Second year Head Baseball Coach Chris Ramirez has announced the completed fall roster of 17 new players which includes 13 new signees in the late signing period.
“I am very pleased with how our roster has shaped up with the addition of our first full recruiting class as a coaching staff here at LR,” said Ramirez. “We feel like we were able to sign highly touted prospects from each of the target recruiting markets; high school, junior college and 4-year transfers.”
The team also began Fall team practice on Friday, September 18 and ends on Halloween. Included in that timeframe is Fall Major League Baseball Scout Day on Wednesday, September 30.
“It almost feels like opening day all over again with fall ball starting again. Especially with our spring season being cut short, our guys have been as focused and hungry as ever in our preseason workouts. We have a very deep roster with multiple talented players at each position and on the mound. I am excited to watch our players complete as we shape our team for the regular season.”
LUIS ATILES – MIF – Boston, MA – 5’11 / 190 – New England College – GR
Coach Adam Skonieczki’s comments: Luis is a slick fielding middle infielder that hails from Boston, Mass. He graduated from New England College last spring and will immediately challenge for the starting shortstop job in 2021. Being a seasoned veteran, we are excited to see how Luis can lead this team moving forward.
JACOB BEBBER – C – Taylorsville, NC – 5’9 / 185 – Alexander Central HS – FR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: A local product, Jacob will be an asset to our program immediately. We think that Jacob will be an impact bat for Lenoir – Rhyne as he keeps developing. He is a strong, sturdy catcher that has the ability to hit at a high level.
AUSTIN BLEVINS – RHP – Granite Falls, NC – 6’2 / 240 – Catawba Valley CC – R.SO
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: We are really excited to have added Austin to our pitching staff. He will be an upper 80’s arm for us that will get some quality innings for us right away. He was a starter at CVCC and also came out of the pen. His versatility will be key for us as we can use him in a variety of roles. He had over a strikeout per inning and a 2.08 ERA in the 2020 campaign.
NICK CLARNO – C/3B – Grayson, GA – 6’0 / 205 – University of North Georgia – JR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Nick comes to LR from the University of North Georgia where he had an impressive two year stay. He hit in the middle of the order for a talented UNG team. We expect Nick to come in and do much of the same for our program immediately. He has the ability to defend catcher and third base at a high level which will add versatility to our lineup. He hit 15 homeruns and 23 doubles in his first two collegiate campaigns.
WADE CUDA – UTL – Orlando, FL – 6’0 / 190 – Stetson University / Indian River CC
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Wade is a very athletic player that has a couple really good junior college seasons under his belt. After attending Stetson as an infielder his freshman season he played outfield for IRSC. We think Wade is going to have a chance to make some big contributions to our program in the immediate future. In the shortened 2020 season Wade hit .319 in 20 games with 2 homeruns and 7 stolen bases.
SAM FLEMING – UTL – Charlotte, NC – 6’3 / 185 – Zebulan Vance HS – FR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Sam is another extremely athletic utility player out of Zebulon Vance HS. We think that Sam’s best days are ahead of him as he continues to grow and develop. Being so athletic, it gives us the ability to play him in a variety of roles.
IAN FOGGO – RHP – Hilton Head Island, SC – 6’1 / 200 – The Citadel / Charleston Southern University – GR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: We are thrilled to have Ian in the back end of our bullpen. Being a proven arm at the division one level and being able to run his fastball into the mid 90’s, we think that he is going to have a successful run at LR. Ian is the prototypical “closer” type and we can’t wait to see how he can help us in the Spring of 2021. In 5.2 innings pitched last season, Ian only surrendered 2 hits while striking out 12.
JACK FORTIN – LHP – Mooresville, NC – 5’9 / 180 – IMG Academy – FR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Jack is going to be a great addition to our program. Solid left handed pitching is a premium in college baseball and we think we got a good one. Jack can command multiple pitches in the zone with a sneaky FB. He will be able to help us out of the pen or in a starting role.
