Jaguar Baseball Archives 2011 Region 17 Champion

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2013 Bios

June 10, 2013

Bragg selected by Oakland A’s; two Jaguar alumni also drafted

SEPTEMBER UPDATE: SAM BRAGG had an excellent summer pitching in the minor leagues. He played on three teams (in Arizona, Vermont and Wisconsin), rising to the Class A Midwest League, where he pitched for the Beloit Snappers. His 2013 minor league totals: Appeared in 19 games, 29 innings, 1-2 record, 1.24 earned run average (outstanding), 37 strikeouts (outstanding), 11 walks.
ALAN BUSENITZ also had a good summer pitching for the Orem Owlz (Utah) in the Rookie Pioneer League. His 2013 Orem Owlz statistics: Appeared in 21 games, 38 2/3 innings, 5-2 record, 2.33 ERA, one save, 27 strikeouts, four walks (outstanding).

Sam Bragg is packing his glove and cleats and going west.

A standout starter for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars the past two seasons, Bragg was selected by the Oakland Athletics Friday in the MLB Amateur Draft.

Sam Bragg. Photo/Donnie Lewis

Oakland picked Bragg in the 18th round of the draft, the 551st selection overall. There were 1,216 players drafted in 40 rounds.

Also taken in the draft were two former Jaguars, Alan Busenitz and Christopher Madera. The Los Angeles Angels selected Busenitz, a GPC pitcher in 2009 and 2010, and the Chicago Cubs tapped Madera, who played center field in 2012.

This spring Bragg led the conference, Region 17 of the NJCAA, in strikeouts with 91. He earned a spot on the all-region first team with a 7-4 record, including two shutouts, and an earned run average of 1.64, third in the league.

A right-hander with a fastball in the 90s and an excellent changeup, he exhibited pinpoint control, walking only 47 in 129 2/3 innings over two seasons. The Marietta native and Wheeler High alumnus struck out 54 in 47 1/3 innings in 2012. Sam’s 2013 stats. Sam’s 2012 stats.

Bragg was pivotal as GPC won the 2013 regular-season championship of Region 17, also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. In Brett Campbell’s first year as head coach, the Jaguars finished atop the standings with a 25-6 record and ended with a 36-21 overall mark. They were 43-16 in Bragg’s freshman season.

“GPC was a great program and very helpful getting me one step closer to making my dream a reality,” Bragg said. “Because of Coach Campbell, I feel I am very well prepared for the professional route. He really helps players understand and appreciate the game with his knowledge and professional experience.”

A high point of Bragg’s college career came on April 21 in a 2-1 win over West Georgia Tech. The first two batters he faced reached on a walk and a hit. The leadoff man scored on a sacrifice fly, but after the first two batters, Bragg recorded 27 straight outs—the equivalent of a perfect game. Read the game story.

Alan Busenitz

Christopher Madera

A teammate of Bragg’s in 2012, Madera hit .347 for the Jaguars with 33 runs batted in. He displayed considerable power—15 doubles, two triples and one home run.

Transferring to Northwest Florida State College for his sophomore season, Madera posted similar power stats this spring and similarly had 31 RBIs and a .341 average.

Madera, a native of Dominican Republic who throws and bat right-handed, came to GPC from Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut. He was selected in the 33rd round by the Cubs, No. 978 overall.

Busenitz was named to the All-Region 17 first team in 2010, his sophomore season at GPC. Posting a 6-1 record and a 2.67 ERA, he also made the East Central District all-star team, which includes all Georgia and Tennessee junior college teams.

In 2009 Busenitz, a right-hander who hails from Athens and Athens Christian School, had a 1-3 record as the Jaguars won the regular-season conference championship. Over the two seasons, he consistently averaged a strikeout per inning, fanning 92 batters in 86 1/3 innings. He was the 757 overall pick, selected in the 25th round by the Angels.

As a redshirt senior this spring at Kennesaw State University, Busenitz was a steady reliever with a 2.83 ERA, striking out 39 in 35 innings. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Owls’ 7-2 loss to East Tennessee in the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game.

Busenitz was the 757 overall pick, selected in the 25th round by the Angels.

Also selected in the draft from Region 17 were Blake Shouse, Middle Georgia State College pitcher and infielder (Colorado Rockies); Javier Reynosa, Middle Georgia pitcher (Kansas City Royals); Christopher Long, Darton State College pitcher (San Diego Padres); Tylor Bashlor, South Georgia State College pitcher (New York Mets); and Kaleb Holbrook, South Georgia catcher (Los Angles Dodgers).

Middle Georgia alumnus Sam Agnew-Wieland, playing his junior year at Appalachian State (NC), was drafted by the New York Yankees. Bragg and Agnew-Wieland were teammates at Wheeler High under coach Dave McDonald, and another pitcher from their team, Mississippi State’s Evan Mitchell, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds. Read more on the Wheeler trio.

Listed at 6-feet-one-inch and 190 pounds, Bragg leaves Tuesday for Arizona, where the Athletics’ rookie team plays in the Arizona League. He emphasized that Georgia Perimeter offers excellent opportunity, instruction and exposure to help a player get to the next level.

“You also meet a lot of great friends and make lasting memories along the way,” he added.

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May 17, 2013

Jaguar rally falls a few feet short; season ends with 8-7 district loss

A heartbreaker closed out a season of thrilling highs and punishing lows for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars.

Columbia State Community College fought off a furious ninth-inning rally to hold off the Jaguars 8-7 and eliminate them from the East Central District Tournament in Morristown, Tennessee, Friday.

Ressmeyer

Mason

Jefferson

Georgia Perimeter had the tying run on third base in the final inning and couldn’t push it home when a long fly ball fell short of the fence and into center fielder Ronnie Jabavy’s mitt.

Losing six consecutive games in May after going 17-0 in April, The Jaguars finish the season with a 36-21 record.

“Baseball it is usually the team that is hot and playing the best at that certain time,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell. “And, unfortunately, we weren’t able to carry our hot April into May, when it really matters most.”

The Chargers (36-20), who have won nine of their last 10 games, advance to Saturday’s championship game with host Walters State Community College. The winner of the tournament, nicknamed the Tennessee-Georgia Showdown, advances to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, May 25-June 1.

Trumon Jefferson led GPC in the seesaw affair with three extra base hits and Stephen Mason and Pierce Ressmeyer both added two hits. The Jaguars, who lost Thursday to Columbia State in the tournament opener, battled from behind once to tie it and twice to seize the lead. But it wasn’t quite enough.

It began with what looked like a pitchers’ duel. GPC starter Nikolay Uherek and Columbia State’s Jordan Holland each tossed two hitless innings until the Chargers lit up the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the third frame.

Dustin Delgado reached on a fielder’s choice and Wes Neiderland singled. Uherek hit Scott Gibson and T.J. Diffenderfer by pitches to load the bases and force in a run. Alex Vondohlen added an RBI single.

The Jaguars wasted little time knotting the score in the bottom of the third. Holland copied Uherek and hit Erik Davis with a pitch. Davis moved to second on a single by Cody McCance. A passed ball allowed both runners to advance, and a throwing error at third plated Davis.

Jefferson followed with a double to left center, scoring McCance and tying the game.

The Chargers reclaimed the lead 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Gibson led off the inning with a double, and Diffenderfer followed with an RBI single.

The Jaguars bounced back in the home half of the fifth to take their first lead. Mason roped a double to right field and scored on a fielder’s choice by Russell Melton to tie it. After a single by Wes Armstrong and a hit batter, Ressmeyer walked with the bases loaded to make it 4-3.

The Chargers tied it in the sixth with a two-out rally on Caleb Warnimont’s double and an RBI single by Delgado

Georgia Perimeter retook the lead with two outs in the bottom of the inning. McCance struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. Jefferson followed with his second RBI double to make it 5-4.

Disaster struck for the Jaguars in the top of the seventh, when Columbia State put four runs on the scoreboard to take an 8-5 lead. The Chargers had four hits in the frame, with none leaving the infield, and a pair of errors aided the cause. Josh Wilson and Delgado both drove in runs. Joseph Marlow came on in relief and walked two but got the final out.

“What was disappointing was our play on defense and our base running,” Campbell said.  “We really try to be sound in both of those facets of the game and we had huge mistakes in both during the tournament that cost us.”

Reliever Kierce Kimbel kept the Jaguars at bay through the eighth inning, and Tripp Sheppard pitched two scoreless innings of relief for GPC, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Then Georgia Perimeter staged its heroic four-hit rally in the bottom of the ninth. Jefferson led off the inning with a triple to right, and Melton drove him home with a single.

After another single by pinch hitter Ben Venters, Columbia State turned to Austin Rice to close the door. Ressmeyer greeted Rice with an RBI bloop single to right center.

With one out, third baseman Vondohlen made a great stab at a sharp hit by Matt Taylor, turning it into a fielder’s choice at second. That put the Jags within a run with runners on the corners and two outs.

The rally, game and season ended when Davis flew out just short of the center field warning track.

“The guys battled to the end. We just dug ourselves a little too big of a hole in both games,” Campbell said.

Uherek took the defeat after giving up eight runs, seven earned, on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He fanned three, walked two and hit four batters.

Delgado, Neiderland, Vondohlen and Warnimont each had two hits for Columbia State. Kimbel picked up the win after giving up three earned runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings, while Rice got the save.

“I made some bad coaching decisions throughout the tournament that cost us as well,” Cambell said.  “My team and I will learn from these mistakes and when we’re in this situation again—and we will be—I can promise you we will all be better prepared and not make them again.”

Box score. Text of play-by-play. Audio play-by-play online broadcast.

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May 16, 2013

Jaguars downed in district tourney opener

So far, the Tennessee-Georgia Showdown has been a downer of a show for the Georgia teams.

The two Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association entries suffered different, but unfortunate outcomes Thursday at the East Central District Tournament, dubbed the Tennessee-Georgia Showdown, in Morristown, Tennessee.

The tournament opened with a bizarre twist—the GCAA champion, Middle Georgia State College, was disqualified 30 minutes before the first pitch because of a technical issue.

Then the alternative tournament opening game, four hours later, was unkind to the Georgia Perimeter College. The Jaguars fell 6-3 to Columbia State Community College, the opponent originally scheduled to play Middle Georgia.

The Chargers (35-19) took an early lead and never relinquished it, extending their winning streak to eight games.

The loss drops the Jaguars to 37-20, extended their losing slide to five games and pushed them into an elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday. Columbia State takes on host Walters State Community College, the Tennessee champion, at 11 a.m., and the Jaguars will play the loser of that game.

The two winners Friday will square off Saturday for the championship. The district champion goes to Grand Junction Colorado for the NJCAA World Series May 25-June 1.

Jaguar starter Sam Bragg pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, striking out two batters to retire the side with no damage done.

In the second inning, after Bragg recorded two outs, Caleb Warnimont singled and moved to third when Dustin Delgado struck out but reached on a throwing error. Wes Neiderland followed with an RBI single, giving Columbia State a 1-0 lead.

The Chargers’ T.J. Diffenderfer ripped a double off the wall in right center in the third and scored on a double to the left center gap by Desi Ammons to make it 2-0.

Georgia Perimeter got on the board in the bottom half of the third. Cody McCance led off with a single and scored on an error when Pierce Ressmeyer grounded into a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the sixth, Warnimont singled and stole second. He scored on an RBI single by Scott Gibson.

The Jaguars answered in the bottom of the frame. Drew Adler reached on a fielder’s choice, Matt Taylor singled and Erik Davis drew a walk to load the bases. Stephen Mason followed with a walk to cut the deficit to 3-2, but GPC failed to get another run across in the frame.

Columbia State pushed runs across in the seventh and eighth innings. Ronnie Jebavy slapped an RBI single in the seventh while Josh Wilson and Warnimont both added run scoring base hits in the eighth to build the lead to 6-2.

The Jaguars mounted one last rally, with Mason scoring a run in the ninth on a groundout to make the final score 6-3.

McCance had three hits while Trumon Jefferson and Wes Armstrong both added two hits for the Jaguars.

Bragg (7-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering three runs, two earned, on eight hits in six innings.

