LAWRENCEVILLE – Ten Georgia Gwinnett College 2020 baseball players have been recognized on the Association of Independent Institutions all-conference team for their commendable performances on the diamond this spring. The awards were announced Friday, April 3, by the league office.
While the 2020 baseball season was canceled due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, A.I.I. officials felt that the student-athletes’ accomplishments should still be honored. All recognized players earned all-conference awards. However, there were no special awards presented for player of the year, pitcher of the year and coach of the year.
The Grizzlies, coached by Jeremy Sheetinger, had a 23-2 record and were ranked No. 3 in the NAIA Top 25 poll. The only two losses came in a season-opening series against No. 4 Southeastern University (Fla.).
Four GGC four pitchers were all-conference selections.
Senior left-handed pitcher Hunter Peck led the NAIA with a 0.00 earned run average, while posting a 4-0 record on the mound. Peck set a single-game school-record 18 strikeouts against Lourdes University (Ohio) on March 6. For the season, he struck out 56 batters, compared to two walks, and held opposing hitters to a .109 batting average.
Freshman Alex Cook led the NAIA with nine saves and allowed just one hit in 10.2 innings across nine appearances. The nine saves in a season stand second in program history.
Junior left-hander Christopher Bergmoser posted a 2-1 record and had a 2.90 ERA in six pitching appearances. He started four games and picked up key mid-week victories against top-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan University and No. 22 Middle Georgia State University. Bergmoser recorded 20 strikeouts in 31 innings.
Junior reliever Rhian Mann made eight appearances, compiling a 2.53 ERA and 3-0 record. The right-hander recorded two saves. Mann held opposing hitters to a .135 batting average and he had 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings.
Meanwhile, six Grizzlies earned all-conference honors as position players.
Designated hitter Gabe Austin ranked third in the NAIA with 13 doubles. He batted .303 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 24 games. Austin recorded a .632 slugging percentage.
Junior Steven Lugo led the Grizzlies with a .400 batting average across 23 games. The third baseman scored 18 runs and drove in 11 runs in his first season in Lawrenceville.
Classmate Gabe Howell was tops on the team with six home runs and 26 RBI in 25 games. The shortstop batted .359 with a team-high 30 runs scored. Howell was also successful in 15 of 17 stolen base attempts in 2020.
Junior outfielder Nick Barnes batted .342 with three triples and four homers. He stood second on the team with 25 RBI and posted a .658 slugging percentage. Barnes tied the program career record with 23 home runs.
Juniors Tate Kight and Austin Bates rounded out the members on the all-conference team. Kight, the first baseman, connected on four home runs with 19 RBI in 22 games. He scored 18 runs and legged out eight doubles. Bates started 17 games behind the plate and helped the GGC pitching staff post a 2.96 ERA. Both players batted .333 on the season.
Senior Kyle Harvey was named to the A.I.I. Champions of Character team. The infielder played in all 25 games and batted .321, with 20 runs scored.
In alphabetical order, here is a summary of GGC’s All-A.I.I. baseball selections:
2020 Association of Independent Institutions Baseball All-Conference
Gabe Austin, DH, Georgia Gwinnett College
Nick Barnes, OF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Austin Bates, C, Georgia Gwinnett College
Christopher Bergmoser, P, Georgia Gwinnett College
Alex Cook, P, Georgia Gwinnett College
Gabe Howell, SS, Georgia Gwinnett College
Tate Kight, 1B, Georgia Gwinnett College
Steven Lugo, 3B, Georgia Gwinnett College
Rhian Mann, P, Georgia Gwinnett College
Hunter Peck, P, Georgia Gwinnett College
Champions of Character Team
Kyle Harvey, Georgia Gwinnett College