Golden Eagle baseball team unveils 19 in Class of 2014

Golden Eagle baseball team unveils 19 in Class of 2014

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – As is the case for all collegiate sports teams, there comes a time when you have to recurit heavily to make up for personnel losses due to graduation and other causes. The Tennessee Tech baseball team is no different, as the Golden Eagle squad welcomes 19 new members to the diamond this fall.

"We are thrilled with our 2013-14 recruiting class," exclaimed head coach Matt Bragga. "First of all, I want to thank Coach Turner, Coach Church, and Coach Medley, as they did an amazing job throughout the recruiting process. These guys work so hard for our program and I can't thank them enough."

Spanning eight states all across the country, the newest 2014 recruiting class of Tech baseball will look to make an immediate impact in the upcoming year and help the Golden Eagles to build off their record-breaking season in 2013.

"Our needs in this class were all met," Bragga said. "We signed front-of-the-rotation-type pitching, one to two inning specialists that will be fantastic out of the bullpen, and some young pitchers who, quite frankly, could be some of the best we have ever had. The group of pitchers that we have brought in will blend incredibly well with our strong group of veteran returners.

"We were able to add more athleticism, power and speed to our already strong group of returning position players, as well," Bragga added. "With both pitching and position players, we added a great mix of junior college talent and high school talent. And maybe as important as anything, these young men are high character guys who do very well in the classroom. We look forward to getting this group of young men in the mix with our returning talent."

Here's a look at the newest members of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle baseball team:

A native of Madison, Ala., Adkins was a catcher and first baseman for head coach Shane Medlen while at James Clemens High School. During his senior year, he posted an impressive .380 batting average while smacking six home runs and driving in 29 runs. In 71 at-bats, Adkins collected 26 hits while walking 24 times. He slugged an other-worldly .775 while leading his team to an area championship.

TTU Coaching Staff on Scotty:  "Scotty is a left-handed hitting catcher that comes from Huntsville, Ala. He brings an ability to hit for power from the left side that plays very well in our park.  Defensively, we look forward to watching him progress behind the plate and feel his best days are ahead of him. We are ecstatic to have Scotty as a part of our program."

A three-sport athlete while at Moore County High School, Boyce transferred from Dyersburg State Community College. While at MCHS he played outfield, first base, and pitched for Josh Deal. He was also a fullback and linebacker for the football team and a forward for the basketball team. Boyce earned all-district honors in both baseball and basketball in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He also led his basketball team to district and region championships on its way to a third-place finish in the state championship.

TTU Coaching Staff on Vann:  "Vann is a left-handed pitcher from Dyersburg State Community College.  He had a very good year last year and we look forward to him bringing a solid arm from the left side to our program. He has a bulldog mentality that we feel you cannot have enough of and we look forward to him progressing and helping us win in the future."

A two-sport athlete at The King's Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla., Carpenter earned nine combined varsity letters in both golf and baseball. Six letters came on the ball field as he started his career in the seventh grade. A team captain both his junior and senior seasons, he grabbed team MVP honors after railing off 10 doubles and two home runs to a tune of a .395 average as a senior. He also stole 13 bases on the year, leading to first team all-area honors as well as a spot in the Palm Beach All-Star Game. For his high school career, Carpenter carved out a .375 average with 75 RBI, 80 stolen bases, 40 doubles, 20 triples, and eight home runs while leading his team to two district titles.

TTU Coaching Staff on Johnny:  "Johnny is an outfielder who comes to us from West Palm Beach, Fla.  He brings immense athletic ability to our program and we feel his future at Tennessee Tech is phenomenal.  Johnny is a guy who can really swing it from the right side of the plate as well as cover a lot of ground in the outfield.  We couldn't be happier to have Johnny here at Tennessee Tech and a part of this program."

A transfer from St. Petersburg Community College, Chism has experienced a ton of success beginning as a high school athlete at Alonso High School in Tampa, Fla. A pitcher and first baseman, he really excelled on the mound, finishing his senior year with a 1.82 ERA and 67 strikeouts through 65.1 innings pitched on his way to a 7-3 record. He allowed batters to hit just a measly .184 on the year. While a AHS, Chism helped lead his team to a district championship, three conference championships, three region championships, and two state titles.

TTU Coaching Staff on Chris:  "Chris is a right-handed pitcher out of state of Florida. After a very successful career at St. Petersburg Community College, Chris has all the makings to be a big contributor here at Tennessee Tech. He has a very good feel for pitching and fills the zone up which we love here at Tech. We are very excited for Chris' future."

A two-sport athlete at Colton High School in Grand Terrace, Calif., Contreras played multiple positions as both a football and baseball player. He led his team to three consecutive conference championships as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, earning all-league second-team honors as a freshman and sophomore. He took home all-league first-team honors his junior and senior years as well as all-county honors as senior.

TTU Coaching Staff on Andrew:  "Andrew comes to us from southern California after a successful career at Colton High School. He has great hands and his left-handed swing produces base hit after base hit.  We feel the sky is the limit for this young man and we look forward to watching him progress over the next four years.  Andrew will have a great career here at TTU."