Warnimont led the Chargers with three hits. Lucas Laster (7-2) was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits in six-plus innings. Kierce Kimbel picked up his first save.

All games of the tournament are being audio webcast. To tune in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.” Friday’s broadcast, with Tom Whitfield calling the action, will begin at 2:50 p.m.

Box Score. Text of play-by-play. Audio play-by-play online broadcast.

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May 14, 2013

Jaguars flood all-region, Gold Glove teams; taking all-around game to district tourney

Seven Jaguars received coveted baseball awards announced by the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association last weekend. That’s a healthy allotment, because out of 35 players named to the all-region team and Gold Glove team, more than 25 percent were Jaguars.

Pierce Ressmeyer

Ressmeyer

Sam Bragg

Bragg

Russell Melton

Melton

Trumon Jefferson

Jefferson

Sophomores Trumon Jefferson, center field, and Russell Melton, left field, held down two-thirds of the All-GCAA first team outfield. And they also were named to the Gold Glove team for outstanding defense, along with sophomore third baseman Wes Armstrong and sophomore pitcher Landon Hayes.

Also named to the all-conference first team were a Jaguar battery, pitcher Sam Bragg, a sophomore, and freshman catcher Pierce Ressmeyer.

Landon Hayes

Hayes

Wes Armstrong

Armstrong

Ben Venters

Venters

Ben Venters, a sophomore second baseman, made the second team as designated hitter.

Jaguar head coach Brett Campbell, in his first year at the helm, was named Coach of the Year by the coaches of the GCAA, which also is known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Campbell’s team recovered from a slow start in February, sweeping five GCAA series and going 17-0 in April, the longest winning streak in recent memory at Georgia Perimeter, likely in the program’s history going back to its first year, 1965.

Despite a current four-game losing streak, these are not shabby numbers to carry to the district tournament, three wins away from nationals.

The Jaguars won the conference regular season title with a 25-6 record and an automatic berth in this week’s East-Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn.

GPC opens with the district’s host school, Walters State Community College, on Thursday at 3 p.m. In the noon game, Middle Georgia State College, the GCAA tournament champion, takes on Columbia State Community College of Clifton, Tenn.

All games of the district tournament will be audio broadcast online with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Though 0-4 in May, the Jaguars (31-19 overall) had such an outstanding March and April run that they represent a major contender for the district crown, which brings a berth in the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., May 25 though June 1.

Counting conference games, rather than season totals, the Jaguars dominate GCAA statistics in numerous categories.

In hitting they were second only to Darton State with a team .302 batting average.

Melton won the intra-league batting title with a .456 average (.409 overall), and Jefferson was runner-up at .430, and fourth in stolen bases with a season total of 21. Ressmeyer hit at a .343 pace, 14th in the conference and was third in RBIs with 40.

Matt Taylor and Erik Davis each hit three home runs to lead the team. Armstrong produced 15 doubles, and Ressmeyer had 12, along with three triples.

Venters, who split time as the DH and covered second base when Cody McCance was out, hit at a 3.46 clip in league play. McCance, a .304 hitter, missed the tournament games with an injury.

The Jaguar pitchers compiled a team earned run average of 2.85, second only to Middle Georgia State.

Four Jaguars finished among the league’s top ten pitchers in ERA.

Bragg ranked third with a 1.64 ERA (1.08 overall); Nikolay Uherek was fifth at 2.19, Dustin Beggs sixth, 2.31 and Dawson Brown eighth, 2.55. Bragg led the conference in strikeouts for the full season with 91. Brown ranked ninth with 59.

Hayes, a side-arming sophomore who started in the final month, had a 2.03 ERA, but spent time in the bullpen so didn’t get enough innings to qualify in the league rankings.

GPC had a .974 fielding percentage, the best defense in the conference. Neither Melton nor Jefferson made an error in 159 chances between them.

All-Region 17 Team:

Player of the Year – Blake Shouse, Middle Georgia State College. Coach of the Year – Bret Campbell, GPC.

1stTeam: Outfield – Trumon Jefferson GPC, Russell Melton GPC, Aaron Mizell Gordon State College. Infield – Devin Bonin GSC, Blake Shouse MGSC, Cody Wofford Darton State College, Rus Morman West Georgia Tech. Catcher – Pierce Ressmeyer GPC. Designated Hitter – Kyle Conkle DSC. Pitchers – Sam Bragg GPC, Ryan Lawlor MGSC. Closer – Blake Shouse MGSC.

2nd Team: Outfield – Brandon Sharpe DSC, Cody Lanford MGSC, Tyler Bashlor South Georgia State College. Infield – Charles Sikes SGSC, Blake Butcher WGT, Dalton Weightman Andrew College, Will Jones MGSC. Catcher – Davis Knapp DSC. Designated Hitter – Ben Venters GPC. Pitchers – Tyler Bashlor SGSC, Kenny Anderson GSC. Closer – Davis Adkins DSC.

Gold Glove Team:

Defensive Player of the Year – Will Jones MGSC.

Outfield – Tyler Hutch GSC, Trumon Jefferson GPC, Russell Melton GPC. Infield – 1B – Casey James DSC; 2B – Will Jones MGSC; SS – Cody Wofford DSC; 3B – Wes Armstrong GPC. C – Matthew Pope WGT. Pitcher – Landon Hayes GPC.

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May 9, 2013

Two losses drop Jaguars out of tourney

How fickle are the baseball gods. After going 17-0 in April, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars are 0-4 in May.

Pitchers Chris Irwin and Brandon Goldsmith aggravated Georgia Perimeter’s week-long slump at the plate, and the Jaguars lost to West Georgia Tech 2-1 and host Darton State College 9-1 in the conference tournament Thursday in Albany.

The losses abruptly knocked GPC, the top seed, out of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association six-team tournament.

The good news is the Jaguars (36-19) can rest up for next week’s East-West Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn. GPC won an automatic berth in the district by capturing the GCAA regular-season championship.

The winner of the GCAA tournament will join GPC at the district tournament, also known as the Georgia-Tennessee Shootout. Also competing will be Columbia State Community College and Walters State Community College, the host school. The winner of the district tourney goes to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. at the end of the month.

West Georgia Tech’s Irwin (3-5) struck out only four Jaguars but induced flyouts and groundouts batter after batter. He walked only one and had a no-hitter through three innings. Russell Melton and Wes Armstrong collected the only hits against him.

Melton led off the bottom of the fourth with a base hit. He scored when Drew Adler struck out and reached on a bad throw to first base by West Georgia’s catcher, who had dropped the third strike.

The Golden Knights (26-28) evened it the next inning when Nic Vinson had an RBI knock off reliever Brad Taylor (1-1). Vinson, who led the Knights with three hits, scored the winning run in the eighth with a single and theft of second, coming home on an RBI single by Anthony Brown.

GPC starter Nikolay Uherek sat down 10 straight batters at one point and finished with five strikeouts in five innings and one earned run.

In the nightcap, Goldsmith (6-0) remained undefeated on the mound, and Darton run-ruled (eight-run rule after seven) the Jaguars in seven innings.

Cody Adams started it off for Darton (38-12-1) in the third inning with a double to left that scored Casey James. Davis Knapp hit a sacrifice fly that plated Adams, and the Cavaliers never relinquished the lead.

As in the first game, Melton again scored GPC’s only run, again in the fourth inning. Trailing 2-0, he opened the inning with a base hit and came around when Ressmeyer reached on a throwing error.

Dawson Brown (6-3) absorbed the loss for the Jaguars.

The conference tournament will be video webcast live by JockJive with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts” and links at the GCAA website.

The GCAA tournament will be held at Darton State College, 2400 Gillionville Rd, Albany, GA 31707.

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May 4, 2013

Mother Nature assists Jaguars to championship; final regular-season game cancelled by rain

Score Mother Nature an assist. The Jaguars are the 2013 regular-season baseball champions of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Because of rain that likely will continue through the weekend and into Monday, Saturday’s regular-season finale with Darton State College was cancelled. The condition of the soaked field will be unplayable for days.

The cancellation finishes Georgia Perimeter College at 25-6 in the GCAA standings, a half game ahead of second-place Middle Georgia State College. Middle completed its 32-game league schedule last week with a 25-7 record.

By finishing first, GPC earns an automatic berth in the NJCAA East-Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn., May 16-18.

The GCAA tournament will determine a second conference team that will attend the district tournament, which also includes two Tennessee teams. The winner of the district goes to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., at the end of the month.

The GCAA tournament begins Wednesday at Darton State and runs through Saturday. If GPC wins the tournament, the runner-up will join the Jaguars at the district tourney in Tennessee.

The conference tournament will be video webcast live by JockJive with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts” and links at the GCAA website.

The GCAA tournament will be held at Darton State College, 2400 Gillionville Rd, Albany, GA 31707.

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May 3, 2013

Jags’ streak ends; next game is must-win

Friday was supposed to be a celebration at Jaguar Field, but apparently Davis Adkins and Brandon Goldsmith didn’t get the memo.

After going 17-0 in April, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars needed one win to wrap up the regular season championship of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and top seed in next week’s tournament. No. 1 also comes with an automatic berth in the East-Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn., May 16-18.

Adkins and Goldsmith crashed the party with sterling pitching performances to lead Darton State College over the Jaguars in a doubleheader 5-0 and 2-0 at Newton Campus. The losses ended GPC’s 17-game winning streak and set up a must-win situation for Saturday’s regular season finale.

If GPC wins Saturday’s nine-inning game, the Jaguars punch a ticket to the district tournament in Tennessee. If Darton wins, Middle Georgia State College will become the regular season champion, and Georgia Perimeter will have to win next week’s tournament to advance to the district tourney.

Georgia Perimeter, 25-6 in the GCAA and 36-17 overall, and Middle Georgia, 25-7 in the league, already have clinched the two top seed byes in the first round of next week’s conference tournament in Albany because third-place Darton, 23-8 in the conference, can’t catch either of them.

The Jaguars hitters couldn’t solve Adkins’ offspeed and breaking balls nor Goldsmith’s assortment of well-located fastballs. GPC had collected 13 hits in beating Darton 5-4 Tuesday. But Friday Adkins (3-1) held the Jaguars to three hits in the first game, and in the nightcap Goldsmith (5-0) scattered six hits, and reliever Ryan Good allowed one.

“You have to tip your hat to Darton,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell. “They came out and played extremely well. Adkins had good stuff, and they swung the bats and hit Dawson Brown, who has been pitching very well. Then their second pitcher, Goldsmith, attacked us with the fastball. We’ve been hitting very well, but they shut us down.”

Darton, 39-12 overall, tagged Brown (6-3) for three runs in the third inning of the opener. A double by Tag Jerger, a single by Kody Adams and a hit batsman led to a two-run single by Riliani Familia and an RBI groundout by Brandon Sharpe.

The visitors added two in the seventh when Adams doubled, Familia walked, Sharpe hit an RBI double and Cody Wooford stroked an RBI single. Russell Melton, Wes Armstrong and Drew Adler got the Jaguars’ only base hits off of Adkins, who had served in the bullpen until his first start Friday.

The Cavaliers scored a run in the first inning of the second game and another in the second, but GPC starter Sam Bragg (7-4) didn’t allow an earned run. Runners reached or advanced on three errors and scored on an RBI single by Sharpe and a sacrifice fly by Jerger.

Bragg blanked the Cavaliers the rest of the way, finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks. He gave up seven hits.

Ben Venters and Erik Davis each were two-for-three against Goldsmith. Davis and Matt Taylor got back-to-back base hits in the seventh inning, but Good got out of the jam for his third save.

Saturday’s game begins at 1 p.m., and it will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.” Friday’s box scores will be available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

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April 30, 2013

Jaguars 17-0 in April; magic number is 1

On March 30, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars lost a baseball game at Gordon State College. Their record dropped to 19-15 overall and 8-4 in conference play.

On April 30, they were 36-15 and 25-4 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

That’s 17-0 in April.

Nikolay Uherek

Trumon Jefferson

Trumon Jefferson collected four hits and two RBIs as the Jaguars ran their winning streak to 17 games Tuesday with a 5-4 victory at Darton State College in Albany.

