Louisiana Tech finalizes 2020 baseball signing class

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RUSTON, La. – Friday afternoon, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced the completion of the 2018-19 signing class, which brings 21 newcomers to the program for the 2020 season.

The newcomers join a Bulldog team that went 34-24 and earned the third seed in the 2019 Conference USA Tournament. While the team lost 12 seniors to graduation, including 2 who are now playing professional baseball, LA Tech still returns several key bats and bullpen arms from the 2019 season. A fully updated fall roster will be available in the upcoming weeks.

“We knew this would be one of our bigger signing classes with such a large class departing last year. Our staff did an exceptional job identifying, evaluating and closing the deal with some extremely talented players.  We place a high premium on character and toughness to go along with talent and we couldn’t be more happy with this new crop of Bulldogs,” head coach Lane Burroughs said.

“I think the character and toughness level of this group showed itself when they all decided to stay even with some of the challenges we will face this season – playing on the road and practicing off campus.  We made it clear that we need and want young men that can see the big picture and be committed to building Louisiana Tech Baseball into something extremely special,” Burroughs

continued. “I also want to recognize and thank Mike Silva and Travis Creel for their energy, tenacity and hard work in putting together a tremendous group, as well as their families for their patience and support during the process. We are all in this together.”

Bryson Bales, LHP
6-2, 175, L/L. Fr. HS
Round Rock, Tex. (Cedar Ridge HS)

  • Earned 2nd Team All-Region honors from Perfect Game
  • Ranked 11th best LHP in Texas by Perfect Game
  • Two-time Perfect Game Underclass All-American
  • Battled injuries as a senior and was forced to sit out his senior season

Ben Brantley, 1B
6-3, 205, L/R, Fr. HS
Hernando, Miss. (Hernando HS)

  • Earned All-State honors as a junior and senior
  • Member of the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen
  • Got an All-District nod all four years of high school
  • Batted .411 with 22 home runs over his high school career

Joseph Carbone, LHP
6-1, 175, L/L, Fr. HS
Cypress, Tex. (Cypress Christian HS)

  • Earned a win for Cypress Christian in the state championship game
  • Member of the 2018 All-State Tournament team
  • First Team All-State honoree as a junior and senior
  • Earned All-State Academic Honors as a junior and senior.

Jorge Corona, C/OF
6-2, 192, R/R, Fr. HS
Miami, Fla. (Miami Killian HS)

  • Drafted in the 39th round of the MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals
  • Named the District Player of the Year and Hitter of the year as a senior
  • Earned HSBN First Team All-American (Miami Dade) honors as a senior

Kyle Crigger, RHP/INF
6-2, 180, R/R, Jr., TR
Corinth, Miss. (Itawamba CC)

  • Earned 2nd Team All-State honors with Itawamba CC
  • Hit .319 with 33 extra base hits and 62 RBI in his community college career
  • Named the MHSAA 4A Player of the Year as a senior in high school

Braden Duhon, OF
5-10, 175, L/R, Fr. HS
Moss Bluff, La. (Sam Houston HS)

  • Led Sam Houston to the state semifinals as a sophomore and junior as well as a state championship appearance as a senior
  • Named 1st Team All-State as a senior
  • Set Sam Houston HS records with 65 hits, 56 runs, and 45 stolen bases as a senior
  • Hit .495 with a .530 OBP during his high school career

Kyle Hasler, C
6-0, 190, R/R, Fr., HS
Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS)

  • Two-time state champion with Hamilton HS
  • Earned 2nd Team All-Region and 2nd Team All-District selections as a senior
  • Hit .343 with a .409 OBP and 41 RBI during his high school career
  • Older brother, Kent, pitched at LA Tech for two seasons (2017-18)

Jason Jaekel, RHP
6-4, 225, R/R, Jr., TR
League City, Tex. (Wharton JC)

  • Earned an Academic All-Conference award as a sophomore at Wharton JC
  • Helped Wharton JC make a 2019 NJCAA Regional
  • Struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings as a senior in high school.

