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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

GC baseball recognizes four seniors

Emily Henderson | Asst. Sports Editor
GC Baseball

GC baseball celebrated four graduating seniors during their doubleheader against Lander University on Saturday, April 13. These four seniors are Brandon Bellflower, A.J. Mathis, Cam McNearney and Jacob Ryan. 

This celebration started off the day, as all four seniors, alongside their parents, received recognitions for their time here at GC.

Mathis, a left-handed pitcher, is the only senior that started out his college career here at GC. Primarily a relief pitcher for the Bobcats, he has faced 80 batters this year in 16.1 innings, striking out 10. While he is primarily a pitcher, Mathis has also played in the field and hit for the Bobcats.

“When I stepped on this field four years ago, I was super excited and hungry to get out here and be with the guys,” Mathis said. “Over the course of those four years, I have had some great teammates, and it was nothing short of that this year, so being able to be recognized out here with all of them today was a really special feeling.”

While the other three seniors did not start their careers at GC, they have been able to make the most of their time here. 

Bellflower, an outfielder for the Bobcats, started his career at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College before transferring to GC after his freshman year in 2020. 

Since coming to GC his sophomore year, Bellflower has been a key hitter for the Bobcats. Over his four years playing for GC, he has had 140 runs batted in and 195 hits, with the most coming this season, as he currently has 63. 

Every season, one graduating senior is awarded the John Kurtz Award, which is awarded by Kathy Kurtz, the widow of John Kurtz. This award is given to the most outstanding GC baseball player, who is the role model of the program.

“That award has been marked on my to-do list,” Bellflower said. “I really wanted to get that award, and I did. I can think of a lot of great people that have gotten it before me, and I am just honored to be with them.”

Ryan, a right-handed pitcher, was another late addition to the Bobcats’ roster. He transferred to GC from Georgia Highlands College two years ago, and since then, has found his way into the starting pitching rotation for the Bobcats. This season, he has pitched 54 innings, has 39 strikeouts and faced 244 batters. This led Ryan to be the final starter during Senior Day weekend. 

“I have worked hard my whole career to be here,” Ryan said. “Getting to come out here and play my last home game as a starter means a lot, but I do it for all these guys.”

McNearney was an addition that GC needed this season after losing more than 20 players from last year’s roster. McNearney transferred to GC to play his final season after graduating from Birmingham Southern College last year. 

“I transferred into here, and they all made me family really quick,” McNearney said. “I am just very grateful that they took me in as one of their brothers, and I am just going to cherish every moment I get with them because they are another family to me.”

He has made his way to be the starting center fielder for the Bobcats. In his short time at GC, McNearney has had 44 hits, 28 runs batted in and has caught 105 pop flies in the outfield. Overall, he has 182 hits, 129 runs batted in and has caught 344 pop flies. 

While the Bobcats are only losing four seniors this year, with the careers these players have had, it will be hard to replace their skill next year but also their character as players. 

“It means a great deal to have these guys as players,” said Nolan Belcher, the Bobcats’ head coach. “These seniors have always led by example, and they make me super proud to have them in this program.”

Watch these four seniors take the field one last time as Bobcats on Wednesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. against Newberry College. 

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