KENT ROLLINS:: GA Southern Debut

Posted: Feb 25, 2015  Reporter: Will Hammock

South Gwinnett's Rollins stars in first Georgia Southern start

South Gwinnett grad Kent Rollins’ first start with Georgia Southern’s baseball team was one to remember.

The junior, a transfer from Middle Georgia, came up a double shy of the cycle this past Sunday in the Eagles’ 15-2 rout of West Virginia. The infielder had six RBIs, including three on his first GSU home run and two more on a triple.

“It was the best day of baseball I’ve ever had, the most fun,” Rollins said in a video interview afterward on Georgia Southern’s website. “We put it on them pretty good and had fun. It was all about fun.”

Rollins had played sparingly in his first few games with Georgia Southern, but did have a double off the bench in Saturday’s game with West Virginia. His big Sunday should earn him some more at-bats, though.

It’s been a winding path for Rollins to this point.

The 6-foot, 180-pounder played at both Brookwood and South in high school, finishing as a two-sport star for the Comets. He garnered most of his acclaim in football, throwing for 4,539 yards and 47 touchdowns his final two seasons at South, and initially accepted an offer to play quarterback for Air Force.

After being selected in the late rounds of the 2011 Major League Baseball first-year player draft, Rollins instead signed with Auburn in baseball. He spent the 2012 season on the Auburn roster and then transferred to Middle Georgia, where he played two seasons of junior college baseball and hit .338 as a sophomore.

His hot hitting has continued thus far at Georgia Southern, especially in his eye-catching first start.

“I just trying to get a good pitch, trying to get a fastball and they left a couple over the plate,” Rollins said. “I just happened to have the right swing working on it.”

Rollins followed his big day up by going 1-for-2 against The Citadel on Tuesday. He is now 6-for-11 for a team-best .545 batting average.

South Gwinnett grad Kent Rollins was a double shy of the cycle in his first Georgia Southern start. (Photo: Georgia Southern)
Kent Rollins


Posted: Apr 15, 2014  Reporter: Staff

South Gwinnett grad Rollins commits to Georgia Southern baseball

South Gwinnett grad Kent Rollins has made a commitment to the Georgia Southern baseball program.

Rollins is currently a shortstop at Middle Georgia State College, where he’s hitting .360 with 11 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.

Rollins was a standout quarterback at South Gwinnett after playing previously at Brookwood. He planned to play football at Air Force, then signed with Auburn’s baseball program before winding up at Middle Georgia.


Armstrong's Patterson; Freshman Leader
By Ken Slats - email

Armstrong Pirates' outfielder Ryan Patterson is helping lead the way... as a FRESHMAN on the diamond.  He's been named the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Week three times already this season.

Patterson is second in batting average, tied for second in RBI's and tied for second in home runs.  He's just a season away from playing for South Gwinnett High School.

Ryan Patterson

February 25, 2014

Baseball Freshman of the Week: Ryan Patterson, Armstrong

Patterson continued his hot start to the season for the Pirates, hitting .308 and collecting a .471 on-base percentage in Armstrong's four games this week.  He went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and three walks drawn in Tuesday's win over Paine, then went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Armstrong's 5-4 win over Georgia Southwestern on Monday.  Patterson is hitting .400 on the season, 13th in the PBC and is 12th in the league in on-base percentage.

Posted: Jul 2, 2013  Reporter: David Friedlander

Free agent deal with Rangers keeps Teschner's dream alive

Brett Teschner was understandably disappointed when he did not hear his name called during the three days of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft last month.

However, the former South Gwinnett and Columbus State catcher did not give up on his dream of playing professional baseball.

And that determination paid off when Teschner signed a rookie free agent deal with the Texas Rangers last week.

"I'd done a pre draft workout for Texas over in Marietta," Teschner said when reached Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz., prior to his game with the Rangers' affiliate in the Arizona rookie league. "I felt pretty good, and I got some positive feedback. When nothing happened (during the draft), it was one of the most disappointing days of my life.

"I did a tryout club with the (Cincinnati) Reds (late last month), and then the scout from the Rangers who I had the pre draft workout with called me (June 24). I knew I was still on (the Rangers') list. One of their catchers higher up in their organization got hurt, and they had to shift some catchers around and needed a guy to come in."

Teschner jumped at the opportunity after an outstanding senior season at Columbus State in which he hit .333, tied for the team lead with six home runs and was second on the team with 54 RBIs during the Cougars' 30-22 campaign.

And he's off to a good start after going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in his first game with the Surprise Rangers on Sunday.