Ryan Jennings, RHP
6-0, 180, R/R, Jr., TR
New Braunfels, Tex. (Wharton JC)

  • Two-time All-Conference pitcher at Wharton JC
  • Went 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 64.2 innings as a sophomore
  • Allowed just 1 run in 12 innings while pitching in the NBC World Series

Greg Martinez, RHP
6-3, 205, R/R, Fr. HS
Southwest Ranches, Fla. (Archbishop McCarthy HS)

  • Member of the 2018 and 2019 Perfect Game WWBA World Championship All-Tournament Teams
  • Member of the 2019 Perfect Game Preseason All-Region team
  • Finished his senior year with a 2.55 ERA and 3.05 K-to-BB ratio in 49.1 innings

Cole McConnell, OF
6-1, 199, L/L. Fr. HS
Beaumont Tex. (West Brook HS)

  • Earned All-State recognition as a senior at West Brook HS
  • Member of the All-District 1st Team as a sophomore, junior, and senior
  • Named a Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American as a sophomore and junior

Logan McLeod, INF
5-10, 185, R/R. Fr. HS
Sour Lake Tex. (Hardin-Jefferson HS)

  • Member of the Beaumont Enterprise’s Super Gold 2nd Team
  • Hit .356 with a .482 OBP during his high school career
  • His 85 career hits rank 3rd in Hardin-Jefferson HS history

Casey Ouellette, INF/RHP
6-2, 170, R/R. Fr. HS
Pflugerville, Tex. (Hendrickson HS)

  • Three-time All-District honoree – Once each at utility, shortstop, and pitcher
  • Tossed 54.2 innings with a 2.69 ERA as a senior at Hendrickson HS
  • Batted .339 with a .402 OBP and 29 RBI as a senior

Shemar Page, RHP/INF
6-3, 220, R/R. Jr., TR
Laurel, Miss. (Pearl River CC)

  • Earned a spot on JuCo Team USA
  • Posted a 2.76 ERA over 166 innings while racking up 10.9 strikeouts-per-nine innings during his time with Pearl River
  • D.M. Howie All-Star Game Selection as a senior in high school

Jack Payne, RHP
6-4, 215, R/R. Fr. HS
San Antonio, Tex. (Clark HS)

  • Two-time All-District honoree while at Clark HS
  • Went 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA as a senior in one of the toughest districts in Texas
  • Tossed 21.2 innings without allowing an extra base hit during his senior season
  • Earned a Perfect Game All-Region Honorable Mention selection

Janier Puente, RHP
6-5, 235, R/R, Jr. TR
Perry, Iowa (Wabash Valley College)

  • Struck out 14.69 batters per nine innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA as a sophomore at Wabash Valley College
  • Earned a spot on the 2019 Carolina Virginia Collegiate League All-Star team
  • Two-time First Team All-Conference honoree at Perry HS

Alex Ray, SS/2B
5-10, 170, R/R, Jr., TR
Apopka, Fla. (Tallahassee CC)

  • Honorable Mention Preseason Underclass All-American as a sophomore and junior in high school
  • Preseason 2nd Team All-Region as a senior in high school

Jackson Slaughter, C
6-0, 190, R/R, Fr. HS
El Dorado Hills, Calif. (Oak Ridge HS)

  • Earned All-Conference honors as a junior before battling through injuries as a senior
  • Finished all three of his high school seasons with a batting average over .300.
  • Closed his high school career with more walks (21) than strikeouts (20)
  • Grandfather (Mickey Slaughter) is a member of the Bulldog football All-Century team and father (Bobby Slaughter) was named one of the top-50 players to play in Joe Aillet Stadium

Austin Tidwell, RHP
5-11, 180, R/R, Jr., TR
Calhoun, La. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)

  • Finished his sophomore year at Copiah-Lincoln CC with 10.60 strikeouts-per-nine innings and 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
  • Earned 2nd Team All-Louisiana selection as a sophomore pitcher
  • Earned 1st Team All-State honors in 2017

Seth Traweek, RHP
6-5, 210, R/R, Fr., HS
West Monroe, La. (Ouachita Christian School)

  • Earned 2nd Team All-State and 1st Team All-District selections as a sophomore before an injury kept him out for parts of his junior and senior seasons
  • Tossed the first of two high school no-hitters in his first varsity start with Ouachita Christian
  • Named a Prep Baseball Report Player of the Week as a junior after striking out 17 batters in 8 innings of work

Jarret Whorff, RHP
6-3, 195, R/R, Jr., JC
Winnsboro, Tex. (Panola College)

  • Two-time All-Conference selection while at Panola
  • Tossed 148 innings with a 3.95 ERA while with the Ponies
  • Named to the 3A State All-Star Team as a senior in high school
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