Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Baseball Coach Tom Fleenor has announced the signing of the first seven players for the 2015 season.
Matthew Freeman, RHP
East Forsyth HS
As a junior, Freeman posted a 2-0 record with a 1.13 earned run average and seven saves ... Three-year letterwinner.
"Matthew (Freeman) is a tremendous competitor," said Fleenor. "We expect to throw him in high pressure situations very early in his career due to his ability to pitch and bulldog mentality."
Dylan Slack, OF/1B
During his junior season, batted .400 with five home runs, 43 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases ... First-team All-Mountain State Athletic Conference honoree and second-team All-Kanawha Valley ... West Virginia AAA All-Tournament Team and AAA All-State Honorable Mention ... Has earned three letters.
"Dylan (Slack) brings versatility, power and the ability to hit for a high average to L-R," said Fleenor. "He can play first base and outfield, but we see him earning time immediately in right or left field."
Marcus Shoemaker, OF
Northwest Guilford HS
Three-year letterwinner who hit .375 with three home runs and 48 stolen bases ... All-conference honoree ... MVP of the ECU Spring Baseball Tournament.
"The ability to hit from the left side is one of the many attributes that attracted us to Marcus (Shoemaker), "said Fleenor. "You combine that with his knack for stealing bases and we knew that he could fill some holes for us heading into the 2015 season."
Wes Brady, 1B
Polk County HS
Lettered three years and hit .393 with 17 RBI as a junior ... All-league honoree ... Team Offensive MVP ... Member of the Mountain Expos Showcase Baseball Team.
"Wes (Brady) was our first commitment for the current class and one of the best hitters in North Carolina," said Fleenor. "We expect him to provide outstanding defense at first base as well. Wes adds some much-needed power to our lineup."
Dylan Anseaume, 3B
Bishop Moore HS
As a junior, hit .353 with 13 doubles, two home runs and a .507 slugging percentage ... Four-time Perfect Game All-Tournament Team ... Member of the Orlando Baseball Academy ... Three-year letterwinner.
"Dylan (Anseaume) projects as a middle-of-the-order bat for us sooner rather than later," said Fleenor. "He is also a very good defender at third base. Playing against top-flight talent in Florida should make his transition to college baseball a smooth one."
Stephen Hemrick, SS/RHP
High Point, N.C.
High Point Christian Academy
Three-year letterwinner who finished 7-1 with a 0.43 earned run average with 60 strikeouts on just over 53 innings ... At the plate, batted .333 with 12 RBI ... All-conference and all-state honoree.
"We are excited about Stephen's (Hemrick) ability to fill multiple roles for us," said Fleenor. "A slick fielding shortstop and a live arm off the mound, Stephen's versatility will get him on the field quickly."
Tad Ratliff, RHP/1B
Alexander Central HS
Three-year letterwinner who finished 6-2 last season with a 2.63 earned run average ... At the plate, hit .317 with one home run en route to all-conference accolades.
"Tad (Ratliff) is a big, strong kid that really came into his own this fall," said Fleenor. "He possesses an upper eighties fastball plus power at the plate. He has a legitimate chance to be a two-way threat during his L-R career."
Lenoir-Rhyne opens the 2014 season on Saturday, February 1, against North Greenville in a doubleheader at home at Bears Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.