State, 4-2 and 3-0.

After coming in averaging more than seven runs a game, they were held to six hits in the first game and just three in the nightcap as their record fell to 16-4.

They’ll try to rebound Thursday at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus as they face Shorter University’s JV team in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Nikolay Uherek (1-1) pitched a six-inning complete game in the opener, allowing seven hits and four earned runs. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.

But the Jaguars could only score twice on their six hits, four walks and a couple of errors by Cleveland State (8-4), a team they beat twice at home on Feb. 11. Trumon Jefferson had two singles, and Christopher Madera got the only RBI.

The second game went even worse, even though the Jaguars drew six walks to go with a double by McLendon Hill and singles by Sloan Strickland and Christian Van Camp.

Andy Threatt (1-2) allowed the three runs, all earned, in 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out one. Monte Reese finished.

A bright spot: The Jaguars played errorless ball in the twin bill.

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.

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February 26, 2012

Garner moves to 4-0 with victory over Chattahoochee Valley

Returning All-America lefthander Clay Garner won his fourth consecutive start Sunday as the Georgia Perimeter College beat Chattahoochee Valley Community College 4-3 in Phenix City, Ala.

Garner pitched six innings, allowing four hits, no walks and two earned runs. He struck out six.

Landon Hayes worked a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save, allowing one hit.

Great defensive plays by first baseman Christian Van Camp and third baseman Garitt Church helped save the day for the Jaguars (16-2). The pair also scored most of the runs, two by Van Camp and one by Church.

Church had two hits, and Van Camp drove in a run.

Chattahoochee Valley fell to 11-9. The Jaguars conclude their road stretch Tuesday with a trip to Tennessee to face Cleveland State, a team they swept at home.

Their next home date is Thursday, a doubleheader at 3 p.m. against the JV team from Shorter University. Those games will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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February 23, 2012

Armstrong runs nation-leading RBI total to 24 as Jaguars sweep

Andy Threatt pitched five innings without allowing an earned run as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat the JV team of Piedmont College 6-2 Thursday in the opener of a doubleheader in Demorest.

Wes Armstrong was 4-for-4 and drove in two runs, bringing his nation-leading total to 24. Christopher Madera was 2-for-4 and drove in a run.

Threatt (1-1), who hadn’t pitched since Feb. 7 because of illness, went five innings and allowed seven hits, striking out two. Justin Guy pitched the last two innings for his first save, striking out four.

The Jaguars (15-2) completed the sweep by beating Piedmont 10-4 in the nightcap. Madera went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, giving him 18 RBIs. Chase Macon went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, and Jacob Johnson was 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Taylor Cato (2-0) started and went four innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out eight.

The Jaguars continue their road stretch with a single game Saturday against Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala., at 2 p.m.

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February 22, 2012

McCance’s triple in 10th gives Jaguars a split with Southern Union

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars were perilously close to their first bad day of the season Wednesday, but the reserves wouldn’t allow it.

After losing the first end of a doubleheader 4-1 to Southern Union on the Newton Campus, the Jaguars rallied from a three-run deficit to win 6-5 in the 10th on an RBI double by Cody McCance.

”He’s a ballplayer. That’s the best thing I can say about anybody. He’s won two ballgames for us now,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey of McCance, who also tripled home two last-inning runs in a victory over Shorter University’s JV team in Rome.

McCance’s first shot at being the hero Wednesday didn’t take. After Jacob Johnson doubled home two runs to pull GPC within 5-4 in the sixth, McCance entered as a pinch hitter with two out—and struck out.

The Jaguars finally tied the score at 5 in the seventh, scheduled to be the final inning, on a double by pinch hitter David Van Horn, a sacrifice bunt by McLendon Hill and a single by Kyler Timmerman, who had been inserted to play left field.

In the field, GPC needed a couple of escapes by closer Landon Hayes. The biggest one came in the eighth, when Hayes got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by inducing Caleb Wharton to hit into a double play.

Hayes entered in the seventh and pitched into the 10th, leaving after a walk and a hit batsman. Adam Clark (3-0) got the final two outs and picked up the victory.

”Adam hadn’t been scheduled to pitch, but he came through. Sometimes that makes a difference,” said Bailey.

