CARROLLTON, Georgia – West Georgia Tech sophomore third baseman Blake Butcher has signed with Georgia Southern University, becoming the first West Georgia Tech student-athlete in any sport to transfer to a D-I program on an athletic scholarship.
The Watkinsville, Ga. native came to West Georgia Tech by way of Oconee County High School and made an immediate impact for coach Todd Pratt and the Golden Knights.
An anchor at the third base position for two years, Butcher earned Second Team All-Conference honors his freshman year and was selected to the First Team for his sophomore campaign.
This season Butcher led the conference in home runs, with seven. Three of those homers came in three-consecutive at bats in a game at ABAC. He hit .338 with 11 doubles and a team-high 37 RBIs.
“I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity to go to Georgia Southern, and I’m excited that I get to play for a winning program with a lot of tradition,” Butcher said. “I want to thank coach Pratt and the entire West Georgia Tech family for giving me the opportunity to come to school here and play the game I love. West Georgia Tech, my parents, coach Pratt, my friends, family and my teammates have collectively played key roles in helping me get to where I am today.”
Butcher will join a Georgia Southern program that is making the transition from the Southern Conference to the Sun Belt starting next season. The Eagles are currently 33-20 overall and 15-12 in conference play.
Butcher will play for coaching veteran Rodney Hennon, who has been with the GSU program as a player or coach for more than 20 years.
“I’m very proud of Blake, and he deserves this opportunity because of the hard work that he has put in and also because he flat out has the talent and ability to play at that level,” WGTC head coach Todd Pratt said. “We were fortunate to have Blake on our team for the past two years. His leadership on and off the field was tremendous and we wish him well in Statesboro and beyond.
“This is what our program is all about - giving kids an opportunity at WGTC to play baseball get a quality education and pursue their dreams on and off the field. Blake is an example of that. If you work hard enough on the field and in the classroom, you can accomplish anything you set out to do,” Pratt added.
Butcher excelled in the classroom at West Georgia Tech with a 3.36 cumulative GPA. He plans to major in either Finance or Construction Management and will likely follow in his father’s footsteps and work in the family-owned business at Hard Rock Concrete, which serves mostly the metro Atlanta area.