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Shehan goes pro, signs with Braves
Three other former Eagles named All-Stars
Shehan 3 col BW
Georgia Southern slugger Chris Shehan takes a swing in this undated Statesboro Herald file photo. Shehan has forgone his senior year to sign with the Atlanta Braves and will report to the Danville (Va.) Braves of the Appalachian League.
    Chris Shehan has played his final game in blue and white.
    The Georgia Southern standout opted to forgo his senior season, signing with Atlanta less than a week after the Braves took him in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Shehan is headed to the Braves’ advanced rookie league team in Danville, Va.
    “(Atlanta) made an attractive offer, and it was hard to turn down,” said the outfielder, whose older brother Jon also played in Atlanta’s farm system. “This is a great opportunity to start my professional career with a great organization.”
    Shehan was tabbed a Pro-Line Athletic First Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Wednesday, and his .376 career batting average goes down as third-best in Eagle history. The Southern Conference media player of the year scored a school-record 84 runs this season and batted .438, which tied for second in the nation.
Three former Eagles tabbed All-Stars
    Former Eagles Greg Dowling, Everett Teaford and A.J. Battisto have been named minor league baseball all-stars. The trio played together at GSU from 2005-06.
    Dowling, a first baseman for the Oakland A’s low Class A Kane County Cougars, will represent the Midwest League in the June 17 game in Midland, Mich.     A third-year pro, Dowling is batting .265 with 19 doubles, five home runs, 23 runs scored and 35 RBIs. He said he’s learned a lot over the last three seasons, particularly how to cope with the lengthy schedule.
    “The home runs are starting to come around, but I am working on consistency, having quality at-bats to get a hit or even a walk,” Dowling said.
    Teaford, a left-handed starter/reliever for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (high Class A, Kansas City Royals) is 4-1 with one save and a 2.73 ERA in 62.2 innings. He’s surrendered 50 hits and boasts a 47 to 18 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .213 opponent’s batting average. He’ll play for the Carolina League in the June 24 game in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
    “It's a big honor,” said Teaford, adding that his improved confidence has been the biggest key to his achievements this season. “Last year I didn't have the confidence that I have this year or in years past. You cannot pitch without having confidence. If you go out there and pitch defensively, you are not going to pitch well.”
    Battisto, a right-handed reliever, is having a banner year for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (low Class A, Florida Marlins). He sports a 0.91 ERA, having allowed just four earned runs in 39.2 innings. The former all-SoCon selection has fanned 42 batters and walked just four, owns 3-0 record with one save and opponents are batting a lowly .175 against him. Despite his solid numbers, Battisto said he was a little surprised to learn he earned a spot in the June 17 game in Greensboro, N.C.
“The key this year has been pitching down in the zone and getting ahead of hitters,” he said. “I've thrown my four-seam to both sides of the plate and been throwing my two-seamer a lot.”
    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.