The Jaguars won in the 10th off Locke St. John, the ace of Southern Union’s staff. John Fidanza singled and scored when McCance drove the ball to the warning track, over the center fielder’s head.

”We had to work too hard to win that one,” joked Bailey. ”I ran out of ink in my Sharpie changing the lineup card.”

In fact, Bailey used 22 players, including five pitchers. Nicolay Uherek, Christian Turnipseed and Tripp Sheppard worked before Hayes and Clark. Uherek was tagged for four runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Sam Bragg (3-1) went 5 1/3 innings in the opener but was done in by a bad third inning. After he walked the 8-9 hitters, Southern Union bled out three infield hits and pushed home three runs. One of them scored on a double play.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars managed only four hits off Trey Burkhalter (2-0) and Ross Hixon, who got the save. Christopher Madera walked and scored the only run on a double by Christian Van Camp. But Madera was 0-for-2 officially, ending his hitting streak at 13.

The Jaguars are now 13-2, with both losses coming to Southern Union, of Wadley, Ala.

GPC hits the road for their next five games—two Thursday in Demorest against Piedmont College’s JV team, one Saturday at Chattahoochee Valley in Phenix City, Ala., and two more Tuesday in Tennessee against Cleveland State.

 

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February 17, 2012

Garner pitches two-hit shutout, Jaguars go on to sweep

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars raised their record to 12-1 Friday night with a doubleheader sweep over West Georgia Technical College in Douglasville.

Sophomore lefthander Clay Garner (3-0) pitched a two-hit shutout in the opener, striking out nine as the Jaguars won 8-0.

Clay Garner pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out nine.

GPC took the nightcap 6-3, its fourth straight victory this season over West Georgia Tech, a newcomer to the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. None of the four victories count in the region standings; the teams play their region series later in the season.

Wes Armstrong drove in six runs in the doubleheader, giving him 21 for the season.

Friday’ s twin bill was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved because of a threat of rain. The Jaguars will be off until Wednesday, when they host Southern Union State Community College of Wadley, Ala., on the Newton Campus for a doubleheader at 2 p.m. For an audio webcast, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and check “Game Webcasts.”

Southern Union, which went to the JUCO World Series in 2011, handed the Jaguars their only loss on Feb. 7 when the teams split a doubleheader in Wadley.

Armstrong drove home four runs in the first game Friday night as the Jaguars broke away from a scoreless tie with four runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth.

Antonio Allen also drove in a pair of runs. David Van Horn and Garitt Church had two hits apiece.

Adam Clark (2-0) pitched four shutout innings in the nightcap, departing with a 6-0 lead. Taylor Cato allowed three runs in two innings, but only one was earned. Landon Hayes pitched a perfect seventh, striking out two, for his third save.

Armstrong and Sloan Strickland each drove in a pair of runs. Strickland and John Fidanza had two hits apiece.

The Jaguars had eight hits and drew six walks, but also struck out 13 times.

Christopher Madera had a single. He has at least one hit in every game this season.

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.

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February 17, 20012

Saturday’s games changed to today at 6:05 p.m.

Head coach Stewart Bailey announced that because of a rain forecast, Saturday’s baseball doubleheader at West Georgia Tech will be played tonight, beginning at 6:05 p.m. in Douglasville.

Also, Stewart said that the single game at Piedmont College in Demorest scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 23, will be changed to a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. because the teams were rained out Tuesday. As the start time is subject to change, fans should check the schedule on the Jaguars’ website.

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February 16, 2012

Jaguars move to 10-1 with road sweep

Cody McCance tripled home two runs in a three-run seventh as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars rallied Thursday for a 3-1 victory over the JV team of Shorter University in the opener of a doubleheader.

Cody McCance tripled home two runs in a three-run seventh.

The Jaguars won the nightcap 14-8, raising their record to 10-1. McCance’s triple plated John Boland and Christian Van Camp as the Jaguars overcame a 1-0 deficit after six innings of the seven-inning game. McCance scored on a sacrifice fly by Trey Hagey.

Three Jaguar pitchers combined on a three-hitter, gaining 17 of the 21 outs via strikeouts. Monte Reese worked the first four innings for GPC, allowing a run and all three hits and striking out nine.

