Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team completed its 2014 recruiting class, adding an infielder and five pitchers in the spring signing period.
Joining the Govs in the spring signing period were right-handed pitcher Caleb DeLee, of Collierville, TN; infielder Alex Robles, of Tucson, AZ; right-handed pitcher Jake Corum, of Blaine, TN; right-handed pitcher Mark Hendrick, of Albuquerque, NM; and right-handed pitcher Shane Lantigua, of Bartlett, TN.Their addition brings the Govs signing roster to 15 new faces – nine pitchers, five infielders and an outfielder – that will take the field when fall practice begins. The Govs lost five starters from last season’s defense as well as two starting pitchers and the team’s closer.
In the field, first baseman Craig Massoni, shortstop Reed Harper and third baseman Jordan Hankins were lost to the draft while outfielder Cody Hudson graduated and second baseman Brett Carlson will not return. The Govs starting outfielders Rolando Gautier and Dylan Riner return as will sophomore Tommy Hager, who saw time in the outfield when Gautier was injured late in the season.
Behind the plate, the Govs return seniors P.J. Torres and Matt Wollenzin, who have capably platooned the past three seasons. That duo will be joined by highly-lauded incoming freshman Ridge Smith.
“We recruited a large group of guys because we believe we would lose a lot from last year’s team through graduation and the draft,” said head coach Gary McClure. “We lost a lot of talent when you look and see the names that won’t be in the starting lineup next year.
“It’s tough to replace the group we lost. We will be expecting a lot out of this recruiting class next year. However, this is one of the best recruiting classes we’ve put together as a whole unit. We will be young as we expect to start a lot of freshmen, especially in the infield. This is a talented group and we believe they can step up to the challenge.”
On the mound, starting pitcher Lee Ridenhour and closer Tyler Rogers were drafted and starter Casey Delgado graduated. Zach Hall and Ryan Quick will each return for their senior campaigns while A.J. Gaura will return to the mound after suffering an injury early in the 2013 campaign. That trio will be supported by senior Kacy Kemmer, sophomore Jared Carkuff and sophomore Hunter Lindley.
“We will be young but talented on the mound this season,” said McClure. “This will be a different style pitching staff for us – we’re going to have to pitch more than overpower batters this year. We brought in four arms that have the ability to be a power-type arm but we we’re going to have to pitch this year and that should be our strength.”
“Caleb is a stopper with a lot of arm strength,” said McClure. “He had a solid freshman year but redshirted last season. He has chosen to leave early because it was a better fit for him academically. He chose us and we expect him to be a big part of our starting rotation or a big arm out of the bullpen.”
The 5-11, 185-pound Robles was a second-team Louisville Slugger High School All-America selection after serving as shortstop and right-handed starting pitcher for Tucson High Magnet School. He also was named the State Player of the Year by the Arizona Daily Star after batting .505 with 29 RBI while posting a 9-2 record and 1.36 ERA on the mound.
“Alex will battle Logan (Gray) for the starting shortstop position,” McClure said. “He is a versatile infielder who can play second or third base if he doesn’t win the shortstop spot. We signed Alex to come in and be an everyday player at one of those positions. On the mound, we do believe Alex can help us out of the bullpen but a lot depends on what role he earns in the field and on the mound.”
Corum , a 6-1, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, also joins the Govs after missing the bulk of the 2012 campaign while at Walters State Community College. He made nine appearances as a freshman, striking out 15 batters in 15.1 innings pitched. Corum prepped at Grainger High School where he recorded 216 strikeouts in 183.1 innings pitched.
“Jake is probably best suited for a setup role out of the bullpen,” said McClure. “He’s going to pitch in the upper 80s with a good breaking ball and he’s going to throw strikes. Jake is very talented but also super competitive, a hard-nosed guy you want in the back of your bullpen.”
Hendrick, a 6-6, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, posted a 7-4 record as a sophomore at Lamar Community College in Colorado. He compiled 65 strikeouts in 65.1 innings pitched and finished the campaign with a 4.55 ERA. Hendrick led the Runnin’ Lopes to an Empire Conference title and the Region IX Championship, posting a 10-2 record and 3.47 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 80.1 innings pitched. He earned second-team All-Region IX honors as a freshman.
Lantigua, a 6-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, posted a 4-3 record in nine outings at Bartlett High School. That followed a junior campaign where he tossed four complete games in nine appearances, compiling a 3-3 record.
“Shane is going to be a specialist out of the pen as a freshman,” said McClure. “He should be either a three to six out guy or a right-on-right type-guy early in his career. We expect Shane to pitch as a freshman for us.”
2014 Austin Peay Baseball Signee Class
- Caleb DeLee, RHP, 6-1, 185, Collierville, TN (Meridian [MS] CC)
- Alex Robles, IF/RHP, 5-11, 185, Tucson, AZ (Tucson High Magnet School)
- Jake Corum, RHP, 6-1, 195, Blaine, TN (Walters State CC)
- Mark Hendrick, RHP, 6-6, 210, Albuquerque, NM (Lamar CC [CO])
- Shane Lantigua, RHP, 6-1, 185, Bartlett, TN (Bartlett HS)
- Cayce Bredlau, OF, 5-10, 180, Clarksville, TN (Northwest HS)
- Garrett Copeland, IF, 5-9, 185, Bartlett, TN (Bolton HS)
- Dre Gleason, 1B, 6-1, 235, O’Fallon, MO (Fort Zumwalt North HS)
- Logan Gray, IF, 6-1, 180, Leawood, KS (Rockhurst [MO] HS)
- Chase Hamilton, OF, 6-3, 185, Arlington, TN (Arlington HS)
- Jordan Harmon, RHP, 6-2, 205, St. Louis, MO (Lindbergh HS)
- Caleb Powell, RHP, 6-2, 215, Milan, TN (Milan HS)
- Levi Primasing, LHP, 6-1, 160, Clarksville, TN (Northeast HS)
- Ridge Smith, IF/C, 5-10, 190, Cordova, TN (Germantown HS)
- Zach Walton, RHP, 5-10, 175, Columbia, TN (Walters State CC)