GREENVILLE, N.C. - Eleven high school seniors have committed to play baseball at East Carolina University in 2011, head baseball coach Billy Godwin announced Friday. The latest group of prep standouts will enroll at ECU in the fall of 2010 and will take the diamond for the Pirates in 2011.
The class includes three pitchers (Jake Baker, Austin Chrismon and Dario Santangelo), two catchers (Will Connerley, Joshua Lovick) , three infielders (Chase McDonald, Jack Reinheimer and Drew Reynolds) and three outfielders (Austin Blake, Jonathan Holt and Ben Fultz).
"Our coaching staff has once again assembled an outstanding recruiting class," Godwin said. "Our emphasis in this class was to add depth among our position players. The ability to attract top in-state talent as well as out of state speaks volumes for our program. All of these young men, come from outstanding families, have superior character and have a passion to help East Carolina continue to strive for our ultimate goal of playing in Omaha. They are True Pirates!"
Jake Baker - RHP - 6-2, 185 - Garner HS (Garner, N.C.)
Posted a 6-4 overall record for the Trojans as a junior ... Sported an impressive 1.87 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 53 innings under the direction of coach Derek Goffena ... Named Trojan Pitcher-of-the-Year ... Earned Greater Neuse All-Conference honors ... Helped Garner to a 14-11 overall record and an appearance in the NCHSAA 4A playoffs ... Winner in game one of the state playoffs against Middle Creek where he worked five innings, fanned six and allowed three hits ... Recorded double-digit strikeouts (11) against the Clayton Comets on Mar. 12 and Apr. 28 in 2009 ... Notched lone save of the season against the South Central Spartans ... Ranked No. 31 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Participated in the North Carolina State Games ... Played travel baseball for Andy Partin and the Dirtbags ... Personal: Full name is Jacob Henry Baker ... Born August 15, 1991 ... Father pitched at NC State ....Son of Henry and Jan Baker.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Jacob has three quality pitches, all of which have a chance to be exceptional on the collegiate level. He is devoted to be a great pitcher and has a tremendous amount of upside and projectablity."
Austin Blake - OF - 5-11, 175 - Ronald Reagan HS (Pfafftown, N.C.)
Two-time letterwinner for head coach Jamie Mabe ... Earned Central Piedmont 3A All-Conference honors for three consecutive seasons ... Two-time all-county selection ... Batted .508 as a freshman and was named 2007 Triad Sports Weekly Rookie-of-the-Year ... Named to Triad Sports Weekly All-Area Team in as a freshman ... As a sophomore hit .450 for the Raiders ... During junior campaign batted .400 with eight home runs, 33 RBI and seven doubles at the dish ... On the mound sported a 3.09 ERA with 13 punch outs, five walks while allowing six runs ... Posted a 1-0 record in two starts (11.1 inn.) and held opposing hitters to a .279 average ... Helped the Raiders a to a 7-3 record in the Piedmont Triad 3A ... Ranked No. 40 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Played travel baseball for Ricky Keith and the Carolina Cubs ... Personal: Full name is Austin Ryan Blake ... Born December 28, 1991 ... Son of Tim and Melissa Blake.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Austin is a special offensive player. He projects to hit for power and average. He will be making a transition from the infield in high school to the outfield at ECU. Austin has the potential to be an outstanding corner outfielder with good speed."
Austin Chrismon - RHP - 6-3, 215 - Menchville HS (Newport News, Va.)
