Liberty head coach Jim Toman
The Liberty baseball program has announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the November 11-18 early signing period. These signees will enroll at Liberty University in the fall of 2010 and will be eligible to play in the spring of 2011. "We are very excited about the addition of these six young men to our baseball program," said head coach Jim Toman. "We expect several of them to make an immediate impact on the field. More importantly, however, they are all a great fit for Liberty University and the overall mission of the school." Toman expects his staff may add a few more recruits to the 2010 class in the spring. "We will have a much better idea of our specific needs for next year as the spring progresses," added the third year coach. "It is very possible that we will add a few more." The Flames 2009 recruiting class was recognized by Baseball America as the top class in the Big South Conference. Liberty has set school records for doubles, strikeouts, fielding percentage, fewest errors, hit by pitches and conference wins in the past two years. The team will open their 2010 schedule with a three-game set at Kennesaw State, Feb. 19-21.
Cody Edwards, 6'4'' 220 lbs., R/R, UTIL, Bellevue College:
Edwards hit .336 with 11 doubles, one triple and a homerun in 2009, while driving in 37 runs. He was named to the All NWAACC Northern Region first team and was also named to the region's all-tournament team, as he helped lead Bellevue to the NWAACC Championship. Edwards also participated in the NWAACC All-Star game this fall.
Coach Toman: "Cody is a big leftfielder/right-hander with a tremendous upside. We will utilize his ability on the mound, in the field and at the plate. He has a strong bat and hit .336 with wood as a freshman at Bellevue. Cody has a very high ceiling on the mound and was consistently pitching in the 88-91 mph range this fall and has touched 93 mph. He may have more potential on the mound and it will be interesting to see just how good he can get. Cody comes from a strong junior college program under Coach Yoshino and is currently a teammate of Ian Parmley. He was also a teammate of current Liberty Flame Michael Robertson last year. Coach Yoshino has done a great job at Bellevue and he will be sending us a battle-tested player in Cody."
Darin Johnson, 5'11'' 185 lbs., L/L, LHP, Treasure Valley C.C.: Darin earned his way to the top spot in the pitching rotation as a freshman for Treasure Valley in 2009. In 67 innings, he surrendered only 48 hits, while walking 21 and striking out 76. He finished the year with a 2.55 ERA. He also set a Treasure Valley single-game strikeout record his freshman year with 17. Johnson also participated in the NWAACC All Star game this fall. Coach Toman: "Darin is a strong left-hander that pitches in the 85-88 mph range and has touched 90 mph. He is a bulldog on the mound, who works fast and really likes to compete. He put up great numbers last year at Treasure Valley. We feel he can step in and make an impact immediately."
Chris King, 5'11'' 165 lbs., R/R, INF, Dinwiddie HS: As a junior, King played every inning of all 21 games at Dinwiddie High School. He batted .453 with three doubles, five triples, three homeruns and 22 RBIs. He also scored 27 runs and posted an impressive .630 on base percentage. For his efforts, King earned all-district honors as a shortstop, all-region honors as a pitcher, and was also named first team All-Tri-Cities. Also an outstanding student, he is enrolled in the Accelerated Academic program at Dinwiddie. Coach Toman: "Chris King was a member of the Central Virginia Commonwealth team and impressed us with his versatility. Chris has good hands and a strong arm and we look forward to having him join the Liberty Flames. Chris has also had quite a bit of success on the mound and we are hopeful that he will be able to make a contribution there as well."
Willi Martin, 6'4'' 185 lbs., R/R, RHP, Jesuit HS:
In 2009, Martin was a mainstay in the rotation for No. 1 ranked Jesuit High School. In 63 innings, Martin recorded 55 strikeouts and only walked 14 on his way to a 10-1 overall record. He also posted an impressive 2.22 ERA. Martin was named to the All-Hillsborough County second and garnered All-State honorable mention honors. In the summer of 2009, he pitched for the All-American Prospects—one of the most highly recognized amateur baseball programs in the country.
Coach Toman: "Willi pitches for one of the top high school programs in the nation. He has a very good delivery and is a strike-thrower that continues to elevate his game. He is very projectable and has good spin on his breaking ball. We believe that Willi will be an impact pitcher for us and that he will continue to get better. Willi was 78-82 mph at our camp two years ago and this past spring he was up to 84-87 mph. Lately, he has been touching 89 mph with his fastball and we feel he has a very bright future."
Ian Parmley, 5'11'' 160 lbs., L/L, OF/LHP, Bellevue College: An All-NWAACC Northern Region first team selection, Parmley batted .362, drew 29 bases on balls and recorded a .466 on base percentage. He also wreaked havoc for opponents on the base paths with 35 stolen bases. Parmley also proved to be formidable on the mound, logging 16 2/3 innings for Bellevue without surrendering any earned runs on his way to a 1-1 record and four saves. Parmley was also named the NWAACC Tournament MVP in 2009 as Bellevue captured the championship. During the tournament, he hit .566 (12-23), scored four runs and stole six bases. Coach Toman: "Ian was the MVP of the NWAACC tournament last year and lead Bellevue to the league championship. He is a gamer with a really good idea of how to play the game and has excellent instincts. He had 35 stolen bases last year as a freshman at Bellevue and gets good jumps in the outfield. We wanted someone at the top of the order to get on base, steal bases and score runs. He also will help on the mound as a strike-throwing left-hander that knows how to get people out! He is a teammate of fellow signee Cody Edwards and was teammates last year with current Liberty Flame Michael Robertson."
Cal Sutphin, 6'3'' 195 lbs., R/R, SS, SW Guilford HS: A four year varsity starter, Sutphin helped lead Grimsley High School to a conference championship in 2007 and SW Guilford to a conference championship in 2009. Sutphin hit .485 during his junior season and was named Defensive MVP for SW Guilford last year, as well as being named to the all-area first team. As a junior, he was selected to participate in the North Carolina State Games and the Impact Games Invitation All-Star Game. Coach Toman: "Cal came to our camp last year and really showed outstanding hands at shortstop. He is one of the top defensive shortstops in North Carolina and is developing some power at the plate. Cal also has a very strong arm and we may experiment with him on the mound. His work ethic is off the charts and we really look forward to seeing him here in the fall. Cal comes from a great baseball background and is always working on his game."
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