Dirtbags sign seven in early period
Nov. 16, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State baseball has announced that seven players have signed National Letters of Intent for the 2013 season. The class includes five freshman and two junior college transfers.
"We are excited about this recent class of recruits," said Troy Buckley, head coach for the Dirtbags. "Led by Jesse Zepeda and Shawn Gilbert, our staff put together an outstanding recruiting class that fits all of our needs as we continue to move forward toward our goals of regional and national excellence. The blend of talent, make up, competitiveness, and commitment from the players of this class makes for a tremendous future for this program."
The class is highlighted by right-handed pitcher Ryan McNeil, out of Nipomo, Calif. The younger brother of current Dirtbag UTL Jeff McNeil, Ryan is one of the top recruits in the country. Ranked No. 34 by Perfect Game and No. 54 by Baseball America, McNeil was a standout at the 2011 Area Code Games and was selected as a 2011 AFLAC All-American.
"Ryan is an athletic, physical pitcher that we are excited to have join our program," said Buckley. "He is rated as one of the top high school arms, not only in California, but in the entire country. He will provide an immediate impact on the mound for us when he enrolls."
Long Beach State will bring in another high school arm in southpaw J.C. Cloney from West Ranch High School in Castaic, Calif. An all-league selection at West Ranch last season, Cloney was selected to represent team USA through the Urban Youth Academy in Japan, and is also a member of the Milwaukee Brewers Elite Team.
"J.C. is a physical lefty who has a repeatable delivery," noted Buckley. "That equates to having a three-pitch arsenal in the strike zone. He will be a great addition, and a potential starter who will challenge for innings immediately."
Continuing a tradition of solid infielding, the Dirtbags add a top high school shortstop in Alex DeGoti. DeGoti is the only player of the seven to come to LBSU from outside of California. Last season, DeGoti hit .356 with five home runs and 37 RBI.
"We are fortunate to have Alex as a future Dirtbag," said Buckley. "He displays outstanding defensive skills and his feel for the game is at a high level. He's a very competitive player who possesses plus presence and actions. We feel that he will be a fixture a shortstop and continue the outstanding history of previous players at his position here at Long Beach State."
Eric Hutting is another position player in the class, a catcher out of Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. Hutting hit .317 as a junior, earning All-South Coast League honors. Selected to both the Rays and Angels Elite scout teams, Hutting comes from a baseball family, that includes two cousins in the major leaguer, Aaron Rowand and James Shields, as well as a former Dirtbag Tim Hutting. Additionally, his brother Anthony Hutting is an outfielder at Cal State Fullerton.
"Eric fits a need for us in the catching department," said Buckley. "He's very polished defensively, and has a plus release with a plus arm. He is a very intelligent player with a high level of commitment to the game, and continues an outstanding lineage of baseball players in his family."
Zach Rivera is the final high school player in this recruiting class, an infielder out of Beckman High School in Tustin, Calif. A first-team All-CIF selection, Rivera led Beckman to a CIF Championship, hitting .380 with five home runs, 31 RBI and 26 stolen bases. Rivera was also a member of the Angels Elite team along with Hutting.
"Zach is an athletic, aggressive, and physical infielder who has excellent bat speed," said Buckley. "He is an exciting player who plays the game hard and is committed to becoming a complete player."
The Dirtbags will also add two junior college products with this class. The first is Shane Carle, a right-handed pitcher from Cabrillo College. Carle posted a 5-2 record in his first season at Cabrillo, posting a 1.65 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched while walking just seven.
"We are excited to have Shane join our program, helping an immediate need in our starting pitching," said Buckley. "He is very intelligent, and has a very good feel for pitching which translates into plus control of the strike zone with multiple pitches."
Rounding out the class is another junior college transfer, Ryan Millison. A 6'3" starting pitcher at Sierra College, Millison posted a 7-6 record with a 3.20 ERA while leading the Wolverines in games started with 14. He finished his first season with 82 innings pitched, striking out 62 while walking just 13.
"Ryan is an angular right-hander who will provide an immediate impact for us. He is very athletic and has continued to improve during his time at the junior college level," said Buckley. "We look forward to his progress this year and are excited about his arrival next fall."