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South Paulding alum has big impact at Ga. State
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
June 26, 2013 11:08 AM | 1208 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Paulding graduate Andrew Fessler was a top pitcher for Georgia State this season, helping to lead the Panthers to the third-highest win total in school history.
South Paulding graduate Andrew Fessler was a top pitcher for Georgia State this season, helping to lead the Panthers to the third-highest win total in school history.
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Georgia State University pitcher Andrew Fessler made an impact on the baseball program in his first year, even though he missed part of the season.

According to Georgia State head baseball coach Greg Frady, the 2010 South Paulding graduate made the difference between them potentially having a .500 season and their ultimate 35-21 season, the third-highest win total in school history.

“He’s left-handed and has a great change-up. We saw a lot of value with having him with our club,” Frady said.

Fessler got bigger, stronger and improved his throws while playing for Gordon College in Barnesville for two years — getting him looks from GSU and other schools in his sophomore year.

After suffering a stress fracture in his spine at Gordon, Fessler was out from September 2012 to February 2013, missing GSU’s fall ball and two weeks of the spring season.

“It’s all right now. It still tweaks every once in a while, but no major issues. It’s definitely healed up,” said Fessler.

During his recovery time Fessler said he worried he wouldn’t be able to return to play, and if he chose to play with the fracture if he would cause more long-term issues.

Fessler made two rehab appearances out of the bullpen and later moved into the weekend rotation as the Sunday starter after his recovery.

Finishing the season with a 6-2 record and a 3.04 ERA in 77 innings pitched, Fessler posted the fifth-best ERA in GSU history and the sixth best season winning percentage with .750. His goals for next season, along with getting drafted, are to break both records.

“Next year I’ll have a head start with no injuries, I’ll get all my conditioning and I’ll have more experience,” said Fessler.

Frady said, “Andrew can set all the records. I have all the confidence and faith in the world in him.”

Going from a junior college to a NCAA Division I program Fessler said he noticed some differences, such as flights to away games, and better dining when out for away games.

However, he said one lesson he took with him from Gordon was being humble and a team player.

His greatest influence has been his older brothers, Michael and Daniel, both former baseball players for Paulding County High.

“Watching them from an early age, they definitely pushed me towards baseball and I practically grew up in the field going to their games,” Fessler said.

Michael, a 1997 Paulding High graduate, played for Young Harris College for two years before playing at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn.

Fessler said, “I’m chasing his glory almost, trying to do better than him. His influence and him playing at that level has been my motivation.”
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