GC Baseball Ranked No. 11 in Perfect Game Preseason Poll


Bailey Clark

The GC baseball team ranked 11 in the Perfect Game preseason poll, which is the second highest
spot in the Peach Belt Conference. UNC Pembroke ranked 22 Columbus State ranked nine.

Head coach Nolan Belcher said the preseason rank does not add any additional pressure to the
season as he wants his guys to play to the best of their ability and have fun on the field.

The baseball program is coming off a 13-2 season with a major win over the defending NCAA
postseason champion University of Tampa. In the shortened 2020 season the Bobcats put up
incredible offensive numbers with a team batting average of .349.

This season multiple offensive powerhouses, including senior middle infielder Cassius Young
and red-shirt Junior utility player Paul Grazzini, return to the lineup.

Last season, Young paced the team in batting average at .453 including a team high 21 RBIs.
Teammate Grazzini held the second highest batting average on the team at .417 and the second
highest number of RBIs at 17.

GC’s dynamic offense wouldn’t be as effective if not for their pitching staff counterpart. Coming
back this season to take care of unfinished business on the mound stars redshirt sophomore Brennan Crooms and redshirt senior Kyle King.

Crooms ended the previous season with a team low ERA of 1.74 and third best in strikeouts at
16. In the short season last year, King concluded the season with a team high of 31 strikeouts and
the second lowest team ERA at 1.82.

“All gas every weekend,” King said.

Columbus State and UNC Pembroke are ranked foes but the preparation stays the same.GC baseball commenced the 2020-21 school year without a head coach but continued preseason
workouts under the leadership of the returning seniors.

When asked about the coachless off-season, both Young and King said they benefited from
being able to bond with the new guys and work on some skills on a player to player basis. Young
said that he mainly focused on the defensive aspect of his game during the fall.

GC baseball hired Belcher as head coach early December 2020. Belcher is a familiar face to the
athletic department as he served as an assistant baseball coach for two seasons in 2017 and 2018.
Belcher’s return to Milledgeville comes after his campaign at the College of Charleston. During
his time as volunteer assistant the program achieved a 12-2 season.

Bobcat baseball kicks off their season in a series against Francis Marion Feb. 13th at 4:00 p.m.