The Grace College baseball team has picked up a commitment from Tyler Cook of George Jenkins Senior High School (Fla.).
Cook is a 5-foot-10 senior at George Jenkins who has started at pitcher and outfield. During his junior season Cook posted a 4-1 record from the mound with a 2.37 ERA.
“I felt like Grace was the right fit for me from a religious, education and baseball point of view,” Cook said. “The team seemed like a family. I’m excited to play for four years and help the team as much as I can.”
Cook, in the midst of his senior year at George Jenkins, is the team’s captain. He has a 1.05 ERA so far in his senior campaign, limiting opposing batters to a .217 batting average.
“Tyler is a very good baseball player from Central Florida who has succeeded in a very competitive environment. His physical skills include arm strength, speed, hitting and pitching,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “He has developed into a player who is very tough mentally. He will fit in well at Grace with his teammates and with the general student body.”
Cook was part of the school’s homecoming court and also won a poetry award during his high school career. While at Grace he hopes to study education, journalism or mass communications.
“Tyler is a student-athlete who puts forth tremendous effort to achieve not only his goal but also the goals of the team,” said George Jenkins coach James Kilborn. “He is a versatile player who is capable of performing at high levels in multiple positions on the field. Tyler is dedicated to his teammates, is never rattled or nervous, and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.”
Cook, who lives in Lakeland, Fla., is the son of Todd and Thea Cook.
Grace College’s baseball team has announced the signing of an accomplished student-athlete in Paul Blankley.
Blankley is a 5-foot-9 senior middle infielder from Mooresville, N.C. He played baseball with the Charlotte Stampede.
He is also an outstanding student-athlete as a National Merit Finalist.
“Grace College offered the best combination of academics, athletics and Christian atmosphere,” Blankley said. “I’m ready to play to the best of my ability to honor God and my team.”
Blankley has batted at least .300 all four years with the Charlotte Stampede. He was also named as one of Impact Baseball’s top defensive infielders in 2011.
“Paul is another great addition to our program. He is gifted on and off the field,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “His commitment to his studies and baseball is evident given his past accomplishments. More importantly, his walk with the Lord is strong. Paul will be an exceptional addition to Grace College and our baseball program.”
Blankley resides in Mooresville, N.C., and is the son of Alan and Suzanne Blankley.
The Grace College baseball team has announced the signing of Logan Grigsby for the 2013-14 season.
Grigsby is a versatile 6-foot-2 player for Rim of the World High School (Calif.) who has pitched and played shortstop and centerfield during his high school career.
Despite missing some of his junior season due to injury, Grigsby still managed to post a 2-1 pitching record with a 3.00 ERA. He also topped .300 for his batting average from the plate.
In the fall of his senior year, Grigsby tallied a 5-0 pitching record while playing against some of Southern California’s top competition.
“Grace College gives me a great opportunity to grow spiritually in my walk with God as I pursue a higher education,” Grigsby said. “I was drawn to Grace by Coach Barr and Coach Gonzales’s belief in me as a ball player.”
Grigsby was also a three-year member of the varsity soccer team, serving as team captain as a senior.
In the classroom Grigsby has picked up several academic honors as a strong scholar-athlete.
“Logan will play an important role for us in 2013-2014. He has a strong baseball background having competed in California,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “He is also very well-rounded off the field. We are looking for Logan to make an immediate impact on next year's pitching staff.”
Grigsby, who is the son of Brock and Maren Grigsby, hopes to study biology and business during his time at Grace.
The Grace College baseball team has added another commitment for the 2013-14 season in Andy Kochel of Joliet Central High School.
“I chose Grace College because I will get a Christian education while being able to continue my baseball career,” Kochel said. “When I visited, the faculty seemed to genuinely care about their students.”
Kochel is a 6-foot-3 pitcher who has four years of experience on the mound for Joliet Central. As a junior, the right-handed pitcher led the team in strikeouts.
“Andy has had to compete in a highly competitive high school area which should prepare him well for the next stage in his career,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “He is a physically strong young man who will develop into a solid college pitcher. His ability, background and competitive nature should carry him a long ways as it relates to baseball.”
