HPU Baseball Inks 12 During The Early Signing Period

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University baseball coach Craig Cozart announced the signing of 12 student-athletes during the fall early signing period on Wednesday. The 2013 class is comprised of players from six different states including five from Florida and two from Virginia.

“This fall’s recruiting class was very important for us because of the makeup of this season’s team,” Cozart said. “With so many seniors and draft eligible juniors on the 2013 roster we had to get out and aggressively pursue high-end talent. This year’s class is an outstanding group of young men who come from great families and will represent us well both on the field and in the High Point community. We expect them to make a huge impact as far as the success of the team moving forward.”

Sean Barry is a right-handed pitcher from Moorpark High School in Simi Valley, Calif. He is a member of the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Baseball Underclass Team. As a junior in 2012, Barry posted a 7-3 record and a 1.78 ERA in 14 appearances on the mound. The righty allowed just 31 hits in 63 innings and struck out 87 batters. Barry was named to the Division 1 All-CIF team and was first-team All-Conference and the Co-Pitcher of the Year in the Marmonte League. Barry is the brother of current HPU player Adam Barry.

“Sean is a big physical pitcher out of California,” HPU Baseball Recruiting Coordinator Rich Wallace said. “He is a projectable righty who has a great work ethic and endless potential. He has two solid pitches and will play a role on the staff right away.”

Chris Clare is a shortstop from Fort Mill, S.C., who plays his prep baseball for Charlotte Catholic. Clare was named an honorable mention Underclassmen All-American in 2012. As a junior at Charlotte Christian, Clare hit .329 with a .449 on-base percentage and 27 runs scored in 25 games. He helped guide the squad to a conference championship and was named first-team All-Conference.

“Chris is a phenomenal defender who can play second, shortstop or third for us,” Wallace said. “He is a high-energy guy that will be a plus defender at any position. He is making huge improvements with his bat lately as well.”

Tony Fortier-Benson is a shortstop from Metairie, La., who played at Delgado Community College in 2012. Fortier-Benson hit .356 in 52 games with 57 hits and 33 runs scored to help guide the Dolphins to the 2012 NJCAA Region XXIII Championship. He finished the season with 12 extra-base hits including seven doubles and five triples. The shortstop was named to the Miss-Lou All-Conference team. Fortier-Benson played his prep baseball at Jesuit High School and as a senior he hit .471 while helping to guide the team to the 2011 Louisiana State Championship. He was named to the 2011 Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association All-State team, the 2011 Times-Picayune’s All-Metro team and the 2010 and 2011 All-District teams.

“Tony is a great athlete who is long and rangy,” Wallace said. “He has great instincts at shortstop and put up some great numbers at the junior college level. We expect him to make a huge impact on the lineup when he joins the team next season.”

Josh Greene is an outfielder from Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. He was named a third-team Underclassmen All-American in 2012 by Perfect Game and is currently ranked among the top 50 outfielders in his class. Greene was also named an honorable mention Underclassmen All-American in 2011. Greene played in the 2012 WWBA World Championship with Chet’s Lemon Juice and was named to the All-Tournament team. As a junior in 2012, Greene hit .293 with 25 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 26 games for Ocala High School.

“Josh is just a dynamic athlete,” Wallace said. “He is one of the best pure athletes in the state of Florida. He is a top of the order bat and is a big part of our 2013 class. His speed and athleticism will be a big benefit to us when he arrives on campus next season.”

Jeremy Johnson is a left-handed pitcher from Rocky Mount, N.C., who plays for Rocky Mount High School. Johnson was named an honorable mention Underclassmen All-American in 2012. He was named first-team All-Conference and All-Area in 2012 after leading Rocky Mount with 57 innings pitched and posting a 2.86 ERA and 80 strikeouts.

Jeremy is a left hander from nearby in Rocky Mount who we feel will provide immediate depth in our bullpen,” Wallace said. “He has a great three-pitch mix that keeps batters off balance. He is also a fiery on the mound and pitches with the attitude we look for here at HPU.”

Nick Lawrence is a right-handed pitcher from Wellington Community High School in Wellington, Fla. He was named an honorable mention Underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game in both 2011 and 2012. Lawrence played in the 2012 WWBA World Championship with the Atlanta Blue Jays and was named to the All-Tournament team. He was named second-team All-Area as a junior in 2012 after posting a 4-2 record and 2.25 ERA in 28 innings pitched.

