AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern head baseball coach Bryan McLain announced the Hurricanes eight-member recruiting class for the 2012-13 academic year on Friday.
The group consists of five transfers and three freshmen.
"Replacing key losses from previous year's team is always a challenge, but my staff has done a good job," McLain said. "Coach Tracy and Coach McCombie worked hard putting together what I think is an outstanding recruiting class that will give us a chance to be a better team in 2013."
Neal Chambliss, Josh Sanders, Stephen Eldridge, Kevin Manos and Drew Cataldo come to GSW from the junior college ranks while Earl Dupree, Jordan Martin and Davey King will prepare for their first year of college baseball.
"These young men are quality players as well as quality people and will be tremendous representatives of Georgia Southwestern State University," McLain said.
GSW is coming off a 13-34 season and a fifth-place finish in the six-team west division of the Peach Belt Conference. The 2013 regular season opens Feb. 1 when GSW travels to Miami Shores, Fla. for a three-game series with Barry University.
Junior, C, Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Ala.)
2012 stats: .271 batting average, .991 fielding percentage, 37 percent stolen bases allowed
Coach McLain on Chambliss: "We are excited that Neal has decided to be a Hurricane. He comes from an outstanding JUCO program where he faced quality competition daily. Neal is a tremendous defensive catcher and will help to improve us at that spot."
Junior, 3B, Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Ala.)
2012 stats: .310 batting average, 21 runs batted in, 53 hits, fourth on team in runs scored
Josh also comes to us from CVCC where he and Neal played under Coach Adam Thomas.
Coach McLain on Sanders: "Josh is a gifted infielder who can play well at multiple positions if needed. We feel Josh will give us some stability at third base and offensively will help us improve."
Junior, 1B, Central Alabama Community College
2012 stats: .263 batting average, six home runs, 43 runs batted in, 12 doubles
Coach McLain on Eldridge: "Stephen comes from an outstanding program winning 76 games the last 2 years. He also had a tremendous freshman campaign (.406BA). We feel that Stephen will give us some much needed run production and pop in the middle of our lineup."
Junior, OF, Darton State College (Ga.)
2012 stats: .361 batting average, 57 runs batted in, 20 stolen bases
Coach McLain on Manos: "We are thrilled to have Kevin with us for the next two years. He is a talented player with the ability to help our team at the plate, on the bases, and in the outfield. Kevin comes to us from Darton where he earned All-Conference honors."
Junior, LHP, Massasoit Community College (Mass.)
2012 stats: 7-1 record, 3.268 earned run average, 62 strikeouts, 52.1 innings pitched
Coach McLain on Cataldo: "We were fortunate to sign a player the caliber of Drew as late as we did in the process. He has good stuff and best of all he attacks the strike zone. Drew will give us another quality left-handed starter."
Freshman, RHP, Hawkinsville (Ga.) High School
Highlights: 21 career wins, 2012 Region 4-A Pitcher of the Year
Coach McLain on Dupree: "Earl played for GSW alum Stephen McDuffie at Hawkinsville. He has a quality arm and is an extremely competitive young man. We think Earl will earn opportunities to pitch early in his collegiate career adding depth to our pitching staff."
Freshman, 2B, Heritage High School (Ga.)
2012 stats: .305 batting average, 21 stolen bases, 24 runs scored, 2012 All-Region
Coach McLain on Martin: "Jordan comes to us from Heritage HS where he was a 3-year starter. Jordan is an exceptional athlete as evidenced by the fact he was also a starter on the Heritage basketball team. He will give us some needed depth in the infield while he learns and adapts to the college game."
Freshman, 1B, Howard High School (Ga.)
2012 stats: .446 batting average, 23 runs batted in, .649 slugging percentage
Coach McLain on King: "We are excited about the future with Davey. He is strong with the ability to put the ball in play consistently evident by the .446 batting average. Davey is also a tough kid that played the majority of his senior season with a broken foot and had an outstanding season. We are always looking for players that are mentally tough and he seems to have that characteristic."