HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State head baseball coach Matt Deggs and the Sam Houston St Baseball coaching staff announced the signing of 13 student-athletes, including seven high school players and six junior college players, as part of the Bearkats’ 2019 class on Wednesday.

“I can’t say enough about the job that Coach Harvell, Coach Sirianni, Coach Wedd & Coach Miles did in assembling this class. Although Coach Harvell and Coach Sirianni are our primary recruiters on the road, this was a total team effort. The hard work, effort, time and sacrifice that goes into putting a class like this together is amazing, so I feel it very important to not just recognize our coaches, but their families as well. Coach Harvell is our recruiting coordinator and he is the one responsible for coordinating this entire effort. He is quickly becoming one of the top recruiters in the country without a doubt.” – Head Coach Matt Deggs

“This is the most talented group of players, top to bottom, that we’ve signed in our time here at Sam Houston State. We were able to win several big battles on the recruiting trail, and I feel like this group is going to continue the tradition here at Sam Houston State of winning on a national level. We signed nine pitchers in this class, and there is some real firepower in this group. Every one of them has the potential to be a front-line guy for us. On the position player side of things, it is a very athletic group that all have what we look for: strength, speed and a passion for playing the game. All of these kids fit our culture and we are blessed that these young men and their families believe in our vision and want to be a part of our family here at Sam Houston State.”  - Recruiting Coordinator Lance Harvell

Scouting Report on Incoming Class provided by Recruiting Coordinator Lance Harvell:
Chris Benavides | RHP | 6-0 | 165 | R/R | Spring, Texas | Klein Collins HS
“Chris is yet another great player from Klein Collins HS that is joining our program. Coach Griffin does an outstanding job and we love recruiting his players because we know we’re going to get fearless competitors, and that is what Chris is. He’s got that bulldog/knife fighter type mentality on the mound, which is rare nowadays but that’s what we first loved about him. He has a 3-pitch mix that he commands very well. His fastball ranges from 88-92 (been up to 93/94) and he has a sharp 80-82 mph slider and a really good changeup. He is ranked as one of the Top 10 pitchers (Top 15 players overall) in the state of Texas, made the Texas Rangers Area Code team, and was a USA baseball States Play selection this past summer. We are really excited about Chris and his future as a Bearkat.”

Blake Benavides | OF | 5-9 | 160 | R/R| Sweeny, Texas | Sweeny HS
“Blake is a dynamic athlete who fits extremely well into our program because he has strength and speed, and he’s a winner. As a junior in 2018, he helped lead Sweeny to a runner-up finish at the state tournament while earning all-tournament honors at the state tournament, second team All-Greater Houston, first team all-district and all-county honors. He’s ranked as one of the top 20 outfielders in the state and a top-200 player overall. He possesses and exudes that rare combination of being able to play the game with a huge chip on his shoulder while at the same time having more fun than anyone else on the field. The first time I ever saw Blake he led off a game with a 4-pitch walk. Ball four got past the catcher and Blake was standing on 2nd base before the other team even knew what hit them. For me that solidified, right then and there that he was, an “OKG” (Our Kinda Guy). He also hit a walk off double in the same game just for good measure.”

Wes Folse | C | 6-1 | 185 | R/R | Sweeny, Texas | Sweeny HS
“Wes is as rock-solid on a baseball field as any kid you’ll find in the country. He’s ranked as one of the top 150 players overall in the state and the 13th ranked catcher, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He has been a key cog in the Sweeny HS baseball machine since he stepped foot on campus there, earning first team all-district at catcher three years in a row. He was the 2018 district defensive MVP, all-county defensive MVP and earned All-State honors while helping lead his team to the 2018 state tournament. He’s advanced defensively behind the dish, good catch-and-throw guy, and is athletic enough to play multiple positions. Offensively, he is a run producer who drives the ball well from gap to gap and has the ability to run it out of the ballpark. Wes is a guy who is just going to keep getting better and better and I’m glad he’s going to do it in a Bearkat uniform.”