“Nick is a strong right-handed pitcher who we believe will come in ready to pitch from day one,” Wallace said. “He is an ultra competitive kid that really battles on the mound.”

John McGillicuddy is a right-handed pitcher from Fairfax, Va., who played baseball at Marshall University in 2012 and will play the 2013 season at Louisburg College. He made five relief appearances for the Thundering Herd during his freshman season, allowing just four hits in 5-2/3 innings. He earned the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal. McGillicuddy played his prep baseball at WT Woodson High School. He was named honorable mention All-State, first-team All-Northern Region and first-team All-Patriot district as a senior in 2011. McGillicuddy was named second-team 2011 Rawlings All-Region and a 2010 honorable mention Underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game.

“John is a transfer who has a rotation type arm,” Wallace said. “He has made a huge jump on the mound since focusing solely on pitching after playing as a two-way guy during high school. He mixes three pitches and is just coming into his own on the mound.”

Jordan Parnell is a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla. He was named a second-team Underclassmen All-American in 2012 and honorable mention Underclassmen All-American in 2011 by Perfect Game. As a junior in 2012, Parnell made six appearances and posted a 3.63 ERA, striking out 13 batters in eight innings.

“Jordan is another power arm that is very projectable,” Wallace said. “He will add quality pitching depth right away as a freshman. He has a great winning pedigree and comes from one of the best high school programs in the state of Florida.”

Mitchell Reeves is a utility player from Winter Springs, Fla., who plays at Oviedo High School. He was named first-team All-Conference as a sophomore in 2011.

“Mitch is a very versatile athlete who has the potential to play a lot of different positions for us,” Wallace said. “We could see him playing anywhere in the outfield or at one of the corner infield spots. He is a right-handed batter with power potential.”

Andre Scrubb is a pitcher from C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Va. The 6-foot-5 260-pound righty is ranked 191st in the country by Perfect Game and is considered one of the top prospects from the state of Virginia. Scrubb was named to the 2012 WWBA 17U National Championship All-Tournament team. As a junior in 2012, Scrubb was named the News & Messenger’s 2012 Prep Baseball Player of the Year. He led C.D. Hylton to the Group AAA state semifinals, posting a 7-4 record with a 1.54 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. He also hit .402 with eight home runs and 28 RBI. Scrubb was named the Cardinal District and Northwest Region Player of the Year as well as honorable mention All-State.

“Andre Scrubb is a big, physical pitcher,” Wallace said. “He is a hard-throwing righty who will challenge for a spot in the rotation during his time here at High Point. He is a two-sport athlete who also played football and he brings that mentality to his baseball.”

Cas Silber is a third baseman and right-handed pitcher from Raleigh, N.C., who plays his prep baseball for Sanderson High School. Silber was named to the All-Tournament team at the 2012 WWBA 17u National Championships after striking out 11 of the 19 batters he faced and posting a 1.11 ERA. Silber was named to the Cap-8 All-Conference team in 2011 and 2012.

“Cas is a legitimate two-way player who adds depth and quality to our infield and pitching staff.” Wallace said. “He comes in with two quality pitches and we feel like his best days are ahead of him on the mound.”

Brenden Sires-Rivera is a first baseman from Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High School in Temple Terrace, Fla. He was named an honorable mention Underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game in 2012. As a junior in 2012, Sires-Rivera was named second-team All-County by the Tampa Bay Times after hitting .438 with a county-best 32 RBI and seven doubles. He was a member of the 2011 Brighthouse Sports Network All-Bay Area team and an honorable mention All-County selection after leading the county with nine home runs. While played in the 2012 USA Baseball Breakthrough Series, Sires-Rivera was selected to the series’ All-Star Team.

“Brenden is a projectable left-handed power bat,” Wallace said. “He is a solid defender at first base but could see some time in the corner outfield positions as well.”

“Recruiting gets more competitive every year,” Cozart said. “The depth and the quality of this class is a testament to the ability and work ethic of both Rich Wallace and Bryan Peters. Their efforts continue to push HPU baseball to new heights.”

The HPU baseball team will open its 2013 season on Feb. 15 when it travels to Charleston, S.C., to play in the Citadel Memorial Challenge. The Panthers will play Kansas State, George Mason and The Citadel over the course of three days. HPU opens its home schedule on Feb. 20 against Charlotte.