A four-year letter winner from Grace Christian Academy, Cunningham wrapped up a record-breaking career  with three consecutive district championships. He earned all-district honors four times, including being named district Player of the Year one time. He also was named all-state three times while setting the GCA career records for homeruns, slugging percentage, and batting average. Cunningham put together a freakish .507 batting average his senior year, slugging an incredible .952 with an on-base percentage of .654. He wrapped up his career with a .467 batting average while playing all four infield positions.

TTU Coaching Staff on Matt:  "Matt's a guy who has a lot of power. He's played a lot of positions for a big guy. He played shortstop in high school and will play third base for us. He's a baseball player and a great hitter. He's an impact-type freshman who will make his mark very early in his career here at Tech. We're excited to have him."

A three-sport athlete out of Farragut High School, El Chibani played baseball, basketball, and football in his time at the Knoxville powerhouse. He helped FHS to the 2011 State Championship title and earned all-prep extra second-team honors. As a sophomore he was named to the Tennessee Super Sophomore Team. El Chibani also grabbed all-district honorable mention status in his time at FHS.

TTU Coaching Staff on Anthony:  "Anthony comes from a Tennessee powerhouse baseball program in Farragut High School. He is a winner and brings a great left-handed swing to the lineup and the ability to really go get it in the outfield. Anthony has phenomenal upside and we think he will have a spectacular career here at Tennessee Tech."

A three-time letter winner from Sullivan East High School, Flick put together an impressive resume under head coach Mike Breuninger, earning team MVP honors in both 2012 and 2013. The SEHS class valedictorian, he was named to the Johnson City Press Super 22 team in both 2012 and 2013 while also earning back-to-back Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year honors. His final two years he was named to the Bristol Herald Courier all-area team. As a senior, Flick combined for a .389 average with 47 RBI and state-leading 15 home runs on his way to earning Tennessee Sportswriters Association all-state first-team honors and Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association all-state first-team honors. He crushed 27 long balls in his career at SEHS.

TTU Coaching Staff on Ryan:  "Ryan is a left-handed utility guy who has an extremely bright future for us at Tennessee Tech. He brings the ability to hit for both average and power and will be a great asset to our program.  As with many of our young men, Ryan is a very intelligent young man that will be successful in whatever he does, which elevates our program on and off the field here at Tech."

A native of Lexington, Ky., Fraliex was a four-year letter winner as a pitcher and third baseman for coach Taylor Brooks at Lexington Catholic High School. He put together a solid senior season, going 8-1 on the mound while batting .325 on his way to all-state honors. He also earned all-city honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Fraliex helped lead LCHS to two district titles and a region title wall making the honor roll all four years of his high school career.

TTU Coaching Staff on Evan:  "Evan comes to us from a very successful program at Lexington Catholic in Lexington, Ky. He is a valuable guy to us because of his ability to do different things on the baseball field.  He has been a very successful player both on the mound and in the field and we look forward to watching him progress here as a true dual position player. The sky is the limit for this young man."

A transfer from Hinds Community College, Goodspeed was a two-sport athlete at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss., earning six combined letters in football and baseball. He earned first team 2-6A all-region honors in football as a junior and senior and was a first team all-state full back as a senior. He also earned first team all-district honors as a junior and senior on the diamond. In high school, he went 91-20 in his baseball career and 37-5 in his football career. Goodspeed was selected to participate in the 2010 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. and played for the 2011 NABF First Team All-World Series Team in Youngstown, Ohio. He helped lead MCHS to a state title in 2009 as well as an appearance in 2010. His team also took third in 2011. While at HCC, Goodspeed batted .345 with 16 RBI and 12 doubles.

TTU Coaching Staff on Connor:  "Connor comes to us after a very successful season at Hinds Community College in Mississippi. He provides us with a lot of different options because of his ability to play the infield, outfield, and catch. Connor also is a very solid hitter, having had two great years at Hinds. We know Connor will have two great years for us here at TTU."

A four-year letter winner from Western Reserve Berlin Center High School, Gora transferred from Lakeland Community College after an impressive high school career. He was named first team all-conference as a pitcher all four seasons at WRBCHS and finished his senior season with a 10-1 record, 1.68 ERA, 120 strikeouts, and just 20 walks. In his career, Gora helped lead his team to a conference and district championship while compiling a 30-6 record with an incredible 300 strikeouts to just 60 walks, earning him a 2.18 ERA.

TTU Coaching Staff on John:  "John is a left-handed pitcher that comes to us from the state of Ohio after a stellar career at Lakeland Community College. As a freshman, he was among the nation's best in ERA in and followed that up with another great year as a sophomore. He brings a great ability of knowing how to pitch and get outs from the left side. One thing we love here at Tech is guys that love to compete and John is one of those guys. We are thrilled to have John as a part of this program."

A two-sport athlete out of Community High School, Grissom played both basketball and baseball, the latter under coach Robbie Davis. He posted bookends on his high school career, being named CHS' Male Student Athlete of the Year as a freshman and again as a senior. In addition to being named class valedictorian and Mr. CHS, Grissom was a three-time 9A all-district player, taking home the honors each of his final three seasons.

