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Gwinnett grads: Hits keep on coming for Dacula grad Tice

By all indications, Jeremie Tice will get his chance at professional baseball.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound third baseman has hit .360 or higher in all three of his college seasons, two at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College and the current one at the College of Charleston. He was a draft-and-follow of the Florida Marlins as a 38th-round pick in 2006, but never signed.

The Dacula grad's hopeful of being drafted again, but he's trying to keep those thoughts out of his mind.

"I feel like I've put myself in the best position to move forward," Tice said. "Hopefully if I do my job, (the pro baseball option) will take care of itself."

Part of the third baseman's job description is hitting, and he's done that very well.

He hit .363 and .374 his first two college seasons, tallying a total of 16 home runs and 97 RBIs for the Florida JUCO. A move to Division I-A baseball hasn't slowed him down.

That was on display last week in Charleston's (16-8) Southern Conference opener against Davidson. He hit a two-run home run in the first inning and had a grand slam in the second inning, finishing the blowout win with seven RBIs, second-most in school history. He was 4-for-4 in the game and scored five runs.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now," said Tice, who chose the Cougars over Miami, Ole Miss and Rice. "Baseball has its ups and downs, but right now I'm seeing it pretty well."

Tice is hitting .371 this season with eight home runs (fourth in the SoCon) and 34 RBIs (fifth in the SoCon). He also ranks second in the league in slugging percentage (.775) and runs (34).

BASEBALL

Locals power North Georgia

South Gwinnett's Rob Flanigan and Parkview's Craig Brisson have powered the offense for North Georgia's 18-13 baseball team.

Flanigan leads the team in batting average (.380), home runs (eight) and RBIs (32). Brisson is close behind with a .364 average, three home runs, 21 RBIs and 13-for-14 on stolen bases.

North Georgia also has gotten solid contributions from North Gwinnett's Logan Sharrett (.326 batting average, 11 RBIs), Collins Hill's Neil Krock (.292 average and Kevin Morrison (16 RBIs) and Brookwood's Anders Oster (.274 average, 22 RBIs).

The pitching staff includes North's Zach Black (1-2, 3.50 ERA, 22 strikeouts in 18 innings) and Duluth's Garrett Lussi (20 strikeouts in 152/3 innings of relief).

Rahm off to fast start

North Gwinnett grad Justin Rahm is off to a fast start to his college career at North Carolina Wesleyan.

The freshman is hitting .284 with three home runs (tied for first on the team) and 14 RBIs. He also ranks second on the team in doubles and is N.C. Wesleyan's starting shortstop.

Coor unbeaten at Emory

Emory University freshman Elliott Coor boasts a 3-0 record for his 17-6 baseball team. The Brookwood grad is 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA in six appearances, all starts.

Pendergrass honored by NCCAA

The National Christian College Athletic Association honored Providence Christian grad Philip Pendergrass recently as its student-athlete of the week.

The Toccoa Falls College freshman was honored for his two pitching victories the last week of February. He now sports a 3-0 record.

SOFTBALL

Rogers, Taylor lead nation in steals

The top two base-stealers in Division I-A softball have something in common - they're both Gwinnett grads.

Dacula grad Brittany Rogers, a junior at Alabama, leads the nation in stolen bases per game at 1.17 while the No. 2 base-stealer is Peachtree Ridge grad and Missouri freshman Rhea Taylor (0.92 steals per game).

Rogers has 35 stolen bases in 38 attempts for the 28-3 Crimson Tide. The outfielder also ranks second in the nation in batting average (.505) and fifth nationally in on-base percentage (.564). She has scored 42 runs.

Taylor has 36 steals in 38 attempts for 31-8 Missouri. She also leads her team with a .403 batting average, 38 runs and a .430 on-base percentage. The leadoff batter has reached base to begin 31 of the Tigers' 39 games.

Lavarnway gets conference honor

Providence Christian grad Cheryl Lavarnway was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

The Faulkner hurler didn't allow an earned run in 19 innings the previous week, helping her to a 3-0 record in three appearances. She had 17 strikeouts and gave up only six hits during the span.

Gwinnett trio shines at North Georgia

Central Gwinnett grads Courtney McGuire and Jessica Skeels, along with Peachtree Ridge grad Natasha Willemse, are playing major roles for North Georgia.

McGuire is batting .356 for a 22-6 team with three home runs and 21 RBIs and Skeels is hitting .272 with two homers and 18 RBIs.

Willemse has a .299 average with 10 RBIs. She also leads the team in stolen bases, going 7-for-8.

Finney leads Auburn

Auburn is off to one of its best starts in softball at 28-8, and South Gwinnett grad Myesha Finney has been a big part of the success. The junior centerfielder is hitting .277 with three homers and 19 RBIs for the Tigers, who are 7-4 in the SEC.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.