Two-year letterwinner for head coach Phil Forbes ... Helped Menchville (26-2) to the 2009 VHSL Baseball State Championship and a No. 1 national ranking by USA Today, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America polls ... Earned first-team Daily Press All-Star honors as a junior ... Two-time All-Peninsula District honors as a pitcher (sophomore and junior) ... Named 2009 second-team preseason Louisville Slugger All-America ... During junior campaign was the Monarchs No. 2 starter that posted an 8-0 record in 15 games with a .153 ERA ... Fanned 80 hitters while walking just 15 in 53.1 innings and allowing a .153 opponent batting average ... Tossed a pair of complete games ... In the quarterfinals worked three innings of relief striking out eight advancing the Monarchs to the State 3A Championship ... At the dish batted .292 with a double and six RBI at third base ... Listed as the No. 5 top senior prospect in Virginia by PGCrosschecker.com ... Rated as one of the top 200 national senior prospects by PGCrosschecker.com ... Listed as one of the top senior prospects in Virginia by Rivals.com ... Played travel baseball for Jeff Petty of the Hurricanes ... Member of the 16U World Wood Bat Association National Championship team in 2009 ... Participated in the 2009 Perfect Game National Showcase where he was named Honorable Mention All-America ... Also participated in the 2009 East Coast Professional Showcase ... Personal: Full name is William Austin Chrismon ... Born September 16, 1992.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Austin has established himself as one of the top pitchers on the East Coast, and arguably the best in the state of Virginia. He has outstanding command of three quality pitches and has the capability of coming in right away and making a huge impact as a freshman on the mound."
Will Connerley - C/OF - 6-2, 195 - Lee Davis HS (Mechanicsville, Va.)
Two-year letterwinner for head coach Kenny Lewis ... Earned second-team all-district as a junior ... Two-time academic all-district in baseball ... Batted .360 (18-for-50) with a home run, four doubles, two triples, 12 RBI, 19 runs while swiping nine bases in 20 games ... Played for American Legion Post 175 and former ECU Pirate Eddie Gates ... Batted .421 (32-for-76) with nine home runs, 31 RBI, four doubles, three triples, scored 21 runs and stole 10 bases in 19 games in 2009 ... Earned three letters in football ... Named team captain during junior and senior season ... Three-time academic all-district in football ... Earned first-team all-district honors and honorable mention All-Metro (defensive back) as a senior ... Named second-team all-district as wide receiver during junior season ... Participated in the Perfect Game Showcase in Marietta, Ga. ... Played fall baseball for Lee Banks and the Tidewater Orioles and summer baseball for Tommy Mayers and the Richmond Braves ... Member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Varsity Club and Interact Club ... Personal: Full name is William Hunter Connerley ... Born June 21, 1992 ...Dad played at Atlantic Christian College with ECU Head Coach Billy Godwin...Son of Mack and LeAyne Connerley ... Has one sibling (Kendall).
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Will is an outstanding athlete and will be very versatile behind the plate or in a corner outfield spot. His best baseball is ahead of him. Offensively, Will has a chance to be a middle of the line-up hitter."
Ben Fultz - OF - 5-9, 183 - Ragsdale HS (Greensboro, N.C.)
Three-year letterwinner for head coach Donnie Maness ... During three-year career boasts a .428 average (98-for-229) with 10 home runs, 78 RBI, 22 doubles, nine triples, 88 runs and has stole 36 bases ... Two-time all-conference selection ... All-Area honorable mention selection as a junior after hitting .426 (29-for-68) with three home runs, 27 RBI, seven doubles, two triples, 28 runs and 17 stolen bases ... Selected as the team MVP and named all-area as a sophomore where he batted .456 (37-for-81) with five home runs, 30 RBI, six doubles, six triples, 38 runs and 15 stolen bases ... During freshman season batted .400 (32-for-80) with two homers, 21 RBI, nine doubles, 22 runs and four stolen bases ... Ranked No. 25 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Two-time N.C. State Games participant ... Participated in the 2009 Atlantic Coast Showcase ... Played in the 2007 and 2009 World Wood Bat Association National Championships ... Personal: Full name is Benjamin Michael Fultz ... Born October 1, 1991 ... Son of Mike and Kim Fultz.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Ben is an exciting addition to our recruiting class. He is a very good runner and has the ability to be the total offensive package. "Ben will make the transition to the outfield and has the ability to play any outfield position."