Hunter Murray | RHP | 6-2 | 190 | R/R | Lovelady, Texas | Lovelady HS | Alvin CC
“Hunter is a blue-collar, hardnosed kid from Lovelady who’s as gritty and competitive on the mound as they come. He is a self-made player who has made the most of his time in junior college and improved dramatically in terms of his physicality and pitchability. He was one of the best junior college pitchers in the state last season at Alvin CC and earned a spot on the Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star team. He has three quality pitches which we feel will allow him to serve in multiple roles on the pitching staff. He commands his fastball well at 89-92 mph. He also has a sharp slider and really good changeup, which he will throw both to left or right-handed hitters. Hunter is going to be a great addition to our pitching staff.”

Tyler Davis | RHP | 6-3 | 200 | R/R | Spring, Texas | Oak Ridge HS | Panola College
“Tyler is another quality arm in this class coming to us from Panola College, but he’s a guy that has Division I experience and has had success at this level. He appeared in 21 games as a freshman last year at Wichita State, threw 51 innings, had a 3.66 ERA and even started six games for them. We really liked Tyler back in high school, and there wasn’t much not to like. He was an all-state pitcher and first team all-Greater Houston his junior and senior seasons, a 2017 Houston Area All-Star game selection, 2016 District 12-6A Newcomer of the Year, and the 2017 District 12-6A MVP at Oak Ridge HS just down I-45. As it worked out, we had a second chance to get him and we’re excited that he’s coming to Huntsville. He’s a big, physical presence on the mound and pitches with some attitude. He attacks hitters with a hard-sinking fastball at 88-92 and compliments that with an 83 mph slider. He is kind of a blend of Bearkat all-Americans Heath Donica and Hayden Wesneski, which is high praise.”

Clayton Chadwick | INF | 5-10 | 185 | L/R | LaVernia, Texas | LaVernia HS
“Clayton is the prototype of what we look for in a “Pack” player. He is ultra-athletic, he’s physical, and he has strength and speed to spare. He is ranked as the No. 30 Prospect in the 2019 class by Program 15/ Future Star Series, was the MVP of the Sophomore Sunbelt Games for Team Texas and he’s been a first team all-district performer in baseball (SS, UTL) and football (QB and MLB) since his sophomore year at LaVernia HS. He’s got the range to play up the middle on the infield but is versatile enough to play anywhere on the field. He’s the type of player that you find a way to get him in the lineup if you want to win because he’s going to find a way to beat you. His potential is through the roof and he has a chance to develop into a very special player here at Sam Houston State.”

Caleb Cannon | RHP | 6-4 | 195 | R/R | Humble, Texas | Atascocita HS
“Caleb is an extremely talented RHP who burst onto the scene over the past year with a monster junior season and summer. He’s ranked in the top 20 pitchers in Texas, No. 37 ranked player overall, was a Texas Rangers Area Code invite, first team all-district and named to the all-Greater Houston Team. The moment he steps foot on the rubber he is attacking hitters. He commands his fastball to both sides of the plate better than any high school pitcher we’ve seen, and he does it at 89-93 mph. His breaking ball has potential to be an out pitch and he has good feel for his changeup. It’s a legit three-pitch mix and all coming at you from a big-league frame. Caleb’s stock is trending up in a big way and we don’t expect that to change any time soon.”

Brody Logsdon | OF/RHP | 6-7 | 215 | R/R | Huffman, Texas | St. Thomas HS
“Brody is a very intriguing player. You don’t usually find baseball players with the combination of size and athleticism that he possesses, but there’s a reason he’s ranked as one of the top 150 players in the state. The kid can play and he’s just now scratching the surface of his ability on the diamond. He creates a lot of leverage and power in his swing with that 6-7, 200-pound frame. He’s also a legit 6.5 runner so he has a chance to be very dynamic for us offensively. He has plus arm strength from the outfield, is very accurate and is also 90+ off the mound. Over the past two years he has earned Perfect Game All-American honors, was named 1st Team All-State, USA Baseball States Play selection, Prospect Development Pipeline invite, Texas Rangers Area Code Games invite and a was a 2018 HABCA Houston All Star Game selection. We’re incredibly excited about Brody and the intangibles that he brings.”

