GSW Baseball welcomes 14 newcomers for 2024 season

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – Georgia Southwestern State University head baseball coach Josh McDonald has signed 14 players to his 2024 class after a record-breaking season that saw the Hurricanes win the Peach Belt Conference Championship. Georgia Southwestern’s 2024 class is loaded with talent from multiple states. The class also features a NCAA Division I transfer and an international player and adds to a roster that kept its core from the 2023 season.

“We are excited about this group of guys coming in,” Coach McDonald remarked on his recruiting class. “(Assistant Coach) Tyler Bender did another outstanding job coordinating this incoming class. We expect each guy to impact right away and help continue the elevation of this program on a national stage.”

GSW returns four players who were named to the PBC All-Conference team and a player who was awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove.

Starting pitcher Nick McCollum was awarded First Team All-Region and had an incredible season with a 9-3 overall record and a 3.01 earned run average. A redshirt-senior from Richmond Hill, GA., McCollum started 15 games last spring with 113.2 innings pitched and a posted a PBC-best four complete-game shutouts against conference opponents. He finished fifth in the conference in ERA, was second in strikeouts and wins, and was named PBC Pitcher of the Year. He had a streak of 19 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. McCollum became the third straight Hurricane to win the Pitcher of the Year Award, keeping the honor in Americus for the fourth year in a row.

Pitcher Rijnaldo Euson was awarded Second Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference. The redshirt-junior from Haines City, Fla., finished last season with a 9-1 overall record and a 3.00 earned run average. Euson started 15 games with 98 innings pitched and three complete game shutouts against conference opponents. He finished third in the conference in ERA, was the strikeouts leader, and was third in wins. Euson was also named PBC Pitcher of the Week twice.

Outfielder Jake Blinstrub is a graduate student from Peachtree City, GA., finished the 2023 season a team high .344 batting average also led the team in hits (64) and was second on the team in on base percentage (.458) and was perfect on defense not committing an error all season.

Utility player Miles Hartsfield was awarded Second Team All-Conference honors. A senior from Gainesville, Ga., ended his 2023 season with a .278 average. He finished second on the team in walks (25), second in stolen bases (16) flashed the leather with 53 put outs and 93 assists.

Paul Hegeman was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Hegeman, a redshirt-junior from St. Simons Island, Ga., started 51 games at first base last spring in his first season with the Hurricanes. He transferred to Georgia Southwestern from Chattahoochee Valley Community College after completing his prep ball at Glynn Academy. Hegeman did not commit an error with 381 total chances, made 18 assists and was involved in turning 25 double plays in 2023 to become GSW’s first Gold Glove Award winner.



KJ Baker

KJ comes to GSW as a transfer from Lincoln Memorial University

  • Spent his first two seasons of collegiate baseball pitching at Columbia State CC
  • Struck out 37 batters in 22 innings in his final year at Columbia State
  • KJ is a senior from Nashville, Tenn.

Kyle Hilton

  • Kyle comes to GSW as a transfer two-way player from NCAA Division I Georgia State University
  • Appeared in 80 games with the Panthers
  • He drove in 21 runs
  • Had a .986 fielding percentage behind the dish at his time at Georgia State
  • Hilton is a senior from Savannah, GA.

Justin Clark

  • Justin comes to GSW as a transfer RHP from Pasco Hernando State College
  • He was second on the team in appearances
  • Amassed a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings pitched
  • Clark is a redshirt junior from Fort Myers, FL.


Daniel Barcena

  • Daniel comes to GSW as a transfer RHP from Bob Jones University
  • He will be a full-time pitcher for the first time in his career
  • A two-way player at Bob Jones
  • Barcena struck out 27 batters in 16 innings pitched
  • He was named First Team All-Region Catcher
  • Barcena is a senior from Cape Coral, FL.


Daemon Woodruff

  • Woodruff comes to GSW as a transfer RHP from Erskine College
  • Daemon pitched in 22 innings
  • Struck out 22 batters
  • Woodruff also played at Eastern Florida State College
  • He pitched 22 innings with a 2.45 ERA in his final season at EFSC
  • Daemon is a junior from Titusville, FL.


J.D. Price

  • Price comes to GSW as a transfer RHP from Southern Union State Community College
  • Finished last season with a 1.93 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched
  • JD led the team in appearances (17)
  • Price is a junior from Knoxville, TN


Nicholas Plaisted

  • Nicholas comes to GSW as a transfer utility player from Pasco Hernando State College
  • He is the PHSC program leader in hits, walks, and runs scored
  • Last season hit .331 with 3 home runs, 9 doubles, and 29 RBIs
  • Nicholas is a junior from Lutz, FL.

Noah Roberts

  • Noah comes to GSW as a transfer catcher from Arizona Western College
  • Batted .286 with 4 home runs, 6 doubles, and 31 RBIs
  • Led Arizona Western in putouts
  • Lead the team with a .997 fielding percentage
  • Noah is a junior from Cambridge, Ontario


Matthew Manuel

  • Matthew was a part of the Elite Squad Post Grad team
  • He contributed primarily as a LF
  • Manuel has great bat to ball skills
  • Is an elite defender in all three outfield spots
  • Matthew is a freshman from Weston, FL.


Andrew Geiger

  • Geiger joins GSW as a graduate transfer from College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • Geiger finished his season throwing 62 innings with a 1.89 ERA
  • Walked only 7 batters in his final season
  • He struck out 77 batters
  • He was named the Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year
  • Geiger was named second team D3 All-Region pitcher
  • Andrew is from Naples, FL.


Zach Taylor

  • Zach joins GSW as a transfer outfielder from Eastern Florida State College
  • Led the Titans in home runs (4)
  • He led the team in rbis (31)
  • Zach ended his sophomore campaign batting .322 and 8 stolen bases
  • Zach is a junior from Melbourne, FL.


Brant Deerman

  • Brant joins GSW as a transfer utility player from Wallace State CC
  • Deerman hit .316 and stole 8 bases
  • Brant is from Jacksonville, AL.


Kaleb Henry

  • Kaleb joins GSW as a transfer utility player from Gulf Coast State
  • Kaleb was named first team All-Panhandle Conference Outfielder
  • He hit .379 with 7 home runs, 9 doubles and drove in 43 runs
  • Kaleb is from Tallahassee, FL.


James Fordham

  • James comes to GSW as a freshman from Bleckley County High School
  • He was Bleckley County’s best pitcher last season
  • James is from Cochran, GA.