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Liberty Baseball Announces Early Signees

November 19, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman talks to his team during the 2012 season.

Liberty Head Baseball Coach Jim Toman has announced the signing of 20 student-athletes to national letters of intent during the November early signing period.

"We are delighted to be adding these young men to our program.  They will be great ambassadors for the Christ-centered mission of Liberty University," stated Toman. "This group will certainly go down as one of the deepest classes in the history of Liberty baseball.  Whether it becomes the top class in the history of the program will be determined four or five years from now."

"Several factors came into play for this large class to materialize," said Toman.  "First, a school-record Division I .633 winning percentage over the past five years which includes the top two win totals in school history with 43 in 2010 and 41 in 2012. Two, the commitment shown by Director of Athletics Jeff Barber and Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. to the program with the ongoing construction of the new state-of-the-art baseball stadium. Three, 10 Liberty players being selected in the Major League Draft over the past two years, and four, the hard work on the road recruiting by assistant coaches Jason Murray and Garrett Quinn."

2012 Fall Signees

Name

Pos

B/T

Ht./Wt.

School

Hometown

Cody Albright

RHP

R/R

6-0/190

Cecil CC

Birdsboro, Pa.

Dylan Allen

INF

L/R

6-0/170

George Jenkins HS

Lakeland, Fla.

Jake Barbee

C/OF

L/R

5-11/195

Hickory Ridge HS

Harrisburg, N.C.

Parker Bean

RHP/OF

R/R

6-6/205

South Western Shores HS

Hanover, Pa.

Nathan Blaylock

LHP/1B

L/L

6-6/230

T.C. Roberson HS

Fletcher, N.C.

Nick Boswell

INF

R/R

5-10/160

Davie County HS

Advance, N.C.

Jon-Ryan Breeden

LHP

L/L

5-9/150

Jefferson Forest HS

Forest,Va.

Nick Coble

RHP/OF

R/R

6-1/195

Mt. Pleasant HS

Mt. Pleasant, N.C.

Isaac Crafton

C

S/R

5-10/185

Jeffersonville HS

Jeffersonville, Ind.

Caleb Evans

RHP

R/R

6-7/185

Crisfield HS

Ewell, Md.

Clay Keranen

INF

R/R

6-1/185

Florence-Darlington Tech

Spotsylvania, Va.

Tyler Morris

OF

R/R

6-4/190

Warwick HS

Lititz, Pa.

Matthew Pennington

LHP

L/L

6-1/170

St. John's River CC

Live Oak, Fla.

Tray Roberts

OF

R/R

6-0'/170

Aiken HS

Aiken, S.C.

Nick Salisbury

INF

S/R

5-5/150

Independence HS

Charlottte, N.C.

David Scoggins

LHP/1B

L/L

6-3/185

Lincoln Charter HS

Denver, N.C.

Will Shepherd

OF/INF

R/R

5-10/185

West Wilkes HS

Wilkesboro, N.C.

Michael Stafford

LHP

L/L

6-0/175

Canton HS

Canton, Mich.

Russ Weiker

LHP/OF

L/L

6-0/180

South Stanley HS

Albermarle, N.C.

Andrew Yacyk

LHP/OF/1B

R/L

6-3/215

North Hagerstown HS

Hagerstown, Md.

Cody Albright, RHP: The right-hander went 6-4 with a save and a 2.54 ERA for head coach Charles O'Brien at Cecil Community College this past season.  Albright only gave up 63 hits and struck out 87 in 85 innings.  He also pitched for the Waynesboro Generals in the Valley Collegiate Summer League.  After helping to lead Berks Christian High School to a District 3A title for head coach Damaso Lamos, Albright was named second team All-State by the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches in 2010.

Dylan Allen, INF:  The infielder earned Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year for Polk County (Florida) as a junior for head coach Tom Patton at George Jenkins High School. Allen hit .455 with a .560 on base percentage and a .636 slugging percentage. He also scored 26 runs.  He played in the summer for Chet Lemon's Juice team, where he earned all-tournament honors five times.  Allen also earned all-tournament honors for his performance at the WWBA World Qualifier in Ft. Myers, Fla.  The infielder hit .500 during the weekend and walked three times.  He also scored six runs and drove in four runs.

