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GWINNETT GRADS: South's Teschner having big season at CSU

Special Photo: Columbus State University South Gwinnett grad Brett Teschner transfered 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.

Special Photo: Columbus State University South Gwinnett grad Brett Teschner transfered 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.

His playing time had dwindled since his freshman season, when he made 22 starts and hit .253 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

"It's one of those situations where sometimes people work out in certain situations and sometimes they don't," Teschner said of his transfer. "I liked the coaches up there. I just decided for me to be the best player I can be, I needed to find a different place. Ultimately, I just wanted to play."

When Teschner began looking at schools, he made a trip to CSU, which needed a catcher. He had visited there as a high school senior, too.

"I'm very, very happy here," Teschner said. "I'm getting to play the game I love and the biggest thing is being part of a team that's winning. That makes it a lot more fun."

The Cougars (25-15) are winning thanks in large part to Teschner's hitting.

The catcher leads the team in a number of offensive categories, most notably batting average (.368), home runs (six), RBIs (44) and slugging percentage (.572).

"I worked as hard as I've ever worked in the offseason to get ready for this year, as far as the weight room, my body, my swing," the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder said. "I made sure I was coming into this season 100 percent and ready to play."

Teschner said he improved last summer while playing in the Prospect League for the Terre Haute (Ind.) Rex. His manager there, Brian Dorsett, played eight seasons of major league baseball as a catcher.

Teschner may return to the Rex this summer, depending on how the Major League Baseball Amateur Players Draft turns out in June. Baseball America ranked him as the sixth-best Division II prospect in the nation in its preseason rankings. He was the highest-ranked position player on the list.

"I'm not thinking about (the draft)," Teschner said. "I'm taking it day to day and helping our team win."

Teschner isn't the only Gwinnett product faring well at CSU.

Providence Christian's J.D. Pullen is another offensive spark for the team with a .323 batting average and 14 RBIs. He also is 23-for-27 on stolen bases.

Parkview grad Bronson Gagner has made eight relief appearances and has a 1-1 record with a 2.13 ERA.

FOOTBALL

UGA honors Houston, Hall, Norman

Georgia head football coach Mark Richt announced the team's spring football awards on Friday, and three Gwinnett grads were among the top award-winners.

Buford grad Kolton Houston was given the Coffee County Hustle Award (offense) for the second straight season after earning a starting spot on the offensive line.

Both of the Most Outstanding Walk-on Awards went to Gwinnett products -- Peachtree Ridge's Connor Norman got the defensive honor and Wesleyan's Merritt Hall got the offensive award. Norman is a strong safety and Hall is a fullback.

GOLF

Trocchio shines in Peach Belt

Last week was a big one for Norcross grad Ryan Trocchio.

The Georgia College and State University golfer was named the Peach Belt Conference's freshman of the year prior to the conference tourney. He also was a second-team all-conference pick.

Trocchio followed that up with a ninth-place finish at the PBC Championships at Callaway Gardens. He shot back-to-back 71s and closed with a 77 in that tourney.

Greene wins tourney for KSU

Peachtree Ridge's Ben Greene, a junior at Kennesaw State, was the star of last weekend's Memphis Intercollegiate.

Greene won the program's first individual title since April 2011 and his 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole gave the Owls a one-shot win over host Memphis.

"Ben hit the ball as well as he has ever hit it," Kennesaw head coach Jay Moseley said. "His putting was awesome and really made the difference in him winning."

Greene shot 71 to close out the tourney after opening with back-to-back 72s. He will carry that momentum into Monday's Atlantic Sun Conference Championships at Chateau Elan's Legends Course.

"I spent a lot of time working on all the things I have been struggling with all season," Greene said. "I went into this tournament trying not to think about all of the mechanics. I said I was going to forget about it all and just play golf. I putted well all tournament and knew that if I played my best I had a chance to win."

SOFTBALL

Hadley gets fourth straight GSC award

Dacula's Alanna Hadley's dominance was rewarded again this week.

The Gulf South Conference named the Valdosta State senior as its pitcher of the week for the fourth straight time and fifth time overall on Tuesday.

Hadley earned her latest honor after three complete-game victories and one save in four appearances the previous week. She gave up just one run during the week and VSU opponents hit just .160 against her.

Freshman McDavid stars for SIUE

North Gwinnett grad Alex McDavid, just a freshman, is the top offensive threat for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

McDavid leads her team in most offensive categories, including batting average (.372), home runs (two), RBIs (21) and doubles (eight). She hit a game-winning, two-run homer last week in a 2-1 victory over Murray State.

Armstrong, Freedman shine as freshmen

Gwinnett grads Sarah Armstrong and Tori Freedman have made immediate impacts as freshman for a North Greenville program that is 21-9 this season.

Armstrong, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, has a .330 batting average with 11 RBIs, five doubles and three triples. She also is 6-for-6 on stolen bases and has a 4-0 pitching record with a 3.41 ERA.

Freedman, a North grad, has a .313 batting average with two home runs and six RBIs.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com.