Kochel is a standout in the classroom as well. He has been on Joliet Central’s high honor roll throughout his high school career and has also been a three-time Student of the Month.
“I am extremely proud of Andrew’s accomplishments. He is expected to be one of our top pitchers this year in a very tough conference,” said Joliet Central coach Antonio Juarez. “Andrew has worked hard in his baseball career to put him in the position to play baseball at the next level.”
During his time at Grace, Kochel hopes to major in information systems. Kochel, who is the son of Jeff and Terri Kochel, lives in Joliet, Ill.
Sammy Wilkerson, a standout pitcher from Edinburgh High School, has decided to continue his baseball career at Grace College.
Wilkerson is a multitalented player for Edinburgh who can pitch or play middle infielder equally well. He was the team’s leadoff hitter over the past three years with a mid-to-high .300 batting average each season.
“Sammy is an important signee for our 2013-14 class because he is so versatile. He will be able to compete very well for us as a pitcher and infielder,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “Sammy will also be a very solid influence for his teammates off the field. We are very excited to have Sammy join our family at Grace.”
As a junior Wilkerson posted a 5-2 record on the mound with a 1.32 ERA. He recorded 84 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched, earning All-Conference and honorable mention for All-State honors by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association.
He is also a strong defender who has ranked among the area’s leaders in fielding percentage and assists.
“Sam is a great leader both verbally and physically. He’s the first one on the field and the last one off it,” said Edinburgh coach Cole Zook. “Sam is the hardest-working athlete I’ve had the privilege to have been around. Sam has been a great player, excellent leader and a great kid to have in our program. I look for great things from him in his senior year as he furthers his academic and baseball career as a Grace College Lancer.”
Grace College's baseball team has added a commitment from local standout Jared Lemler for the 2013-14 season.
Lemler is an accomplished catcher for Warsaw Community High School. During Lemler’s junior season in 2012, he committed zero defensive errors as the starting varsity catcher.
“Grace College was the perfect fit for me. I will receive a great education and grow spiritually while being blessed to continue my baseball career,” Lemler said. “When I visited Grace, I immediately felt very comfortable and at home with the campus, the coaching staff and the team members. I am very excited about playing baseball as a Grace Lancer!”
After the 2012 season, Lemler was given the team’s Tiger Defender Award for his work defensively behind the plate.
Outside of baseball, Lemler volunteers at the Baker Youth Club and at Warsaw Little League events.
“Jared is another great character person to join our team next fall. He is a tremendous person who has great work ethic and a solid head on his shoulders,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “Jared has the skill set I have been looking for to lead us behind the plate next fall. I am convinced that we have added one of the finest high school receivers in the entire state of Indiana.”
Lemler, who is the son of Todd and Kara Lemler, intends on majoring in chemistry and pre-pharmacy while at Grace.
Wyatt Clemens, a versatile player from Ontario High School, has decided to continue his baseball career at Grace College.
Clemens is a 6-foot-2 standout for Ontario who has extensive varsity experience in the infield, outfield and on the mound.
As a sophomore, Clemens batted .390 as a first baseman, tallying 30 RBIs on a team that finished 21-7. He was even better as a junior centerfielder when he upped his batting average to .413 with 31 runs driven in.
Ontario won the sectional title in 2012 with a 25-1 record, and Clemens earned Second Team honors for All-Conference and All-District.
“I chose Grace because I wanted to attend a Christian college that offered a solid Biblical education as well as an opportunity to play baseball at a competitive level,” Clemens said. “I am looking forward to developing lifelong friendships with my teammates and helping the team become conference champions.”
Clemens pitched in seven games as a junior for Ontario. He tossed 17.1 innings and held his opponents to a .254 batting average for the season.
In the classroom, Clemens was named a Scholar-Athlete by Ontario. He is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Grace College head coach Bill Barr had this to say about Clemens: "Wyatt is the complete package including: dedicated Christian, strong academic student, as well as a tremendous athlete and competitor. By adding Wyatt to our team, we will be adding a young man who has figured out early in life that his walk with Jesus takes preeminence over everything else. As believer and role model, he will be able to make an eternal impact to our team and our campus. This is an important date in the life of our program and I am very excited about him joining our team."
