May 7, 2011

Baseball Places Four on PBC All-Conference Team

COLUMBUS, GA – The Peach Belt Conference announced the 2011 baseball All-Conference team at a banquet in Columbus, Ga., on the eve of the league's championship tournament at Golden Park.

The Saints received four individual awards at the banquet, including Blake Hobby and Kenny Bellavance who were named First-Team Peach Belt All-Conference, while Troy Snitker and Jacob Rickett picked up Second-Team honors.

As one of the most consistent starting pitchers in the Peach Belt Conference, Blake Hobby recorded a 6-3 record with an earned run average of 1.93 to earn First-Team All-Conference honors. In his 13 starts, Hobby pitched into the 7th inning in 10 of those games, and has gone the distance two different times, including a 1-0 shutout over Stillman College. He is second in the PBC in opponent's batting average at .209, third in innings pitched with 93.1, fourth in strikeouts with 82, and he has not allowed a home run on the year in 376 batters faced. Two of his three double digit strikeout performances have come against PBC teams, including 11 punch outs in 6.0 innings at Lander University on March 25, and 11 more strikeouts against Augusta State on April 16, in 8.0 innings of work.

Earning First-Team All-Conference honors, Kenny Bellavance played and started in all 50 games for the Saints in centerfield, hitting .319 with seven doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He drove in 32 runs, tallied 66 hits, and was 5-for-6 in stolen bases. He had a .959 fielding percentage, a .366 on base percentage, and scored 31 runs. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native recorded 110 putouts and tallied six assists from the outfield.

As a second-team selection and one of the most prolific hitters in the Peach Belt Conference, Troy Snitker leads the Saints in a slew of different categories, including batting average at .354, runs batted in with 44, and home runs with six. Snitker has played and started in all 50 games for North Georgia at catcher and leads the Peach Belt Conference in runners picked off with 11, and is third in runners caught stealing with 24. The Atlanta, Ga., native has 20 games with multiple hits, 12 games with multiple runs batted in, and held a 12-game hitting streak during the year that spanned nearly three weeks. His 44 RBI's put in 5th in the PBC, while he is 7th in the league in on base percentage at .470, and 3rd in walks with 36.

Jacob Rickett became the most dominant relief pitcher in the Peach Belt Conference on his way to second-team honors, leading the league with 11 saves, and making 25 appearances out of the bullpen. The senior has a 6-2 record with a 1.76 earned run average in 41 innings of relief work. Opponents are hitting just .166 against the hard throwing right-hander, who tallied 58 strikeouts and averaged 1.58 punch out per inning. Rickett was named the PBC Pitcher of the Week after tossing 8.0 innings of four-hit ball, while striking out 12 in a must-win game for the Saints to qualify for the PBC Tournament. The Cumming, Ga., native has allowed just eight earned runs and 24 hits on the year.

North Georgia will begin their quest for a PBC Tournament Sunday evening, taking on Armstrong Atlantic in the fourth game of the championship at 7:30 p.m. in Golden Park. 

The 2011 All-Conference team is listed below as selected by the league's head coaches.  Due to a tie at first-team utility player, the size of the first team was expanded by one.  There was also a tie at second-team catcher.

2011 Peach Belt Baseball
All-Conference Team

First Team

1b – Preston Shuey, Francis Marion
2b – Austin Dubberly, Montevallo
3b – Bruce Alter, Columbus State
SS – Tanner Funk, Georgia College
C – Richard Pirkle, Georgia College
OF – Kenny Bellavance, North Georgia
OF – Ryan Lewis, Columbus State
OF – Buddy Sosnoskie, Francis Marion
OF – Shawn Ward, Georgia College
DH – Cameron Scott, Columbus State
UT – Jason Coker, UNC Pembroke
UT – Nate Fudala, Flagler
SP – Thomas Campbell, Columbus State
SP – Blake Hobby, North Georgia
SP – Don Sandifer, Francis Marion
SP – Scott Shipman, Augusta State
RP – Braxton Lewis, UNC Pembroke

Second Team

1b – Heath Peterson, Montevallo
2b – Jeff Rice, Augusta State
3b – Drew Walker, Armstrong Atlantic State
SS – Stephen Carmon, USC Aiken
C – John Roberts, Armstrong Atlantic State
C – Troy Snitker, North Georgia
OF – Michael Coffey, Georgia Southwestern
OF – Josh Haley, UNC Pembroke
OF – Chris Ross, Montevallo
OF – Keith Whitman, UNC Pembroke
DH – Corey Benson, Georgia Southwestern
SP – Mike Guinane, Georgia College
SP – Jeffrey Stoner, Francis Marion
SP – Scott Strickland, Armstrong Atlantic State
SP – Brian Willlis, UNC Pembroke
RP – Jacob Rickett, North Georgia

Co-Players of the Year
Buddy Sosnoskie, Francis Marion
Shawn Ward, Georgia College

Pitcher of the Year
Don Sandifer, Francis Marion

Freshman of the Year
Michael Wilson, Francis Marion

Coach of the Year
Art Inabinet, Francis Marion