Coach Musgraves announces recruiting class for 2006-07
August 09, 2006
LSUS Pilot Baseball continued its fight to remain at the top of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference with the signing of four transfers and seven incoming freshman.
Head Coach Rocke Musgraves believes this class will bolster a group of solid returners. “We’ve addressed pitching-depth question marks with some experienced transfer pitchers, and started the process of building for the future with a group of talented freshman position players. In 2007 we’ll graduate 13 players – this will give us a year to work with the younger players to get them ready to step in next year, or in some cases, maybe this year.”
Transfer players include LHP Cory Keener (Northwestern State U), RHP Paul Marlow (Muscateen CC, Iowa), RHP Mark Dainty (Prairie Baseball Academy, Canada), and IF Bryan Stebbings (Hill CC, Texas).
“We are very excited about Cory transferring into our program,” said Musgraves. “I remember in 2003 Cory leaving a game at LSU with a lead after striking out 10 in seven innings against the Tigers.”
Marlow is a 6-foot 8-inch right-hander that was taken in the Major League Baseball draft out of high school. “With some polish this kid could make some big noise in NAIA Baseball,” says Musgraves. “I think his 88-92 mph fastball and size will attract professional scouts.”
Dainty, a 6-4 junior was heavily recruited by several top programs, including NAIA National Champion Lewis and Clark State; Mark pitched at Prairie Baseball Academy in Alberta, Canada for Head Coach Blair Kubecek. While pitching out of the number one slot Dainty set several pitching records for the Canadian program. “Another hard throwing right hander, Mark’s fastball is 88-91mph, but his strength is his ability to compete and pitch to both sides of the plate with three pitches,” says Musgraves.
“Stebbings is a sorely needed left-handed bat that could produce some strong power numbers. No one has ever questioned this kid’s ability to hit, especially after this season at Hill, where he hit in the middle of the line-up for the strong Texas Juco.”
Incoming freshmen include IF Andrew Blubaugh (Edmond, Oklahoma), LHP-OF Justin Ennis (Big Sandy, Texas), IF Chase Jennings (Evangel HS, Shreveport, La), OF Jack Morrison (Beaumont, Texas), IF Matt Moseley (Springhill, La), C-IF-P Ricky Sanders (Homer, La), and RHP Tommy Durrett (Simsburough, La).
“I think it’s important for people to know that this group of freshman has also performed exceptionally well in the classroom,” says Musgraves. “There’s a couple of valedictorians in there as well as some impressive ACT scores.”
“Blubaugh reminds me of Dustin Bissonette,” says the LSUS coach. Bissonette was a two-time All-Conference player for LSUS and Conference MVP in 2005. “Andrew is a smart player with the potential to be a solid middle infielder and one or two hole hitter down the road.”
Justin Ennis may be the surprise of the 2007 recruiting class. The left-handed throwing, left-handed hitting Ennis slipped under the recruiting radar while playing in a small town in East Texas. “Justin already possesses a 84-86mph fastball and has shown a pitching savvy that you don’t see from young men his age,” says Musgraves. “This summer for our wood bat team he showed an ability to set up hitters. Justin also may have the best natural power of all out hitters; however, he’s a bit farther away as a hitter than he is as a pitcher.” This season Ennis posted an 11-1 record for Big Sandy with a 0.89 ERA, striking out 113 hitters in 70 innings and walking only 13, earning him 1st Team All-Texas honors. At the plate the lefty hit .553 with a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Jennings earned 1st-Team All-City Honors while helping Shreveport’s Evangel Christian Academy to a Louisiana State Championship. “Chase is a great Christian kid with the competitive zeal to be a future leader for this program,” says Musgraves. “He’s the type of athlete who excels in big games. In 2005 he was named MVP of the 5A Louisiana State Championship Football Game; and in 2006 he was named MVP of the 1A Louisiana State Championship Baseball Game.”
Moseley comes to LSUS from a strong baseball background. Matt’s father, Bill, was a long-time successful baseball coach for Springhill High School. “Anytime you sign a coach’s kid, you know you’re getting a player that appreciates the finer points of the game. Matt is tough-nosed kid that we’re very excited about. He reminds me of Wesley Gray (2003) whose father was Coach Bob Gray of Lakeside High School. And that’s a pretty big complement,” says the Pilot Coach.
Incoming freshman Jack Morrison reminds Coach Musgraves of current outfielder Colin Moro. “Jack appears to be a kid that can flat out hit. We invited him to a tryout and liked how he drove the ball gap-to-gap. He has a great group of senior outfielders to learn from.”
“Sanders is a kid that may be ready to play quicker than any of the freshman position players,” says Musgraves. “He played for our college team this summer and didn’t seem to be phased by the increased level of competition. Right now his physical ability is carrying him; I think as he learns the game there will be no limit to what this kid can accomplish.”
Durrett will spend the fall learning how to pitch under pitching coach Andy Heckman. Musgraves adds, “Tommy was recommended to us by a friend of the program so we brought him in for a tryout – his arm worked well but he said he didn’t pitch. We called him back and brought him in for another tryout to pitch. It’s a bit rough right now, but once he figures it out he should be a quality arm for our program.”
Lionel Roberts of New Orleans also signed with the Pilots. Roberts played in the Detroit Tiger organization for a year and won’t be eligible to play until the fall of 2007. The 6-4, 280 lb first baseman will be an impact player for the Pilots 2008 season.