TTU Coaching Staff on Zeke:  "Zeke is a right-handed pitcher from Community High School here in Tennessee. He is recovering from surgery, but we feel he has the ability to do special things at Tech and we look forward to him being a part of the program. He was already back in action this summer after recovering from surgery, doing some great things on the mound. Zeke is a great young man that will only help our program grow both on and off the field."

A native of Jupiter, Fla., Keatts earned four letters at Jupiter Community High School as a middle infielder and pitcher for coach Andy Moor. During his time at JCHS, he led his team to a district championship as well as a regional title. He earned first team all-conference honors in addition to second team all-district honors. Keatts was also named a Dick Howser All-Star.

TTU Coaching Staff on Kyle:  "Kyle comes to us from Jupiter, Fla. His ball club made a deep run in the playoffs in 2013 and he was a huge part of its success. He is a guy that brings us a lot of options being able to play the infield as well as getting it done on the mound. He also epitomizes what you want in a baseball player with his very tough, bulldog mentality. Kyle played in the Florida Collegiate Baseball League this summer and made the all-star team after just finishing his high school career. The future is unbelievably bright for Kyle and we look forward to having him here at Tech."

A native of Cookeville and former Cookeville High School player for coach Butch Chaffin, Savage lettered two years as a first baseman and pitcher. He helped his team to two district titles as well as a regional championship. Savage earned several honors in his time at CHS, including all-district and all-state honors as well as being named Cookeville's Offensive Player of the Year and Most Improved. He tallied an incredible senior season, batting .511 with three home runs, 17 doubles, a triple, and 40 RBI.

TTU Coaching Staff on Caleb:  "Caleb is a local product from Cookeville High School. He brings a good left-handed swing to our club and we think he has a bright future for us here at Tech. Caleb is a great young man, a hard worker, and we think he will be a very valuable option for our program."

A transfer from Cleveland State Community College, Scoggins was a four-year letter winner while at Cleveland High School as a utility player and pitcher for Ted Carson. While at CHS, he earned all-district honors and was named Team MVP and Best of Preps. He helped lead his team to both a region and sub-state championship in 2009. Scoggins finished his senior season with a 5-3 record, recording 107 strikeouts and 1.40 ERA in 59.2 innings.

TTU Coaching Staff on Jeb:  "Jeb is another Tennessee JUCO product coming from Cleveland State Community College. We are thrilled to have him in our program and we know he will have a spectacular two years for us. He is a very hard worker and great young man. We look forward to him taking the hill for us in the near future."

A two-sport athlete at Lebanon High School, Sloan transferred from Volunteer State Community College after a great high school career both on the diamond and on the mat. He earned three letters in wrestling and three more in baseball while at LHS, qualifying twice for state as a wrestler and taking home all-district honors on the mound as a pitcher.

TTU Coaching Staff on Cain:  "Cain is a local product, coming from Lebanon, Tenn. He had a very successful couple of years at Volunteer State Community College. He is a right-handed pitcher who has the ability to bring a very strong arm to our bullpen here at Tennessee Tech. Cain is a tough kid who brings a tough mentality to our program and we look forward to him performing for us."

A transfer from Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Thomas lettered three years as a pitcher while at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. He earned pre-season second team all-state honors his senior season at MHS. As a junior, he led his team to a region championship after finishing with a undefeated record and 2.25 ERA.

TTU Coaching Staff on Will:  "Will comes from a very successful JUCO program in the state of Alabama at Chattahoochee Valley Community College. He will bring much-needed depth from the left side for our pitching staff and we feel he will be a very good option for us in 2014. Will is a guy that has great ability and we look forward to him progressing and having a successful two years for us here at Tech."

A transfer from Pasco Hernando Community College, Tolle was a four-year letter winner while at Ridgewood High School in Hudson, Fla. He was an all-conference pitcher while at RHS playing for head coach Larry Beets. Tolle was named to the honor roll all four years of his high school career.

TTU Coaching Staff on Austin:  "Austin is another JUCO right-handed pitcher from Florida that we are very eager to get on the mound. He has the reputation of being a huge inning eater after throwing over 100 innings last year at Pasco Hernando Community College. We feel he will be an absolute great fit for our program as we head into the 2014 season."

A two-sport athlete at Pepperell High School in Rome, Ga., Williams played baseball and ran cross country while racking up eight total varsity letters. He was a four-time member of the all-region team, three-time member of the all-area team, and finished his career at PHS with the school record for ERA while leading the team to a 2013 region championship. He was also an four-time all-area and all-region long distance runner. Williams earned his team's "Ace" award three times and was also a capable hitter, twice finishing the season with the highest average on the team. He also posted three years straight of having the highest quality at-bat average for PHS.

TTU Coaching Staff on Nick:  "Nick is a right-handed pitcher that comes from Pepperell High School in Rome, Ga. He had an amazing career throughout his high school years and brings a power arm to our pitching staff. We know he will be a great addition to our program. Nick is one of those young men that you watch and already see how good he is, but yet it is easy to see his amazing upside in his effortless delivery. We are excited to have him here at Tennessee Tech and we can't wait to watch him progress throughout his college career."