Nov. 14, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University baseball head coach Rob Smith announced the addition of 10 student-athletes, who signed National Letters of Intent to suit up for the Bobcats in the spring of 2014. The list of 2014 signees is Smith's first recruiting class at Ohio.
The 2014 class features student-athletes from five different states, including five from Ohio. The list also includes one player from Canada and two junior college transfers.
"I would first like to thank my staff for their efforts in helping me identify and recruit our first class here at Ohio," Smith said. "Craig Moore and Chris Berry spent countless hours on the road this summer and fall and their hard work really paid off for us. When we set out to build this recruiting class, I was interested not only in obtaining talented players, but people who understand and appreciate how we want to build this program and the culture that we want to establish. With these 10 players I believe we have laid a good foundation for what we want this program to look like in the future."
According to PrepBaseballReport.com, the 2014 Ohio recruiting class features three of the top 30 players in the state of Ohio - more than any other school in the Mid-American Conference. In total, Ohio landed five of the top 43 players in the state of Ohio.
2014 Recruiting Class
6-2 | 180 | Infield
Waynesville, Ohio | Waynesville High School
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio as the 36th ranked player in the state of Ohio according to prepbaseballreport.com... Four-year varsity letterwinner... Two-year captain... Three-time All-League honoree... Earned league Player of the Year honors as a sophomore... Earned First Team All-Area and team Most Valuable Player honors as a junior... Holds his high school's all-time hits record... Set the school standard for batting average in a season... Coached by Tom Begley... Also played football and basketball.
Personal: Born June 9, 1994... Son of Mike and Shelly Black... Has one brother - Troy... Member of his high school's student council... SADD Members... Lists his favorite athlete as Derek Jeter and his favorite professional team as the Cincinnati Reds... Expects to major in Business Marketing.
Coach Smith on Black: "Ty is a great example of the type of player I want to get in our program. Aside from being a very good shortstop, he will bring leadership to the program early in his career. He is a great fit for the style and approach we want to have here. His energy for playing will make his teammates better."
6-4 | 180 | Right-Handed Pitcher
Maple, Ontario | St. Joan of Arc
Prior to Ohio: Played three years in junior ball with the Toronto Mets... During his three years in junior ball with the Mets, he threw a pair of no-hitters... Served as the team captain of the Mets and helped the squad to the Canada Cup Championship... Earned team Most Valuable Player honors following the 2011-12 season.
Personal: Born April 12, 1995... Son of Roy and Rosemarie Botter... Has one brother Nicholas... Enjoys fishing, golfing and swimming... Lists his favorite athlete as Derek Jeter and his favorite team as the New York Yankees... Expects to major in Geography... Future plans include being an elementary/high school teacher.
Coach Smith on Botter: "I am very excited to begin work with Christian next fall. He is a very projectable pitcher with a high ceiling. He has several attributes that will allow him to develop into a solid weekend starter in the MAC. He will also bring in great experience from his international play with the Canadian Junior National Team."
6-2 | 190 | Infield
Santa Claus, Ind. | Heritage Hills High School | Rend Lake Community College
Prior to Ohio: Has helped Heritage Hills to an 85-32 record in three years... During his career, he has posted a .383 batting average, scored 101 runs, drove in 79 RBI and tallied 26 doubles... Coached by Dave Sensenbrenner at Heritage Hills... Played two years for the Evansville Razorbacks in junior ball... During the 2012 season, the Razorbacks went 38-4 and won the 96-team 18 and Under Pastime National Championship... A standout football player at Evansville, earning Associated Press All-State honors in 2010.
Personal: Born Feb. 5, 1993... Son of Jay and Angela Burch... His father Jay is the Athletic Director at Heritage High School... His father also played collegiate baseball at Southern Illinois for four years and was college baseball coach for 11 years... Has one sister - Kaley... A member of the National Honor Society... Attended the same high school as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler... Lists the Cincinnati Reds as his favorite team and Derek Jeter as his favorite athlete.