The Jaguars need to win one game of three with Darton this weekend to clinch first place in the GCAA (also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association).

The regular-season champion gains an automatic berth in the East-Central District tournament in Morristown, Tenn., May 16-18.

The champion and second-place team earn byes in the first round of next week’s conference tournament in Albany. Tuesday’s win guaranteed a bye for GPC because Darton, now 21-8 in the GCAA, can’t catch the Jaguars (25-4) with three wins this weekend.

But second-place Middle Georgia can without playing a game. The Knights, sitting out their bye week in the GCAA schedule, have finished league play with a 25-7 record. Three losses by the Jaguars Friday and Saturday would create a tie for first place. Middle wins the tie breaker because early in March the Knights won their series with GPC 3-1.

Georgia Perimeter goes into the weekend winning 24 of its last 25 conference games—and with torrid hitting and three of the league’s top pitchers, Dawson Brown, Sam Bragg and Landon Hayes.

Another moundsman dealing a hot hand, Nikolay Uherek (5-0), held hard-hitting Darton to four hits in five innings of work Tuesday, walking none and hitting one batter. Uherek won both of his previous Tuesday outings by identical 13-0 scores.

Losing pitcher John Harman (6-3) gave up a base hit to Jefferson on the first pitch of the game, and Russell Melton, who played for Darton last season, punctuated his homecoming with a single on the second pitch. Both were stranded but figured in later rallies.

Melton belted a triple into the right-field corner to start a three-run surge in the third inning. Pierce Ressmeyer knocked him home with a single and Drew Adler walked. Erik Davis, who had three hits in four trips, loaded the bases with a single.

Then Matt Taylor smacked a double into the right-center gap, scoring Ressmeyer and Adler.

Jefferson, who was four-for-five on the day with two stolen bases, hit a two-run single in the fifth inning, plating Stephen Mason and Cody McCance. Mason had reached on a fielder’s choice and McCance doubled him to third.

Darton, 36-12 overall and ranked No. 9 in last week’s NJCAA national poll, didn’t go quietly, threatening a comeback in the ninth inning. Tripp Calhoun drove in two runs with a one-out bases-loaded single off reliever Landon Hayes. But Hayes got outs from the next two batters for the save, his second.

The Cavaliers scored in the fourth inning when Davis Knapp singled and later dashed home from third on a stolen base by Rilliani Familia and a defensive mixup by the Jaguars on the throw to second.

Cody Wofford singled in the seventh inning and scored the Cav’s second run on a groundout by Calhoun. Familia led Darton with four hits in four at-bats and three stolen bases.

Friday the Jaguars host Darton at 6 p.m. and the teams play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. All three games will be audio broadcast online with links under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Tuesday’s box score will be available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 27, 2013

GPC sweeps fourth straight series

Nobody recalls this ever happening in Jaguar baseball lore. Most likely it is historic.

Defeating Andrew College in Cuthbert Friday 4-3 and in a Saturday doubleheader 8-2 and 4-2, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars swept their four-game series with the Fighting Tigers, their fourth consecutive series sweep.

The victories gave the Jaguars a 16-game winning streak and kept them perfect, 16-0, in April.

Since losing at Gordon State College on March 30, the Jaguars have swept four-game series from South Georgia, East Georgia, West Georgia Tech and Andrew.

Probably the only teams from the college that could have accomplished such a streak are the 1998 Jaguars and the 1977 South Campus Indians—back when the college was called DeKalb College and had three baseball teams competing against each other in the NJCAA. The 1998 Jaguars went to the JUCO World Series and the South Indians not only went but finished in second place.

Andrew jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Friday’s extra-inning game, but GPC went ahead with a run in the fourth inning and two in the sixth. However the Tigers caught up with a run in the eighth, and a scoreless ninth sent the contest into an extra inning.

In the 10th inning, Wes Armstrong doubled and eventually scored the winning run on a sacrifice bunt by Eric Davis.

Russell Melton had three hits in four trips, including a double; Armstrong hit two doubles and Trumon Jefferson also had two base hits. Reliever Tripp Sheppard (2-1) was credited with the win.

Saturday’s 8-2 victory in the first game was a little easier on the Jaguars, as Pierce Ressmeyer led a 16-hit attack with three hits and two runs scored. Getting two hits apiece were Jefferson, Melton, Matt Taylor and Stephen Mason.

Sam Bragg (7-3) went the seven-inning distance on the mound, allowing six hits, striking out eight and walking two.

Jefferson led the Jaguars in the 4-2 nightcap victory, pounding out a triple and two singles in three at-bats. Davis and Mason each collected two hits.

GPC jumped out with two runs in the first inning, another in the second and never relinquished the lead, though Andrew rallied with two runs in the fourth.

Starter Landon Hays (5-2) got the win with three strikeouts and a walk, allowing five hits and two earned runs, both in the fourth frame. Joseph Marlow came on in the fifth and tossed three hitless innings of relief, with three strikeouts and no walks.

Box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

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April 23, 2013

Jags finally alone at top of standings; Uherek allows one hit in 13-0 shutout

Seems 13 is the Jaguars’ lucky number—and Nikolay Uherek’s.

After a seven-week march upward in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association standings, the Georgia Perimeter College baseball team stepped into the top spot Tuesday with a statistical collection of 13’s.

The Jaguars, shown celebrating a win Saturday, sport a 13-game winning streak and won 20 of the last 21 league games. Photo/David Tulis

Uherek, a sophomore right-hander, pitched a one-hitter over five innings, the torrid Jaguar bats pounded out 13 hits and GPC extended its winning streak to 13 with a 13-0 home victory over Andrew College.

The win gave the Jaguars a 21-4 record in the GCAA and sole possession of first place in the conference because Darton State College fell 3-0 to Middle Georgia State Tuesday, slipping into second place at 20-5.

Georgia Perimeter won its 20th game in the last 21 league outings, and the Jaguars, 32-15, and haven’t lost a game in April. Their last defeat was 5-0 to Gordon State on March 30.

Cody Evans managed the only Andrew hit against Uherek, who pitched a 13-0 victory one week earlier at West Georgia Tech. Uherek (4-0) went five innings, striking out six and walking one.

Joseph Marlow and Ryan Lemonds each tossed a hitless inning to complete the shutout.

Powered by a three-run double by Pierce Ressmeyer, the Jaguars erupted for eight runs in the fourth inning for a 10-0 lead.

The hitting stars centered around the red-hot top of the lineup. Ressmeyer hit a single, double and triple, driving in five runs and scoring two. Russell Melton had three hits, three runs and three RBIs.

Trumon Jefferson and Wes Armstrong each contributed a single and a double. Cody McCance hit a two-run double.

The run rule ended the game in the seventh inning. Starter Richard Nason (5-7) absorbed the loss for Andrew (18-29, 9-16).

Friday the Jaguars travel to Cuthbert to continue the series with Andrew, and the teams play a doubleheader Saturday.

Tuesday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

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April 21, 2013

Bragg pitches one-hitter and retires 27 straight

Call it a one-hit, one-walk, one-run perfect game.

Sam Bragg

Sam Bragg

Recording a statistical oddity, Georgia Perimeter College ace Sam Bragg tossed a perfect game after the first two batters reached—and one scored—and the Jaguars edged West Georgia Technical College 2-1 Sunday at the Newton Campus.

Bragg (6-3) sat down 27 straight Golden Knights, the equivalent of a perfect nine-inning game.

Sweeping the series and extending their winning streak to 12 games, the Jaguars improved to 31-15, 20-4 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. They have swept three straight series against GCAA opponents and remain tied with Darton State College at the top of the conference.

Bragg’s scorebook quirk resulted when West Georgia Tech’s Beau Wellborn opened the game with a walk. Rus Morman followed with the Golden Knight’s only hit against the sophomore right-hander.

From that point, Bragg recorded 27 consecutive outs. He got the first out of the inning by striking out Nic Vinson, but the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Then Blake Batcher flew out to right field, sacrificing Wellborn to the plate for a 1-0 lead.

Ending the inning with a strikeout, Bragg went on to fan five straight and six of the next seven batters. He finished the game with 12 strikeouts.

The hot Jaguar bats wasted no time erasing the deficit. In the bottom half of the inning Russell Melton rapped a base hit and scored on a fielder’s choice. Matt Taylor doubled in the second frame, and Stephen Mason brought him in with a single.

Those two runs were all Bragg would need or get.

Starter Chris Irwin subsequently settled down on the mound for West Georgia Tech (18-26, 7-17), and innings three through nine morphed into a pitchers’ duel. Irwin (1-5) gave up nine hits while striking out six and walking three, none after the third inning.

Getting two hits apiece against Irwin were Melton, Mason, Wes Armstrong and Ben Venters.

Both teams played errorless ball throughout the three weekend games.

Next up for the Jaguars—they begin a four-game series Tuesday with Andrew College, hosting the Fighting Tigers at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.gpc.edu and click on the links under “Game Webcasts” for the audio webcasts.

Sunday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 20, 2013

Hayes, Brown pitch Jaguars to two wins

Landon Hayes threw a two-hit shutout and Dawson Brown pitched a four-hitter as Georgia Perimeter College took a doubleheader 3-1 and 5-0 from West Georgia Technical College Saturday.

Dawson Brown struck out six and walked none in the 10th win of the Jag's 11-game win streak. Photos/David Tulis

Georgia Perimeter, moving to 30-15, 19-4 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, won its 18th game in the last 19 conference outings and ran its win streak to 11 games.

Hayes (4-2) fanned five and walked two, and, aided by two double plays, faced only two over the minimum in the seven-inning second game.

The Jaguars scored three runs in the first inning on a two-run double by Pierce Ressmeyer and an RBI single by Erik Davis.

An RBI double by Russell Melton in the second and an RBI single by Matt Taylor in the third finished the scoring for GPC. The game was all Hayes from there.

The sophomore side-armer struck out the side in the fifth inning, except for Anthony Brown’s base hit. Beau Wellborn got the Golden Knights’ other hit.

Brown (6-2), also a sophomore righthander, struck out six and walked none in seven innings in the opener of the day.

But West Georgia Tech (18-25, 7-16) put up a fight with Brad Bartlett on the mound. He held the Jaguars to six hits and kept the game, and the Jaguars’ winning streak, in suspense.

Pierce Ressmeyer celebrates after driving in the go-ahead run and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Erik Davis, left.

Matt Taylor started the scoring with a base hit in the second frame, advanced on a Stephen Mason hit and crossed the plate on a bunt single by Cody McCance.

After a Justin Batcher double and an RBI single by Wellborn in the sixth, it was 1-1 going into the Jags’ half of the inning.

Melton, the league’s second-leading hitter, walked to start the winning rally. Ressmeyer doubled him in; Armstrong moved Ressmeyer to third and Davis stroked a sacrifice fly to right for the insurance run.

Neither GPC nor West Georgia Tech committed an error in the doubleheader.

Sunday the teams play a makeup game at 1 p.m. Tuesday GPC hosts Andrew College at Jaguar Field at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.gpc.edu and click on the links under “Game Webcasts” for the audio webcasts.

Saturday’s box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 16, 2013

Jaguars stretch winning streak to 9

Nikolay Uherek hurled a shutout, Stephen Mason produced four RBIs and Georgia Perimeter College continued its juggernaut in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Tuesday with a 13-0 win at West Georgia Tech, the Jaguars’ ninth consecutive victory.

Georgia Perimeter (28-15, 17-4 GCAA) won its 16th game in the last 17 conference outings.

But Darton State College, ranked 13th in the NJCAA national poll, also won Tuesday, beating the league’s fourth-place team, Gordon State College, 4-2 in Barnesville. GPC and Darton are tied atop the GCAA at 17-4.

“We’re playing pretty well. We need to keep it going to keep pace,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell.

Striking out seven and allowing no walks and four hits in five innings, Uherek upped his win-loss record to 3-0. Brad Taylor, Taylor Hicks and Alan Skinner combined for two innings of one-hit relief, and the game was called on the run rule after the seventh inning.

Uherek got plenty of support from the Jaguars, who erupted for six runs in the first inning. The outburst featured an RBI double by Wes Armstrong and a two-run double by Ben Venters.