While at Grace, Clemens plans to study athletic training or early childhood education. He is the son of Greg and Eileen Clemens.
Grace’s baseball team is pleased to announce the signing of Plainfield South’s Jared Mitzelfelt for the 2013-14 season.
Mitzelfelt stands at 5-foot-11 and is a right-handed pitcher for Plainfield South.
During his junior campaign at Plainfield South, he posted an ERA of 3.00. He also had an impressive 10-0 record during his travel summer league season from the mound.
“Grace College gives me the opportunity to play baseball for a solid Christian college while growing closer to Christ and completing my education,” Mitzelfelt said. “I am looking forward to becoming a leader in the classroom, and I plan to work hard in building on my God-given abilities to help the baseball program compete at a high level.”
Mitzelfelt, who is the son of Steve and René Mitzelfelt, has appeared on Plainfield South’s honor roll throughout his high school career. He hopes to study exercise science at Grace.
Grace College head coach Bill Barr said this about Mitzelfelt's signing: "Jared is a solid student-athlete that we have added to our 2013-2014 recruitment class. Jared has his priorities right in life and will fit in very well at Grace College. He will add a quality arm to our pitching staff, and he will also bring a very solid work ethic and competitve edge to our team. I am looking forward to having him join us next fall."
Grace’s baseball team has reached beyond national borders to sign Ontario, Canada’s Jeff Watkin for their 2012 roster.
Watkin is a 6-foot-1 catcher, who played for three years at Amherst High School. During his time there, Watkin was the team’s MVP and played on a number of All-Star teams.
“Grace College offered an excellent opportunity academically and athletically,” Watkin said. “Grace contains all the tools for a student-athlete to achieve great success.”
Watkin was also a standout basketball player at Amherst High School where he earned team MVP honors.
Outside of athletics, Watkin was involved as a peer mentor. He graduated high school with academic honors.
“Jeff has played elite travel baseball over the last several years. This has prepared him very well for college baseball,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “Jeff has the ability and baseball IQ to anchor a pitching staff, and I believe he will do very well for us on and off the field. I am very excited about Jeff joining our team and look forward to watching him grow as a person and player at Grace.”
Watkin, who is the son of Dan and Vicki Watkin, plans to study history and English while at Grace.
The Grace College baseball team is pleased to announce the addition of Mishawaka High School’s Dillon Papa for the 2012-13 season.
Papa was instrumental in Mishawaka’s success this year. According to Varvee.com, Papa batted a team-high .410 and tied for the team lead in hits with 34 during his senior season. He also added 8 doubles, 15RBIs, slugged .506 and had an on-base percentage of .495.
For his accomplishments Papa was named to the Northern Indiana All-Conference Team as well as being the team’s MVP and the Kiwanis Athlete of the Month.
“When I visited the campus, I felt a level of comfort that I didn’t feel at the other colleges I visited,” Papa said. “I want to help the team compete for a conference championship while being the best teammate I can be.”
Mishawaka head coach John Huemmer had this to say about Papa: “Dillon is a great all-around young gentleman. It was a pleasure having him as a player for the past four years. He is a hard worker and is determined to win."
Grace head coach Bill Barr said this: "Dillon is a great addition to our infield. He is a multi-dimensional player who will impact our team in many ways. He is able to play any infield position, runs well and handles the bat very well also. Most importantly Dillon is a quality person and we are very excited about having him join us!"
Papa, who resides in Mishawaka, Ind., is the son of Richard and Janet Holderman.
Grace’s baseball team is proud to announce their newest signee, Lake Howell (Winter Park, Fla.) High School's Frank Rocchio.
Rocchio batted .305, hit 7 doubles and added 13 RBIs all while slugging .407 for Lake Howell this spring. He played both third base and shortstop during his high school career, going up against stiff competition in Florida’s Seminole Athletic Conference.
“I wanted to play at a college that can compete and include the Lord in each game. I am very confident that Grace provides this,” Rocchio said. “I hope to become developed in the skills that I have been blessed with to move onto the next level.”