Coach Smith on Burch: "Tirey brings a lot of versatility as he can play all three infield spots. With so many young players that will be coming in next fall, he will add experience and maturity to our team. He will also fit in well with our offensive system as he can handle the bat and understands the game. I am excited to get Tirey here next fall."
5-7 | 153 | Infield
Edgewood, Ky. | Holy Cross High School
Prior to Ohio: Selected to the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference All-Star Team following his sophomore and junior seasons... Has only struck out five times during his entire high school career... Collected 129 hits throughout his high school career... Has posted a .350 batting average-or-better in each of his three seasons as a head coach... Posted a 27-game hitting streak during his junior year... Named to the Cincinnati Enquirer's All-Northern Kentucky Honorable Mention team following his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons... Has helped his high school squad to a pair of Jim Connor Classic Tournament titles, two 35th District Championships and a 76-31 record throughout his prep career.
Personal: Born Feb. 11, 1995... Son of Craig and Rhonda Callery... Has three siblings - Colton (brother), Courtney (sister) and Carlie (15)... Brother Colton graduated from Thomas More College and his sister Courtney is a junior at TMC... Lists Pokey Reese as his favorite athlete and the Boston Red Sox as his favorite team... Is undecided on his major... Volunteers at People Working Cooperatively.
Coach Smith on Callery: "Connor is a versatile offensive player who at some point will be a strong top of the order type hitter. His approach at the plate is perfect for our offensive system as he consistently makes contact and minimizes his strikeouts. He plays the game with great effort and will fit in perfectly to our approach.
5-8 | 190 | Right-Handed Pitcher
North Plains, Ore. | Glencoe High School | Northern Iowa Community College
Prior to Ohio: Three-year letterwinner in both baseball and football... Earned all-conference honors as a pitcher in 2010... Received All-State honors as a utility player in 2011.
Personal: Born March 20, 1993... Son of Chris Cronk... Has two siblings - one brother (Greg) and one sister (Katelyn)... Lists his favorite athlete as Trevor Hoffman and his favorite team as the San Diego Padres... Enjoys watching movies, working out and playing video games.
Coach Smith on Cronk: "In building our pitching staff I knew we needed to get some experienced arms to help anchor the staff next year and we did that in Jeremy. He is versatile in the fact that he will be able to either start or close games for us. We have yet to determine what role that might be, but we are excited about the fact he will play a big role for us. He is very competitive and displays the type of pitch-ability that we like for our pitchers to have."
5-11 | 185 | Outfield
Gates Mills, Ohio | Mayfield High School
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio as the fourth ranked position player and the 13th overall ranked player in the state of Ohio according to PrepBaseballReport.com ... Three-year letterman... Was named as the team captain for his senior year... As a junior... Posted a batting average of .540 during his junior campaign en route to earning All-Star Honors by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the News-Herald... His .540 batting was tops among Cleveland area hitters... Helped his squad to the 2012 State Division I Regional I District Championship... In the State Regional Semifinals, he went 4-for-4 with a triple, a double and drove in four RBI... Coached by Don Ramer.
Personal: Born January 12, 1995... Son of Mark and Lisa Longo... Has three siblings - Lee (brother), Jack (brother) and Chelsey (sister)... Older brother Lee is a junior on the Eastern Michigan baseball team... His uncle Dave is an Ohio University alum and competed in both cross country and swimming... Lists his favorite athlete as Josh Hamilton and the Cleveland Browns as his favorite football team.
Coach Smith on Longo: "Mitch is one of the top players in the state of Ohio and we will look for him to have an impact for us both offensively and defensively. He possesses several tools including his power, speed and arm strength that will allow for him to compete at this level quickly. He is a very confident player who plays the game hard."
6-0 | 190 | Infield
Fairfield, Ohio | Badin High School
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio as the 10th ranked position player and the 24th overall ranked player in the state of Ohio according to PrepBaseballReport.com... Earned GCL Player of the Year honors following his junior year... Three time GCL All-Conference honoree... Batted .446 with 14 doubles, 19 stolen bases and 32 RBI as a junior... Coached by Brian Phelps.