Christian Turnipseed (1-0) got the win by working the fifth and sixth innings, striking out five. Tripp Sheppard struck out the side in the seventh for the save

Held to seven hits in the opener, the Jaguars pounded out 17 in the nightcap and cruised after taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Wes Armstrong and David Van Horn had three hits apiece, while McLendon Hill, Trumon Jefferson, Christopher Madera and Taylor Cato had two apiece.

Cato drove in three runs. Armstrong, Van Horn, Kyler Timmerman and Chase Macon had two RBIs apiece.

Sam Bragg (3-0) worked four innings for the victory, leaving with a 14-3 lead. He allowed two earned runs, walked four and struck out five.

Nicolay Uherek had a rough inning, giving up five runs, before Andre Wilson finished with two scoreless innings in his collegiate debut.

The Jaguars play a doubleheader Saturday against West Georgia Tech in Douglasville. They swept the Golden Knights, the newest members of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, on opening day at the Newton Campus. As before, Saturday’s games will not count in the conference standings.

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February 14, 2012

Jaguar Journal: This team is off and running out of the gate

The weather finally stopped the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars on Tuesday. Not much else has.

The Jaguars’ home game against Piedmont College’s JV team was postponed by rain, leaving their next playing date Thursday in Rome against Shorter University’s JV squad.

GPC is off to an 8-1 start, the best of any team in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, largely because of a team batting average of .382. The Jaguars are averaging nearly eight runs a game.

In general, new coach Stewart Bailey credits his team with executing well at the plate and producing great two-out hitting. By executing well, he means spraying line drives around spacious Jaguar Field and not swinging for the fences, which are reachable only in certain circumstances with the composite bats introduced last season.

In nine games, the Jaguars don’t have a homer, but they have shown some pop with 25 doubles and nine triples.

Individually, newcomers Trumon Jefferson (.391), Christopher Madera (.500) and Wes Armstrong (.542) have made themselves at home in the 2-3-4 spots of the batting order. Madera has 12 RBIs and at least one hit in all nine games. Armstrong has 13 RBIs, putting him among the national leaders.

Returning sophomore McLendon Hill is at .457, with six stolen bases as the Jaguars have tried to be more aggressive on the basepaths. Madera has five steals.

Almost everyone is hitting, even those inserted late in games or for a spot start.

Aside from control problems that have mostly come in brief spurts, pitchers are also off to a fine start, with a staff ERA of 3.77. Clay Garner, an honorable mention All-American last season, and newcomer Sam Bragg have each won their first two starts.

The end of the bullpen appears set with the troika of Christian Turnipseed, Tripp Sheppard and Landon Hayes, with many roles to be sorted out.

The Jaguars will need four starters a week when the region season begins March 6 at Middle Georgia, fifth-ranked nationally in the preseason poll.

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February 11, 2012

Jaguars get hot on a cold day

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars took advantage of every break handed out by Mother Nature and Cleveland State Community College, winning a doubleheader Saturday at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus. The scores were 10-7 and 8-3.

The Jaguars (8-1) did plenty for themselves, too, with 23 hits in the doubleheader, some of which were affected by a steady wind of 30 mph that pushed the wind chill into the teens.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the wind affect a game like it did this one on every fly ball,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey.

Walks, wild pitches, hit batsmen and errors are inevitable in such conditions, and the Jaguars diligently ran out every ball. More than occasionally they were rewarded.

“You can win a game with your bat, or with your arm, or with your glove,” Bailey said. “You can also win games with your mind.”

After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning of the opener, the Jaguars scored five runs, helped by two hit batsmen by losing pitcher Hunter Hammond. The big hits were a two-run bloop by Taylor Cato, a wind-blown pop-up by Christian Van Camp that dropped for an RBI hit and a two-run single by Garitt Church.

Cleveland State errors helped the Jaguars pad their lead to 10-3 after four innings, enough to survive a shaky fifth by Justin Guy, working in relief of starter Clay Garner (2-0). One of the Cougars’ runs scored on a dropped fly ball in right field by Chase Macon, who bounced back two batters later to throw a runner out at the plate.

Macon’s throw snuffed any momentum the Cougars built. Guy came back with a 1-2-3 sixth and Landon Hayes got the save after an error, a single and a walk loaded the bases.

