Richard Lovelady, a left-handed pitcher from Hinesville, graduated from East Georgia State College in May of 2015 after playing Bobcat Baseball under former Head Coach Chuck Lusted and current Head Coach Matthew Passauer. He continued his baseball career at Kennesaw State University and finished the 2016 season ranked inside the top three in the NCAA in appearances and ranked second in KSU Division 1 program history for most appearances in a single season (with 37).
Lovelady was the first Bobcat to go on to play D-1 ball, and the dedication to his craft paid off on Friday, June 10, 2016, when he learned that he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft pick.
"I'm beyond excited! If it weren't for Coach Lusted allowing me to play college baseball and Coach Matt teaching me the things I know today and use, I wouldn't be where I am," Lovelady said.
"I had a day my sophomore year at EGSC where I really blew up in the dugout, and it made me stop and think about what would happen if that was it--if it was all over. It really made me realize that I love this game and want it to be my career," he said. "East Georgia was the foundation for me. Coming from a small school where no one gave up on you when you messed up really allowed me to grow into the person I am today, and I am thankful for my time as a Bobcat."
Lovelady was not the only person excited about the news.
"This is a very proud moment for me personally, and obviously a huge day for Richard and the whole East Georgia State College family," said Taylor Edenfield, Assistant Director of Student Life at EGSC. "Richard's talent, determination, and endless support got him to where he is today. Those same things, along with even more motivation and hard work, will keep him there. Richard Lovelady has made EGSC history, and I am honored to have been even a small part of that."
“It is very exciting news,” added Coach Matt Passauer. “I couldn’t be happier for Richard. I know how hard he has worked for this opportunity and he has certainly earned it. This is a very big day for Richard and for the program.”
"The Bobcat Nation, Richard Lovelady and the Kansas City Royals are all celebrating today," added EGSC President Bob Boehmer. "The Bobcat Nation has its first ever major league draftee. Richard Lovelady is turning his dream into reality through his strong work ethic. The Royals have added an outstanding player who will just keep getting better. East Georgia is so proud of Richard. There are suddenly many more Royals fans in East Georgia."