Personal: Born May 2, 1995... Son of Darin and Patty Rieman... Has two siblings - Alex (brother) and Sarah (sister)... His farther Darin played baseball at the University of Kentucky from 1987-90... Lists his favorite team as the Cincinnati Reds and his favorite athlete as Ken Griffey Jr... Participated on the student council... Expects to major in business.
Coach Smith on Rieman: "Austin was one of the first players we offered this past summer and it did not take us long to figure out he was a perfect fit for what we want to do here. He plays the game with tremendous effort and passion. Along with being very talented, he will really fit into the culture we hope to continue building. I am looking forward to getting him in our program.
6-3 | 185 | Right Handed Pitcher
Sandwich, Ill. | Sandwich High School
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio after being ranked as the fifth ranked pitcher and the 17th ranked player in the state of Illinois according to PrepBaseballReport.com... Three-time varsity letterwinner... Two-time All-Conference honoree... Earned All-Area honors in both 2011 and 2012... Selected as the team's Most Valuable Pitcher in 2011 and 2012... Coached by Derek Avery and Jason VanPelt.
Personal: Born Dec. 5, 1994... Son of Ron and Stephanie Roehn... Has two sisters - Shannon and Amanda... Enjoys playing basketball, fishing, hunting and running... Lists his favorite teams as the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls... Undecided major.
Coach Smith on Roehn: "I am very excited to have Jake join our program. He is one of the top pitchers in the state of Illinois and was being recruited by several quality schools. He has great projectability and will be able to contribute early in his career. He too is a pitcher we think can become a very good weekend starter for us in conference play at some point."
6-3 | 212 | Right Handed Pitcher
Toledo, Ohio | St. Francis deSales
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio as the 43rd overall ranked player in the state of Ohio according to PrepBaseballReport.com... Three-year letterwinner in baseball... Pitched 53.1 innings, allowed just 24 hits, 23 runs and allowed just nine earned runs, while striking out 87 during the 2011-12 season... Helped his high school squad to an 18-12 season... Posted back-to-back one hit shutout games in 2011-12...Earned All-District and All-Conference honors following the season.
Personal: Born Sept. 6, 1994... Son of Tracey and Jefferey Rudnicki... Has one brother - Zachary, who attending the University of Toledo... Lists his favorite team as the Cleveland Indians and his favorite athlete as the Cleveland Indians... Enjoys hanging out with friends and family... Intends to major in athletic training.
Coach Smith on Rudnicki: "Jake brings several tools including size and arm strength that can be hard to find. He is just starting to realize his potential and we are excited to continue his development. I am looking forward to working with Jake as I believe he will progress quickly with us and help contribute early on in his career here at Ohio."
5-10 | 180 | Left Handed Pitcher
Etna, Ohio | Watkins Memorial High School
Prior to Ohio: Comes to Ohio as the fourth ranked left-handed pitcher and the 29th overall player in the state of Ohio according to PrepBaseballReport.com... Earned four varsity letters at Watkins Memorial High School... Two-time Second Team All-Ohio Capital Conference honoree in both his sophomore and junior seasons... Earned First Team All-Licking County honors as a sophomore... In his first season at Watkins, he tallied 72 at bats and a .458 batting average... The following year he batted .321 with 14 RBI and posted a 2.20 earned run average on the mound in 41.1 innings of work.
Personal: Born May 31, 1994... Son of Ed Winters... Has one sister Roucille... His great uncle Dorwin Peer played on the 1938 Ohio University baseball team... Lists his favorite baseball player as Jacoby Ellsbury and the Boston Red Sox as his favorite professional team... Intends to major in chemical engineering.
Coach Smith on Winters: "Tony might be the best athlete in our class. He will definitely help us on the mound as he possess a very good breaking ball that is a swing and miss pitch. He has great poise on the mound and competes well. He will be a big piece in building a championship type bullpen."