CUTHBERT, Ga. -- The Andrew College baseball team will open the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Baseball Championship on Wednesday, against ABAC, at the Lakepoint Baseball Complex in Emerson, Ga., with a 3:30 pm nine-inning game. The Tigers are the 6th seed in the six-team, double-elimination tournament that will send two teams to the NJCAA East Central District Championships, with a shot at advancing to the NJCAA National Baseball Championship in historic Grand Junction, Colo. Regular season champion and #1 seed East Georgia State is guaranteed a spot in the NJCAA East Central District Championship, so the Tigers and four other teams are battling for the right to repesent NJCAA Region 17 in the Disctrict tournament.
The Tigers are led offensively by redshirt sophomore 3rd baseman Mike Branche, who finished in the top 10 in seven different categories in the GCAA, including leading the region in doubles with 15, finishing 3rd with 72 hits, 4th with 6 homers, 5th in slugging with a .532, and 6th in RBI with 45.
Sophomore catcher Chris Schwarzer put together as fine an overall season as anyone in the GCAA, both with the bat and the leather, posting a .329 batting average, belting 6 home runs, driving in 25 runs,and slugging at a .494 clip, but also had an astounding zero errors as a catcher, led the region by throwing out 20 would be basestealers, led all catchers with 36 assists, and posted the highest percentage of runners caught stealing at 49%.
Freshman 1st baseman Connor Nalley hit .319, had 37 hits and drove in 20 runs, freshman shortstop Andrew Compton hit .308, had 53 hits, including 4 doubles and a pair of triples and had 24 RBI, sophomore Josh Peters hit .306 with 48 hits, including 8 doubles and 2 triples and was 15 for 16 in stolen bases, freshman 2nd baseman Collin Chambers hit .301 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI, and sophomore outfielder Will Harris hit .300 with a pair of doubles and 7 RBI to round out the Tigers who hit .300 or better.
Freshman catcher/DH Dahlton Cash blasted 3 homers, had 25 RBI, 46 hits, including 9 doubles, and hit .288, freshman outfielder Jimmy Fackler hit .250 with 2 triples, 2 homers, and was 6 for 6 in stolen bases, freshman center fielder Jordan Holt had 30 hits, and was a perfect 20 for 20 in stolen bases, freshman first baseman Spencer Nelson clubbed 3 home runs, had 4 doubles and drove in 14 runs, and freshman outfielder Kodi Bishop had 24 hits, including 5 doubles, a pair of home runs and had 19 RBI.
On the mound, freshman right hander Logan Foster logged a team-leading 18 appearances and 4 saves, while going 1-1 on the season and posting a 3.00 ERA, freshman left hander Brandon Brown picked up a team-leading 4 wins in 9 starts and 14 appearances, struck out 32 in 51 innings, and pitched to a 4.88 ERA, sophomore right hander Roman Oliu posted a team-leading 13 starts, picked up 3 wins, and had a team-leading 44 strikeouts in 57 innings, averaging 6.9 strikeouts per 9 innings, freshman right hander Andrew Wingate went 3-1, with 2 saves in 16 appearances, freshman right hander Reagan Anderson picked up 3 wins and a save, while posting a 7.71 strikeout per 9 innings average, sophomore right hander Jacob Lane posted 2 wins across 32 innings with 7 starts and 11 appearances, averaging 5.2 strikeouts per 9 innings, freshman left hander Adonis Graham logged 20 innings in 17 appearances and picked up a save, freshman right hander Killian Smith made 15 appearances, picked up a save and posted a 6.48 strikeouts per 9 innings average, redshirt freshman right hander Bradley Klees pitched to a 3.63 ERA in a pair of starts and 7 appearances, redshirt freshman Colby Mullins posted 8 appearances and averaged 7.88 strikeots per 9 innings, and freshman right hander Hunter Norman picked up 2 wins out of the bullpen and struck out 12 in just 13 innings, before requiring season-ending surgery after 6 appearances.
A win in Wednesday's game would put the Tigers into a 2nd round match up against the #2 seed Georgia Highlands on Thursday at 3:30 pm. A loss on Wednesday would force the Tigers into an elimination game at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, against the loser of the Gordon State/South Georgia State game at noon.
Click HERE for the tournament bracket.