Garner and Cato, who started the nightcap, rely heavily on breaking pitches and were affected by the brutal conditions.

“They couldn’t get their touch and didn’t have their command,” said Bailey.

Cato (1-0) had an up-and-down four innings, allowing two runs in the first, striking out the side in the third and escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam to preserve a scoreless fourth. Adam Clark and Tripp Sheppard finished, Sheppard gaining the save.

Sheppard entered in the sixth with the Jaguars leading 5-3, the bases loaded and one out. The first hitter he faced, Grant Zawadski, lined to Van Camp at first base for a double play, and the Jaguars wrapped the game up in the bottom of the inning.

The Jaguars turned the game around in the fourth with five runs off losing pitcher Ross Spurgeon. Christopher Matera dribbled a ball into left field and came around to score on a wild pitch, an errant throw by the catcher and another wild pitch.

After a walk, Sloan Strickland tripled and Van Camp doubled. Later, with the bases empty, four singles produced two more runs.

“We did some great two-out hitting,” said Bailey.

Van Camp had four hits for the day, followed by Church, Madera and McLendon Hill with three apiece.

Cleveland State (2-2) got three hits from Cody Hiefner and the chance to work nine of its pitchers, who walked five and hit five. The Cougars also committed four errors, while GPC had five.

Next the Jaguars return to their home field to face the Piedmont College JV team on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.

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February 8, 2012

GPC comes from behind twice, wins on Madera’s walk-off hit

The first three hours were chock full of heavy hitting, costly errors, walks and strategic moves made by coaches with a lot invested in the game, at least by early season standards.

After 8 1/2 see-saw innings Wednesday, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars faced a simple proposition: one out, nobody on, top of the order up in a tied game.

Wes Armstrong had five RBIs with a single, double and triple. Photos/Sue Ann Kuhn

Antonio Allen and Trumon Jefferson delivered consecutive singles, and Christopher Madera singled in the game-winner, producing a 10-9 victory over Chattahoochee Valley Community College at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus.

GPC coach Stewart Bailey pronounced it “just a crazy junior college baseball game,” but that doesn’t seem to do the proceedings justice.

Down 4-0 early and 9-7 late, the Jaguars (6-1) rallied, saw things totally unravel, then rallied some more.

“I’m proud of our group,” said Bailey.

Cleanup hitter Wes Armstrong drove in five runs with a single, a double and a triple. He has 13 RBIs and is hitting .524. Jefferson also had a single, double and triple, and scored four times. Madera’s three singles raised his batting average to .521.

Chattahoochee Valley (4-5) scored four runs in the second inning off Jaguar starter Nicolay Uherek, two on a home run by Pat Olvaney. The homer was the first of the season in spacious Jaguar Field.

By the time Uherek left after four innings, the score was tied at 4. The game kicked into weird gear in the sixth, when the Jaguars scored three times.

After Allen walked, Jefferson popped up a bunt. The pitcher, Zack Hewlewski, dropped it but had time to throw to second for the force play. The throw was over the shortstop’s head, leaving two runners on for Madera.

Bailey called for a bunt, “even though he’s one of the hottest junior college hitters in the country.” Madera beat out a hit when the Chattahoochee Valley infield played back.

Christopher Madera’ s walk-off hit plated Antonio Allen for the 10-9 win.

Armstrong followed with a bases-clearing double.

Lead in hand, Bailey thanked Adam Clark for two scoreless innings and figured he’d finish with the bullpen troika of Christian Turnipseed, Tripp Sheppard and Landon Hayes. Turnipseed produced a 1-2-3 seventh, but a walk, a hit batsman and a run-scoring single by Olvaney put Sheppard in hot water in the eighth.

Still ahead by a run, Bailey brought in the sidearming Hayes. An error, another hit batsman and three walks later, the Jaguars were behind 9-7.

Jefferson started the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on a single by Armstrong.

With two out, Chattahoochee Valley coach Adam Thomas brought in his ace lefthander, Mike O’Neal, to face Taylor Cato. Cato took a pitch, on the theory his presence in the lefty batter’s box might slightly disrupt the catcher’s throw to second. The pitch was outside, and Armstrong stole second, then scored on a single by pinch hitter David Van Horn.

