In the latest early signing class breakdown we’ll look at Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers signed five players during the early period. Check out some 2010 stats from each player below with a news release quote from WKU coach Chris Finwood.
RHP/INF/OF Matt Spalding — St. Xavier High School
2010 Honors: No. 1 prospect in state according to Perfect Game
Finwood: “Matt is a true two-way player. He can really swing the bat and projects as a very productive hitter in college. He can play outfield and infield as well. Matt is also an exceptional talent on the mound and has been clocked as high as 94-95 this fall. He is an outstanding student as well.”
LHP Ian Tompkins — St. Xavier High School
2010 Honors: All-State in 2010
Finwood: “Finding a quality high school lefty was a big priority for us this fall and Ian has been a bit of a late bloomer but by the middle of the summer, everyone was on him. We got on Ian early and stayed the course and we are excited to add him to our pitching staff.”
OF Ryan Fucci — Tates Creek High School
2010 Honors: All-City in baseball, All-State in basketball
Finwood: “Ryan is a tremendous athlete and one of the better basketball players in the state as well as an outstanding baseball player. Ryan projects as a centerfielder and once he commits himself to playing baseball full time, he will become a pretty good professional prospect as well.”
RHP Jerad Eickhoff — Olney Central CC
2010 Honors: 46th Round pick of Cubs
Finwood: “Jerad is a big strong hard throwing righty who is playing for former Hilltopper great Casey Hamilton at Olney. Jared was drafted by the Chicago Cubs last year in the 46th round. Jerad is a great student and should vie for a rotation spot right away.”
SS Steve Hodgins — Wabash Valley CC
2010 Honors: JC team finished season ranked No. 5 in country
Finwood: “Steve is an energy type player who really can play shortstop and has a quality left-handed bat. He is the son of a major league scout and has grown up around the game. Steve handles the bat well, can bunt and run and is very solid on defense. He was exactly what we were looking for to solidify our middle infield situation for next year.”
The early signing period for college baseball opened this week. Teams won’t likely announce their classes until the end of the period, but here’s a quick rundown of the signings we’ve heard so far:
DuPont Manual High School prep Craig Pearcy signed with Morehead State University, St. X pitchers Ian Tompkins and Matt Spalding signed with Western Kentucky University, St. X pitcher Ryan Loehnert signed with the University of Kentucky and Manual prep Dalton Brown signed with Spalding, Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal reports.
Bill Harrison of the Chicago Tribune reports Chicago prep Jeff Boehm of Mount Carmel High School signed with the UK.
Warren East High School infielder/pitcher Mark Briggs signed with the University of Louisville, the Bowling Green Daily Newsreports.
Erik Hall of the News Tribune reports Illinois preps Mason Snyder and Joey Ceja both signed with UofL.
Latest links and highlights from around Kentucky baseball:
Conor Glassey of Baseball America recaps the action from the World Wood Bat Championship, highlighting performances from Lexington Catholic High School right-handed pitcher Tyler Arthur and St. X right-handed pitcher Matt Spalding.
Mark Polishuk of MLBTradeRumors evaluates former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch‘s free agent stock.
On Wednesday former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke earned his first save for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. Former Lexington Legend right-handed pitcher Kyle Greenwalt pitched four scoreless innings for the win.
On Thursday Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 3-6 with three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base for the Peoria Saguaros of the AFL.
Former UofL right-handed pitcher B. J. Rosenberg took the loss after surrendering four runs in one inning for the Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL.
Morehead State University sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson struck out 10 batters in six innings to lead the Gold team to a 2-0 series lead in the Eagles’ fall scrimmage series.
Perfect Game USA has released its preseason high school underclassmen All-American lists, and several Kentucky preps were included in the honorable mention category. I’ve listed those below with graduation year, but you can see the full team here. (Hat tip to Adam Revelette of Examiner.com.)
Mark Biggs — Warren East (2011)
Zach Clooney — St. Xavier (2011) Chandler Shepherd — Lawrence County (2011)
Matt Spalding — St. Xavier (2011)
Chase Armstrong- Lexington Catholic (2012)
Zach Arnold- Franklin County (2012)
Michael Bollmer- Bryan Station (2012)
Beau Bouthilette- Elizabethtown (2011) Clay Cinnamon- Mercer County (2011)
Jeremy Cline- Warren Central (2011)
Spencer Drake- Eastern (2012) Ryan Fucci- Tates Creek (2012) Kevin Herren- Lafayette (2012) Matt Honchel- Harrodsburg (2011)
Will Hurt- Lexington Catholic (2012)
Tyler Jackson- Lexington Catholic (2012) Jackson Laumann- Boone County (2011)
Matt McGowan- University Heights (2011)
Logan McQuerry- George Rogers Clark (2012)
Dalton Mellott- Ohio County (2011)
Cody Moore- Lawrence County (2011)
Logan Shaftner- Lafayette (2011)
Blake Smith- Lafayette (2011) Andrew Willinger- St. Xavier (2012)