He can only hope his bat stays as hot as the weather has been since his arrival in Arizona, which is experiencing record heat even for a region used to triple-digit temperatures.

"It's definitely different waking up and seeing that it's going to be over 100 degrees," said Teschner, who led the team with a .354 average and 55 RBIs to go along with seven homers in his first season since transferring to Columbus State from Lipscomb as a junior last year. "It's hot, but it's manageable. the humidity is not nearly what it is back in Atlanta, but you still work up a sweat. I've definitely lost some weight in the last week."

And as grateful as he is at the opportunity given him by the Rangers' organization, Teschner says he will continue to toil to make the most of it.

"At this point, it's just a matter of showing up and continuing to get better," Teschner said. "I'm just trying to stay focused and remain positive. I'm glad I didn't just give up."


Posted: Apr 24, 2013  Reporter: David Friedlander

South's Patterson hitting his stride in senior season

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan South Gwinnett's Ryan Patterson serves as a double threat for the Comets, excelling on the mound and at the plate this year.

Finding a player whose career suddenly takes off in his senior season is hardly unusual in high school baseball.

However, it's not every day that one comes across a late bloomer who has made a jump as large as Ryan Patterson has this season at South Gwinnett.

The 6-foot, 210-pound senior has made an impact on the South program ever since joining the varsity team as a freshman three years ago. But this season, he's really been a force with his bat, arm and legs beyond anything he's accomplished before.

"He's definitely made progress in every phase of the game," South coach Steve Teschner said of Patterson. "We've always had high expectations for him, but ... he's really come a long way. We've known it was in there. He's been a four-year varsity player for us, and he's been really close to everything clicking. But this year, it's finally all come together for him, and it's been a lot of fun to watch."

The Comets were already having fun watching Patterson hit last season, when he posted a .347 average, a home run, six RBIs and 10 stolen bases as a junior.

But opposing pitchers are having considerably less fun pitching to him this season, as his bat has come alive to lead South in pretty much every offensive category with a .472 average, seven homers, 35 RBIs and 15 steals.

Those numbers also place him among the leaders in all of Gwinnett County in those categories.

But if Patterson's hitting has improved significantly over the past season, it's nothing compared to the jump he has made on the mound this season.

After only making scattered appearances a year ago, he has become the ace of South's left-handed dominated staff by winning his first six decisions before a rough outing in a loss to Grayson on March 13.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan South Gwinnett's Ryan Patterson serves as a double threat for the Comets, excelling on the mound and at the plate this year.

Still, his 6-1 record, 1.36 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 36 innings have made him one of the county's top pitchers this season, as well.

While there are players with a much higher profile in the county -- such as Grayson's Austin Meadows and Taylor Allum, Parkview's Josh Hart, and Peachtree Ridge's Tyler Haswell, among others -- Patterson's overall numbers definitely put him in the conversation for the county's Player of the Year honors.

As sudden as the light switch seems to have flipped for Patterson, he says the beginning of his improvement isn't quite that rapid, and actually dates back to last summer's offseason.

"I definitely worked harder than I ever worked before," Patterson said. "I did a lot of work with Brandon Phillips' dad (James) at his performance center in Stone Mountain, and I guess it was over the summer that things really started to click.

"I really focused on my flexibility, and (South) pitching coach (Zach Shelnutt) has done an awesome job with me on my mechanics. My change-up has definitely come around. It's been my best pitch this year. And throwing a lot more (innings) has definitely helped me to get better this year."

And as Patterson has gotten better, so have the Comets.

South has been quite competitive throughout his career, with a brief playoff appearance his sophomore season and finishing just a game out of the postseason in his freshman and junior campaigns.

But this season, the Comets (18-6, 11-3) have already locked up a postseason berth heading into Wednesday's play and still have a shot at gaining at least a share of the Region 8-AAAAAA championship, though they need some help.

Patterson says that while he has made an effort to become a better leader this season, he attributes the team's improvement as much to the shared experience of South's eight other seniors.

"We didn't have a lot of seniors (last year), so I kind of fell into (a leadership) role," Patterson said. "This season, I think we were all kind of hungry for more."uot;

And nobody could be happier for the success Patterson and his senior teammates have enjoyed this season than Teschner, who has watched the group persevere through some tough years.

"Ryan's not really a rah-rah kid. He leads by example," Teschner said. "That whole senior bunch has taken some knocks along the way. They really wanted to come out and make (the) state (playoffs) this year."