GPC piled up five more runs in the third and two in the sixth, banging out a total of 13 hits.

Among other hitting highlights for the Jaguars, Stephen Mason produced two hits and four RBIs; Matt Taylor had three RBIs and collecting two hits apiece were Armstrong, Venters, Erik Davis and Trumon Jefferson (who had a double).

Matthew Pope led West Georgia Tech (18-23, 7-14) with three hits in three trips. Tyler Banks (4-2) was the losing pitcher.

Friday, GPC returns to Jaguar Field to host the Golden Knights at 6 p.m. They will return to the field Saturday to play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

To listen to audio online broadcasts of the Friday and Saturday games, visit www.gpc.edu and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s box score will be available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 13, 2013

Jaguars grab share of first place with sweep

Long ball, small ball—the Jaguars are using all the weapons down the stretch.

Kendrick Thompson

Erik Davis

Erik Davis

A three-run home run by Erik Davis and a sacrifice bunt by Kendrick Thompson gave Georgia Perimeter College a twinbill sweep and series sweep of East Georgia State College Saturday and a tie for first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

Georgia Perimeter won the first game 7-4 in two extra innings on Davis’ homer and completed the sweep 3-2 in the nightcap with Thompson’s bunt and another solid outing on the mound by Sam Bragg.

The Jaguars improved to 27-15 overall, 16-4 in the GCAA, moving into a dead heat with nationally ranked Darton State College, sharing first place in the conference. GPC sports an eight-game winning streak, and the Jags have won 15 of their last 16 conference games.

In the opening seven-inning game, Georgia Perimeter surrendered a 4-1 lead when East tallied three in the sixth. The game went to two extra frames and the ninth inning heroics by Davis.

Reliever Stephen Farris (0-5) hit Matt Taylor with a pitch, and Ben Venters doubled to put runners on second and third. Davis then blasted a monster three-run home run over the right-center fence, his fourth homer of the season.

Also hitting doubles in the game were Trumon Jefferson and Wes Armstrong. Pierce Ressmeyer, Armstrong and Drew Adler each posted two hits and an RBI.

Reliever Landon Hayes (3-2) got the win, tossing hitless ball for 1 2/3 innings.

Davis struck again to open the second game with a two-out RBI single in the first inning. GPC added a run in the fifth when Ressmeyer doubled and came home on a base hit by Armstrong. East plated two to tie it in the sixth, setting the stage for GPC’s seventh inning game-winner.

Ressmeyer belted another two-base hit, moved to third on an Armstrong groundout and scored on Thompson’s first-pitch sacrifice bunt down the first base.

Bragg (5-3) struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh, going the distance. He whiffed nine, allowed three hits and walked two. He ranks third in the GCAA with 63 strikeouts and fifth with a 2.28 ERA.

Jefferson, Russmeyer and Davis (one double) each had two hits. East’s losing pitcher, Austin Denney (2-8), gave up nine base hits to the Jaguars.

The Jaguars visit West Georgia Tech Tuesday and then host the Golden Knights Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader. The weekend games will be audio broadcast online with links at www.gpc.edu under “Game Webcasts.”

Saturday’s box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 12, 2013

Jaguars roll on at East Georgia 5-2

Dawson Brown and Trumon Jefferson continued with a strong arm and hot bat, and the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars extended their winning streak to six games Friday, besting East Georgia State College 5-2 in Swainsboro.

Dawson Brown

Dawson Brown

Trumon Jefferson

Trumon Jefferson

Jefferson had three base hits in four at-bats, drove in two runs and scored one. Brown tossed a three-hitter in six innings on the mound, striking out five, walking one and giving up two unearned runs.

The Jaguars, 25-15 and 14-4 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, will aim for a series sweep with a doubleheader Saturday at East Georgia. A sweep will tie GPC with Darton State College for first place in the conference.

Georgia Perimeter banged out 12 hits against five East pitchers, and no Jaguars struck out. Eric Davis belted a double and a single, Pierce Ressmeyer and Wes Armstrong also had two hits and Stephen Mason produced two RBIs.

Leadoff hitter Jefferson singled on the second pitch of the game and motored home on a base hit by Armstrong. The Jaguars added runs in the fourth and fifth inning and two in the sixth.

Brown (5-2) is ranked third in the GCAA with a 2.50 earned run average. The Bobcats (10-24, 3-15), led by Jones Farriba with two hits, scored twice on Brown in the sixth inning.

Tripp Sheppard, Taylor Hicks and Landon Hayes followed with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing only one hit, given up by Sheppard. Hayes fanned two in the ninth, picking up the save.

East starter Brandon Cook (4-4) absorbed the loss.

Friday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 9, 2013

Jaguars extend win streak to five

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars won their fifth consecutive game and continued their surge in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 6-1 victory over East Georgia State College Tuesday at the Newton Campus.

Georgia Perimeter (24-15, 13-4 GCAA) has won nine of its last 10 outings and swept last week’s series with South Georgia.

The Jaguars need the same with the struggling Bobcats Friday and Saturday in Swainsboro to keep pace with league-leading Darton State College. Darton (29-8, 16-4), ranked 13th in the nation, leads the second-place Jaguars by one-and-a-half games in the conference standings.

Friday’s 3 p.m. game and Saturday’s 1 p.m. doubleheader at East Georgia will be audio broadcast online with links at www.gpc.edu under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s starter for the Jaguars, Nikolay Uherek (2-0) induced mostly ground outs and double plays, scattering four hits and giving up only two walks in six innings. Joseph Marlow and Abe Cartledge combined for three innings of scoreless relief.

Russell Melton stroked three base hits, Trumon Jefferson had two and each had an RBI and a stolen base as the Jaguars pounded out 11 hits against four Bobcat pitchers.

Eric Davis started a three-run third-inning rally with a single, and Matt Taylor was hit by a pitch from Bobcat starter Ethan Conway (1-2). Then Ben Venters stroked the game’s only extra base hit, an RBI double. Stephen Mason and Cody McCance followed with run-scoring singles.

Reliever Stephen Farris retired 12 straight Jaguars before GPC broke the game open against Ashley Claxton in the seventh with three more runs. Mason walked, stole second and scored when Jefferson singled. Melton singled to drive in Jefferson and came home on a bloop hit by Pierce Ressmeyer.

East Georgia (10-23, 3-13), in last place in the conference standings, plated its only run on a throwing mishap in the ninth—Blake Lane singled and took three bases on the error.

It was the only Jaguar error on a good defensive night, and center fielder Jefferson produced a highlight diving catch on the first batted ball of the game.

Tuesday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 6, 2013

Bragg’s 2-hit shutout leads Jaguars to sweep

Sam Bragg won a pitchers’ duel with a two-hit shutout, Pierce Ressmeyer drove in the game’s only run and Georgia Perimeter College took the nightcap of a doubleheader 1-0 Saturday at South Georgia State College. The Jaguars won the first game 5-2 behind Landon Hayes’ four-hit performance.

Sam Bragg

Georgia Perimeter (23-15, 12-4 GCAA) swept the week’s four-game series with the Tigers, and the Jaguars have won eight of their last nine games and 12 of the last 14. They occupy second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, two games behind Darton State College’s 16-4 league record.

Bragg (4-3) held South Georgia (13-26, 4-16) to four over the minimum at-bats in the seven-inning game, benefitting from catcher Ressmeyer’s pickoff at third base. A double by Aaron Drew and a single by Charles Sikes were the only hits against Bragg, who walked three and struck out six.

Meanwhile, South Georgia’s pitcher, Tyler Bashlor (1-3), struck out eight, walked one and gave up six hits in his seven innings on the mound.

GPC pushed across the winning—unearned—run in the fifth inning. With two outs, Russell Melton reached first on an error. When Ressmeyer followed with a double to deep right field, the fleet-footed Melton scored from first base.

Melton finished with three base hits and two stolen bases, and Ben Venters had a single and a double.

In the opener Hayes (2-2) scattered four hits while whiffing three and issuing two bases on balls in six innings. Tripp Sheppard closed with a hitless seventh inning.

Drew singled and scored on a groundout to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the first frame. But GPC answered with a five-run rally in the top of the second, chasing Tiger starter Ryan Doyle (0-2).

The big hits were Eric Davis’ double, Trumon Jefferson’s RBI sacrifice fly, a two-run double by Stephen Mason and an RBI single by Ressmeyer.

Melton ended up with two RBIs, and Matt Taylor had a two-base hit, a single and a run scored.

The Tigers added a harmless run in the third when Poole singled and scored on a base hit by Highsmith.

Tuesday GPC hosts East Georgia College at 7 p.m. That game will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Saturday’s box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 5, 2013

Brown fans 13 at South Georgia

Dawson Brown struck out 13 batters and Matt Taylor hit a home run as Georgia Perimeter College defeated South Georgia State College 5-2 Friday in Douglas.

Tossing a complete nine-inning game, Brown (4-2) gave up only one walk and five hits. Taylor’s homer over the left field fence added an insurance run in the fifth inning, after Wes Armstrong and Pierce Ressmeyer had collected enough RBIs to put away the Tigers.

Georgia Perimeter finishes the series in Douglas with a doubleheader Saturday and then will return home to host East Georgia State College Tuesday at 7 p.m. That game will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Locked in a race for first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, the Jaguars (21-15, 10-4 GCAA) have won 10 of their last 12 games.

GPC got two runs in the third inning when Trumon Jefferson singled, Ressmeyer was hit by a pitch and Armstrong smacked a two-run double.

In the fourth inning, Russell Melton, who went three-for-four at the plate, got a base hit and scored when Tiger starter Jake Anthony (1-5) loaded the bases and walked Ressmeyer.

South Georgia (13-24, 4-14) got on the board in the sixth when Kade Poole hit a double off Brown and scored on Gant Highsmith’s RBI double. But the Tigers couldn’t mount an extended rally as Brown allowed merely three singles outside of the two doubles.

In the seventh Tony Nazario singled, moved to third on a walk and an error and came home on a wild pitch, closing the gap to 4-2.

Stephen Mason added extra insurance for GPC in the eighth with a single, scoring when Taylor drew a bases loaded walk.

Friday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 2, 2013

Ressmeyer leads Jaguars to 12-1 win

Freshman catcher Pierce Ressmeyer drove in four runs and scored two as Georgia Perimeter College rolled to a 12-1 victory over South Georgia State College Tuesday at GPC’s Newton Campus.

Ressmeyer smacked an RBI triple and a three-run double, and added a single during the Jaguars’ six-run outburst in the third inning. The RBIs should place him among the run-producing leaders in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association standings, depending on other results Tuesday.

“Pierce is doing a good job of knocking those guys in,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell. “We’re playing hard, swinging the bat, using the entire field, running the bases well.”

The Jaguars (20-15, 9-4 GCAA) received potentially bad news when Dustin Beggs, a league-leading pitcher, was too ill to make his usual Tuesday start. But Nikolay Uherek, who hurled three solid innings of relief Saturday, took the mound and held the Tigers while the hitters built an insurmountable lead.

Uherek (1-0) scattered six hits in six innings and relied mostly on groundouts and fly outs, striking out two and walking only one.

“For him to come back after pitching three innings Saturday and pitch the game he did was huge for us,” Campbell said. “He got behind some batters and had some trouble, but he did what we needed him to do. He made some big pitches when it counted.”

South Georgia (13-23, 4-13) pushed a run across in the third inning when Charles Sikes singled in Tyler Bashlor.

Otherwise, it was all Jaguars, who collected 14 hits, scoring two runs in the first frame, one in the second, six in the third and three in the sixth. The No. 9 hitter, Cody McCance, produced three hits for the Jags, scoring two runs and driving in one. the eighth batter, Russell Melton (two singles, an RBI, three runs) and leadoff hitter Trumon Jefferson (two-run triple, single, two runs).

“That’s when we began to win ballgames, when the hitters at the bottom of the lineup started hitting,” Campbell said. “That really helps Trumon because with runners on, pitchers have to pitch to him.”

Also having a good day was Matt Taylor with an RBI double in the big third inning and a run scored.