Jonathan Holt - OF/1B - 6-1, 185 - West Forsyth (Clemmons, N.C.)
Two-year starter for head coach Randy Pope ... Batted .380 with two home runs, 15 RBI and slugged .493 as a junior ... Named first-team all-conference and all-county for the Titans in 2009 ... Ranked No. 19 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Rated as one of the top 500 national senior prospects by PGCrosschecker.com ... Listed as the No. 22 top senior prospect in North Carolina by PGCrosschecker.com ... 2009 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American as a junior ... Played travel baseball for the Dirtbags under head coach Andy Partin ... Four-time participant in the World Wood Bat Association Championships (2006-09) ... Participant in the 2009 N.C. State Games ... 2010 North Carolina Future Game participant ... Personal: Full name is Jonathan Michael Holt ... Born July 13, 1992 ... Son of Brian and Sandra Holt ... Has one sibling (Greg).
Coach Godwin's Comments: "In my opinion, Jonathan will be a very good hitter at our level. He has the ability to hit for power and average. His athleticism will allow him to play a corner outfield position or first base."
Joshua Lovick - INF/C - 5-10, 175 - Kinston HS (Kinston, N.C.)
Six-time letterwinner (3 baseball, 3 football) ... Two-time ECC 3A All-Conference performer under head coach Jason Wade ... Named team MVP as a sophomore and junior ... During junior campaign batted .590 (36-for-61) with two home runs, 26 RBI, 12 doubles, 26 runs and 15 stolen bases ... Named honorable mention All Eastern Carolina Conference as a freshman ... Three-time winner of the team's Best Offensive Player Award (2007-09) ... Named Kinston Free Press Tri-Player-of-the-Year as a junior ... Member of 2008 football squad that won ECC championship ... Named WITN-TV football Player-of-the-Week (Sept. 21, 2009) ... Two-time George Whitfield East All-Tournament Team selection (2008-09) ... N.C. State Games Region 2 participant ... Played for coach Ronnie Battle and the Kinston Post 43 American Legion team that made the state playoffs ... Ranks second in his class ... Member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society ... Candidate for the International Baccalaureate Diploma ... Plays travel baseball for head coach Rickey Keith and the Carolina Cubs ... Personal: Full name is Joshua Stephen Lovick ... Born October 6, 1991 ... Son of Steve and Christina Lovick ... Has one sibling (Alissa).
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Josh is the total package for a student-athlete. He has the versatility and athleticism to play the middle infield or step behind the plate. His catching ability really is what caught our eye and his versatility should get him on the field early in his career as a Pirate."
Chase McDonald - INF - 6-4, 245 - J.H. Rose HS (Greenville, N.C.)
Lettered during junior season for head coach Ronald Vincent ... Named 2010 preseason Under Armour All-American ... Helped the Rampants to a 24-4 overall record and an appearance in the NCHSAA 4A semi-finals in 2009 ... Started all 28 games as a junior where he batted .450 with 12 home runs, 38 hits, seven doubles, 22 runs and 45 RBI, while slugging an amazing .917 ... Hit a pair of home runs in a 4-2 win over Wilmington Laney in the third round of the NCHSAA ... Earned first-team Coastal All-Conference honors ... First-team All-Area ... Named to the 2008 Conley Easter All-Tournament Team ... Ranked No. 13 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Participant in the N.C. State Region 1 and Futures Games ... Home run champion at the N.C. State and Futures Games ... Selected to play in the 2009 East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Florida ... Took home Player-of-the-Week and Mattingly Hitting Award at the Under Armour Showcase ... Invited to represent North Carolina in the Power Showcase at Tropicana Field in January 2010 ... Named to the USA Baseball NTIS At Large Team ... Member of the National Honor Society and National Latin Honor Society ... Vice President of the National Honor Society ... Member of Fellow Christian Athletes ... Also lettered as a member of the Rampant swim team ... Plays travel ball for Rickey Keith and the Carolina Cubs ... Personal: Full name is Charles Lawrence McDonald ... Born June 2, 1992 ... Son of Lawrence and Anne McDonald.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Chase grew up wanting to be a Pirate. He has as much raw power as anyone I have seen in the country. Chase has the ability to hit in the middle of our order and be a major run producer in his career at East Carolina. He can hit for a high average and drive the ball to all fields."
