Nov. 22, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Eighth-year Western Carolina head baseball coach Todd Raleigh announced today the signing of nine student-athletes for the 2008 baseball season, including T.J. Bargeron (Simpsonville, S.C.), Brent Bertschinger (Gore, Va.), Andrew Cobb (Apopka, Fla.), Matt Johns (Stafford, Va.), Brandon Johnson (Morehead City, N.C.), Jordan Lucas (Port Charlotte, Fla.), J.C. Lyons (Marietta, Ga.), Sean McCauley (Manassas, Va.) and Matt Pruitt (Etowah, N.C.).
"I am very excited about this year's class," Raleigh said. "(Assistant coaches) Eric (Filipek) and Bradley (LeCroy) did a great job recruiting these young men. We tried to get the best players out there and I feel like we did. There is not a bad athlete among them. This class is extremely talented and physical. We feel like they all have a chance to come in and impact our program. All of these players were recruited by several of the top Division I schools in the country. What I like most about this class is the intangibles. These kids are very competitive, want to win, expect to win and are not afraid of working hard."
6-4, 220, RHP
Simpsonville, S.C. (Hillcrest HS)
As a junior at Hillcrest HS, he went 5-2 with three saves, posting a 2.80 ERA ... Struck out 21 batters in 26 innings ... As a hitter, of his 18 hits in 2006, six were home runs ... As a sophomore, had three saves with a 0.00 ERA.
Coach Raleigh's comments on T.J.: "He is a tremendous physical presence with a good, live fastball. In addition he has an excellent "12- 6" curve ball and a good change up. We can not wait for his arrival as his best days are ahead of him."
6-3, 180, RHP
Gore, Va. (James Wood HS)
As a junior at James Wood HS, he was 3-3 with a 1.28 ERA ... Pitched in 38.2 innings with 55 strikeouts ... Threw a no-hitter versus Warren County.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Brent: "He is a very good athlete with an extremely high baseball ceiling. We are very excited to have him as he should be a front line guy quickly."
6-0, 190, OF
Apopka, Fla. (Lake Highland Prep)
As a junior at Lake Highland Prep, he hit .370 with seven doubles and 18 stolen bases ... Helped Lake Highland reach the Final Four State Championships for the first time since 1977, winning the District and Regional Championships ... Participated in the Perfect Game National Showcase ... Batted .320 as a sophomore.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Andrew: "Andrew is very athletic with good speed. He is a leadoff type hitter who can roam in the outfield."
6-0, 170, RHP/INF
Stafford, Va. (North Stafford HS)
As a junior at North Stafford HS, he was a first team All-Commonwealth District both as a shortstop and pitcher ... Was tabbed second team All-Northwest Region as a shortstop and second team All-Met as a pitcher by the Washington Post ... Added first team All-Area honors as a utility player ... Batted .426 with four doubles, five home runs and eight stolen bases ... On the mound, he was 7-1 with three saves ... Posted a 3.47 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched ... Was a Commonwealth Games participant ... As a sophomore, batted .377 with 11 stolen bases.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Matt: "Matt can play almost anywhere on the field and we plan on using him in several roles. He has tremendous make up and he can really swing the bat."
6-0, 180, RHP
Morehead City, NC. (West Carteret HS)
Has helped West Carteret, who was ranked number one in the state in 2006, to consecutive appearances in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A eastern semifinals.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Brandon: "Brandon is a three sport athlete with a lot of competitiveness in him. He has excellent `pitchability' and should impact our program from day one."
6-2, 190, RHP/INF
Port Charlotte, Fla. (Venice HS)
Comes from the same high school that produced current Catamount and preseason All-American Steven Strausbaugh ... He batted .407 as a junior with 16 of his 33 hits going for extra bases, including 11 doubles, two triples and three home runs ... Posted a 2-1 record on the mound ... Has helped Venice to three straight district championships and a 57-31 record over the span ... Was named his team's Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and his team's Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore ... Plays for prestigious East Cobb Braves Summer Team ... Was a Perfect Game National Showcase participant ... Is rated among the Top 100 prospects in 2007 class by Baseball America.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Jordan: "Jordan is extremely versatile. He has a closer-type arm and four-hole type power. He is a tough kid that has played a lot of baseball."
6-3, 195, OF
Marietta, Ga. (Young Harris JC/Walton HS)
Currently attending Young Harris Junior College, which is where former Catamount Alan Beck is an assistant coach ... Was named second team GJCAA Region XVII All-Conference in 2006 ... Helped Young Harris to a 42-10 record ... At Walton HS, batted .376 with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBI ... Of his seven homers, three came in one game, tying a school record ... Was named to the All-Cobb County team and the Georgia Dugout Club All-Tournament team.
Coach Raleigh's comments on JC: "JC has a great work ethic with an excellent swing and plays the game they way you should. We are expecting great things from this fine young man."
6-3, 170, C
Manassas, Va. (Osbourn HS)
As a junior at Osbourn, he was first team All-Cedar Run District, as well as being named to the All-Area, All-Washington Post and Potomac News teams ... Tabbed honorable mention All-State by Virginia High School Coaches Association ... Hit .512 to be a Commonwealth Games participant and an East Coast Professional Showcase participant ... Played his sophomore year at Potomac, where he was All-Cedar Run District, batting .427.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Sean: "Sean is one of the most talented high school catchers I have ever seen. He has unlimited potential. His intangibles are what set him apart. For a young player has an uncanny knack for running a game and getting the most out of a pitching staff."
6-1, 185, RHP/UT
Etowah, N.C. (West Henderson HS)
Rated the 38th-best prospect by ImpactBaseball.com in North Carolina for the 2007 class ... As a junior, was named Western Athletic Conference and Hendersonville Times-News Player of the Year ... Also tabbed All-State and All-Western North Carolina by the Asheville Citizen-Times ... Has led West Henderson to three straight WAC championships and a 68-12 record over the time period ... Batted .500 as a junior, helping West Henderson set a state record with a .432 team batting average ... Added 11 doubles as West Henderson set a state record with 80 team two-baggers ... Hit 10 home runs with 35 RBI and seven stolen bases as a junior ... On the mound, was 10-1 with a save, posting a 1.53 ERA ... Has 70 strikeouts with just eight walks in 64 innings pitched ... As a sophomore, batted .494 with 10 doubles, four home runs and 39 RBI ... Was selected All-WAC, All-State and Times-News All-Area ... Was 7-2 as a pitcher with a 1.84 ERA.
Coach Raleigh's comments on Matt: "Matt is another young man that has tremendous versatility. He can play a lot of different positions. He plays the game hard and can really swing the bat. He has a good fastball with a plus breaking ball and he really competes on the mound. Like most of this recruiting class, we expect him to contribute in many ways.