Joseph Marlow closed with a perfect seventh inning, ending the game on the mercy rule. Thomas Spencer (1-4) was the losing pitcher for South Georgia.

Friday and Saturday the Jaguars visit South Georgia for three games. Then on Tuesday, April 9, GPC hosts East Georgia College at 7 p.m. That game will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

Tuesday’s box score will be available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 30, 2013

Jaguars settle for third-place tie with split

Sam Bragg tossed a five-hitter and Kendrick Thompson made a game-saving catch as Georgia Perimeter College beat Gordon State College 3-2 Saturday at Jaguar Field.

Kendrick Thompson

But the Jaguars lost the nightcap to slip into a third-place tie with the Highlanders in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association standings.

Georgia Perimeter, 19-15 overall and 8-4 in the GCAA, stumbled in the second game of the doubleheader, losing 5-0. Still, the Jaguars came away with three wins in this week’s four-game series with Gordon, enough to keep them on the trail behind league-leading Darton State College and No. 2 Middle Georgia State College. Middle won two games Saturday to leap over GPC and Gordon.

The Highlanders (16-16, 8-4) got a boost in the second game by pitcher Kenny Anderson's five-hitter.

Bragg (3-3) pitched a strong game (five strikeouts, two walks, one earned run) but faced drama in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 3-1 lead. After Gordon’s Corey Harmon singled, Brad Sansing hit a bouncer that resulted in a throwing error and two runners on. Tyler Hutch bunted the runners to second and third, and Devin Bonin hit a sacrifice fly, pulling the Highlanders within 3-2.

Then Thompson, inserted for defensive purposes, made a brilliant diving catch in shallow right-center, ending the game and keeping the tying run from scoring.

Sam Bragg earned his third win. Photo/Donnie Lewis

The Jaguars got on the board in the second inning when Eric Davis singled and took third on a base hit by Russell Melton. Cody McCance reached on an infield hit and throwing error that allowed Davis to cross the plate.

GPC struck again in the third inning when Stephen Mason doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on an opposite-field double by Wes Armstrong. Matt Taylor drove in Armstrong with a single.

Josh Wirsu (3-1) took the loss on the mound for the Highlanders.

In the second game, Gordon’s Anderson (4-4) fanned nine while limiting the Jaguars to five hits, twice ending potential rallies by getting double-play balls. Pierce Ressmeyer had two of the Jaguars’ hits.

Jaguar starter Abe Cartledge (1-3) gave up five runs, but reliever Nikolay Uherek stopped the bleeding, striking out six in three innings of work.

Aaron Mizell drove in three runs for Gordon—his RBI in the opening frame gave Gordon its first lead of the series.

Tuesday South Georgia College visits GPC for the first meeting of a four-game series. The game will be broadcast online at 2:55 p.m. with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Saturday's box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 29, 2013

Brown pitches Jaguars into second place tie

Dawson Brown won a pitchers’ duel with a compete-game five-hitter, and Georgia Perimeter College tied for second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 4-2 victory over Gordon State College Friday at Jaguar Field.

Dawson Brown

Brown (3-2), a sophomore righthander, struck out six, walked none and gave up only five hits and two earned runs in nine innings. The Jaguars (18-14, 7-3 GCAA) have won three straight and seven of their past eight games. They locked with Gordon (15-15, 7-3) in the conference standings, both trailing Darton State College.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Russell Melton drew a walk. Cody McCance bunted him to second base.

Trumon Jefferson followed with a bunt single and reached second base on a throwing error that allowed Melton to round third and score the go-ahead. Stephen Mason then singled Jefferson home for the insurance run.

Jefferson made two outstanding diving catches in center field, the second a pivotal play preventing a go-ahead run in the top of the eighth by the Highlanders’ Tyler Hutch. After Hutch doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch, Jefferson dove to catch Devin Bonin’s bloop into shallow center but dropped the ball transferring it from his glove hand, and it was ruled an out. Hutch was called out on appeal for leaving third base too soon.

The Jaguars got to Gordon starter Cody Mazzazenta (3-2) with two runs in their first turn at the plate. Jefferson led off with a base hit and scored on a triple by Pierce Ressmeyer, who posted his 23rd RBI. Wes Armstrong followed with an RBI single to center field.

Mazzatenta (3-2) restricted the Jaguars to five hits and held them hitless and off the bases from the fourth inning until he walked Melton to start the winning rally in the eighth.

The teams play a doubleheader Saturday that will be audio webcast starting at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday GPC hosts South Georgia College, to be broadcast at 2:55 p.m. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”

Friday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 26, 2013

GPC beats defending champ Gordon 11-3

Led by sophomores Russell Melton and Wes Armstrong, Georgia Perimeter College rolled to an 11-3 victory Tuesday at Gordon State College in the first of four Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association games between the two recent conference champions.

Wes Armstrong

Russell Melton

Georgia Perimeter, the league’s 2011 champion, banged out 16 hits and jumped off to five runs in the first inning.

Winning their sixth of the past seven games, the Jaguars move to 17-14 on the season and 6-3 in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. GPC is tied with Andrew College for fourth place in the standings, behind third-place Middle Georgia State College.

Defending conference champion Gordon (14-14, 6-2) holds on to second place in the standings, trailing Darton State College, which is 12-1 in league play.

Friday, Gordon visits GPC for another nine-inning game, and Saturday the teams finish the series with two seven-inning games at Jaguar Field.

Melton erupted for four hits in five at-bats, including a double. He drove in three runs and scored one. Armstrong was three-for-four, also hitting a double. He had two RBIs and two runs scored.

Pierce Ressmeyer belted two doubles, driving home three runs. Cody McCance stroked three hits, and two teammates had two apiece, Trumon Jefferson and Erik Davis.

Dustin Beggs (6-1) earned the win on the mound, going five innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs, fanning four and issuing five walks. Robert Daniel (0-3) took the loss for the Highlanders.

The weekend games will be audio webcast, starting at 2:55 p.m. on Friday and 1:55 for the Saturday doubleheader. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s box score is available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

The Jaguars play home games 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 19, 2013

Jags and Cleveland State play to stalemate

A month after splitting a doubleheader in Tennessee, the Jaguars and Cougars did it again with a peculiarly similar pattern.

Erupting for four runs in the eighth (extra) inning, Cleveland State Community College held off a last-chance Jaguar threat and won the first game Tuesday at Jaguar Field 8-6. Then Georgia Perimeter College jumped ahead early, never trailed and took the second game 6-3.

In their Feb. 15 twinbill, the Cougars, erupting for four runs in the fifth inning, held off a last-chance Jaguar rally and won the first game 6-5. And in the nightcap, GPC jumped ahead early, never trailed and took the second game 7-3.

Credit these teams for consistency.

GPC’s Matt Taylor hit a two-run single in the first inning of Tuesday’s victory, scoring Trumon Jefferson and Pierce Ressmeyer, who reached with base hits. The Jaguars (16-14) scored four in the second behind singles by Russell Melton, Cody McCance and Stephen Mason and a walk by Jefferson, all of whom scored.

Tyler Kilgore relieved Cleveland State starter Hayden Bailey (0-2), allowed one run and shut down the Jaguars for the remaining four innings.

Georgia Perimeter starter Taylor Hicks (2-1) survived a walk-filled first inning that produced the game’s first run. After allowing and a second run in the second inning, Hicks retired all but two batters—both walks—through the fifth inning.

Ryan Lemonds closed with three strikeouts in the last two innings. Jefferson was the lone Jaguar with two hits.

Sloppy fielding by the Jaguars let the first game slip away after Dustin Beggs fanned five Cougars in the first three innings while GPC took a 3-0 lead.

The burst featured RBI singles by McCance and Lemonds and runs scored by Kendrick Thompson (reaching on a single), Ressmeyer (single) and Wes Armstrong (double). Matt Taylor pushed across a run with a productive groundout.

Cleveland State (13-10) tied it 3-3 in the fifth on four hits and an error.

Ressmeyer doubled in the Jags’ half of the inning and scored on a single by Kendrick Thompson.

But, trailing 4-3, the Cougars sent it into an extra inning with a run-scoring base hit by Keith Buckhault off reliever Landon Hayes.

The roof caved in for GPC in the extra-inning eighth. The Jaguars committed three errors (for a total of six in the game), letting four runners to cross the plate. They managed two runs in their last gasp on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly by McCance, but the rally died with a bases-loaded game-ending double play.

Among four relievers, Hayes (1-2) drew the loss. Beggs finished with seven strikeouts and no walks while giving up six hits and two earned runs. Reliever Derek Chandler (2-1) was the winning pitcher.

Thompson, Ressmeyer and Melton had two hits each.

As this week is Georgia Perimeter’s bye week in conference play, the Jaguars take a rest over the weekend and return to action next Tuesday at Gordon College in Barnesville.

Gordon then visits GPC on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30. All three games will be audio webcast, starting at 2:55 p.m. on Friday and 1:55 for the Saturday doubleheader. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule

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March 16, 2013

Jags win slugfest, sweep Abraham Baldwin

Swinging the bats like they did the previous night, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars compiled 17 hits—and the pitchers allowed 17—winning the first game of a twinbill 14-11 Saturday at the Newton Campus.

Reliever Abe Cartledge struck out seven of eight consecutive batters in the second game as Georgia Perimeter held off the Stallions 4-2 to sweep the four-game season series. The Jaguars won Friday night 13-1 and Tuesday in Tifton 6-1.

The sweep leaves GPC in sole possession of fourth place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 5-3 record, 15-13 overall. Darton State College sits atop the standings with a perfect 8-0 record in GCAA play.

Scoring in every inning of the 34-hit opening game, the Jaguars had big rallies with three runs in the second and fifth and five runs in the third.

Sophomore center fielder Trumon Jefferson initiated the hit parade for the second straight game, leading off the first with an infield single. Wes Armstrong doubled him home for GPC’s first run.

Armstrong finished the game three-for-four with two doubles, and six other Jags got two hits apiece. Ben Venters, Kendrick Thompson and Cody McCance also bagged doubles.

Starter Sam Bragg (2-3) allowed three runs but only one was earned. He tossed seven strikeouts in five innings and issued only one base on balls.

But Abraham Baldwin (2-6, 8-16) rallied against reliever Nikolay Uherek for six runs in the sixth frame and threatened in the seventh with two more against closer Tripp Sheppard, who earned his third save.

ABAC’s starter, Matt Moses (0-5), absorbed the loss.

In the nightcap, the Stallions scored a run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Jaguars answered in the fourth frame with four runs.

Again, Jefferson started the scoring, this time with a bunt single, followed by another bunt hit by Stephen Mason. Pierce Ressmeyer lined one past third, scoring Jefferson for his third RBI of the day. Ryan Lemonds scored Mason with a bloop single; Austin Dykes hit an RBI sacrifice fly and the Jags got a fourth run on a throwing error.

Winning pitcher Landon Hayes (1-1) was relieved in the fifth by the left-hander, Cartledge. The Stallions pushed across a run, charged to Hayes, who gave up two runs on two hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking two.

Cartledge allowed one hit and struck out seven of eight outs in 2 2/3 innings, including five straight K’s.

Jefferson was the only Jaguar with two hits in the game, as GPC cooled at the plate with six hits.

The Stallions’ Aaron Westbury (1-2) took the loss on the mound.

The upcoming week is Georgia Perimeter’s off week in conference play—each of the nine teams has a bye week in the league schedule. The Jaguars will play a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday, beginning at 2 p.m. Both games will be audio webcast, starting at 1:55 p.m. with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Box scores are available at the GCAA website baseball schedule.

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 15, 2013

Fearsome bats pound out 13-1 victory

The Ides of March turned out to be nothing to beware for the Jaguars. Their visitors had much to beware, however.

Georgia Perimeter College exploded for 14 hits and got solid pitching from Dawson Brown and three relievers to defeat Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 13-1 Friday in Covington.

Trumon Jefferson

Trumon Jefferson

Erik Davis

Erik Davis

GPC (13-13, 3-3) climbed back to a .500 winning percentage overall and .500 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The hitting stars for the Jaguars were almost too many to mention. They jumped on the Stallions’ starter, Kevin Werner (1-2), in the first inning.