DRUE GALASSI – OF – Peoria, IL – 6’3 / 205 – Western Illinois University – GR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: There is a lot to like about Drue Galassi. He is a big, physical, athletic left handed hitter than runs extremely well. He comes to us from Western Illinois University where he was named an “All-American” in 2018. Drue accumulated over 20 homeruns and 100 RBI’s in his time at WIU. We will look for Drue to be a staple in the middle of our order. We believe Drue has the ability to be one of the most electric players in division 2 baseball.
RYAN HEALY – INF – Charlotte, NC – 5’8 / 185 – Catawba Valley CC – RSO
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Ryan is another product or Coach Rozelle and CVCC. We think Ryan has all the intangibles to be a great player at LR. In the recruiting process we just described him as a “baseball player.” He can do a lot of things extremely well and plays the game the right way. He will bring a lot to the table for us here. In his two seasons at CVCC, Ryan hit .298 and .381.
MATT MACKEY – 1B/OF – Bradenton, FL – 6’0 / 230 – Eastern Illinois University – GR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Matt comes to us as another division one kickback from Eastern Illinois University. We are excited to be able to work with Matt for two years. He has some of the most “raw” power I have seen from a hitter. He was a constant in the middle of the order for EIU and we believe that he will be the same at LR. After an injury sidelined Matt in 2019, he had 7 extra base hits in 60 AB’s with a homerun against Arkansas in 2020.
KAI MONTANO – C – Albuquerque, NM – 6’2 / 210 – Cibola HS – FR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Kai is a physical, young catcher from Cibola HS in New Mexico. He has shown that he has the ability to handle the bat and hit for power and average. Kai is going to continue to get bigger and stronger as he is one of the hardest workers I have come across. We are anxious to see Kai’s development in his time here.
TANNER MOYERS – RHP – Bridgewater, VA – 6’0 / 170 – Patrick Henry CC – RSO
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Tanner was a guy that I was able to see multiple times in the recruiting process and just got better each time we saw him. He commands four pitches for strikes and competes every time out on the mound. He can locate a mid 80’s FB and drop in his off speed in any count. The ability to start or come in relief is another great quality he possess. Tanner was 3-0 in 2020 with 27 K’s in 29 innings with a 2.79 ERA.
ANDREW PATRICK – RHP – Catawba, NC – 6’3 / 210 – Catawba Valley CC – RSO
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Andrew Patrick is our third student athlete in this class from CVCC. We think his impact will be felt right away in Hickory. He was a two year starter at Catawba Valley and we believe that he will have a chance to be a top of line starter at LR. He possess a fastball that will climb into the low 90’s and a slider that is above average. Andrew was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.
WILLIAM STEWART – RHP – Hickory, NC – 5’9 / 175 – Caldwell CC – RFR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: William is no stranger to Hickory and we are happy that we could keep him in town. We believe that William’s greatest asset is his athleticism on the mound. He has a firm fastball and the ability to throw a quality breaking pitch. We are excited to watch him grow as we have four more years with him.
LOWELL SCHIPPER – RHP – Santa Monica, CA – 6’1 / 200 – University of Richmond – GR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Lowell is our final D1 transfer from the University of Richmond. Lowell is going to be another guy that we can give the ball to with confidence. He has started double digit games in college with nearly a strikeout per inning. He has also been outstanding as a starting pitcher in the highly touted Northwoods college summer league. We are really excited to watch him compete this spring.
CALL VERLANIC – OF – Green Bay, WI – 6’0 / 205 – Bay Port HS – FR
Coach Skonieczki’s comments: Call is a physically gifted outfielder from the state of Wisconsin where Prep Baseball Report ranked him as a top 50 player in the state. A two-sport star at Bay Port HS (football and basaeball) , we are excited to get him to focus all of his time on baseball. We think that he is going to have a great career at LR.