Nov. 24, 2009
RUSTON-- Six high school prep stars signed National Letters of Intent and will be a part of the Louisiana Tech baseball program in 2011, Coach Wade Simoneaux announced today.
"I like the fact that all our signees are high school guys," Tech head coach Wade Smoneaux said. "They all had opportunities to go elsewhere and chose Tech in the end. We don't usually go after junior college players unless we have to. With high school players we can bring them in and develop them as they learn how our program is run. I think that is why we have had so many guys drafted over the years."
Three of Tech's six signees will come out of Louisiana including home grown product Colby Johnson (Ruston/ Ruston HS), Eric Whitehead (Benton/ Benton HS) and Marc Picciola (Destrehan/ St. Charles Catholic). Joining the three Louisiana products will be out-of-state signees Beau Bayliss (Marshall, Texas/ Marshall HS), Cole Gilmore (Broomfield, Colo./ J.K. Mullen Prep) and Chris Sadberry (Holliday, Texas/ Holliday HS).
Johnson is a speedy left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing pitcher/ outfielder. As a sophomore the Ruston High star earned 2nd team All-District as a DH as well as being selected first team All-Parrish. Last season as a junior Johnson earned first team All-District as a first baseman along with first team All-Parrish and All-Northeast Louisiana Honorable Mention. He was also the starting quarterback for the Ruston football team this year.
"Colby has tremendous speed," Simoneaux said. "He could be a leadoff type of player for us because of his speed and he could also be a middle of the line-up or RBI guy for us because of the pop in his bat. We're excited about getting a local guy and Colby will be a great addition to our team."
Whitehead is a 6'3 right handed throwing pitcher out of Benton HS. Whitehead is a three-time All-District selection while also earning All-City Honorable Mention in the Shreveport Times last season as a junior.
Picciola is a dual-threat player as a right-handed pitcher and infielder. Picciola is a two-time All-State selection, once in 2A and once in 3A. He also is a three-time All-District player who as a freshman was names district 10-2A MVP and All-Metro MVP. As a sophomore he was selected by the coaches as the 3A state player of the year. In addition to his success on the diamond, he is also a three-year letterwinner in football and made the All-District team in 2008 as the team's quarterback.
"Marc came to our camp this summer and really stood out," Simoneaux said. "We clocked him at 88-91 miles per hour on his pitches and he also had some good breaking pitches. In watching him, it is clear he knows what he is doing on the mound and he will have a good chance to get some playing time next year as a freshman."
Bayliss is an athletic, combo threat who pitches and can play anywhere in the infield. The Marshall HS stand-out is a two-time All-District selection as a pitcher as well as a two-time All-Harrison and Marion County selection as a third baseman and pitcher. HE was selected as the team captain last year as a junior.
"Beau is a dual guy who is a real student of the game," Simoneaux said. "He is around the game all day, every day and just loves baseball. He is the kind of player we love here at Tech. He is the son of a coach and he is capable of playing anywhere in the infield for us."
Gilmore is an athletic, strong outfielder from Broomfield, Colo. The 6'3, 220 pound J.K. Mullen Prep star has been ranked the172 high school player in the nation by perfectgame.com after attending the perfect game showcase in the Metrodome last year. He has also been named a 2010 Under Armour preseason All-American. Gilmore is also a four-time letterwinner for Mullen's football team and was selected as an All-Conference safety as a sophomore.
"Cole is a big, strong centerfielder," Simoneaux said. "He was also a highly sought after football recruit as a safety which shows his athleticism. He has a chance to make a big impact in our lie-up next year as a freshman."
Sadberry is another dual-position player as he is a hard-throwing left handed pitcher who can also play the outfield.
"Chris is a strong power-pitching lefthander," Simoneaux said. "He'll have the chance be a two-way player for us as a freshman. He has been impressive on the mound, he plays the outfield well, and with a good arm and he has good bat-speed."
"Overall I think this is a fantastic class," Simoneaux said. "Our coaching staff and I believe that this is another very strong class. I have to give credit to Coach (Brian) Rountree and Coach (Fran) Andermann for another successful recruiting year."
Tech's baseball season will get underway Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. CT when the Bulldogs take on Alcorn State at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. Fans are urged to reserve their 2010 season tickets now by calling the Tech ticket office at 257-3631.