Leadoff hitter Trumon Jefferson stroked a single, and two outs later cleanup hitter Erik Davis golfed a high home run over the right field fence.

GPC scored two more runs in the second, four in the third, four in the fourth and one in the fifth.

The bottom third of the Jaguars’ lineup was particularly productive.

No. 9 batter Cody McCance led all hitters with three RBIs on two doubles and a single. Batting eighth, Russell Melton drove in two on a pair of hits and he scored a pair. Ben Venters, the No. 7 hitter, doubled, singled, walked and scored three times.

Cody McCance

Cody McCance

Russell Melton

Russell Melton

Ben Venters

Ben Venters

“That’s the way I envisioned it at the beginning of the season,” head coach Brett Campbell said. “Guys hitting up and down the lineup. The bottom guys get some hits, steal some bases and set the table for the top of the lineup. That wins ballgames.”

With his two-run round-tripper and an RBI single, Davis drove in three runs. Jefferson and Stephen Mason each clocked out with a pair of hits, and Jefferson scored two and drove in two.

The Jags belted out six doubles—by McCance (2), Venters, Mason, Pierce Ressmeyer and Matt Taylor.

Brown (2-2) exhibited excellent control in his four innings, inducing groundouts and fly outs. He gave up five hits, fanned two issued no walks and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.

“He keeps his fastball down and gets ground balls,” Campbell said. “He’s pitched good games the last couple of outings. Hope he continues.”

Abraham Baldwin (2-4, 8-14) scored its lone run in the fifth inning off reliever Joseph Marlow. Neal Gandee reached on a three-base throwing error and trotted home on Cole Janousek’s RBI single.

Janousek, Hayden Kudela and Jeremy Ammons had two hits apiece for the Stallions.

Reliever Alan Skinner allowed a hit the sixth and then retired the side. Then the Jaguars’ hard-throwing Brad Taylor closed in the seventh—the final half-inning—with two fly outs and two strikeouts, one which reached first on a wild-pitch third strike.

The game then ended because of the mercy rule—a 10-run lead after seven innings ends a nine-inning contest.

The teams finish their four-game series Saturday with a doubleheader. The seven-inning games will be broadcast online, starting at 12:55 p.m. with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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March 12, 2013

Taylor’s homer highlights Jaguars’ 6-1 win

Matt Taylor hit a two-run home run as Georgia Perimeter College erupted for four runs in the sixth inning, beating Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 6-1 Tuesday in Tifton.

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor

Trailing 1-0 in the top half of the sixth, Wes Armstrong and Erik Davis punched out base hits, and Drew Adler drove them in with a hard grounder past a diving first baseman. Then Taylor belted a line-drive two-run homer over the left field fence.

With the victory, the Jaguars got back on track in conference play, improving to 2-3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and 12-13 overall. They are tied with ABAC (8-13, 2-3) and East Georgia State College for fourth place in the conference.

Taylor, a freshman first baseman-third baseman, had two hits in four trips as GPC busted out of recent batting doldrums with 12 hits.

Trumon Jefferson also went two-for-four, including a two-base hit, and Cody McCance was two-for-two. Adler collected a third RBI on a ground out in the ninth inning.

Starter Dustin Beggs (5-1) had a good day on the mound for the Jaguars with seven strikeouts in six innings of work. He gave up only three hits, three walks and an unearned run in the first inning.

The freshman right-hander is tied for the second highest win total in the GCAA.

Taylor Hicks got his first save and hurled three innings of nearly flawless relief, fanning three, walking none and allowing one hit.

The Jaguars unleashed their running game with six stolen bases in seven attempts. Jefferson and McCance each swiped two bases. They rank fourth and fifth in the conference, Jefferson with 11 thefts and McCance with 10.

Next the Jaguars return to their home field, entertaining ABAC in a Friday nine-inning game at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m. All three games will be audio webcast, with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s box score.

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, 2013

Jaguars lose 3 by same 3-2 score

Here’s one for baseball statistics hounds. What are the odds that any three consecutive baseball games will end with the same score and with the same team winning all three?

Unfortunately, over the weekend Georgia Perimeter College was on the losing end of that rare statistic.

Sam Bragg pitched 10 innings in Saturday's first game. Photo/Donnie Lewis

Georgia Perimeter’s longtime baseball rival, Middle Georgia State College, swept the Jaguars 3-2, 3-2, 3-2 in Cochran Friday and Saturday to claim a share of second place in the first week of Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association competition.

The Knights, formerly known as the Warriors, improve to 12-5 overall and are tied with Andrew College for second place with a 3-1 record in the league. Darton State College jumped to a 4-0 record with a sweep of South Georgia College.

The Jaguars drop to 11-13 and 1-3 in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, GPC held Middle Georgia to five hits while collecting nine hits in the seven-inning game, but managed to push only two across the plate.

Nine Jaguars collected a hit, but only Wes Armstrong and Ben Venters scored. GPC threatened in the top of the seventh with a run but couldn’t plate another to tie it.

“We didn’t get timely hitting,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell.

Landon Hayes (0-1) started and absorbed the loss for the Jags, allowing two runs on three hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked four.

Trea Wilson went two-for-three with two RBIs for Middle Georgia. Eric Alonso (1-0) earned the win.

The first game of the doubleheader went 10 innings, three extra innings, and Sam Bragg (1-3) went the distance for the Jaguars. The sophomore right-hander struck out eight and walked three.

Tyler Graham (1-2) picked up the win as Middle pitchers held Georgia Perimeter to five hits. Armstrong and Stephen Mason scored the runs for the Jaguars.

Meanwhile, the Knights tagged Bragg for 10 hits. Cole Thompson led the hosts with a single and double and two RBIs.

In Friday’s nine-inning contest, Javier Reynoso (2-1) held GPC to three hits in six innings, and the Jags were hitless in three innings against relievers Blake Shouse and Justin Flores.

Pierce Ressmeyer—tied for second in the league with 16 RBIs—drove in both Jaguar runs and had two hits in four at bats. Trumon Jefferson got the other hit and scored both runs.

Starting pitcher Dawson Brown (1-2) struck out five in 6 1/3 innings for GPC, allowing three runs, two unearned, on eight hits. Left-hander Abe Cartledge pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief.

Shouse got his fourth save and led the Knights with two hits and two RBIs.

Tuesday the Jaguars travel to Tifton for a 5 p.m. nine-inning single game at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The Jaguars then host ABAC on Friday at 6 p.m., and Saturday the teams wrap up their season series with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

The weekend games will be audio webcast, beginning on Friday at 5:55 p.m. and Saturday at 12:55. Visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the links under “Game Webcasts.”

Box scores are available in the GCAA baseball schedule.

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 5, 2013

Jaguars open region with Beggs’ 1-hit gem, a 5-0 win over Middle Georgia

Dustin Beggs and Landon Hayes combined for a one-hit shutout and a 5-0 victory over Middle Georgia State College in Georgia Perimeter’s conference opener Tuesday at Jaguar Field in Covington.

Landon Hayes

Dustin Beggs

Beggs (4-1) struck out 10 and walked none in eight innings of work. The only hit Middle Georgia managed against his sharp fastball and excellent breaking pitches was a single by Andrew Kelly.

Hayes, who held a 1.60 ERA last season, closed the ninth inning with a strikeout and only one baserunner on an infield error, continuing his scoreless streak since recovering from an appendectomy.

GPC improves to 11-10 on the season and 1-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, which also is Region 17 of the NJCAA. The Knights, formerly known as the Warriors, slip to 9-5, 0-1.

Beggs and Hayes faced only four over the minimum—baserunners reached as the Jaguars committed four errors on a cold, windy night that was tough on defenses. The Knights also committed for errors.

Going into the fourth inning, Beggs had a perfect game going, but Kelly reached on an infield error to give the Knights their first baserunner.

Designated hitter Ryan Lemonds led GPC at the plate with three hits in three official at-bats. Cody McCance and Matt Taylor each had two singles as the Jaguars collected 11 hits.

The Jaguars got a run in the fourth inning after Lemonds singled and Taylor reached on an error. Kendrick Thompson hit into a force, leaving runners at first and third with two outs.

When Thompson was picked off first and got into a rundown, Lemonds scored before the tag.

In the sixth, Pierce Ressmeyer singled, went to second on a wild pitch and got into a rundown when Wes Armstrong hit a ball to short. But Middle dropped the ball during the rundown, and all hands were safe.

A single by Lemonds loaded the bases with none out. After two fruitless outs, Middle’s starter, Ryan Lawlor, hit Russell Melton with a pitch, driving home a run.

In the eighth, Armstrong led off with a windblown double, the only extra base hit of the game. He was sacrificed to third by Lemonds and scored on a single by Taylor.

Thompson followed with another single, also windblown. When a pickoff throw at first went awry, Taylor scored from second base, and Thompson went to third, where he crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Mason.

Lawlor (1-1) took the loss, going six innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven with no walks.

The Jaguars visit Middle Georgia’s stadium in Cochran for a nine-inning game Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 2 p.m.

GPC’s next home stand will be March 15 and 16 with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

That Friday’s game will be audio webcast at 5:55 p.m., and the double-header webcast on the 16th starts at 12:55. Tune in with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

Tuesday’s box score.

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February 28, 2013

Undefeated No. 5 Chatt Valley downs Jags

Chattahoochee Valley Community College came to Jaguar Field with a national ranking and left with an unblemished record Thursday, besting Georgia Perimeter College 6-2 to sweep the season series.

The Pirates scored two runs in the second inning and never lost control as lefthander Dalton Rentz and two relievers bent but didn’t break against the Jaguar lineup.

Georgia Perimeter (10-10) collected eight hits but plated only two, both in the seventh inning. The Jaguars left six runners on base.

Meanwhile, Chattahoochee Valley (14-0), ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA national poll, pounded out 13 hits and reached base on a hit batter and four walks.

“It’s the lack of command pitching-wise that’s a concern,” said GPC head coach Brett Campbell. “We’re walking too many guys. That and lack of timely hits. We’re getting hits, but we can’t get those guys in.”

Pitchers getting behind early in games, he added, “changes our game. We want to run and bunt, but when you're down like that you need big hits, and we're not a three-run homer team.”

Last week Chattahoochee Valley shut out the Jaguars 9-0 in Columbus. After opening the season 6-0, GPC has won only four of its last 10 outings.

Trailing 5-0 with one out in the seventh inning, GPC’s Erik Davis singled against reliever Colt Ramsey and Matt Davis doubled him to third to chase Ramsey.

After lefthanded first baseman Nick Jones stepped to the mound to relieve Ramsey, pinch hitter Bowen Braswell lobbed a fly to right field to score Davis and put the Jaguars on the scoreboard.

Russell Melton followed with a poke hit to right, and Davis crossed the plate with the Jags’ second run. But Pirate catcher Jared Martin threw out Melton attempting to steal second base, ending the rally.

Georgia Perimeter threatened in the ninth when Wes Armstrong led off with a base hit and Kendrick Thompson reached on an error. Jones proceeded to retire the side and secure the save.

Taylor had two hits in four plate appearances, and his double was the Jaguars’ only extra base hit. The big stick for Chatt Valley was Ty Abbott with three singles, two RBIs and a run. Jones belted an RBI triple in the fifth inning.

Dawson Brown (3-2) absorbed the loss on the mound, giving up seven hits, but he struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. Rentz (3-0), pitched six innings to earn the win, striking out four, walking one and allowing four hits.

Georgia Perimeter played errorless ball, and right fielder Thompson made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch deep in right-center to end a Pirate threat in the eighth.

Campbell said he liked the defense but other areas need serious work: “We’ll just have to keep at it and build the chemistry. We’d better get going because the region schedule is here.”

Tuesday GPC hosts Middle Georgia College at 7 p.m. as the Jaguars open their Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association schedule. Middle was ranked 14th in the NJCAA preseason poll, but dropped out of the rankings this week.

The game will be audio webcast, beginning at 6:55, with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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February 26, 2013

Bats come alive in split with Southern Union

Matt Taylor and Stephen Mason led a hit parade and Georgia Perimeter College downed Southern Union State Community College 12-8 in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday in Wadley, Ala.

