Arkansas State head baseball coach Tommy Raffo announced Wednesday the signing of five student-athletes during the fall early signing period who will join the Red Wolves for the 2013 season.
Logan Dollins, Adam Grantham, Derek Birginske, Tanner Ring and Kevin Fitzpatrick have signed national letters of intent to come to Arkansas State. All five players are high school seniors and include two players from the state of Arkansas.
"I would like to commend the efforts of assistant coaches Chris Cook and Tighe Dickinson for a great early signing period for ASU Baseball," said Raffo. "They have spent a lot of time on the road identifying and evaluating the right student-athletes for ASU Baseball and with only five seniors leaving the program after this year we had to be very selective."
"We had three goals in mind going into the early signing recruiting process," continued Raffo. "First, we wanted to find young men that show a passion, toughness and a "want" to play for ASU Baseball. Second, we wanted to continue to create a balance for future Red Wolf teams by recruiting a strong high school class. Third, each young man we recruit must be able to compete and win in the Sun Belt quickly. We feel that these young men give us a great recruiting base for the 2013 team."
Logan Dollins comes to ASU from Kennett High School in Kennett, Mo. where he has been a standout for the Indians the last three years. During his high school career, the 5-11 infielder, has a .417 batting average, 95 hits and 86 RBI and is on pace to break the Kennett High School all-time hits and RBI records. Dollins is also a solid fielder, committing just two errors during his high school career.
"Logan comes from a very good baseball program in Kennett High School, Mo. He is coached by former ASU Baseball alumni Aaron New," said Raffo. "Logan is an accomplished hitter at this stage of his baseball career. He can play 3rd base and 2nd base. We look forward to him to make early contributions offensively at ASU."
Adam Grantham also comes to ASU from Kennett High School. The 6-1 pitcher/outfielder hit .531 last year for the Indians with 43 hits, 41 RBI and six home runs. As a pitcher, he has a 1.56 ERA in 36 innings pitched with 53 strikeouts. He was named All-Bootheel Conference for two years and All SEMO Conference two years while also being named SEMO Conference Player of the Year in 2010. He was also All-District two years and All-State one year.
"Adam is also from Kennett High School, Mo. and is a duel position player. He can catch and play outfield, but also is a pitcher. He has terrific arm strength and it shows on the mound," commented Raffo. "Adam is a great athlete who quarterbacked his HS team this year. Adam will be able to contribute many ways to ASU baseball since duel position players are special in college baseball."
A standout at Russellville High School, Derek Birginske is a 6-1 pitcher and outfielder. He comes to ASU after earning All-Conference and All-State honors during his high school career while also winning the Batting Championship and being named Pitching Ace. Birginske also ranks second all-time in the state of Arkansas in home runs hit.
"Derek comes from Russellville High School, Ark. and is the best duel position player in the state," said Raffo. "He adds power at the plate and can really bring it on the mound with command of the strike zone. He will play an important part in the future of the ASU baseball program."
Tanner Ring joins the Red Wolves from Batesville High School in Batesville, Ark. where he earned All-District honors in 2009 and 2010 and All-State honors in 2010 and 2011.
"Tanner is from Batesville High School, Ark. and is an outstanding athlete who really excels on the mound" added Raffo. We have seen Tanner grow up in our camps at ASU and has really jumped in the last year. He has very good velocity and spins the baseball very well. He will be able to step in quickly to help the ASU pitching corps."
Kevin Fitzpatrick comes to ASU from Marshall Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Miss. where he played shortstop and centerfield. Fitzpatrick, who stands at 6-1, batted .453 with 32 stolen bases, 39 RBI and four home runs last season for Marshall Academy.
"Kevin is a super athlete who plays shortstop for Marshall Academy. His range is unbelievable, runs well, and he plays the game hard. He is the quarterback for his team this year and has led them into the playoffs. He will be exciting to watch play at ASU."