Jack Reinheimer - INF - 6-0, 160 - Ardrey Kell HS (Charlotte, N.C.)
Two-time letterwinner and starter for head coach Hal Bagwell ... Ranks as the school's all-time assist leader with 139 ... Batted .290 as a sophomore where he started at third base ... Led the team in assists with 82 and helped Knights to a State 4A Championship game where they fell to J.H. Rose HS ... Led Ardrey Kell to the 2009 State 4A Championship title as a junior, where he batted .337 (34-for-101) with a home run, four doubles, 18 RBI and 21 runs ... Ranked No. 29 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... N.C. State Games participant for Region 6 that won the championship ... Participated in the South Charlotte Sports Report Battles of the Borders All-Star Game and the South Atlantic Border Battle All-Star game in 2009 ... Played travel baseball for Jason Hill and the On Deck Orioles ... Personal: Full name is John Patrick Reinheimer ... Born July 19, 1992 ... Son of Paul and Bonnie Reinheimer.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Jack is an outstanding addition to our infield and can play at any position. He has great feel for the game and tremendous baseball instincts. Offensively he could be a top of the lineup type hitter with good speed."
Drew Reynolds - INF - 6-2, 150 - East Rutherford HS (Cherryville, N.C.)
Two-year letterwinner and starter for head coach Bobby Reynolds ... Two-time all-conference and all-county selection for the Cavaliers ... As a sophomore batted .375 with a home run, 22 RBI, 24 runs, seven doubles and three triples ... During junior campaign hit an impressive .420 with a pair of homers, 26 RBI, 28 runs, 10 doubles and two triples ... Earned 2A All-State honors ... Named team MVP and was selected to the All-Easter tournament squad ... Ranked No. 24 in Impact Baseball's Top-50 North Carolina 2010 prospects ... Participated in the 2008 World Wood Bat Association Championships ... In two years of American Legion action batted .370 (125-for-337) with five home runs, 21 doubles and four triples ... Personal: Full name is Drew Weston Reynolds ... Born April 25, 1992 ... Son of Bobby and Susan Reynolds.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Drew is an exceptional young man. In addition to being an outstanding infielder with great hands and arm, he is a coach on the field. He is a throwback and student of the game. Offensively, he has a solid left handed stroke and will be able to hit anywhere in the order as he gets stronger."
Dario Santangelo - RHP - 6-1, 180 - Bishop George Ahr HS (Edison, N.J.)
Two-year letterwinner for head coach Scott Runkel ... 2009 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American as a junior ... Posted an 8-2 overall record on the mound for the Trojans ... Sported a 2.07 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 50 innings of work, while holding opposing hitters to a .189 batting average ... Earned Group 3 All-State honors ... Named all-county, all-division, all-area, all-conference and was a player-of-the-week selection as a junior ... Took home Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division Player-of-the-Year honors ... Against conference rival North Brunswick, took a perfect game into the fifth inning of the GMC Tournament semi-finals ... Two-time participant in the World Wood Bat Association Championships (2008-09) ... Played travel baseball for bob Barth and the Tri-State Arsenal ... Personal: Full name is Dario Santangelo ... Born April 9, 1992 ... Son of Lawrence and Debra Santangelo.
Coach Godwin's Comments: "Dario is a gritty right-handed pitcher that brings a closer's mentality to the mound every time he pitches. He is a tremendous competitor that has an above average fastball and curve that he can throw consistently for strikes."