Rocchio, who is the son of Domenico and Jodi Rocchio, played all four years of high school.
Grace’s baseball head coach Bill Barr had this to say about Rocchio: “I am very excited about having Frank commit to Grace because I believe he represents the things I want our program to be about, such as commitment, class, respect and integrity. Frank is a solid addition to the baseball program because he will be able to impact the middle of our defense next spring in a significant manner. He is from a solid Christian family, and I believe his impact on the Grace campus will be felt as well.”
Grace’s baseball team has added a versatile piece to its puzzle in Mishawaka High School’s C.J. Swartz.
Swartz has been a member of Mishawaka’s pitching rotation in addition to playing both third and first base during his career. As a senior, he batted .295 while posting a 4.29 ERA from the mound. His team advanced to the sectional championship game before bowing out of play.
He also batted .286 in his junior year with Mishawaka, according to VarVee.com.
“Grace is a great school where I can get a good education and the opportunity to play four more years of baseball,” Swartz said. “I’m hoping to help the team win conference and go far in tournaments.”
Swartz, a native of Mishawaka, Ind., is the son of Chuck and Tracy Swartz.
“C.J. [Swartz] is an exception baseball player and a great fit for Grace College,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “He has tremendous upside athletically and brings a great deal of versatility to the team. C.J. will be a positive influence on our team, and I am very happy that he has chosen to play at Grace.”
Grace’s baseball team has announced the signing of Rochester High School’s Travis Wottring for the 2012-13 season.
Wottring is a 5-foot-11 first baseman who led Rochester in doubles (18), home runs (2) and RBIs (30) as a senior. He was named honorable mention for the Three Rivers All-Conference Team after batting .352 with 31 hits as a senior.
He served as the team’s captain in both 2011 and 2012. As a junior he led Rochester in home runs with six.
Wottring is the brother of Nate Wottring, who graduated from Grace in 2012 as the program’s all-time hits and doubles leader.
“I chose Grace College because of the opportunities it gives me to become a better baseball player,” Wottring said. “I also liked the Christian atmosphere at Grace. My goal is to make an impact right away and help the team win baseball games.”
On the football field, Wottring earned All-TRC honors as a senior (First Team) and a junior (Second Team). He played on the offensive and defensive line for Rochester and won Rochester’s Ron Shearer Award for Outstanding Defensive Lineman.
Outside of athletics, Wottring was a member of the National Honor Society and also graduated from Rochester with academic honors.
“Travis has had a great deal of success at the high school level as a baseball player, but I believe he has a great deal more to accomplish,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “He is so strong at the plate that a few adjustments will make a major impact on him as a hitter. Travis knows what he needs to do to make these adjustments, and I believe the sky is the limit for him if he commits himself to the task wholeheartedly.”
Travis is the son of Todd and Stephanie Wottring.
Grace’s baseball team has added a dynamic arm to its future pitching rotation in Morton (Ill.) High School’s Jared Holloman.
Holloman is a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher for Morton. He was named a Rawling’s Honorable Mention Preseason All-American before his senior season and more than lived up to the expectations.
Holloman posted a perfect 9-0 record from the mound as a senior with a 1.77 ERA. In 55 innings of work, he struck out 68 batters while walking only 14.
As a result he was named First Team All-Mid Illini Conference. He also earned a spot on the Greater Peoria Baseball Association McDonald’s All-Star team.
“Jared [Holloman] will be a major contributor for us on the mound next spring. He will elevate the quality of our pitching staff immediately,” said Grace head coach Bill Barr. “I believe that his attitude about winning and being the best on and off the field will be infectious to his teammates. He is a solid young man, and I am excited and anxious to see what the future holds for Jared.”
The Morton Potters finished Holloman’s senior year with a 30-8 record. He was a major factor in leading Morton to a Class 3A regional championship as well.
Holloman, who is the son of Jay and Diane Holloman, earned varsity letters in basketball and football during his high school career. While at Grace, Holloman plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Grace’s baseball team has announced the signing of Whitko High School’s Richard “Wes” Gensch for the 2012-13 season.
