FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The UALR baseball team will have a whole new look in 2010, as head coach Scott Norwood welcomes 26 newcomers for his second season with the Trojans. After signing 10 players in the early period, Norwood’s staff added 16 more newcomers in the spring.
“We feel like we’ve addressed a lot of needs with the players we were able to bring in this season. I expect us to be much more competitive this year,” said Norwood. “With so many new guys, it is going to take a while for them to gel and get to know each other. Hopefully that’s something they can accomplish in the fall.”
Included among UALR’s 10 additions from the early signing period were NJCAA Second Team All-American Cody Gilles (Bloomington,Ill./Heartland CC) and NJCAA Third Team All-American Ryan Juris (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC).
Below is a closer look at UALR’s 16 latest additions.
6-0, 194 lbs., 3B // Tupelo, Okla. (Eastern Oklahoma CC)
McCollum hit .391 with six home runs, 44 RBI and 22 stolen bases as a sophomore at Eastern Oklahoma CC, while earning national Rawlings Gold Glove honors at third base. He was also named Bi-State Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-Conference his sophomore season. As a prep at Tupelo High School, McCollum earned All-State accolades in 2007 from the Daily Oklahoman.
Norwood on McCollum: “Casey can do multiple things for us. He is one of the best defensive players in the country. He also provides our lineup with extra base power and speed. He is a hard-nosed player that wants to win everyday, and his work ethic is one of the best I’ve seen.”
5-11, 195 lbs., SS // Mustang, Okla. (Connors State College)
Feldman batted .347 with six home runs and 36 RBI as a sophomore at Connors State. As a freshman, Feldman earned All-Conference accolades and the Bi-State Conference’s gold glove award after helping the Cowboys to a Region II championship and a spot in the NJCAA World Series. He hit .326 with two homers and nine steals in his first season under head coach Perry Keith. Feldman attended Mustang High School prior to Connors State, earning All-State and All-Conference honors in 2007 after batting .390 with two homers and 16 stolen bases.
Norwood on Feldman: “Brock helps us in the middle of the infield defensively and offensively. He comes from one of the best junior college programs in the country, and his approach to the game will have a positive effect on our team.”
5-9, 183 lbs., RHP // Oklahoma City, Okla. (Connors State College)
Graziano compiled a 17-5 record with eight saves in two seasons at Connors State, helping the Cowboys to a Region II championship and a berth in the NJCAA World Series in 2008. Graziano went 9-2 as a freshman and was ranked the top returning pitcher in the South Central Regional by the NJCAA heading into the 2009 season. He followed up his freshman campaign by going 8-3 with 65 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched as a sophomore. Graziano was a three-time All-Conference selection at Putnam City West HS, earning All-State honorable mention accolades as a senior after batting .375 with four homers and 23 RBI, while sporting a 3.30 earned run average.
Norwood on Graziano: “Garret can either start or help us out of the bullpen. He showed at ConnorsState that he can do both. He’s a tough-minded kid that played for a tough-minded coach at Connors in Perry Keith.”
5-11, 208 lbs., C // Galesburg, Ill. (Muscatine CC)
Fields hit .348 over his two years at Muscatine CC and earned All-Region XI honors as a freshman under head coach Dave Barb. He played at Galesburg HS before moving on to Muscatine.
Norwood on Fields: “AJ will provide us depth behind the dish. He can catch and throw with the best of them, and on top of that, his work ethic is outstanding.”
5-11, 193 lbs., OF/RHP // Ankeny, Iowa (Muscatine CC)
Jarosh was a two-time First Team All-Region XI selection at Muscatine CC. He batted .412 with five home runs in his first season with the Cardinals, and followed that up by hitting .351 with five homers and 34 RBI as a sophomore. A standout prep athlete, he earned First Team All-State honors in three sports (baseball, football and track) at Ankeny HS, and signed with Nebraska after graduating in 2006. He was rated the No. 2 high school prospect in Iowa by Baseball Americaheading into the 2006 MLB Draft.
Norwood on Jarosh: “We are excited to have Aaron here on campus. He had a great career atMuscatine and we look for him to continue that success here. Aaron will help us in the outfield as well as on the mound. He is a very strong and driven individual.”
5-10, 180 lbs., Util. // Olathe, Kan. (Allen County CC)
Ward totaled 18 home runs and 82 RBI in two seasons at Allen County CC. In his first season with the Red Devils, Ward batted .368 with five home runs and 30 RBI. The following year, Ward smacked 13 homers and drove in 52 runs while batting .350. He earned All-Conference and All-Metro honors as a senior at Olathe East HS in 2007.
Norwood on Ward: “We look for Josh to do multiple things for us. He is an all-around good athlete that will give us some extra base power at all times.”
6-3, 199 lbs., RHP // Rogers, Ark. (Crowder College)
Golden went 8-10 and combined for 104 strikeouts in 124.2 innings pitched in two seasons atCrowder College. A product of Rogers HS, Golden went 4-6 with a 3.59 earned run average as a freshman. As a sophomore, he compiled a 4-4 record with 54 strikeouts in 52 innings of work.
