AUGUSTA, Ga. -
Augusta State's Tony Baker
earned All-Peach Belt Conference honors Thursday afternoon when the
league office released the 2010 all-league squad in advance of this
weekend's conference tournament.
A four-year starter and senior second baseman from Dacula, Ga., Baker enjoyed a strong 2010 campaign. He played and started in 46 of 47 games and paced the Jaguars in virtually every offensive category.
Baker posted a .330 batting average -- fourth-best on the squad -- and topped ASU in at bats (185), hits (61), runs scored (40), doubles (13), home runs (8) and RBI (39). He also made eight appearances on the mound, posting a 1-1 record with one save in 10.1 innings, mostly as a reliever.
The PBC first and second teams consisted of a total of 32 players. Columbus State's Jason Rogers was named the PBC Player of the Year while North Georgia's Chris Rearick was tabbed the Pitcher of the Year. Francis Marion's Don Sandifer was named the Freshman of the Year, with GCSU coach Tom Carty winning the Coach of the Year.
Rogers is in the midst of what could be a historic season. The junior first baseman from Atlanta, Ga., hit 25 home runs during the regular season and is just one back of tying the PBC single-season mark, which was set in 1998 by Kennesaw State's Jason Jones and equaled just two years ago by CSU's Rodney Rutherford. For Rogers, the home runs are just a part of his offensive game, he is second in the PBC with a .427 batting average and leads the league with a .911 slugging percentage. Rogers is also second in the PBC with 78 RBIs, 67 runs scored and 82 hits. Starting all 49 games for CSU, he made only four errors all season at first, stole 14 bases in 14 attempts and drew a team-high 38 walks. He became the fifth Cougar to be named the PBC Player of the Year, the first since Larry Pittmon won the award in 2004.
Chris Rearick led the PBC in strikeouts in 2010 and was one of three starters in the league with an ERA under three. A senior from Pooler, Ga., Rearick is 9-2 for the Saints heading into this weekend's PBC Tournament with a 2.96 ERA. He has a league-best 95 strikeouts on the year in a league-high 91.1 innings pitched. Rearick is one of four PBC pitchers tied for the league lead with nine wins and is ranked in the league top five in opponent batting average and starts. Rearick becomes the first North Georgia baseball player to be named the Pitcher of the Year.
Don Sandifer made an immediate impact in his first season at Francis Marion, going 6-0 with a league-low 2.66 ERA. He leads the Peach Belt in fewest walks, runs and earned runs allowed and has the best opponent batting average at .214. In 61 innings pitched this season, the freshman from Bamberg, S.C., struck out 40 and walked only eight. His numbers were equally impressive against PBC competition, going 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA against conference teams. Sandifer becomes the fourth Patriot to be named the Freshman of the Year in the last six seasons, joining teammate Preston Shuey, who won the award in 2008.
In his third season as the head coach at GCSU, Tom Carty has led the Bobcats to their first PBC regular-season championship since 2007, a #8 national ranking and the west division #1 seed for the upcoming PBC Tournament. The 2010 Bobcats were nearly unstoppable in conference play with a 19-5 league mark and a 35-14 overall record. An offensive juggernaut, Carty's Bobcats are the best-hitting team in the PBC with a .357 team average and are tied for the league lead with 73 home runs. The Coach of the Year award is the first for Carty and the fourth overall for the GCSU program.
The 2010 All-Conference team is listed below, as selected by the league's head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.
2010 Peach Belt Conference All-Conference Team First Team 1B – Jason Rogers, Columbus State 2B - Jason Venya, GCSU 3B – Jordan Erisman, North Georgia SS – Barrett Kleinknecht, Francis Marion C – Richard Pirkle, GCSU OF – Kyle Allen, GCSU OF – Sean Harrell, GCSU OF – Bill Rice, USC Aiken OF – Shawn Ward, GCSU DH – Nick Aranas, USC Aiken UT – Seth Kivett, UNC Pembroke SP – Martin Dewald, GCSU SP – Matt McGovern, UNC Pembroke SP – Chris Rearick, North Georgia SP – Don Sandifer, Francis Marion RP – Brian Willis, UNC Pembroke Second Team 1B – Chris Sosebee, Montevallo 2B – Andre Airich, North Georgia 3B – Robert Skinner, Lander SS – Cale Owen, Flagler C – John Roberts, Armstrong Atlantic State OF – Kevin Garcia, Montevallo OF – Bud Long, Georgia Southwestern OF – Kenny Mickens, UNC Pembroke OF – Chad Sage, North Georgia DH – John Sgromolo, Flagler UT – TONY BAKER, AUGUSTA STATE SP – Jonathan Armold, Flagler SP – Thomas Campbell, Columbus State SP – Blake Hobby, North Georgia SP – Eric Pettepher, GCSU RP – Brandon Forshee, Francis Marion Player of the Year Jason Rogers, Columbus State Pitcher of the Year Chris Rearick, North Georgia Freshman of the Year Don Sandifer, Francis Marion Coach of the Year Tom Carty, GCSU