– North Georgia baseball head coach Tom Cantrell has released
the schedule for the 2011 campaign that features 33 home games with
a series of key non-conference matchups set to invade Bob Stein
Stadium next season.
"We put together a schedule to challenge this group and hopefully get them ready for a deep run into the playoffs," Head Coach Tom Cantrell said. Cantrell returns for his 12th season at the helm of the Saints, posting 441 wins during his first 11 years as the skipper at North Georgia.
The 2011 schedule kicks off with 14 of the team's first 17 games at home, including series against Mars Hill, Stillman College, and Millersville University the first three weeks of February.
After hitting the road for a weekend series at UNC Pembroke to open Peach Belt Conference action, the Saints return home the first week of March for a mid-week series against West Florida, before turning around two days later and battling Georgia College, a team coming off a World Series run in 2010.
North Georgia will then load up the charter bus and prepare for 13 straight road games that includes league series at Georgia Southwestern, the University of Montevallo, and Lander University, while non-conference contests at West Georgia, Carson-Newman, and Valdosta State round out the stretch of games away from Dahlonega.
After road games over an 18-day period, the Saints return home to the friendly confines of Bob Stein Stadium for 19 of their last 20 games heading into the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on May 8-12, 2011. The Saints close out the regular season with a non-conference three-game series against PBC member Flagler College.
North Georgia returns five position players from a year ago, including All-Region performer Jordan Erisman who played and started in all 51 games for the Saints in 2010. He led the club with a .345 batting average and had five home runs, 14 doubles, and 46 runs batted in. Kenny Bellavance returns for his sophomore year in centerfield after a freshman campaign that saw the Stone Mountain, Ga., native hit .340 with 31 runs batted in.
The pitching staff returns six-game winner All-Region Gold Glove winner Blake Hobby to the starting rotation after a 6-4 record with a 4.23 earned run average in 2010. He recorded two complete games with 51 strikeouts in 78.2 innings of work. The bullpen will be anchored once again by closer and All-Region performer Jacob Rickett who picked up 11 saves last season with a 1-1 record. He had a 2.19 earned run average while opponents hit just .161 off the hard throwing right-hander.
Every inning of the 2011 season will be covered at SaintsSports.com with live video broadcast, live in-game statistics, and coaches shows courtesy of the Saints Broadcast Network.