Gensch has been a central member of Whitko’s roster the past four years as a pitcher and first baseman.
The 6-foot-3 high school senior was named Academic All-Conference in 2010 and 2011. He was also Whitko’s Most Improved Player as a junior.
“I felt like Grace was where God wanted me to be,” Gensch said. “I want to continue developing my pitching skills and help the Grace program succeed. I am excited to play baseball for Grace this fall.”
Outside of baseball, Gensch has also been involved in the Whitley County Youth Leadership Program.
“Wes is a physically strong young man with the work ethic and intelligence to develop into a good college pitcher,” said Grace associate head coach Bill Barr. “He is a fine young man, and I am looking forward to him joining our program next fall.”
Gensch, who is the son of Rick and Mary Helen Gensch, intends to major in business administration while at Grace.
Grace's baseball team has added local talent in signing Warsaw Community High School's Brady Ousley for the 2013 season.
Ousley is a third baseman for the Tigers who batted .400 as a junior to go along with three home runs. As a sophomore, Ousley helped Warsaw to a sectional championship.
"I liked the Christian atmosphere and felt very comfortable with the coaching staff and players," Ousley said. "I am looking forward to becoming a better student and person at Grace while helping the team win ball games."
While at Grace, Ousley plans to major in criminal justice. He is the son of Barry and Stacey Ousley.
The Grace College baseball team has announced the signing of Cody Sprague, a pitcher from Dixie Heights (Ky.).
Cody, a native of Independence, Ky., will join the Lancers starting in the 2012-13 season. As a junior, he was named to the All-Region Team while pitching for the Colonels.
"I loved the baseball program and enjoyed visiting and spending time with students from Grace," Cody said. "I'm ready to be a team player at Grace and help in any way I can."
During his high school career, he was given the Calvary Christian Pitching Award in 2008 and also showed academic success by appearing on the honor roll.
"We are excited to have Cody join our program next year," said Grace head coach Josh Bailey. "He is an accomplished student and athlete, and we look forward to the contributions he will make to both our team and our campus."
While at Grace, Cody plans to study pre-med with the goal of becoming a radiologist. He is the son of Brad and Wendy Sprague.
Grace’s baseball program is pleased to announce the signing of LaVille High School’s Quentin Herbster for the 2012-13 season.
Quentin is a versatile player with the ability to contribute as an infielder and an outfielder. As a junior, he was named First Team All-Conference for his outstanding season.
“I felt like Grace was where I could grow as a baseball player and could further myself spiritually,” Quentin said. “I’m excited to make an impact right away and work towards possibly a Master’s degree at Grace.”
Outside of athletics, Quentin is a member of the National Honor Society. Plans for his intended major at Grace are currently undecided.
“We are excited to have Quentin join our program. His athleticism and ability at the plate will make an immediate impact on our program,” said Grace head coach Josh Bailey. “He is also an above average student and comes from a great family with a long history at Grace. We look forward to his contributions to our program and our community."
Quentin is the son of David and Shawn Herbster.
Grace's baseball team has landed its first signee for the 2012-13 season in Oscar A. Carlson (Gibraltar) High School's Travis Payne.
Travis, a native of Brownstown Township, Mich., has been a four-year starter for Carlson while playing primarily at catcher and third base.
He was named to the 2011 All-News-Herald Team after his strong junior campaign. He pounded out 28 hits and finished with 24 RBIs while helping lead Carlson to Michigan's Division 2 district championship.
"I really liked the campus and Christian atmosphere that Grace provides," Travis said. "I am looking forward to being the highest quality teammate I can be while earning my degree."
Travis was highly involved outside of the classroom, including mentoring in his church's youth group and being a member of the pastoral prayer team.
"We are excited Travis has decided to bring his considerable talent to Grace College next year," said Grace head coach Josh Bailey. "His strong arm, power at the plate, ability to play several positions as well as his work ethic will make an immediate impact on our program. We look forward to the contributions he will make on the field, in the classroom and around our campus."
Travis, who is the son of Kevin and Jane Payne, plans to major in secondary education while at Grace.
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