Jake Barbee, C/OF:  The catcher earned SPC All-Conference honors for head coach Brandon Knapp at Hickory Ridge High School in 2010 and 2011.  As a junior, Barbee hit .462 with a .584 on base percentage and a .679 slugging percentage.  He also scored 25 runs and had 12 doubles and 21 RBIs.  Barbee set the school's single-season record for batting average posting a .536 mark during his prep career.  He also earned honorable mention honors as a 2012 Perfect Game Preseason All-American.  Barbee played for the East Coast Prospects and Champion Baseball Academy.  He was named top underclass prospect at the 2010 Baseball Factory Tryout in Gaffney, SC.  He was nominated and attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security in 2012. 

Parker Bean, RHP/OF:  A two sport star at South Western Shores High School, Bean earned all- area and all-county first team honors in 2010 and 2011 for head coach Mike Resetar.  The outfielder hit .444 and stole 12 bases in 2012.  He also posted a 0.98 ERA and batted .514 for the SW York Legion team.  Bean was also selected to the all-tournament team at the Perfect Game WWBA in Jupiter, Fla. in 2010 and the Perfect Game WWBA in East Cobb, Ga. in 2012.  He has been ranked by Perfect Game as one of the Top 500 Prospects nationally and is rated the 11th overall prospect from the state of Pennsylvania.  Bean has scored over 1,000 points for his high school basketball team.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned Distinguished Honor Roll honors every semester of high school.

Nathan Blaylock, LHP/1B:  A two-way player for head coach Eric Filipek at T.C. Roberson High School, Blaylock currently ranks among the Top 1000 prospects by Perfect Game and earned 2012 Underclass All American Honorable Mention honors by Perfect Game. Before transferring to T.C. Roberson, he hit .302 with seven doubles, four home runs and posted a .603 slugging percentage at A.C. Reynolds High School for head coach Bryan Craig.  Blaylock was selected to the 2012 WNC All-Conference team and was a member of the Region 8 squad in the 2012 Powerade State Games of North Carolina.

Nick Boswell, INF:  The infielder played for head coach Mike Herndon at Davie County High School, hitting .356 with a .500 on base percentage as a junior. He was also 15-for-16 in stolen base attempts.  A three-time scholar athlete, Boswell was also selected to the All-Central Piedmont Team last year.  In addition, he represented Region 7 at the 2012 Powerade State Games of North Carolina.

Jon-Ryan Breeden, LHP:  Before transferring to Jefferson Forest High School to play for head coach James Thacker, Breeden played at Liberty Christian Academy under the direction of head coach Randy Tomlin.  In his sophomore year at LCA, Breeden earned first team all-tournament honors and second team all-conference honors, while posting an 8-3 record.  As a junior, Breeden again earned first team all-tournament honors and was selected to the first team all-conference and all-state teams. He was the LCA 2012 Pitcher of the Year after posting a 7-2 record with a 0.70 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 42 innings.

Nick Coble, RHP/OF:  Coble earned SPC All-Conference honors for head coach Bryan Tyson at Mount Pleasant High School this past season. As a junior, he hit .419 with six home runs and 38 RBIS.  In addition, he was selected to represent Region 6 in the 2012 Powerade State Games of North Carolina.  Coble is also a member of the East Coast Prospects and Champion Baseball Academy.

Issac Crafton, C:  A three-year starter at Jeffersonville High School, the catcher batted .468 with five home runs and 32 RBIs during his sophomore season. He earned All-Hoosier Hills Conference honors and won the Silver Slugger Award. A year later, Crafton set a school record for batting average with a .575 mark, while hitting six home runs and driving in 24 runs. The catcher again earned All-Hoosier Hills Conference honors and was named District Player of the Year.  He also earned All-Area first team honors and was named Rawlings High School All American honorable mention.  The Prep Baseball Report ranks Crafton as the 13th Top Prospect in the state of Indiana.

Caleb Evans, RHP:   The right-hander posted a 1.87 ERA for head coach Eddie Daniels at Crisfield High School.  He played in the 2012 MSABC Junior Classic and the 10th Annual Mid-Atlantic High School Baseball Classic.  Evans is also a member of the National Honor Society and has earned the Academic Excellence Award nine years in a row.

Clay Keranen, INF:  The infielder hit .302, scored 23 runs and had 18 RBIs in 2012 for head coach Preston MacDonald at Florence-Darlington Tech this past season.  As a high school senior at Courtland High School, Keranen hit .521 with 16 doubles and eight stolen bases.   He also posted a .671 on base percentage.  The infielder participated in the 2011 South Atlantic Border Battle where he helped lead Team Virginia to the gold medal.

