Dec. 6, 2010
BEAUMONT - Lamar University completed its fall baseball recruiting recently with a class consisting of three pitchers, two infielders, two outfielders, one catcher and one pitcher/infielder.
"This year, we're going to get wiped out, because we have a ton of seniors on the squad (14 to be exact)," said Lamar coach Jim Gilligan. "That made this fall's recruiting effort very important, and, as usual, Jimmy (Ricklefsen, Lamar's associate head coach) has done another outstanding job.
"He spent a lot of time on the road recruiting, and he has come up with a lot of good players. Basically, what I feel like we've done is we've reloaded before we've unloaded."
Seven of the Cardinal signees are coming from junior colleges, while two are still in high school and seven have Texas ties.
"You go to the junior colleges to fix your immediate needs, and you go to the high school players to help develop a nucleus for your pitching staff," said Gilligan, who coached the 2010 Cardinals to the Southland Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA's Fort Worth Regional. "I feel like we have done a good job of addressing both of those areas."
Jeremy Gabryszwski of Crosby High School, Collin Chapman of Leander High School and Joseph Aquino of Cisco Junior College and Mililani, Hawaii are all right-handers who Gilligan feels can make immediate impacts on the Cardinals' 2012 pitching staff. Also, there's right-hander David Harris of Navarro College who has the potential to contribute as either a pitcher or an infielder.
"Gabryszewski is already throwing in the 94- to 95-miles-per-hour range," said Gilligan. "He's of the same caliber as Eric Harrington and Jonathan Dziedzic (Lamar's top two returning pitchers). He's a pro prospect.
"Chapman is the son of Tracy Chapman, who played for us back in the early 1980s, and he's another big, strong guy who has the potential to be a really quality pitcher. The same can be said of Aquino, who did a good job for Cisco last spring, and Harris is a multi-talented player who can help us either on the mound on in the infield or both."
The rest of the Cardinals' recruiting class consists of infielders Aaron Olivas of Cisco Junior College and Ben Coram of Alvin Community College, outfielders Darian Johnson of Mesa College and Garrett Autrey of Navarro College and catcher Zach Luevanos of Seminole College.
"Olivas is a special infielder and a really important signee, because we're losing a special middle infielder this year in Aaron Buchanan," said Gilligan. "It's comforting to know that we're going to have another accomplished middle infielder coming in. We didn't know for sure what we were getting when we brought Buchanan in, but he has proven to be a better Division 1 hitter than he was a junior college hitter (at Galveston JC).
"Ben Coram is a big, physical player with a lot of ability," said Gilligan of the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Lake Jackson. "Ironically, he'll be trying to fill the shoes of another Alvin CC product (Pablo Salinas) who played some solid third base for us last season and who we're counting on to do the same this spring.
"It was also special to me to sign Zach Luevanos whose father is a hitting coach for the Texas Rangers, and I've known him for a number of years. Zach has a great baseball background; he's a good catcher, and he can hit.
"David Harris is another player with baseball in his blood. He's the son of former major league scout Mike Harris, who I've also known for years. It's special getting David, because he can help us either as a pitcher or as a hitter and with his defense."
In summation, Gilligan said, "With the players we'll have coming back after this season and from the talent standpoint, these guys (the recruits) and those guys (next year's returnees) will blend together to give us one of the most athletic teams we've had in quite a while."
2010 LAMAR UNIVERSITY FALL BASEBALL RECRUITS
||Hometown (High School/College)
||Mililani, Hawaii (Cisco CC)
|| Stephenville (Stephenville HS/Navarro College)
||Austin, Texas (Leander HS)
||Lake Jackson (Brazoswood HS/Alvin CC)
||Crosby, Texas (Crosby HS)
||Houston (Navarro College)
||Chandler, Ariz. (Mesa College)
| Zach Luevanos
||Corpus Christi (Seminole College)
||El Paso (Cisco CC)