060519_MNS_Josh_Johnston_1 Josh Johnston

Truett McConnell University infielder Josh Johnston, a North Atlanta alumnus, throws out a baserunner at first base during a game earlier this season.

The collegiate baseball season has reached the postseason starting with the NCAA Division I tournament beginning May 31, with many local athletes participating in the competition.

The University of Georgia was awarded the fourth overall seed and is led by Lovett alumnus Aaron Schunk. The junior third baseman was named to the All-SEC second team and is a semifinalist for the Olerud Award as a two-way standout. Through the SEC Tournament, he had a batting average of .336 and a team-best 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 53 games. Schunk also posted a 2.49 ERA and 12 saves in 17 appearances. Marist alum and junior first baseman Patrick Sullivan has played in 46 games this season for the Bulldogs, posting a .270 batting average.

Georgia Tech is the NCAA tourney's third overall seed. The Yellow Jackets are led by sophomore outfielder and Wesleyan alum Colin Hall, who had a batting average of .304 and a team-high 18 doubles through the ACC Tournament. Other local Yellow Jackets include freshman infielder Charlie Benson (Marist), sophomore pitcher Hugh Chapman (Holy Innocents’), junior infielder/outfielder Carter Hall (Wesleyan), sophomore pitcher Joseph Mannelly (Marist), freshman infielder/outfielder Ryan Miller (Westminster), sophomore catcher/pitcher Jamie Taylor (Marist) and senior pitcher Robert Winborne (Lovett).

Auburn is in the NCAAs and includes Westminster alumnus and junior infielder Rankin Worley, who had a team-high 15 doubles and 36 RBIs in 56 games through the SEC Tournament.

Woodward has an alumnus in the NCAAs through University of Tennessee pitcher Richard Jackson. The senior had a team-best WHIP of 0.66 and a record of 1-0 over 19 appearances through the SEC Tournament.

Senior pitcher Hunter Davis, a Westminster alum, leads Duke into the NCAA Tournament. He had a 1.47 ERA with two saves in 19 appearances through the ACC Tournament.

Nebraska is in the NCAAs, and the roster includes sophomore catcher/outfielder Kennet Sorenson, who is an alumnus of St. Pius X.

Harvard is postseason-bound and has two local players on its roster. Woodward alumnus and junior pitcher J.T. Bernard has made nine appearances this season, while Westminster alum Jack Forte has played in seven games as a senior utility player.

Mercer is in the NCAAs and features senior pitcher Nick Spear, who is a St. Pius X alum and had a team-high nine saves and two wins in 35 appearances through the Southern Conference Tournament. Sophomore catcher Alex Alvord, an alumnus of Woodward, is also on the roster.

Other Division I baseball players this season include Lovett alum Freddy Achecar, who is a junior first baseman for Georgetown and appeared in 54 contests. North Atlanta has two alumni players contributing for two teams: sophomore pitcher Jack Ferguson, who played in 14 games for the U.S. Naval Academy, and Eastern Kentucky University senior outfielder Will Johnson, who had a school-record 56 walks in addition to a .303 batting average with 59 runs, 13 doubles, 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 2019.

North Springs has two former players on the Division I collegiate level including Georgia State freshman outfielder Josh Smith, who appeared in 51 contests this season. Furman sophomore outfielder Justin Reed played in eight contests in 2019.

Riverwood also has two alums playing college ball, starting with Delaware State sophomore outfielder Arthur Burrell, who played in 18 games this season. Junior pitcher Davis Vainer made 17 appearances for the University of Alabama in 2019.

St. Pius X alums included senior pitcher Sam Czabala, who made 18 appearances this season for Xavier University. Samford freshman catcher Will David appeared in four games this season. Will Herman made nine appearances as a junior pitcher for Appalachian State in 2019.

Wesleyan alumnus Jordan Ward pitched in four contests for Jacksonville University this season.

The University of Richmond had two senior pitchers on its squad with local ties with Westminster alum Dalton Light and Matt Olson of Whitefield Academy each appearing in 13 contests this season.

Four Woodward alumni are active in Division I including junior pitcher Luke Corbin, who threw in 13 contests this season for Samford. Georgia State sophomore infielder Ryan Glass played in 34 games for the Panthers. Freshman catcher Ethan Cornelius played in 25 contests and posted a .294 batting average for Wofford College this season. Northwestern junior pitcher Josh Levy made 13 appearances and amassed three wins in 2019.

North Atlanta alumnus Josh Johnston had a stellar junior campaign for Truett McConnell University in NAIA. He started all 49 games for the Bears this season and was named to the All-Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) first team. Johnston had an overall batting average of .422 which ranked second in the AAC and hit .435 in conference play. He had a total of 81 hits, nine home runs and 46 RBIs, in addition to 59 runs scored 10 double and four triples. Johnston’s 23 stolen bases led the AAC and his mark of 1.653 hits per game ranks seventh in the country.

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