Brett Teschner

March 18, 2013

Player of the Week: Brett Teschner, Columbus State

Teschner had a monster week for the Cougars, hitting .714 (10-for-14) in three games at #22 Montevallo with four home runs, 11 RBIs and six runs scored.  The senior became the 11th player in PBC history to collect three home runs in a conference game as he blasted a trio in Sunday’s rubber game, driving in eight and scoring four times.  He went 5-for-5 in that contest and six of his 10 hits in the series were for extra bases, giving him a 1.714 slugging percentage.  Teschner more than doubled his season output of home runs and is tie for second in the PBC with six.  He is also tied for fifth in RBIs and ninth in slugging percentage.


Posted: Apr 13, 2012  Reporter: Staff

South's Teschner having big season at CSU

Special Photo: Columbus State University South
 Gwinnett grad Brett Teschner transferred to Columbus
 State after his first two years in college and the slugger
 hit .786 (11-for-14) with 11 RBIs in their first three games.

Lipscomb's loss has been Columbus State's gain this season.

South Gwinnett grad Brett Teschner wanted a change of scenery after his first two years and transferred to CSU, a traditional NCAA Division II baseball power. It took one weekend series to show the Cougars what kind of player they got in Teschner.

The slugger hit .786 (11-for-14) with 11 RBIs in CSU's first three games.

I started off well at the plate and have kept it up as the season went along," Teschner said. "I've just felt comfortable."

The comfort isn't just at the plate.

Teschner said he loves his new school and new team, and he's flourishing since his transfer. He left Lipscomb after a sophomore season that saw him play in just 12 games for a team that went 19-36.

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South grad Caldwell strikes out 10 in Piedmont win at Coolray

Feb 18, 2012 Reporter: Christine Troyke

South grad Caldwell strikes out 10 in Piedmont win at Coolray

LAWRENCEVILLE -- In the sunny, still February air, a rousing round of cheers went up for Kevin Caldwell as the stadium announcer named him the game-winning pitcher.

It was a sparse crowd at Coolray Field for the first game of the Southern Classic six-team tournament Friday. But that just meant the noise from Caldwell's friends and family didn't have any competition.

Caldwell surely deserved the applause.

The South Gwinnett grad went eight innings, allowed just one run on two hits and a pair of walks. The lanky junior also struck out 10 as Piedmont improved to 3-0 this season. The Lions got their bats going in the late innings and beat Oglethorpe 7-1 in the tournament opener at the home field of the Gwinnett Braves.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Piedmont Colege starting pitcher Kevin Caldwell throws to an Oglethorpe University hitter during the Southern Classic college baseball showcase at Coolray Field Friday. Caldwell played high school baseball at South Gwinnett High School.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Piedmont College starting pitcher
Kevin Caldwell throws to an Oglethorpe University
hitter during the Southern Classic college baseball
showcase at Coolray Field Friday. Caldwell played
 high school baseball at South Gwinnett High School.


"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I'll never forget," Caldwell said of playing at Coolray. "Just the atmosphere is so cool. You come here and watch games, so to get to play here is really special."

Scoreless through a quick-moving five and a half innings, Piedmont manufactured two runs in the sixth -- just an inning after Oglethorpe starting pitcher Emmett Goodman was hit in the shoulder on a sharp comebacker.

Oglethorpe (1-2), which featured a pair of seniors out of Central Gwinnett in the lineup -- catcher Joe Parillo and second-baseman Jake Spear -- answered with its only run off Caldwell in the top of the seventh. Parillo, who finished 2-for-4 with a double, had hit in the inning before Caldwell got two of his 10 K's at the critical juncture and Piedmont held onto its lead.

"I thought I was a little shaky early," Caldwell said. "But I settled down and thankfully we got some runs there in the late inning."

Piedmont followed that up with two runs in the seventh off a towering homer from catcher Garrett Lovelace and three runs in the eighth.

Caldwell, who got the Petrels out in order in the eighth, now awaits his next start in a week. Today and Sunday, he gets to enjoy the rest of the games at Coolray.

"I'll be in the dugout cheering them on," Caldwell said.

Due to forecasts calling for afternoon rain today, the game between Emory and Piedmont was moved up to 10 a.m. Oglethorpe will play LaGrange at 1 p.m. as planned.

Sunday's schedule remains unchanged for the time being. Piedmont plays LaGrange at 1 p.m. and Emory faces Oglethorpe at 4 p.m.

Emory (3-0) beat LaGrange (0-3) on a walk-off walk for a 4-3 victory in Friday's second game. Sophomore Brandon Hannon drew a bases-loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning, scoring sophomore Ryan Toscano.

Daily admission for the round-robin tournament is $10.