Stephen Mason

Stephen Mason

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor

In the second game, the Jaguar bats, slumping of late, again fell silent as the Southern Union pitchers held them to three hits and posted a 6-0 shutout.

Taylor went three-for-five at the plate in the opener with a home run and two RBIs. Meanwhile, Mason broke out of a slump with four RBIs on three hits in four trips, including a double.

Georgia Perimeter (10-9) collected 18 hits. Kendrick Thompson and Erik Davis both had doubles. Trumon Jefferson also drove in two runs, and earning one RBI apiece were Davis, Pierce Ressmeyer and Cody McCance.

The Jaguars exercised their speed on the basepaths. Mason and Jefferson each stole two bases, and McCance, Wes Armstrong and Russell Melton had one theft apiece.

It was mostly bad news in the second game, with Erik Davis getting a base hit and a double and Cody McCance rapping a double—and that was the sum total of the plate production.

Taylor Hicks took the loss on the mound in the second game.

Thursday the Jaguars face Chattanooga Valley, the No. 5 team in this week’s NJCAA national poll and the team that shut out the Jags 9-0 last week. The single nine-inning game begins at 1 p.m., with the audio webcast at 12:55. To listen to the game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 24, 2013

Jaguars lose home doubleheader to No. 13 Spartanburg Methodist

Spartanburg Methodist College visited Jaguar Field on the Newton Campus on Sunday and looked every bit like a team worthy of being ranked 13th in the preseason NJCAA poll.

The Pioneers kept the Jaguars’ bats at bay, sweeping the doubleheader 6-1 and 6-0. The first game, scheduled for seven innings, went nine.

The bright spot for the Jaguars was the start turned in by Sam Bragg in the opener. He went seven innings plus one batter, allowing two hits and striking out seven. The run yielded in the fifth inning was unearned.

Down 1-0, the Jaguars rallied for a tie in the seventh after Ryan Lemonds led off with a single off Pioneers starter Jimmy Lindberg. Reliever Cody Mincey came on and threw three wild pitches in the inning, the first of which sent Lemonds from first to third. He scored on a single by Matt Taylor.

GPC eventually put runners at first and third with one out, but could not plate the winning run. After they left two more runners on in the eighth, the Pioneers put the game away in the top of the ninth with five runs on seven singles off Jaguars reliever Tripp Sheppard (1-1).

Dustin Beggs (3-1) started the second game for the Jaguars and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and striking out four. Alan Skinner, Erik Davis and Brad Taylor finished up.

GPC managed only four hits—singles by Ben Venters, Pierce Ressmeyer, Drew Adler and Austin Dykes—off Spartanburg Methodist pitchers Robert Landers and Brandon Landrie.

Matt Taylor and Lemonds each had two of the Jaguars’ six hits in the opener. Trumon Jefferson and Ressmeyer also singled.

The Jaguars play a doubleheader at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala., on Tuesday before returning home Thursday to face Chattahoochee Valley C.C. at 1 p.m. The home game will be webcast, with a link 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.

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February 21, 2013

Chattanooga Valley shuts out GPC

Friday’s Georgia Perimeter College baseball game was moved to Thursday to avoid the oncoming heavy rains threatening Georgia, but runs rained in on the Jaguars as Chattanooga Valley Community College rolled to a 9-0 victory at Golden Park in Columbus.

A trio of Chatt Valley pitchers dominated the game—Georgia Perimeter (9-6) managed only four hits—two by Russell Melton and one each by Ben Venters and Austin Dykes, who hit a double.

CVCC’s Ben Taylor (3-0) earned the win with seven strikeouts and no walks in six innings. The Jaguars struck out 11 times.

Abe Cartledge (1-2) took the loss on the mound for the Jaguars.

The teams will play a single-game rematch on Thursday, Feb. 28, at Georgia Perimeter. That game will be audio broadcast online, beginning at 12:55 p.m., with a link 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 20, 2013

Jaguars split with Southern Union

Trumon Jefferson singled in the winning run for a 4-3 Georgia Perimeter College victory over Southern Union State Community College, but the Jaguars dropped the second game of a doubleheader 8-1 Wednesday at Jaguar Field.

Jefferson led off the first game for Georgia Perimeter (9-5) with a base hit and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Ryan Lemonds.

The Jaguars seized a 3-0 lead with two outs in the third inning when Pierce Ressmeyer singled, Kendricks Thompson walked and Matt Taylor stroked a two-run base hit.

Southern Union (5-5) closed the gap in the fourth with a two-run double by Cameron Sanders. In their top half of the sixth inning, Randy Loew’s two-base hit scored the tying run, setting the stage for Jefferson’s game-winner in the bottom of the inning.

Reliever Tripp Shepard (1-0) earned the win, while Southern Union starter Lawson Stewart (0-2) absorbed the loss.

The Bison jumped on five GPC pitchers in the second game, scoring eight runs on eight hits. Meanwhile, left-hander Locke St. John (2-0), who came into the game with a 2.08 ERA, baffled the Jaguar hitters, holding them to five hits.

Southern Union, which got its first road victory, has won five of its last six games.

Thursday the Jaguars travel to Golden Park in Columbus to play Chattahoochee Valley Community College.

Sunday they host Spartanburg Methodist College in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. That twinbill will be audio webcast with separate links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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February 15, 2013

Ressmeyer homers twice as Jaguars split

Pierce Ressmeyer

Pierce Ressmeyer

Pierce Ressmeyer homered and Stephen Mason, Ben Venters and Russell Melton all batted two-for-three to lead the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars to a 7-3 nightcap win after they fell 6-5 in the opener of a doubleheader Friday at Cleveland (Tenn.) State Community College.

Trailing 1-0 in the nightcap, the Jaguars scored seven runs in the third and fourth innings, powered by freshman designated hitter Ressmeyer’s three-run home run.

Mason scored a run and drove in two, while Melton crossed the plate twice and Venters had one run and one RBI.

Dustin Beggs (3-0) earned the win on the mound, striking out four in four innings.

Ressmeyer also belted a two-run home run in the first game. Cleveland State took control with a four-run fifth inning, though the Jaguars rallied for three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh, falling one run shy. Matt Taylor had two doubles in three at-bats, and Cody McCance also had a two-base hit.

Though he fanned seven in 4 1/3 innings, Sam Bragg (1-2) took the loss.

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February 9, 2013

Chattanooga State cools off Jaguars

Except for some hitting by Erik Davis, Matt Taylor and a few others, an unexpected chill descended on the Jaguars as they ascended the cooler mountains of Tennessee Saturday.

Chattanooga State Community College dispensed a measure of revenge in defeating Georgia Perimeter College 12-4 and 4-0 in Chattanooga.

A week earlier at slightly warmer Jaguar Field, GPC (7-3) swept a twinbill from the Tigers 4-1, 4-1. The Jaguars had lost only to 14th ranked Spartanburg Methodist before Saturday’s games.

In the opener Saturday, Chattanooga State (3-3) hammered out four-run rallies in the third and fourth innings. Ryan White (two-for-two, double, 3 RBIs) did the most damage for the Tigers. Abe Cartledge (0-1) absorbed the loss for the Jaguars.

Meanwhile, Colton Kinnamon (1-1) and Tyler McClure held the Jaguars to five hits.

Davis belted a home run; Taylor stroked a single and double in three trips; Wes Armstrong doubled and Trey Hagey singled.

The bats were even quieter in the second game, as Tyler Trout (1-1) hurled a three-hit shutout for the Tigers. He allowed only Stephen Mason’s double and base hits by Taylor and Pierce Ressmeyer.

Sam Bragg (2-1) struck out five in five innings but was the losing pitcher.

The Jaguars return to Tennessee Friday for a doubleheader with Cleveland State Community College at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 20, they host a twinbill with Southern Union State Community College at 2 p.m. Those games will be audio broadcast online with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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February 12, 2013

Today's games at Southern Union canceled

Today’s Jaguar baseball games at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala., have been canceled.

Saturday the Jaguars will play a doubleheader at Cleveland State Community College at 1 p.m.

The Jaguars will return home Wednesday, Feb. 20 to host Southern Union in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on the Newton Campus field. The doubleheader will be audio broadcast online with separate links 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 9, 2013

Baseball games canceled

Jaguar head coach Brett Campbell announced Thursday that the Wednesday, Feb. 13 and Thursday, March 21, baseball games against the Piedmont College JV team has been canceled.

After today's twinbill at Chattanooga State, next up for the Jaguars will be a trip on Feb. 12 to Wadley, Ala., where they will play a doubleheader against Southern Union Community College at 2 p.m.

The Jaguars will return home Wednesday, Feb. 20 to host Southern Union in a double-header at 2 p.m. on the Newton Campus field.

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 6, 2013

Jaguars split with No. 14 Spartanburg

Dustin Beggs pitched two nearly-perfect innings and Trumon Jefferson and Wes Armstrong accounted for four of six Jaguar hits as Georgia Perimeter College won the second game of a doubleheader 4-2 to gain a split at Spartanburg Methodist College Wednesday.

In the opening contest, the Pioneers handed Georgia Perimeter (7-1) its first loss of the season, a 9-0 rout. Spartanburg (1-1) came into the day ranked No. 14 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll.

The winning pitcher of the second game, freshman right-hander Beggs (2-0), walked one and got everyone else out in his two innings of work. Tripp Sheppard earned his second save for the Jaguars. Four GPC pitchers held Spartanburg to six hits.

Armstrong and Jefferson each batted two-for-three as the Jaguars also collected six hits.

Trailing 2-1 after the first inning, Georgia Perimeter scored one in the second and plated two insurance runs in the fifth. Jefferson, Kendrick Thompson, Cody McCance and Trey Hagey accounted for the Jaguar runs.

Billy Fergus (0-1) took the loss for the Pioneers.

The first game was Spartanburg’s all the way as the Pioneers piled up six runs in the first three frames and iced it with three in the fifth. Shell McCain did the most damage, going three-for-four at the plate and hitting a home run. Jimmy Lindbe (1-0) earned the win on the mound.

Ryan Lemonds led GPC at the plate with two hits in three trips, including a double.

But the Pioneers tagged four Jaguar pitchers for 11 hits. Taylor Hicks (1-1) absorbed the loss.

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 3, 2013

Undefeated GPC’s bats hot in twinbill sweep

Catchers Pierce Ressmeyer and Drew Adler combined for six hits and eight RBIs and Georgia Perimeter College rolled 16-4 and 12-1 over the Emmanuel College junior varsity Sunday in Covington.

Drew Adler

Drew Adler

Pierce Ressmeyer

Pierce Ressmeyer

Ressmeyer went four-for-four at the plate in the first game with eight RBIs and three runs. In the nightcap Adler did the catching and was two-for-four with four RBIs and a double.

GPC, unbeaten at 6-0, practiced mastery of small ball, rapping out 27 hits for the day with only five extra base hits. The Jaguars got doubles, in addition to Adler’s, from Cody McCance, Matt Taylor, Wes Armstrong and Ryan Lemonds.

Other hitting notables in the first game: McCance, two hits, three RBIs and three runs; Austin Dykes, three-for-four, three RBIs; Kendrick Thompson, three-for-four, three RBIs and three runs.

Left-hander Abe Carteledge (1-0) won the opener, striking out six in three innings, allowing no runs and no bases on balls and only two hits.

In the second game, right-hander Brad Taylor (1-0) earned the win with three strikeouts in two innings of work, giving up no runs, no hits and no walks.

Armstrong, last year’s all-region .408 hitter, was designated hitter in the nightcap, his first appearance of the season, and went two-for-four with 3 RBIs.

Russell Melton had two singles in three at-bats, drew a walk and scored three runs.

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February 2, 2013

Jaguars take two from Chattanooga State Community College

Pitchers continued to throw strikeouts and several hitters were heroes as Georgia Perimeter College swept a doubleheader from Chattanooga State Community College by identical scores of 4-1 Saturday at Jaguar Field in Covington.

Sam Bragg (2-0) struck out five in four innings in the first game, Nikolay Uherek and Dustin Beggs (1-0) fanned four apiece in the nightcap and Pierce Ressmeyer, Erik Davis and Cody McCance came through with big hits.