Hayes came out for the ninth, and the drama followed him back to the mound. An error, a sacrifice, an intentional walk and an unintentional walk loaded the bases before he secured the 27th out for his first collegiate victory.

“It’s great to get some learning experiences in a win,” said Bailey. “It’s great to win a game like that.”

The Jaguars next play at home Saturday, a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Cleveland State Community College of Tennessee. The games will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Ga., 30014, near the intersection of I-20 and State Route 11.

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February 7, 2012

Jaguars split road doubleheader with Southern Union

After being shut out 5-0, their first loss of the season, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars roared back in the second game Tuesday for a 14-2 victory over Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala.

The nightcap was shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule. Sam Bragg (2-0) worked three innings for the victory, striking out six and walking three. He allowed three hits and two runs, both earned.

Justin Guy finished with two perfect innings.

David Van Horn, Cody McCance and Garrit Church drove in two runs apiece for the Jaguars (5-1). John Boland was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Van Horn had two doubles and also scored a run. McCance drove in his two runs with a triple, and Church had a single as well as two stolen bases.

The Jaguars took a 5-0 lead and made sure the game was short by scoring seven runs in the top of the fifth inning.

The opener didn’t go as well, as the Jaguars were held to four hits, all singles, in a complete-game seven-inning performance by Bryan Headley of Southern Union (4-3).

The losing pitcher was Andy Threatt (0-1), who allowed five earned runs and seven hits in four innings, striking out three and walking one.

The Jaguars continue their busy week Wednesday with a nine-inning home game against Chattahoochee Valley Community College of Phenix City, Ala., at the Newton Campus. Game time is 3 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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.

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February 4, 2012

Jaguars move to 4-0 with sweep of Chattanooga State

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars got five solid innings from sophomore lefthander Clay Garner in the opener and a big comeback in the nightcap, sweeping Chattanooga State Community College on Saturday at Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus. The scores were 6-2 and 6-5.

Garner, an honorable mention All-American after his nine-win season in 2011, struck out five, allowing five hits and two walks. Both runs were earned. Christian Turnipseed finished with two perfect innings.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars’ hitters pounded away, led by Christopher Madera’s two doubles and three RBIs. McLendon Hill was 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Wes Armstrong and Jacob Johnson had two hits each, including a double for each. Antonio Allen also had two hits and scored two runs.

Hill moved up from the No. 5 spot in the batting order to leadoff in the second game and was 3-for-4, giving him seven hits for the doubleheader. He also stole two bases.

Madera had another big game with two hits (including a double), two walks, three stolen bases and an RBI. Armstrong had three hits (including a triple) and an RBI, and Christian Van Camp doubled home a run.

“We did a good job being aggressive on the basepaths,” said GPC coach Stewart Bailey.

The Jaguars fell behind 5-2 as starting pitcher Taylor Cato allowed three hits and five walks in two innings. Four of the runs were earned.

Adam Clark came on to pitch three scoreless innings, with two strikeouts and two walks. He became the winning pitcher when the Jaguars scored two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

Tripp Sheppard pitched the sixth and Landon Hayes the seventh, with Hayes recording the save.

“These were very good wins for us to build on,” said Bailey, noting that Chattanooga State swept the Jaguars in a doubleheader last spring and the quality of the program. The Tigers, who were playing their opener, went to the JUCO World Series in 2010 and narrowly missed making the district tournament last season.

The Jaguars start a busy week Tuesday with a doubleheader at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala. They meet Chattahoochee Valley Community College of Phenix City, Ala., at home on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The CVCC game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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January 31, 2012

Jaguars hit on all cylinders in season-opening sweep

Trumon Jefferson, sliding into second base, had three singles and two RBIs in the first game. Photos/Bill Roa

From his first day on the job, new Georgia Perimeter College coach Stewart Bailey talked about situational hitting. On opening day, the Jaguars came through impressively, spraying hits around their spacious ballpark on the Newton Campus.

And the pitching? It was exceptional, too.

The result was a doubleheader sweep, 11-2 and 7-1 over West Georgia Tech, the newest member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. The games don’t count in the region standings; the teams play their four-game region series in April.

