COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech baseball coach Matt Bragga’s recruiting efforts this summer have paid off in the form of 10 signees for the 2011 baseball season. Nine Tennesseans and one from North Carolina comprise the incoming class for the upcoming season.
“Our 2010-2011 recruiting class matches exactly what we look for in every class we bring in to our great university,” Bragga said. “These are all outstanding young men who have had success in the classroom, and they are incredibly talented baseball players.
“This is another special recruiting class for Tennessee Tech Baseball and we are anxious to get to work,” Bragga said. “I want to thank our assistant coaches for all the hours of work they put in to find this Championship group of young men.”
Cullen Park – 6’3 200 RHP Walters State Community College
A JUCO transfer out of Forest City, N.C., Park earned three varsity letters from East Rutherford High School as a pitcher under Bobby Dale Reynolds. He maintained a 0.76 ERA his junior year with a .420 batting average, and a 1.96 ERA his senior year, fanning 116 batters in 69 innings pitched. He contributed offensively with a .386 average at the plate.
Coach Bragga on Cullen: “Cullen is such an important part of this class, as he can fill just about any role we put him in. He has an electric fastball and his off-speed pitches have a chance to be special. He is a hard working young man that will make an immediate impact on the mound for our TTU Golden Eagles.”
Garrett Baugh – 6’1 200 RHP Ooletawah High School
A native of McDonald, Tenn., Baugh Batted .432 his senior year, chipping in with four home runs, 14 doubles and one triple. He scored 32 runs and batted in 28. On defense he was perfect on the mound with a 5-0 record in five appearances. He contributed 39 strikeouts and allowed only 12 hits, none of them resulting in an earned run. Baugh received honors on the TSWA 1st team All-State, 2009 & 2010 Best of Preps teams, 2008 super sophomore team and 2009 TBCA All-Region Team. His individual awards include the 2010 Best of Preps Player of the Year and 2006 Freshman MVP of his team.
Coach Bragga on Baugh: “Garrett is a hard-nosed baseball player that is an ultimate competitor. He is a polished pitcher and is going to have a special career for the TTU Baseball program. Garrett is great young man and we are thrilled to have him as a member of our TTU baseball family.”
Justin Alexander – 5’11 180 RHP Knoxville Webb High School
Alexander earned four varsity letters under Clark Wormsley at Webb School of Knoxville, earning honors such as 1st team All-State, and on the All-Region team. He logged career stats at Webb with an 11-1 pitching record and a .397 batting average, helping his team to claim the 2010 Regional and State Championships.
Coach Bragga on Alexander: “Justin is another highly competitive, highly motivated young man. He has an infectious personality that touches everyone around him in such a positive way. So not only is he going to be a great pitcher here at TTU, but a great ambassador for our University.
Chandler McCauley – 6’5 200 RHP Gallatin High School
McCauley earned four letters from Gallatin High School, leading the team and setting school records for strikeouts and innings pitched during both his junior and senior year.
Coach Bragga on McCauley: “Chandler has a chance to be a special pitcher here at Tech. He is a great young man that we believe has a huge upside on the mound. The ball really jumps out of Chandler’s hand. He is not only a great baseball player, but a great young man.”
Jake McWhirter – 6’3 195 LHP Friendship Christian
A versatile player out of Goodlettsville, Tenn., McWhirter filled roles as a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder for high school coach Richie Estep. Over the course of his high school career, he was named 1st team All-District, Disctrict MVP, 2nd team Mid-State, 2nd team All-State and 1st team All-State according to TBCA. He recorded 109 strikeouts with a 1.69 ERA during his senior season, notching of 225 K’s in his high school career. His high school team held the district championship title from 2007-2010, claimed the regional championship in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and the state championship in 2007 and 2008.
Coach Bragga on McWhirter: “Jake had a great high school career for a great program. He is a great competitor with a ceiling that is incredibly high. We look forward to working with and watching Jake become an integral part of our pitching staff and team. Jake is also, another great young man.
Zac Flynn – 5’11 170 OF Sevier County High School
A power hitter from Sevierville, Tenn., Flynn batted .505 with 15 home runs and 78 RBI’s during his senior season, earning honors as the IMAC District MVP when his high school team won the IMAC District Championship, and being named to the TBCA and TSWA All-State, All-District and All-Region teams.
Coach Bragga on Flynn: “Zac can just flat hit a baseball. He has hit everywhere, at every level he has ever played and we know that will continue here at Tech. As he continues to develop and get stronger we believe he will become an elite college hitter. We are thrilled that Zac will make Cookeville and Tennessee Tech his home away from home.”
David Allen – 5’11 170 OF Farragut High School
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Allen was a key component on Farragut’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 State Championship teams, earning three varsity letters under two head coaches in Tommy Phorr and Matt Buckner.
Coach Bragga on Allen: “David was the lead-off hitter for the 2010 State Champion Farragut High School baseball team and has been an integral part of numerous Championships in his time at Farragut. He is a young man that can really go get the ball in the outfield, and he has a high baseball IQ. We look forward to coaching David here at Tech over the next four years.”
Will Stansell – 6’1 200 C Baylor School
A catcher out of Signal Mountain, Tenn., Stansell contributed during his senior season with a .402 batting average, including six long balls and 12 doubles. He was named to the All-Region team in 2009 and 2010, and filled the role of Best of Preps team captain for 2009 and 2010. He helped fuel his high school team to claim the regional championship in 2007 and 2008. The team also advanced to the State Championship game in 2008.
Coach Bragga on Stansell: “Will is steady in every sense of the word. He is a consistent performer offensively and defensively and shows up everyday ready to play. Will has the great ability to drive the ball to all fields. We are thrilled to have Will as a part of our TTU Baseball family.”
Zach Stephens – 6’0 205 1B Soddy Daisy High School
Stephens, a first baseman out of Hixson, Tenn., earned all-state, district and region honors as well as Best of Preps honors and four letters from Soddy Daisy High School. He recorded a .450 batting average with 63 RBI’s, 17 homers and 13 doubles in his senior season.
Coach Bragga on Stephens: “Zach can really hammer a baseball. He has the great ability to hit with power to all fields. I believe, with continued hard work, he has a chance to become one of the great hitters here at Tech. He is also very athletic for a big guy. Zach is another special young man.
Sydney McCallan – 5’11 180 OF Boyd-Buchannan High School
An outfielder out of Ooltewah, Tenn., McCallan earned four varsity letters under Jimmy Parker and Steve Robbins. He was named TBCA 2nd team All-State, TSWA All-State and to the All-District team twice. He also was a member of the All-Region team, Best of Preps team and was the TNGA All-Star Game MVP. He recorded a .429 average with 12 home runs, 43 RBI’s, 32 runs scored and 11 stolen bases during his senior year.
Coach Bragga on McCallan: “Sydney is an outstanding young athlete and a natural leader on the field. His quickness around the bases will be an asset to our team, and we are looking forward to watching him develop as a student-athlete at TTU.”