SEARCY, Ar. (HU) – Harding baseball coach Dr. Patrick McGaha commented Tuesday about changes in his coaching staff and about his 2011 signing class.
Talley Haines of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will replace Bobby Reeves as the team's assistant coach. Haines, who had a nine-year professional pitching career, will serve as the pitching coach and high school recruiting coordinator. Last season, Haines served as a volunteer coach with the Bison pitching staff.
Jake Tenhouse, a native of Coatsburg, Ill., will be a graduate assistant working as the team's hitting coach, junior college recruiting coordinator and field maintenance coordinator. Tenhouse comes to Harding from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he has been an assistant coach since 2008.
Former Bison pitcher Troy Keith will be the team's student assistant and work with pitchers and outfielders.
McGaha also discussed six new signees that he added to five previous signees—McKinley Duke, Cameron Walker, Matt Calhoun, Shane Kinnear and Zach Robinson. The new signees are Recardo Billups, Chris Hardey, Logan Holthaus, Billy Ninemire, Ryan Modglin and Bronson Smith.
Billups, a middle infielder and transfer from Savannah State in Georgia, will have two years of eligibility remaining. He played his first two impressive collegiate seasons at Truett-McConnell College.
"I am very excited to add Recardo to our recruiting class," McGaha says. "He is a fine young man of character and will be a great fit for our program. He can play both middle infield positions and third base while bringing a gap-to-gap bat to the lineup."
Hardey is a catcher/first baseman from Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Texas.
"Chris is a very good defensive catcher who will continue to improve," McGaha says. "He has quick hands and a nice swing with potential for a lot of power."
Holthaus is a right-handed pitcher that will transfer to Harding from Jefferson College in Missouri. He will compete as a sophomore next season and will have three years of eligibility.
"Logan has the stuff to be a weekend starter for us this year," McGaha says. "He throws three pitches for strikes and is consistently in the mid-to-upper 80s with his fastball. He will be a great addition to our pitching staff."
Ninemire, a corner infielder and right-handed pitcher, will transfer to Harding from Seward County Community College in Kansas. He is the son of former Bison and Harding Hall of Famer Marty Ninemire and will enter as a sophomore.
"I recruited Billy hard coming out of high school and feel fortunate to get him now," McGaha says. "He is a great fit for Harding and our program. Billy is a legitimate two-way player. I believe that he will hit in the middle of our line-up and hit with power while also contributing significant inning for us on the mound."
Modglin, a transfer from Missouri State and a 39th-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals out of high school, will have three years remaining at Harding. He was redshirted in 2010.
"Ryan brings a legitimate power bat to the middle of our line-up and can play first base or either corner outfield position," McGaha says. "He was an upper 80s, low 90s pitcher with a power slider before his labrum surgery, so we expect him to do good things on the mound for us also."
Smith is a catcher and right-handed pitcher from Itawamba High School in Mississippi.
"Bronson is a young man that we have gotten to know through our camps and believe that he will be a tremendous asset to our program," McGaha says. "He is a very good defensive catcher that can handle the bat well, but I think that he has a lot of potential on the mound."
McGaha is very enthusiastic about the 2011 class.
"I am very pleased with our recruiting class as a whole and believe that we have addressed all of our offensive and defensive needs while strengthening our pitching staff," McGaha says. "On paper, this is the best class we have signed since I have been at Harding. Time will tell if we can produce on the field, but I am optimistic about it and excited to find out."
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