“I was very impressed with our guys. They tried to execute what we wanted them to do,” said Bailey, who took over from Danny Blue in the offseason. “We showed we have some team speed, scoring guys from first on doubles. I think we’ll put some pressure on some people.”

The hitting stars of the first game were newcomers Trumon Jefferson (three singles, two RBIs), Christopher Madera (two singles and a sacrifice fly, three RBIs) and Wes Armstrong (two singles, two RBIs), along with holdover sophomore Antonio Allen.

Leading off as the designated hitter, Allen scored four times after reaching base on a double, an error, a single and being hit by a pitch. The speedy Jefferson scored three times, once when the catcher made an errant return throw to the pitcher.

Relief pitcher Nikolay Uherek, conferring with catcher Jacob Johnson, got a win with three shutout innings.

Andy Threatt allowed two unearned runs in three innings. Nikolay Uherek followed with three shutout innings for the victory, and Monte Reese worked the seventh.

In the nightcap, freshman Sam Bragg made his collegiate debut on the mound for the Jaguars, allowing a run and striking out seven in four innings. Christian Turnipseed, Tripp Sheppard and Landon Hayes followed with drama-free innings.

For the evening, Jaguars pitchers allowed only one earned run in 14 innings, striking out 21 hitters and walking two.

All of which was duly recorded by the pro scouts in attendance. Bailey said he counted about 15.

“When there are that many scouts around, it makes the players step up and bring their A game,” said Bailey.

The Jaguars went ahead 2-0 in the second game when Armstrong walked and Christian Van Camp laced an opposite-field triple over the left fielder’s head, then scored when the Golden Knights misplayed the throw back to the infield.

Van Camp narrowly missed a homer in the fourth when he pinned the right fielder to the wall with a fly ball.

GPC wrapped up the game with four unearned runs in the fifth, the reward for doing little things right. After McLendon Hill singled, Jefferson bunted him over and he went to third on a groundout by Madera. Taylor Cato bounced what would have been the third out to the first baseman and hustled up the line, causing an error. After a walk, Armstrong hit an opposite-field double to left, driving home both runners, then scored himself on a wild pitch.

“We talk about situational hitting and trying to win every inning,” said Bailey.

The Golden Knights (2-2) got offense out of their leadoff spot, with two hits by Rus Morman in the first game and three from Ryne Elrod in the nightcap. But their 3-4-5 hitters — Dusty Davis, Jamie McKnight and Christian Prichard — were 2-for-17 on the day.

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January 10, 2012

Well-armed Jaguars shoot for JUCO World Series berth

After rising from region doormat to perennial power, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars are hungry to take the next step. That would be to Grand Junction, Colo., site of the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series.

The Jaguars won the 2011 regular season and then the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, but lost a pair of one-run games to Tennessee teams at the district level, finishing 42-17. The GCAA’s other entrant, South Georgia, made the World Series with 31 losses.

“We have to be ready to peak at the right time,” said new Jaguars coach Stewart Bailey, longtime assistant to Danny Blue, who retired in the offseason.

GPC’s strength will be pitching and a defense tailored to their spacious home ballpark on the Newton Campus, as well as to the new composite bats that cut home runs dramatically last season.

“We like the depth of our pitching staff, and we feel our overall defense could be really good,” said Bailey.

The GCAA schedule requires a four-man starting rotation, and the Jaguars have a proven ace —Clay Garner, an honorable mention All-American last season. The workhorse lefthander pitched 73 innings, going 9-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 78 strikeouts.

“He’s not just a thrower, but a pitcher,” said Bailey, noting Garner’s mastery of breaking pitches. “We hope he can do what he did last year.”

Garner is the incumbent, but others have a chance to compete for staff ace.

That list starts with a high-profile recruit, righthander Sam Bragg (Wheeler High School), who is on pro scouts’ radar but wasn’t drafted out of high school. “His power arm (low 90s fastball) is one of the things that intrigued us about him,” said Bailey. “He has the potential to be drafted next spring.”

The Jaguars snatched righthander Nikolay Uherek from the world of football. He played quarterback for the outstanding program at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

“Before he gets out of here, he has a chance to be one of the top pitchers in the league,” said Bailey, noting Uherek’s ability to sink his fastball and change-up.

