HAUTE, Ind. - Head coach Rick Heller has announced the
addition of nine future Sycamores to the Indiana State baseball program, a
group that will join the Sycamores on Bob Warn Field for the 2013 season.
The signing class features seven student-athletes that will be freshman out of high school and a pair that will have junior eligibility from the junior college ranks. Below is a look at the 2013 class for Sycamore baseball, with a quote from head coach Heller.
Bobby Boynton - RHP - 6-1 - 195
Decatur, Ill. - St. Teresa High School
"We are excited to have Bobby on our staff! He's a hard-throwing low 3/4 right hander with a sharp breaking ball," said head coach Heller. "Bobby is very athletic and we feel will continue to improve. He will be a big part of our staff for the next four years. Bobby is a fantastic student, sporting a 4.0 GPA."
A four-year letter winner at St. Teresa High School under head coach Jim Stewart ... named All-Macon County after both his sophomore and junior seasons ... named Honorable Mention Perfect Game Underclassman Preseason All-American heading into his junior year in 2011 ... threw a perfect game as a sophomore, striking out 14 of the 15 batters he faced in a 10-0, five-inning victory ... has compiled a 14-3 record and a 1.57 ERA with 176 strikeouts in his three seasons at STHS.
Jeff Degano - LHP - 6-5 - 235
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada - Marshalltown Community College - Fraser Heights Secondary School
"Jeff is big left-hander who throws in the low-90s with a good breaking ball," said head coach Heller. "He will bring the talent and experience necessary to win from day one. Jeff competes well and should be a top tier player in our league. We are all extremely happy Jeff chose ISU."
Played two seasons at Marshalltown Community College under head coach Rich Grife ... made 11 appearances on the mound last season, going 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA ... second on the team with 51 innings pitched, while leading the team with 65 strikeouts.
Mike Fitzgerald - 1B/OF - 6-1 - 195
Rochester, Ill. - Lincoln Land Community College - Rochester Heights High School
"We believe Mike is one of the best pure hitters in Junior College baseball," said head coach Heller. "Mike can hit for power, average and is a low strikeout guy. He can play outfield as well as first base and will bring the talent and experience necessary to hit in the middle of our lineup next year. We are proud to have Michael sign with us."
Earned All-American, all-region and all-conference status during his two seasons at Lincoln Land Community College under head coach Ron Riggle ... led the conference with a .443 batting average and 26 doubles ... also tallied 11 home runs, 61 runs batted in and four triples ... played high school baseball at Rochester High School, lettering for three seasons under Matt Carlson ... named to the all-state team as a senior after hitting .505 with 10 home runs, 22 doubles and 65 RBIs.
James Hackworth - LHP - 6-0 - 165
Warsaw, Ind. - Tippecanoe Valley High School
"James is a mid to high-80s left-handed pitcher who can throw three pitches for strikes. It's rare to see a player his age have the command that James has," said head coach Heller. "He is a tough kid who will compete for a starting spot right away. We are very happy that James has decided to be a Sycamore."
Honorable Mention All-State selection as a sophomore at Tippecanoe Valley High School under head coach Ryan Moore ... holds a career ERA of 1.40 with 135 strikeouts ... went 5-2 last season with a trio of saves ... is the TVHS record holder in multiple categories, including: career strikeouts, single-season strikeouts and lowest ERA.
David Jercha - 1B - 6-5 - 230
Valparaiso, Ind. - Portage High School
"David is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed power hitter who is also a solid defensive first baseman," said head coach Heller. "We are all happy to have David sign with us. He will bring a power presence to the middle of our lineup for years to come."
A two-sport athlete at Portage High School, lettering in baseball and basketball ... a two-year letterwinner in baseball under head coach Tim Pirowski ... named to the Indiana Crossroads Top 90.
Nick Martin - RHP - 6-0 - 200
Lake of the Hills, Ill. - Crystal Lake High School
"Nick is a high-80s right-hander who has a low 3/4 arm slot with a hard slider," said head coach Heller. "He will come in as a strike-thrower who really competes. With his ability, Nick should fight for a lot of innings right away. Nick is a great sign for us and we are happy he chose to be a Sycamore."
Earned first team all-conference and second team all-area selections at Crystal Lake High School under head coach Brian Bogda ... holds an 11-5 career record with a 3.02 ERA and 85 strikeouts ... named the team MVP as a freshman and the pitcher of the year as a junior ... also lettered for two seasons in basketball at CLHS.
Hunter Owen - SS - 6-0 - 170
Evansville, Ind. - Mater Dei High School
"Hunter is a very athletic shortstop, who is also a talented offensive player as well," said head coach Heller. "We feel Hunter has the skills and mental toughness to be a great defensive infielder for us. A multi-sport athlete in high school, we feel Hunter will develop into a fantastic all-around college baseball player. We are happy Hunter will be a Sycamore."
A two-sport athlete in his time at Mater Dei High School, lettering in baseball and football ... earned second team all-conference selection last season under head coach Jeff Schulz ... hit over .400 in each of the past two seasons, going for a .420 average with 32 RBIs as a sophomore and .416 with 30 RBIs as a junior ... also a standout in football, earning honorable mention all-state on the gridiron.
Tony Rosselli - OF - 6-2 - 180
Terre Haute, Ind. - North Vigo High School
"Tony is a fantastic athlete who can really run and throw," said head coach Heller. "We feel that with his speed and strength, Tony can develop into an offensive threat for us. Tony is an extremely hard worker who we are excited chose to play his college baseball at ISU."
A four-year standout at North Vigo High School under head coach Shawn Turner ... earned all-conference honors last season, while leading the Patriots with a .415 batting average, seven home runs and 24 RBIs ... named to the preseason all-state team.
Taylor Steen - C - 6-3 - 185
Grand Forks, N.D. - Red River High School
"Taylor is 6'3" athletic catcher who we are excited about. He plays three sports in high school and we feel has the chance to develop into a very special player," said head coach Heller. "Taylor hits left handed and we feel will be a catcher that will also be a strong offensive player for us. We are glad Taylor has decided to play for us here at ISU."
A two-time all-state selection under head coach Mark Varriano ... also named to the all-conference team three times ... led the team with a .419 batting average last season, adding 13 doubles, one home run and 37 RBIs ... a three-sport athlete while at RRHS, also lettering in football and hockey.