 

Ryan Peters | RHP | 6-2 | 170 | R/R | Cypress, Texas | Cy Ranch HS
“Ryan is a long and lean right-handed pitcher from Cy Ranch HS and is continuing the pipeline of great players to come to Sam Houston State from that program. He caught my eye at the state semifinal game last year, and it wasn’t even on the mound, it was in pregame warmups at third base. He fielded a ground ball, reached back and threw an absolute missile across the infield with beautiful, effortless arm action. So needless to say, he made quite the first impression and made an even better one once we finally saw him pitch. He has a very clean arm action and the ball jumps out of his hand. He has an upper 80s fastball, which we expect will make a jump into the low 90s very soon. He went out and had a great summer, was named an Underclass All-American by Perfect Game Baseball, and is ranked among the top 50 right-handed pitchers in the state of Texas and in the top 200 players overall. He hasn’t thrown a ton of innings in high school so he still has a lot left in his tank. His best days on the mound are ahead of him and we’re eager to see him realize his potential.”

Lance Lusk | RHP | 6-2 | 185 | R/R | Spring, Texas | Spring HS | Angelina College
“There’s a lot to like about this kid. As a freshman last year, Lance was the workhorse for Angelina College. He was one of the conference and region leaders in ERA and strikeouts, and was named the starting pitcher for this year’s Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star Game. He has good size, he works fast, pounds the strike zone at 89-91, likes to pitch inside, changes speeds and has excellent command of his slider. He’s thrown a lot of big innings and pitched in a lot of big games for Angelina. He’s had to earn everything he’s ever gotten and because of that he has a lot of confidence in his abilities. Lance brings a lot to the table and we’re excited about the impact he is going to make in our program.”

Tanner Sembera | LHP | 6-2 | 170 | L/L | Weimar, Texas | Weimar HS | Angelina College
“Tanner is one of the best JuCo leftys in the state and he’s one of those guys that every championship team has on their roster. After his freshman season at Angelina, he was named a Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star. He has really good command of four pitches and will sit 87-90 with the fastball but can add or subtract off of it to keep hitters off balance. He has a good changeup and two different breaking balls so he’s a guy that get guys out regardless of which batter’s box they’re standing in. Back at Weimar High School, he was an all-state pitcher, led the state in ERA his senior year, was the District MVP and was a THSBCA All-Star selection. He’s been a winner and excelled at every level of baseball he’s ever played at and he’s going continue that narrative here at Sam Houston State.”

Corbin Vines | 3B | 6-3 | 195 | R/R | Hempstead, Texas | Waller HS | Galveston College
“Corbin has that classic 3-hole hitting third baseman look about him. He’s strong and physical, he runs extremely well especially for his size, and he’s a good defender at third. He led Galveston College in hitting as a freshman in 2018, received Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star honors, and I think he’s going to be a run producer in the middle of our order. He has an advanced approach at the plate and is tough to get out because he hits to every part of the field with power to back it up. You recruit junior college guys to come in and make an immediate impact on your team and Corbin has that capability.”

Angelo Genarri | LHP | 5-10 | 170 | L/L | Lewisville, Texas | Lewisville HS | Navarro College
“Angelo is a 5-10 left-hander who we really like because he pitches like he’s 10 feet tall. He’s coming to us from Navarro College so he knows what a championship culture looks like and understands what it takes to win. He has an advanced feel for how to pitch and he’s going to out compete every hitter that steps in the box. He’s a strike pumper, fastball is in the upper 80s, and he has exceptional command of his breaking ball. If you want to win championships and win at a high level, you have to have players like Angelo on your team.”