CUTHBERT, Ga. -- The Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) baseball coaches announced the All-Region teams, Player of the Year, Coach of the Year. and Gold Glove Team today, and Andrew College's Mike Branche was named a 1st Team All-Region selection, and Chris Schwarzer was named 2nd Team All-Region, a Gold Glove Winner at catcher, and the GCAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Branche, a redshirt sophomore from Winter Haven, FL, put together one of the best offensive seasons in the GCAA this year, leading the Tigers in runs (42), hits (72), doubles (15), home runs (6), runs batted in (45), batting average (.358), and slugging (.532), while starting all 56 games at 3rd base. The 15 doubles led the GCAA, the 72 hits were 3rd, and the 6 homers were fourth. Branche will leave the Tigers with a two-year total of 128 hits, 23 doubles, 11 homers, 73 RBI, and a .335 batting average. He will play next year at NCAA Div. II, University of West Florida, where he will play for Head Coach Mike Jeffcoat, who will be entering his 13th season. The Argonauts play in the Gulf South Conference and won the NCAA Div. II National Championsip in 2011.
Schwarzer, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, GA, had one of the best overall seasons in the GCAA, putting together a .329 batting average, with 52 hits, including 6 doubles and 6 home runs, and 25 RBI, but really flashed behind the plate, where he led the region by throwing out 20 would be basestealers, led all catchers with 36 assists, posted the highest percentage of runners caught stealing at 49%, and had an incredible no errors in 53 games. Schwarzer will play next year at NCAA Div. II University Of South Carolina at Aiken, where he will play for Head Coach Kenny Thomas, who will be entering his 19th year at Aiken. The Pacers play in the Peach Belt Conference, and Schwarzer, along with current teamate, shortstop Cary Holloway, will join up with a former Tiger from last year, pitcher Christian Aragon, for USC-Aiken next year.
Click HERE for the complete list of players and awards.