October 5, 2011

Baseball Set for Fall Practice to Start Next Week

Contact: David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team is set to open fall practice next week as they begin their early preparations for the 2012 season, which is set to start the first weekend in February at Valdosta State's Wintersville Kickoff Classic.

Head coach Tom Cantrell will trot is 34-man squad out for 24 days of fall practice that will include a trio of fall games and three blue/white intrasquad dates.

Monday will mark the opening of the fall season for the Saints who are coming off a 34-20 season in 2011 and looking to capture the program's first Peach Belt Conference regular season championship in 2012.

The first of three competitive dates will take place on the road when North Georgia travels to Piedmont College on October 26, for a 5:00 p.m. matchup with the Lions at Loudermilk Stadium.

The Saints then return home for a pair of games, playing host to Gordon College on October 29, and Georgia Perimeter at November 13. Both games are slated to start at 1:00 p.m. at North Georgia's Bob Stein Stadium.

The team will also split into two squads for the annual blue/white series that will take place on a trio of dates throughout the fall. October 19-20, will serve as the first intrasquad series, while November 1-3 and November 8-9 will cap the fall's blue/white games. All intrasquad games are slated to start at 6:00 p.m. and will take place at Bob Stein Stadium. 

"We are looking forward to see the guys in action and evaluate their talent," head coach Tom Cantrell said. "We have a core group of players returning, but we looking for our incoming class to step in and make an immediate impact."

Cantrell enters his 13th season at the helm of the Saints next spring, having recorded an overall record of 475-256 during his tenure at North Georgia. The skipper has lead his team to three straight 34-win seasons, but will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since his team's 41-win season and PBC Tournament Championship in 2008.

North Georgia returns a trio of Southeast All-Region selections this fall, including Derek Hooper, Blake Hobby and Jordan Erisman. Hobby was 7-3 with a 1.76 earned run average as the club's ace a year ago, while the infield duo of Erisman and Hooper combined for 24 doubles, 62 runs batted in and 19 stolen bases.