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GSU’s Battisto gets the big call

Brown's season comes to an end at NCAA finals

    Pitcher A.J. Battisto of the Georgia Southern baseball team was selected by the Florida Marlins, Friday afternoon, in the 30th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.

    A right-handed relief pitcher for the Eagles, Battisto earned Second Team All-Southern Conference accolades for the 2007 season. He finished his senior year accumulating 10 saves, going 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 51 innings, striking out 49 and walking 14.

    Battisto is the first Georgia Southern relief pitcher to earn All-SoCon honors in the past 10 years.

    “We’re all very excited for A.J.,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “It’s a well-deserved opportunity. He’s worked hard and had an excellent career at Georgia Southern. A.J. has always been a hard worker on the field and is a great person as well. He’s an outstanding representative of the Georgia Southern baseball program.”

    At the conclusion of his outstanding career wearing the blue and white, in three seasons Battisto produced 12 saves, going 11-0 with a 5.06 ERA in 145 innings, striking out 118 batters and walking 49. “First and foremost I just want to thank my family, friends and coaches,” said Battisto.

    “I know every baseball player dreams of being drafted one day. I got that opportunity and I am going to take full advantage of it.

    “Coach Hennon runs a very respectable program here at Georgia Southern University and I am just glad that I was a part of it,” added Battisto. “I was able to build lifelong relationships with a lot of the guys on the team and I thank all of them for everything they have done for me, too.”

    Brown’s season over by a matter of inches

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Triple jumper Nicole Brown’s stellar season came to a close, Friday, after coming up inches short of qualifying for Saturday’s finals at the 2007 NCAA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

    The Lawrenceville, Ga. native competed in the Triple Jump preliminary round, the second of two events that brought her to the Spanos Sports Complex to compete among the nation’s elite. But the Southern Conference Outdoor ‘Track Athlete of the Year’ and Indoor ‘Field Athlete of the Year’ came up short of qualifying for the next day’s final competition by less than eight inches.

    Brown hit her longest mark on her third and final attempt at 12.89m (42’-3.50”) after touching down at 12.85m on her first jump and scratching on the second. Her mark was 21st best on the day with only the top 12 jumpers advancing to the next day’s final.

    “Unfortunately, it all didn’t come together when she needed it to,” said coach Natalie Smith. “But I’m very proud of her, and although her marks weren’t what she wanted, she represented Georgia Southern very well.”

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