LaGrange College freshman honored

Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Daily News

It was just about a sure thing.

When LaGrange College’s Gibson Bittner came into a game this season, it was usually lights out for the opposition.

Bittner, a freshman, had a phenomenal season while helping lead the Panthers to the USA South championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Bittner’s good work didn’t go unnoticed.

Bittner was selected to the all-South region third team, and he was also a second-team selection on the USA South all-conference team.

In the USA South tournament, Bittner was at his best.

He appeared in three of the Panthers’ four games, and he didn’t allow a run in 10 innings while getting a win and a save.

In the championship game, a 12-7 victory over North Carolina Wesleyan, Bittner pitched two innings and didn’t allow a run on two hits.

It was a thrill for Bittner, who was playing high-school baseball a year ago, to be on the mound for the closeout game of the conference tournament.

“It was surreal,” Bittner said. “I’ve never been in that situation before, so I had adrenaline rushing.”

Bittner was going for a strikeout at the end, but he had to settle for a groundout for the third and final out.

Bittner did get a strikeout for the second out.

“I was really going for the strikeout the last two,” Bittner said. “I was close.”

Bittner appeared in 23 games this season, and he was 6-2 with two saves and a 1.45 earned run average.

Earlier in the spring, Bittner was also selected to the all-USA South team along with teammates Jack Laryisson and James Poropatic.

Layrisson, a freshman, was named the USA South rookie of the year, and he was an honorable-mention selection at first base.

Layrisson hit .337 with four home runs and 43 RBIs.

Poropatic, a senior outfielder, was a first-team selection.

Poropatic hit .313, and he led the teams in triples (five), home runs (four) and RBIs (46).

GOLF: LaGrange College senior Jake Nelson has been selected as a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

To be eligible for the honor, a player must be a junior or a senior, he must have completed two full years of collegiate golf, participated in at least half of his team’s rounds or played in the NCAA championship, have a stroke average of 79 or better, and maintained a minimum grade-point average of 3.2.

Nelson was fourth on the team with a 75.09 scoring average.

His best result came in the Callaway Gardens Intercollegiate when he placed fifth.