Another interesting pitcher is Taylor Cato, who made the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America team last season at the U.S. Naval Academy mostly for his hitting. The East Coweta High School grad will also play some in right field.

Transfer Adam Clark, from Cartersville High School and Northwest Florida State College, stands an imposing 6 feet 4 with an upper-80s fastball to match. But the righthander’s calling card is an outstanding slider, a pitch making a comeback in JUCO now that the bats aren’t so potent.

“He has a chance to have the best stuff on the team,” said Bailey.

Others contending for starts include soft-tossing lefty Andy Threatt (4-0, 5.82) and righty Antonio Allen (3-1, 3.71), the MVP of the region tournament.

Rather than a bullpen by committee, Bailey plans to use certain relievers an inning at a time. “We feel we can make a nine-inning game a six-inning game,” he says.

He’s counting on three righthanders -- sidearmer Landon Hayes, Tripp Sheppard and Christian Turnipseed. All have interesting stories.

Hayes is a year out of Loganville High School, but was redshirted in 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Tripp Sheppard transferred from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville after attending George Walton Academy in Monroe. Turnipseed was a two-sport player at Charleston University, an NCAA Division 2 school in West Virginia. He played safety in football and was the closer in baseball.

Other mound candidates include Andre Wilson (Southwest DeKalb High School), Irving “Monte” Reese (transfer from Chattahoochee Valley Community College), Justin Guy and lefty Chris Snipes.

As for everyday players, the Jaguars have experience around the infield, none in the outfield.

Anchoring the infield is Gold Glove shortstop McLendon Hill (.291 average, 19 RBIs, 29 stolen bases). “When you have a guy like that, it makes everything work,” says Bailey. Another returnee, Garitt Church (.322, 26 RBIs), handles third base. “The more you watch him the more you appreciate him,” says Bailey.

Christian Van Camp, a slick gloveman whose bat heated up late last season and enabled him to win a starting job, returns to play first base. He hit .375 with 14 RBIs.

Ben Venters (Cartersville High School), a left-handed hitter, and Cody McCance (Loganville High School), who hits righty, will vie for the second base job and could end up platooning.

Likewise, the catching will be shared, a necessity because of the number of doubleheaders on the college schedule. The Jaguars have two returnees, Jacob Johnson and Sloan Strickland, as well as signee Joey Wilson (Mary Persons High School) and a switch-hitting transfer from Coastal Carolina, John Fidanza. Strickland hit .400 in limited duty for the Jags in 2011.

All the outfielders from last season are gone, but Bailey has brought in a talented crew that starts with Christopher Madera, a center fielder from Avon Old Farms, a boarding school in Connecticut. The native of the Dominican Republic turned down pro offers at an early age and could be taken high in the 2012 draft.

“He’s probably the most talented player on the team, maybe the most talented in the conference,” said Bailey. “He’s got the best arm I’ve ever seen at this level, and his speed in center field makes our pitching staff better.”

Another speedster, Trumon Jefferson (Decatur High School) has already been drafted — in the 37th round in 2011, by the Texas Rangers. He signed with GPC instead, where he’ll play left field as he hones his left-handed hitting stroke.

Because of pitching duties, Cato can’t play right field full time. Redshirt freshman Chase Macon and power-hitting freshman Kyler Timmerman (Greenbrier High School) will get a chance to fill the gaps.

Freshman Trey Hagey (Loganville High School) and transfer David Van Horn from the University of Tampa are solid backups in the outfield. In the infield, the Jaguars can call on lefty hitter Wes Armstrong (Chattahoochee High School) and John Boland (Avon Old Farms), with Timmerman likely to take an occasional turn at third base.

What about a designated hitter? Bailey will have three or four choices every day.

He’s already tinkering with special lineups, emphasizing defense, speed, contact, etc. Even the best-laid plans are subject to change, depending on production at the plate.

“Right now we need somebody to step up and be a run producer,” he said. “In our ballpark, we need doubles guys.”