Tyler Morris, OF:  A three-year letter winner in both baseball and basketball at Warwick High School, Morris led his team in batting average in his sophomore and junior seasons. During his junior year, Morris hit .394 with a .417 on base percentage.   As a sophomore, he also broke the school record for most RBIs in a single season.  He was chosen as a Section I All Star in 2011 and 2012.  An honor roll student, Morris has also been recognized by Perfect Game as one of the Top 500 Prospects nationally and the eighth overall prospect from the state of Pennsylvania.

Matthew Pennington, LHP:  As a freshman for head coach Ross Jones at St. John's River Community College, Pennington made 16 appearances, pitching 34 innings and posting a 2.70 ERA.  The left-hander also struck out 26 batters, while walking nine for the Vikings.  A 2011 graduate of Live Oak High School, Pennington was valedictorian of his class and earned All-Gainesville Sun first team honors during his junior and senior seasons.  He aspires to be a ministry major and carried a 4.0 GPA at St. John's River Community College, while winning the Male Student-Athlete of the Year award.

Tray Roberts, OF:  The outfielder hit .432 with eight doubles, one triple, and two home runs for head coach Derek Luton at Aiken High School in 2012.  Roberts ranked as the 295th Top Prospect in the nation by Perfect Game and the eighth overall prospect from the state of South Carolina.  He was selected to participate in the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase last summer, which featured the top high school prospects in the nation.  He also participated in the 2011 and 2012 South Atlantic Border Battle in Burlington, N.C.

Nick Salisbury, INF:  The infielder hit .463 with seven doubles and five triples as a junior for head coach Dan Cook at Independence High School.  Salisbury was name to the SW 4A All- Conference team in 2012.  He played for the prestigious South Charlotte Panthers during the summer of 2012, earning all-tournament honorable mention honors for his performance in the Perfect Game National Underclass tournament.  The infielder also represented Region 6 in the 2012 Powerade State Games of North Carolina.

David Scoggins, LHP/1B:  A three-year letter winner for head coach Mike Hartshorne at Lincoln Charter High School, Scoggins earned Team MVP honors as a junior. He was also selected to the All-Lake Norman second team and earned all-conference honors.  In 2012, he hit .471 with a .550 on base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage.  He also pitched 35 innings, recording 52 strikeouts and allowing 18 walks.  In 2010, he was also selected to the All-Conference Freshman team.  Scoggins is also an honor roll member and has been inducted into the Beta Club.

Will Shepherd, OF/INF:  A four-year starter for head coach Drew Ward at West Wilkes High School, Shepherd has played in every game since his freshman year.  In 2010, Shepherd helped West Wilkes capture the 1A State Championship.  He is a three-time all-county and all-conference performer and was selected to participate in the 2011 and 2012 Powerade State Games of North Carolina.  In 2012, he earned all-state honors, while hitting .440 with 13 doubles and a .750 slugging percentage.  Shepherd was selected as a scholar athlete and is a member of the Beta Club.

Michael Stafford, LHP:  A top performer for head coach Mark Bloomshield at Canton High School, Stafford earned all-conference and all-district honors his sophomore and junior seasons. He is ranked by Perfect Game as one of the Top 1000 Prospects for the 2013 class.  In addition, the left-hander ranked as the 18th Top Prospect in the state of Michigan by Prep Baseball Insider.

Russ Weiker, LHP/OF: In the past two years, Weiker has posted a 28-1 record on the mound for head coach Terry Tucker at South Stanley High School.   As a sophomore, he recorded a perfect 14-0 record, pitching 92 innings. The left-hander struck out 111 batters, while only walking 33.  Named the 1A State Player of the Year, he also earned all-conference, all-county and first team all-state honors. This past season as a junior, he posted a 14-1 record with a 1.48 ERA, helping South Stanley win the 1A State Championship.  He struck out 142 batters, while walking only 26.  He earned all-conference, all-county, and first team all-state honors and was named County Pitcher of the Year.  He represented Region 6 in the Powerade State Games of North Carolina.

Andrew Yacyk, LHP/OF/1B:  In 2012,Yacyk broke the Maryland state high school record for most RBIs in a single season by driving in 53 runs for head coach Drew Crawford at North Hagerstown High School.  He also hit 11 home runs. Yacyk was selected the Washington County Hitter of the Year and earned all-county first team honors.  A starter since his freshman year, Yacyk twice earned all-county second team honors and all-conference honors.  Yacyk is ranked as the ninth Top Prospect in the state of Maryland by Perfect Game and also ranks as the top first baseman in the state. He was selected by professional scouts to participate in the East Coast Professional Showcase in Syracuse, N.Y, this past August.  Yacyk is also an honors student.