Norwood on Golden: “Daniel has some big time upside. He will help us on the mound right away. He has a big time arm that is capable of winning a lot of games in the Sun Belt.”
6-1, 216 lbs., RHP // Haysville, Kan. (Cowley County CC)
Drinnen compiled a 12-2 record in two seasons at Cowley County, helping the Tigers to a Region VI championship and a spot in the 2009 NJCAA World Series as a sophomore. Drinnen went 5-2 with a 2.10 earned run average in his first season with the Tigers on his way to Second Team All-Conference accolades. As a sophomore, Drinnen went 7-0 with a 3.11 ERA, picking up a victory in the NJCAA College World Series by holding Seminole State to three runs with six strikeouts over 5.1 innings of relief. He allowed just three earned runs over 8.2 innings of work during the College World Series.
Norwood on Drinnen: “Calvin is coming off a very successful season at Cowley County. He has experience pitching in the Junior College World Series and we look for him to be an impact arm and continue his success here.”
6-4, 189 lbs., RHP // Devol, Okla. (Cowley County CC)
Maler went 2-2 with a 3.70 ERA as a sophomore at Cowley County, helping the Tigers to the Region VI championship and a fifth-place finish at the NJCAA College World Series. Maler threw 4.0 shutout innings against Santa Fe College in the College World Series, limiting the opposition to three hits and a walk while striking out four. A four-year lettermen in basketball and baseball at Big Pasture HS, Maler was a three-time All-Area selection in baseball and a 2007 All-State honorable mention honoree in basketball and baseball.
Norwood on Maler: “John comes to us with Calvin Drinnen from Cowley County. He was very successful this past year, especially in the regional tournament and Junior College World Series. He has the stuff to help us right away.”
6-2, 210 lbs., OF // Oklahoma City, Okla. (Eastern Oklahoma State)
Johnson received Second Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore at Eastern Oklahoma Stateafter batting .341 with six homers, 34 RBI and 14 stolen bases. As a prep standout at U.S. Grant HS, Johnson earned All-State honors in 2007 and was twice named All-City.
Norwood on Johnson: “Tommie is one of the most physical kids I have ever signed in my 10 years as a head coach. He has the ability to be an impact guy and can help us at all three outfield positions.”
5-8, 170 lbs., Util. // Hartshorne, Okla. (Eastern Oklahoma State)
Killingsworth batted .330 with four home runs, 35 RBI and 28 stolen bases in his final season atEastern Oklahoma State. A product of Hartshorne HS, Killingsworth earned All-State accolades from the Daily Oklahoman, as well as All-Conference and All-District honors, after hitting .460 with six homers as a senior.
Norwood on Killingsworth: “Bryce plays the game the right way. He does all the things a coach asks. He will provide us depth in the infield and outfield.”
6-0, 184 lbs., RHP // Little Rock, Ark. (Catholic HS)
Owen went 6-1 with 52 strikeouts over 46 innings pitched as a senior at Little Rock Catholic HS. He earned All-Conference accolades in 2008 after helping the Rockets to a conference championship.
Norwood on Owen: “Dylan is a local kid that had an outstanding high school career. He will help us in the bullpen.”
5-10, 175 lbs., 2B // Houston, Texas (Richland College)
Burton helped Richland College to the 2009 NJCAA Division III National Championship by batting .392 with 17 extra-base hits and seven stolen bases as a sophomore. He hit .500 (8-for-16) during the College World Series, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI in Richland’s 17-2 victory over Montgomery-Germanton (5/19/09). He capped off Richland’s championship run by going 2-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI in the title game to help the Thunderducks to a 7-5 win over Montgomery-Germantown (5/20/09).
Norwood on Burton: “Trevor comes to us fresh off winning the NJCAA Division III National Championship with Richland College. He will provide us depth in the middle infield.”
5-10, 215 lbs., C/OF // Memphis, Tenn. (Christian Brothers HS)
Parma received All-Conference and All-Metro honors as a senior at Christian Brothers HS after batting .385 with eight home runs and 26 RBI.
Norwood on Parma: “Myles has some good left-handed pop and we expect that to only improve going forward. He has the ability to do multiple things for us.”
6-2, 180 lbs., RHP // Benton, Ark. (Benton HS)
Pirl earned All-Conference accolades as a senior at Benton High School after helping lead the Panthers to the 2009 6A State Championship. He boasted a 2.84 earned run average as a senior and established a school record with eight saves, including a save in the state championship game. A two-year lettermen, Pirl sported a 3.45 ERA as a junior in 2008.
Norwood on Pirl: “Nathan helped Benton High School to a state championship last season as their closer. He will have to continue to get stronger and will give us added depth in the bullpen.”
5-10, 220 lbs., C // Little Rock, Ark. (Central Baptist College)
Durham played two seasons at Central Baptist College after graduating from Little Rock Christian HS, and hit .316 as a sophomore with the Mustangs. As a prep, Durham enjoyed a .420 career batting average and helped the Warriors to a state runner-up finish in 2006.
Norwood on Durham: “Jacob had family ties to our program with his brother (Trevor) playing here. He is a team guy who will contribute behind the plate.”