JAGUAR JOLTS: Bailey welcomes two new assistants, Robert Morgan from Georgia Southwestern State University and Brett Campbell from Northwest Florida State College. … Don Adams, who played baseball at UGA and football under legendary coach Wally Butts, returns as athletic training consultant. … West Georgia Tech enters the GCAA as the ninth team, meaning a 32-game conference schedule. … The Jaguars open at home Jan. 31 with a nonregion doubleheader against West Georgia Tech. Game time is 3 p.m. Fans can listen to the audio broadcast online at www.gpc.edu/athletic with a link under “Game Webcasts.”

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January 9, 2012

New assistants bring college and pro experience to winning program

New Georgia Perimeter College head baseball coach Stewart Bailey’s two new assistants represent a wide range of experience and deep roots in the state, a good combination for a program that has returned to championship caliber in recent years.

Robert Morgan, an assistant at Georgia Southwestern State University from 2009 to 2011, will work with the Jaguars’ infielders and hitters as well as coordinate recruiting. Former major leaguer Brett Campbell will be pitching coach.

Morgan, who graduated from Crisp County High School in Cordele, was a star hitter in college at South Georgia and Valdosta State before playing professionally in the independent Frontier League.

He was an assistant at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., before joining the staff of Georgia Southwestern, an NCAA Division 2 school in Americus. There he was in charge of the defense as well as the strength and conditioning program as the Hurricanes achieved their first national ranking in any sport.

Campbell graduated from Douglas County High School and began his collegiate career at Wallace State-Hanceville before transferring to Kennesaw State, where he pitched and played shortstop.

After being chosen in the 34th round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Montreal Expos, he sped through the minor leagues and appeared in four games as a reliever for the club, by then the Washington Nationals, in September 2006. He spent the 2007 season back in the minors and left the professional ranks after being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft.

After two years as an assistant at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Campbell entered collegiate coaching in 2010 at Northwest Florida State College, a two-year school in Niceville, Fla. There he coached a pitching staff that led Raiders to their first conference championship in 10 years and produced five signees of four-year colleges as well as two pro draft choices.

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August 5, 2011

Bailey named Jaguars’ head baseball coach

Stewart Bailey, a fixture in North Georgia baseball and assistant head coach at Georgia Perimeter College for four seasons, has been named head coach, athletic director Alfred Barney announced.

Stewart Bailey

Bailey’s appointment comes with the retirement of Danny Blue, who led the program for five years after taking over shortly before the 2007 season. Bailey came aboard in 2008 as chief recruiter and hitting instructor, and also served as the Jaguars’ third base coach.

“Stewart has a proven track record and is capable of stepping in and taking the baseball program to new heights,” said Barney. “He is known as an outstanding recruiter and motivator.”

With Blue and Bailey teaming up in new state-of-the-art facilities on the GPC Newton Campus, the program regained the national status it enjoyed in the 1990s.

From 2008 through 2011, the Jaguars were 143-87 and won the regular season championship of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association) in 2009 and 2011. They added the tournament title in 2011 and were ranked No. 25 in the final NJCAA poll.

“We are very lucky to have perhaps the finest junior college baseball facility in the Southeast,” said Bailey. “Everybody’s excited to come to work at a facility like this one.”

After graduating from Heritage High School in Conyers (where he played four years of baseball under Blue), Bailey was an all-conference first baseman at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., before finishing his collegiate career at the University of West Georgia.

He started coaching in 1997 as hitting instructor at Truett-McConnell, then a junior college. He stayed five years, along the way picking up a master’s degree in physical education from nearby North Georgia College.

Bailey’s first head coaching job was at White County High School in Cleveland, where he revived a downtrodden program from 2002 to 2006 before spending a year as head coach at Chestatee High School in Gainesville, Ga.

When Blue called to see how his former player was doing and get opinions on some local players, he found Bailey eager to move back to the collegiate level.

“When I had the opportunity to work with Coach Blue, I jumped at the chance,” said Bailey. “I’ve been to a lot of camps and clinics, but I’ve learned as much about baseball from Coach Blue as anybody.

“I love this level of baseball. I’ve spent a lot of time around junior college baseball and gotten to know how the system works, recruiting hard every year and playing a lot of freshmen. This is the level I feel most comfortable at. I want to be able to pick up where Coach Blue left off.”

With most of the spring and summer recruiting done, Bailey’s first order of business will be firming up the Jaguars’ fall scrimmage schedule and getting ready for the 2012 season, which begins in February.

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