“We had great defense and good pitching,” said head coach Brett Campbell. “Offensively, we’re not a team to wait for the three-run homer. We’ve got to play small ball, grind out the runs, and that’s what we did.”

Georgia Perimeter (4-0) won both games with big fifth innings.

With the scored tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning of the first game, Trumon Jefferson led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCance and scored when Ressmeyer singled for his second RBI of the game.

After Matt Taylor walked, Campbell pinch-hit Erik Davis, who broke open the game with a two-run double to right field off reliever Mark Harris.

Bragg dueled Chattanooga State starter Tyler Trout (0-1) to a 1-1 draw, each allowing only three hits in four innings. Jefferson scored in the first inning on an RBI productive out by Ressmeyer, but the Tigers (0-2) tied it in the top of the fifth with an RBI single by Read Walden that scored Marquis Webb.

In the sixth frame, Kendrick Thompson also belted a double off Harris. Tripp Sheppard closed for the Jaguars, allowing only a walk in two innings.

The starter for the second game, Uherek fanned four and gave up two hits, both in the first inning. Marquis Webb singled and scored on a base hit by Aaron Wright.

Meanwhile, Chatt State’s Colton Kinnamon (0-1) handcuffed the Jaguar hitters, allowing only a double by Drew Adler in four innings. But again GPC broke it open in the fifth.

Trailing 1-0 with two outs, Thompson and Russell Melton started the fifth-inning rally with singles. Carson Bryant relieved Kinnamon and issued a base on balls to Trumon Jefferson.

Then McCance chipped a blooper to short left field that dropped in, scoring Thompson and Melton

“Cody’s a gamer. He can hit; he can bunt. He brings a lot to the table,” Campbell said.

Davis, a left-handed hitter, again provided insurance, poking a double down the left field line, and Matt Taylor circled the bases from first base to score.

“We’ve talked about that. Erik got two strikes on him, and that’s when you have to protect the plate,” Campbell said. “He got a good ball and hit it to the opposite field.”

Beggs closed it out, fanning four in three innings and giving up two hits.

Thompson had three hits in six trips for the day, keeping his batting average at .500 in the first four games. In his two outings on the mound, Uherek has collected nine strikeouts in six innings.

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January 30, 2013

Jaguars enter 2013 loaded with new coaches, talent and depth

With experienced new coaches, a strong freshman class and an enviable herd of returnees and transfers, the Jaguar baseball program goes into the 2013 campaign with plenty of optimism.

Pitching coach Brett Campbell took over the Georgia Perimeter College baseball helm when, after a one-year term, Stuart Bailey left to coach at Lamar County High School.

Campbell, who rose through the ranks to a brief foray on the mound for the Washington Nationals, brings to the program an impressive resume. And an impressive assistant, his former Kennesaw State University teammate, award-winning hitter Jeremy Brotherton.

According to Campbell, the 2013 Jaguars have the talent and depth to be major contenders in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Experience abounds—there are 16 sophomores on the roster.

“This is a very good team. There’s not one guy on this roster that I feel uncomfortable playing,” he said.

The coach is especially pleased with the pitching depth: “We have ten or eleven very good pitchers. That’s unusual for a junior college.”

Jeremy Brotherton

Brett Campbell

Four sophomores return to anchor the staff—Sam Bragg (Marietta, Wheeler H.S.), Trip Sheppard (Shady Dale, George Walton Academy), Landon Hayes (Loganville, Grayson H.S.) and Nikolay Uherek (Huntingtown, Md., DeMatha Catholic H.S.).

Last year right-hander Bragg struck out 54 in 47 1/3 innings, walking only 17. “He’ll start out as our No. 1,” Campbell said. “He throws two types of curveballs; he’s not afraid to throw the fastball and he locates well.”

Right-handers Sheppard and Hayes start out with a lock on the set-up man and closer roles. Hayes led the GCAA last season with a 1.60 earned run average, while Sheppard struck out 21 and walked seven in 19 2/3 innings.

Tripp Sheppard

Landon Hayes

Sam Bragg

“They’re definitely going to be our two back end guys,” Campbell said. “In the ninth inning you need a guy who’s going to strike them out, so both will close. We’ll rotate them, depending on the situation.”

Uherek, a righty who started and came out of the bullpen last year, has added a velocity jump to his fastball. Campbell says he’s counting on some big innings from the former high school quarterback.

The staff will feature some major talent that transferred from other institutions.

Stephen Mason

Wes Armstrong

Right-hander Taylor Hicks (Statham, North Oconee H.S.) comes over from the University of Georgia, where he started last year, including Sunday games and a game against U.C.L.A.

A transfer from Mercer University, 6-foot-5 Dawson Brown (McDonough, Locust Grove H.S.), figures to be a top-tier starter. A left-handed presence on the mound will be South Carolina-Aiken transfer Abe Cartledge (Thomson, Thomson H.S.).

Sidearm right-hander Alan Skinner (Lawrenceville, Providence Christian Academy, Columbus State Univ.) throws a wicked breaking ball and will be a weapon against big-hitting right-handers in late innings.

Freshmen working out of the bullpen who show potential as future starters are right-handers Brad Taylor (Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald H.S.), Dustin Beggs (Roswell, Centennial H.S.) and Ty Alvey (Newnan, Northgate H.S.).

Pierce Ressmeyer

Kendrick Thompson

Trumon Jefferson

Right-handed freshman Joseph Marlow (Kennesaw, Kennesaw Mountain H.S.) is an all-around athlete who will fortify the bullpen and should also see time as an infielder.

Erik Davis (Ellabell, Savannah Christian Prep) is a left-handed pitcher who may contribute more at the plate and field. “He’s big time stuff—a great hitter,” said Campbell, who was a solid college batsman in his day.

Davis may see action at first base as backup to “the Duke of Hitting,” Wes Armstrong (Alpharetta, Chattahoochee H.S.). For much of 2012, Armstrong led the Jags and the conference until an injury dropped his batting average to .405, behind teammate David Van Horn, who finished atop the league at .438.

Also seeing action at first base will be Chase Morris (Waycross, Ware County H.S.) and Bowen Braswell (Oxford, Alcovy H.S.). Braswell, who may see time at first and third, adds mid-lineup power potential.

Armstrong moves to first from his usual spot at second base, where Campbell expects to platoon returnees Cody McCance (Loganville, Loganville H.S.) and Ben Venters (Cartersville, Cartersville H.S.).

Shortstop belongs to Stephen Mason (Gainesville, Gainesville H.S.), who hails from the same high school as former Jaguar and Braves minor leaguer Robby Hefflinger. Mason, a possible left-handed leadoff hitter, inspires this from Campbell: “You don’t see too many freshmen handle shortstop the way he does.”

Also wielding a hefty bat in the middle of the lineup will be UGA transfer Matt Taylor (Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald H.S.). An inch shorter than his 6-4 pitching brother, Brad, Matt will hold down third base.

In the outfield Trumon Jefferson (Decatur, Decatur H.S.), a prep hoops star with lightning speed, will move to center field from left, where he started last year. Also a lefty leadoff man, Jefferson was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2011, but he chose GPC and hit .318, scoring 30 runs.

Kyler Timmerman (Evans, Greenbrier H.S.) also returns from 2012 and will share right field duties with freshman Kendrick Thompson (Statesboro, Statesboro H.S.). Campbell expects some pop off the bat from both.

Starting in left field will be Darton State College transfer Russell Melton (Auburn, Ala., Auburn H.S.). “He’s a gamer—he loves to play,” Campbell says.

Another transfer from Darton State, Ryan Lemonds (Monroe, Monroe Area H.S.), will do time as designated hitter and the right-hander may pitch some. Another good hitter who may see time at DH is lefty Austin Dykes (Sylvester, Coquitt County H.S.). He also may serve on the mound, where the Jaguars are a bit short on left-handers.

Serving as a backup outfielder will be sophomore Trey Hagey (Snellville, Brookwood H.S.), who hit .333 for the Jaguars in limited appearances off the bench last year.

Catchers Dondrei Hubbard (Canton, Creekview H.S.) and Drew Adler (Marietta, Walton H.S.) will see action, but look for Pierce Ressmeyer (Columbus, Columbus H.S.) to get the lion’s share behind the plate.

“He can really hit,” Campbell said. “The hitting depth is there. We’ll have some guys sitting on the bench who should be out there. We’ll pinch hit a lot.”

He added: “And we’re gonna run. We’ve got some guys who can really fly.” Melton and Jefferson already have stolen three bases each. The Jaguars opened the season Monday with a 4-0, 7-0 doubleheader victory over Emmanuel College junior varsity.

Campbell notes that the defense must mature quickly. “With the pitching staff we have, it will be important to make the routine plays. With the addition of coach Brotherton, I’m sure the defense will vastly improve as the season wears on.”

The Jags host Chattanooga State Community College, a strong program in recent years, in a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.

That game and many others will be audio webcast live with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.” In the web schedule, red asterisks designate games that will be broadcast.

The 2013 Jaguars will perform behind some hard acts to follow. In 2011 Georgia Perimeter was champion of the GCAA, a highly competitive baseball league which also serves as Region 17 of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association. The Jaguars were regular-season champs in 2009 and finished second in the standings last year behind perennial power and rival Middle Georgia College.

How good is GCAA baseball these days? Last year’s fourth-place team finished third in the nation.

As region tournament runner-up, fourth-seeded Gordon College advanced to the Georgia-Tennessee district tournament and won it—the second straight year a fourth-place GCAA team won the district title. And then the Highlanders finished third at the 2012 Junior College World Series.

Gordon and other clubs will be back in full force this season, as will Middle Georgia, ranked 14th in the national NJCAA preseason poll. The parity is such that even bottom-tier teams show promise.

“It will be a very good league this year,” Campbell said. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”

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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January 28, 2013

Jaguars open with double-header shutout

The Georgia Perimeter College baseball Jaguars opened their season Monday, and freshman right fielder Kendrick Thompson didn’t waste any time demonstrating why coach Brett Campbell calls him a ”difference maker.“

Thompson had three hits in six total trips to the plate, including a triple and two RBIs, as the Jaguars posted a double-header shutout, 4-0 and 7-0, over the Emmanuel College junior varsity team at Jaguar Field in Covington.

Led by Nikolay Uherek’s five strikeouts, eight Jaguar pitchers combined for 23 strikeouts and 14 innings of goose eggs on the scoreboard in the two seven-inning games. They allowed a total of only seven hits and walked six.

The games were a warm-up for Saturday’s early-season challenge when the Jaguars host Chattanooga State Community College in a double-header. Both games will be audio broadcast online beginning at 12:50 p.m. with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under ”Game Webcasts.“

Chattanooga State went to the Junior College World Series in 2010 and has maintained a very successful program in recent years.

”It’s a big game for us,“ said Campbell. ”It will be a good measuring stick.“

In the opener Monday, Georgia Perimeter (2-0) scored four runs on eight hits, and pushed across the runs in the first three innings.

Trumon Jefferson and Russell Melton each collected two hits and stole two bases. Jefferson, who had two RBIs, hit a double, as did Pierce Ressmeyer. Thompson and Ressmeyer also had RBIs.

Uherek, a sophomore right-hander, started and fanned five batters in two innings, allowing one hit and one base on balls.

Fellow returnee Sam Bragg (1-0) also allowed one hit in two innings, while Erik Davis allowed no hits in two frames. Closer Alan Skinner struck out three in his inning, as the Jaguars fanned 11 for the game.

In the nightcap, the moundsmen struck out 12, led by Dustin Begg’s four K’s in two hitless innings of work.

Taylor Hicks (1-0) and starter Dawson Brown mirrored each other, each whiffing three, walking one, and permitting one hit in two innings. Tripp Sheppard closed with two strikeouts.

Meanwhile, GPC racked up seven runs on seven hits. Cody McCance (2-for-3, 2 runs, one double) and Drew Adler (2-for-2, one RBI) led the way, and Thompson belted an RBI triple. Stephen Mason and Davis also had RBIs.

Melton and Jefferson swiped bases to make their day’s theft total three apiece.

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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