By Chris Whitaker, Americus Times-Recorder
Georgia Southwestern head coach Bryan McLain announced the signing of four players to the Hurricanes' baseball program for 2008-09.
Shane Doyle, an infielder transferring from South Georgia College, will join three players who led Gloucester County College (N.J.) to the NJCAA Division III championship game.
Zach Whitman, a NJCAA First Team All-American, Chris Lingham, a NJCAA Second Team All-American and Kevin Carroll all come from the college that finished 42-12 this season.
Whitman, a left-handed pitcher who was the Region XIX Player of the Year, was 9-2 on the season with an ERA of 0.86 to go with 70 strikeouts and 17 walks in 83.2 innings pitched.
"We feel fortunate to have landed a pitcher of the caliber of Zach, especially a left-hander," said McLain. "He not only has the physical talents to be successful, but he possesses an amazing competitiveness on the mound."
Chris Lingham set a World Series record with six stolen bases (the previous record was four) and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. He batted .474 in the World Series and .403 for the season while scoring 49 runs and stealing 35 bases in 38 attempts. He also had nine doubles, five triples and drove in 20 runs.
"Chris had an outstanding JUCO career as an outfielder, and we think that he can have that kind of success here at GSW," said McLain. "He will bring that true leadoff hitter ability and mentality to our lineup, something we haven't had here in several years."
Along with Lingham, Kevin Carroll was selected Second Team All-Region. Carroll batted .320, scored 41 runs and drove in 27 while stealing eight bases in nine attempts.
"An athletic, hard-nosed player and an ability to play three infield positions will make Kevin a tremendous addition," said McLain. He understands how to play the game the right way."
Doyle, from Alpharetta, GA, had 66 hits and scored 51 runs for South Georgia. He drove in 27 runs and had 16 stolen bases. As a senior in high school, Doyle was a part of the 2006 AAA state championship team at Blessed Trinity.
"Shane is a very athletic and tough player who will help us improve defensively in the infield," said McLain. "He comes from a quality JUCO program and has experienced success and knows what it takes; that's what we are looking for in players."
GSW finished 17-34 overall and 7-20 in Peach Belt play in 2008.