2023 Gulf South Baseball Championship

West Florida Baseball Leads Top Seeds At 2023 GSC Championship

West Florida Baseball Leads Top Seeds At 2023 GSC Championship

West Florida is one of three teams at the 2023 GSC Baseball Championship with 20-plus conference wins during the regular season.

May 4, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
West Florida Baseball Leads Top Seeds At 2023 GSC Championship

Choccolocco Park plays host to the 2023 Gulf South Conference Championship, where one team will emerge with a league crown and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. 

Eight teams converge on Oxford, Alabama, with the same goal. The top half of the bracket set the bar in the regular season, including a top 3 of West Florida, Montevallo and Alabama Huntsville. Each won 20 or more GSC games. 

West Florida

Record: 32-14 (22-8 Gulf South) 

The Argos rallied from a rocky start to conference play, which included a four-game slump in early March that featured losses to Delta State and Alabama Huntsville, to win the regular-season crown. They are riding a 16-game winning streak into Oxford, undefeated since the beginning of April. 

Credit West Florida's pitching in no small part for its second-half surge. The Argos starting rotation includes GSC Pitcher of the Year Dalton Neuschwander, who in 13 starts, amassed an 8-0 record and an astounding 2.05 ERA. 

The UWF ace limited opposing batters to just a .197 batting average and struck out a team-leading 56 batters. Kade Manderscheid was not far behind with 51 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings of work. 

Manderscheid heads into the GSC Championship with a 2.40 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. 

UWF does not lose anything from its third starter, Major Posey, who sports a 3.05 ERA and opponent batting average of .231. 

At the plate, seven of UWF's primary position players embark on the GSC Championship with batting averages better than .300. Darrien McDowell leads the bunch at .390 and with a .657 slugging percentage, thanks in part to his team-leading 11 home runs. 

Trent Jeffcoat, who is hitting .325, has stolen 15 bases on 16 attempts this season. 


Record: 37-12 (21-9 GSC) 

GSC Player of the Year Sam Kuchinski leads Montevallo into Oxford after a stellar regular season. 

The Falcons lead the Gulf South in home runs and rank 15th nationally with 70. Kuchinski's 16 lead four Montevallo batters with a double-digit amount of round-trippers ahead of the postseason. 

Kuchinski is batting .439, good for seventh in all of Division II baseball. 

The standout third baseman is part of a Falcons infield with three first- and second-team All-GSC selections: second baseman Reed Latimer garnered first-team honors, while first baseman Ben Teel was tabbed for the second team.

Catcher Luke Mitchell also garnered a second-team All-GSC selection. 

Each of the three are batting .356 or better, and Latimer and Teel have 14 and 12 home runs, respectively, to supplement Montevallo's remarkable offensive production. 

Alabama Huntsville

Record: 29-18 (20-10 GSC) 

UAH looks to ride one of the nation's best tandems of starting and relief pitching to a GSC Championship. 

The Chargers boast first-team All-GSC starter Andre Orselli, who in 13 appearances put together a 3.32 ERA with 61 strikeouts. 

Reliever Will Hotalen, meanwhile, made 21 appearances in the regular season, during which he struck out 49. He recorded nine saves and amassed a 1.93 ERA. 

The two look to pace the Chargers on the mound, while a lineup of batters all hitting better than .300 provide run support. 

Every UAH batter with at least 77 plate appearances currently sits at that magic number or better, led by Landon Ezzell's .425. Ezzell also boasts a team-high 45 RBIs and eight home runs. 

Hunter Tillman and Garrett Bodine have combined for 24 stolen bases, making their respective .483 and .450 on-base percentages all the more dangerous for opponents. 

Valdosta State

Record: 30-16 (18-12 GSC) 

Valdosta State rounds out the top four finishers in the GSC regular season, though the Blazers arrive in Oxford looking to reverse their late-season fortunes. 

VSU ended the regular season on a four-game skid after being swept by West Florida, then dropping a non-conference tilt with Georgia College. After giving up 36 combined runs over their final four games, the Blazers look to button up their pitching at the GSC Championship. 

Despite the skid, VSU starters Kevin Tomas and Zach Henderson head to Oxford with ERAs of 4.83 and 3.38 in 63 1/3 and 61 1/3 innings pitched, respectively. 

On offense, Bryson Gandy boasts a team-high 11 home runs and the squad's second-most stolen bases with 13 — though he's been caught stealing six times. David Crawford has attempted as many steals, 19, and swiped 16.