COUNTDOWN TO FIRST PITCH: WELCOMING THE NEWCOMERS
With 14 newcomers looking to make their mark on the WKU baseball program in 2012, head coach Matt Myers has a good problem to have – a lot of quality players. The Hilltoppers will feature depth at virtually all positions in 2013, which is due in large part to the 2013 signing class that will suit up in the Red and White for the first time on February 15.
Returning 17 letterwinners off a 25-win team in 2012, Myers and the WKU coaching staff went out looking to add quality depth in the offseason, and it worked, welcoming in a large class that ultimately has Myers excited about 2013 and beyond.
"I feel like we met our needs both offensively and defensively, while also including a tremendous amount of athleticism and leadership with our new guys,” Myers said during the offseason. “I am excited about the depth on the mound that we brought in, along with what we will have returning for next season. Most of the new guys have been involved with winning programs, which is a big factor for us. We want to continue to win and take this program to the next level."
The 2013 newcomers span from six different states, including seven student-athletes from the state of Kentucky and four junior college newcomers. Three members of the group are listed as two-way players, as Hilltopper fans could see them either on the mound, or in the field.
“The new guys have done a great job of quickly learning the style that Coach Myers wants to run,” assistant coach Blake Allen said. “I think these guys are going to be really nice additions to what we have coming back this year. Overall, at the plate and on the mound, this group has been exciting to watch and should really help us this season.”
Expect to see plenty from the 14 WKU newcomers in 2013, whether it’s on the mound, in the field or at the plate. Find out more about the WKU newcomers below.
FROM THE JUNIOR COLLEGE RANKS:
RHP Andrew Edwards
REND LAKE CC: Rated as one of the top 150 junior college prospects in the country…Selected as an all-conference performer in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference after going 4-5 with a 1.94 ERA in 69.1 innings pitched…Struck out 73 in 2012 with Rend Lake in his second season…Started both years at Rend Lake, earning all-region honors his final year.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played two years at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, earning all-district and all-region honors…Also lettered three years on the basketball squad.
OF/INF Regan Flaherty
VANDERBILT/SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE: Attended Vanderbilt University for one year, playing in 16 games, which included four starts…Ended the year with eight RBI and five doubles, while hitting .292…Was part of the 2011 Vanderbilt baseball team that advanced to the College World Series…Transferred to Seminole State College after one year at Vanderbilt, hitting .286 with 17 RBI…Rated as one of the top 150 junior college prospects in the nation.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school baseball at Deering High School in Maine, winning three state championships…Earned all-state and all-conference honors in 2007, 2008 and 2009…Was drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners in the 28th round in 2009...Was a four-sport athlete in high school, lettering in baseball (4), basketball (2), football (2) and golf (1).
INF Griffith Roark
COWLEY COUNTY CC: Hit .356, with 34 RBI and 19 stolen bases with Cowley College in 2012…Also legged out three triples, nine doubles and hit one home run in 2012…Was selected as an all-conference performer following the season.
HIGH SCHOOL: Hit over .360 with six home runs in his final season at Stillwater High School…Started three years, earning Defensive MVP honors in 2009, along with Offensive MVP honors in 2010…Also named All-State in 2010 and first team all-state by the Oklahoma Coaches Association following his senior year.
RHP Jake Thompson
IOWA WESTERN CC: Went to Iowa Western Community College following high school, reaching the Junior College World Series in each of the last two years…Went 18-3 as a starter in two years, including a 9-1 mark his final year…Helped the team to a 2012 national title…Named all-region in his final year, and tied the school’s record for career wins and career shutouts.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school baseball at Shawnee Mission Northwest, earning a spot on the Kansas City Metro Baseball Coaches Association team following his senior year…Named all-conference and all-state following his senior season…Started for three years.
FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL RANKS:
IF/RHP Josh Bartley
HIGH SCHOOL: Helped South Warren High School in Bowling Green to a 23-14 record and a berth in the KHSAA State Baseball Tournament in his senior season…Was named second-team all-state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association after posting an ERA under 2.00 in his final year at South Warren…Made an impact on the hardwood as well, earning all-district basketball honors following his senior year.
OF Parker Cash
HIGH SCHOOL: A three-sport athlete at Glasgow High School, serving as the quarterback of the football team and also serving as a key contributor on the hardwood…Cash led Glasgow to the state title game in football in 2011, and won a regional title on the basketball court…On the baseball diamond, led Glasgow to a 27-9 record his senior season, which included a district championship…Named honorable mention all-state in 2012 on the baseball diamond, while also earning all-district honors.
IF/OF Leiff Clarkson
HIGH SCHOOL: Stole 17 bases with Ryle High School in 2011 and helped the Raiders to a 27-12 record in his senior year in 2012, which included a district championship…Lettered all four years with Ryle, including three years as a starter…Named team MVP, while also earning all-district and all-region honors…Played summer ball with the Ohio Force...Also lettered two years in soccer at Ryle High School.
INF John Gastinger
HIGH SCHOOL: Named the team MVP following his senior season at Eastern High School in Louisville, helping lead the squad to a regional championship berth in 2012...The team was ranked No. 1 in the state of Kentucky during the 2012 season, finishing the year 32-8...Was named all-district and all-region in 2012 after tying the school record for most doubles in a single season...Lettered and started all four years at Eastern.
C Ty Hogan
HIGH SCHOOL: Played his high school baseball as a catcher at Naperville North High School in Naperville, Ill., while joining the Illinois Redbirds during the summer…Lettered three years with Naperville, starting all three years.
RHP/OF Trevor Lowe
HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the Perfect Game USA Central Region Honorable Mention team prior to the 2012 season at Warren Central High School in Bowling Green, Ky…Hit .398 in his final season at Warren Central, sporting an on-base percentage of over .600…Played his summer ball with the Louisville Baseball Club... Started five years for the Warren Central varsity team…Also lettered two years in basketball…Named the team’s MVP in each of his final three years, while also earning the Mr. Hustle award and the golden glove award.
RHP Alex Mercer
HIGH SCHOOL: Led Saint Xavier to a region seven championship in 2012, and to the second round of the KHSAA state baseball tournament…Lettered and started for St. Xavier in each of his final two years of high school…Earned all-region and all-district honors following the 2011 season.
OF/LHP Anderson Miller
HIGH SCHOOL: Hit .417 at the plate and went 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Ky., his senior year, playing outfield and pitching…Earned first-team all-state and first-team all-district honors his senior season…Played his summer ball with the Kentucky Baseball Club...Named to the Five-Star General Wall of Fame at Lafayette High School…Lettered one year in basketball.
INF Thomas Peter
HIGH SCHOOL: Started three years at California High School, earning first-team all-league honors in 2012…Named team captain in 2012, while also earning team MVP honors…Selected to the All-North Coast Team…Hit .471 in his senior season, including 10 doubles, two home runs and 11 stolen bases…Topped the league charts in slugging percentage, on-base percentage and batting average.
RHP Jackson Sowell
HIGH SCHOOL: Led Bowling Green High School to a district title and a berth in the regional championship in his senior season…Went 8-1 with a 1.15 ERA in 2012, striking out 75 over 54.0 innings of work…Named all-district in both 2011 and 2012…Started all four years at Bowling Green, while also lettering four years on the gridiron, helping the Purples to the 2011 football state title.
Friday, February 1: Welcoming the New Talent
Monday, February 4: The 2013 Offensive Approach
Wednesday, February 6: Getting Defensive
Friday, February 8: Seniors Leading the Charge in 2013
Monday, February 11 – Friday, February 15: Game Week