ATLANTA- The beginning of summer is bringing a new season for many Georgia State baseball players- the opportunity to test their skills against the nation's best.
Seven players so far from GSU's 2012 squad have joined collegiate wooden-bat leagues, stretching from Atlanta to Alaska.
Five Panthers have entered the local Sunbelt League, an eight-team outfit headed up by former Panther hurler Bobby Bennett.
Catcher Landon Anderson is teaming up with departed seniors Jake Dyer and Tyler Claburn on the Brookhaven Bucks squad, which plays its games at Olgethorpe University. Recent Panther players Nick Hogan and Zach Chastain coach the Bucks, who began play this past weekend and are in action until late July.
Elsewhere in the SBL, Caleb Gore will take the field for the 6-4-3 DP Cougars out of Marietta, Ga., and Greg Bowder is joining the Atlanta Crackers of Norcross, Ga.
Panther pitcher Jerry Stuckey will try his hand in the competitive Valley League in Virginia. Stuckey, who was second on the Panther staff with 21 appearances in his freshman season, is joining the Staunton Braves, for whom Claburn pitched last summer. The Braves' loaded 43-game schedule runs now through July 23 against the league's 11 other clubs.
Meanwhile, rising senior infielder Drew Shields is taking his game all the way to Chugiak, Alaska, lacing it up with the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks of the Alaska Baseball League. The Chinooks' 40-game slate is set to begin June 12 in the greater Anchorage area.
The Panthers look to continue their strong summer success in the wake of being named the nation's Most Valuable Program in January by the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball.
For information on seeing your Panthers in action locally, visit the SBL web site.