First-year head coach Rick Heller announced his first recruiting class as head baseball coach at Indiana State University on Wednesday (Nov. 25), with the signing of ten student-athletes in his inaugural class with the Sycamores.
"I'm extremely happy with our first recruiting class," said head coach Heller. "We will graduate eight seniors this year and could lose a couple more to the Major League Baseball draft. Throw in the 11 seniors and two juniors drafted this past spring and we needed to have a large and talented 2010-11 class.
"I believe that this group will set the tone for the future of ISU baseball. Three of our recruiting goals were to improve our overall athleticism, bring in some top of the line pitching and add some middle of the lineup hitters. I feel we achieved those goals. We signed five guys who run 6.6 or 6.8 in the 60. We were also able to sign five pitchers, with three being from the state on Indiana, as well as one of the best infielders in the state from right here in Terre Haute. We also signed several players who can really hit as well.
"Recruiting Coordinator Tyler Herbst and assistant coach Brian Smiley deserve all the credit. These two guys were loyal to the program and kept working hard when coach [Lindsay] Meggs left. They were able to develop a positive relationship with a lot of the players we signed before I was hired. Their loyalty really paid off for the program. In one of the biggest recruiting years in school history their loyalty saved the day. With me being hired a week before school started, it would have been catastrophic had Tyler and Brian not kept the ball rolling during the search. They deserve a big pat on the back.
"It's been a race to try and get caught up since I was hired and I feel we are getting close. Overall, I couldn't be happier with where we are at this point. We signed some very talented student-athletes this past week."
Below is a quick rundown of the 2010-11 recruiting class, with a quote from head coach Heller.
Example: Name - Position - Throws/Bats - Height, Weight
Hometown / High School / Previous School
Shane Adler - RHP/3B - R/R - 6-4, 190
Cross Plains, Wis. / Middleton HS
Posted a 10-1 record on the mound over 91 innings with 89 strikeouts and a 0.92 ERA. At the plate, Shane totaled a .429 batting average with three home runs and 25 RBIs. Named to the all-conference team as a sophomore for his play at the shortstop position and as a junior for his time on mound. Also earned all-state honors as a junior under head coach Tom Schmitt.
"Shane is a big, 6' 4" right-handed pitcher who played three sports in high school, including quarterback of the Middleton football team," said head coach Heller. "It's going to be exciting to see Shane grow and develop when he focuses on just baseball. He already throws in the upper-80s with a good slider and may be able to hit for us as well."
Antonio Andrade - INF - R/R - 5-9, 165
Lynwood, Calif. / Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary HS / East Los Angeles College
Was a member of the 2007 Babe Ruth World Series champion team at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary under head coach Ray Ruiz. As a senior, was named the league's MVP. Also played two seasons at East Los Angeles College under head coach James Hines.
"Tony is a very athletic infielder who is really coming into his own. He possesses an above average throwing arm, has tremendous range and is a 6.6 runner," said head coach Heller. "He will really add to our team's athleticism and give us another threat on the bases."
Owen Conway - OF - R/R - 6-3, 195
Hillsboro, Mo. / Saint Pius X HS
"Owen is a big, strong, fast, athletic outfielder who has some great tools. Owen can really hit and throw, and was a wide receiver on Saint Pius X's football team," said head coach Heller. "It will be exciting to see him grow and develop, as we believe he will be one of the top players in the MVC before he's finished at ISU."
Tyler Fehringer - RHP - R/R - 6-1, 215
Lincoln, Neb. / Lincoln Northeast HS / Marshalltown CC
Was named to the Super State honorable mention team while at Lincoln Northeast under head coaches Jerome Ehrlich and Jerry Dittenber. Following the 2009 season at Marshalltown, Fehringer was named the team's most valuable pitcher and will serve as team captain this season under head coach Richard Grife.
"Tyler will really help our staff next season and we are happy he has chosen Indiana State," said head coach Heller. "He has a mid- to upper-80s fastball, good curveball and really competes hard."
Jonathan Hedges - 1B - R/R - 6-4, 230
Owensboro, Ky. / Owensboro HS / Olney CC
Hit .409 with nine home runs and was named second team all-state as a senior while at Owensboro under head coach Johnny Vance. Was drafted in the 43rd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins this past summer. Led the National Junior College Athletic Association in RBIs with 97 as a freshman at Olney while also hitting .420 with 15 home runs under head coach Dennis Conley.
"We were looking to add some power to the lineup next season and Jon will be able to provide that," said head coach Heller. "We are excited to have him in our program and look forward to having him in our lineup next season."
Lucas Hileman - OF - L/L - 6-1, 195
Anna, Ill. / Anna-Jonesboro HS / Baylor Univ. / John A. Logan JC
Posted a .535 batting average with six home runs, 32 RBI and 28 steals as a senior at Anna-Jonesboro under head coach Jake Alley. Played in 25 games during 2009 at Baylor, including 13 starts. Batted .395 in 43 plate appearances with 17 hits, two doubles and seven RBIs. Will play the 2010 season at John A. Logan before coming to Indiana State.
"Luke is an excellent left-handed hitter who will really stabilize our outfield next season," said head coach Heller. "Luke is a great player and we are happy he's going to be a Sycamore."
Kurt Kudrecki - RHP - R/R - 6-4, 190
Hammond, Ind. / Lake Central HS
Recorded a 6-1 record with four saves as a junior at Lake Central under head coach Todd Iwema. A second team all-area selection and named the team's MVP as a junior. Was a member of the American Legion Post 168 that won the state tournament in 2008.
"Kurt is a big right-handed pitcher with an upper-80s fastball and a low ¾ arm slot that we really love," said head coach Heller. "I believe he will have a great career at Indiana State and we are glad he's a Sycamore."
Connor McClain - INF - R/L - 6-1, 170
Waterloo, Iowa / West HS
Led West High School with a .466 batting average, six home runs and 45 RBIs as a junior under head coach Jeremy Langner, earning Connor a place on the Class 4A second team all-state.
"Connor is a very good infielder who is versatile enough to play several positions well. He's a solid left-handed hitter with some power and excellent speed," said head coach Heller. "Connor was the quarterback of the West High School football team and we feel that he is going to be an outstanding hitter in the MVC."
Josh Negele - LHP - L/L - 6-1, 190
Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point HS
Totaled a 9-1 record with a 2.24 ERA and 92 strikeouts on the mound and carried a .472 batting average with 51 hits and five home runs at the plate as a junior under head coach Steve Strayer. Named to the second team all-state after his junior year, while also earning all-conference and all-area selections.
"Josh is an excellent left-handed pitcher who put up some great numbers last year," said head coach Heller. "He locates his fastball well and has a plus breaking pitch."
Tyler Wampler - INF - R/R - 5-11, 170
West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo HS
Notched 40 hits, 30 RBI and a .412 batting average as a junior under head coach Steve DeGroote. Member of the 2009 West Vigo team that advanced to the Class 3A State Championship.
"We are excited that Tyler has decided to stay home and play for the Sycamores," said head coach Heller. "He is a solid all-around player who will really help with our overall team athleticism. He plays excellent defense and will hit and run the bases well. Tyler is also a great basketball player and will be a leader on the team."