DAHLONEGA, GA – A trio of North Georgia baseball players continue to pick honors following the 2011 season, as Blake Hobby, Jacob Rickett, and Derek Hooper have named been Southeast All-Region by a pair of different organizations.
Hobby continues to bring home honors, being named First-Team Southeast All-Region by the ABCA and Daktronics. Rickett was also honored by both organizations, earning Second-Team awards by Daktronics and ABCA, while Hooper garnered Second-Team Daktronics honors.
As one of the most consistent starting pitchers in the Peach Belt Conference, Blake Hobby recorded a 7-3 record with an earned run average of 1.76. In his 14 starts, Hobby pitched into the 7th inning in 11 of those games, and has gone the distance three different times. He is second in the PBC in opponent's batting average at .201, third in innings pitched with 102.1, fourth in strikeouts with 88, 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.
Jacob Rickett became the most dominant relief pitcher in the Peach Belt Conference in 2011, leading the league with 11 saves, and making 27 appearances out of the bullpen. The senior had a 6-3 record with a 2.25 earned run average in 44 innings of relief work. Opponents hit just .173 against the hard throwing right-hander, who tallied 60 strikeouts and averaged 1.36 punch outs 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 11 earned runs and 27 hits on the year.
Derek Hooper became one of the most consistent bats for the Saints in 2011, as the sophomore hit .320 with a home run, 13 doubles, 42 runs scored, and 27 runs batted in. The Sharpsburg, Ga., native held an 11-game hitting streak during the season as he played and started in 53 games for North Georgia at second base. He was 11-for-12 in the stolen base department, had a .407 on base percentage, and led the team with 13 sacrifice hits.
North Georgia ended the season at 34-20 overall and one victory shy of appearing in the PBC Tournament championship game for the third time in the last four years.