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Auburn signs 15 for 2011 Season


AuburnBaseball AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn baseball team signed 15 players to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period. The 15 players consist of 10 high school seniors and five junior college players.

"The recruiting class of 2010-2011 will have an immediate impact when they step foot on campus at Auburn next fall," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Recruiting coordinator Scott Foxhall along with assistant coaches Link Jarrett and Ty Megahee did an outstanding job of identifying and evaluating the type of `Championship Player’ we are looking for. It is our goal to not only recruit the best student-athletes in our state of Alabama, but on a national level. These players will help us continue to move forward as a program and represent Auburn University both on and off the field in a first-class manner."

2010 Auburn Baseball Signees

Name Ht Wt Pos B/T Previous School Hometown

Brandon Allen 6-6 190 RHP R/R Milton HS Milton, FL

Zach Alvord 6-0 180 IF R/R South Forsyth HS Alpharetta, GA

Blake Austin 6-1 205 C R/R Landmark Christian Douglasville, GA

Brooks Beisner 6-2 215 OF R/R St. Pete Junior College Port Charlotte, FL

Stafford Booth 6-2 190 IF/OF L/R Madison Academy Madison, AL

Tyler Dial 5-10 195 IF L/R Russell County HS Phenix City, AL

Jay Gonzalez 5-11 170 OF L/L Freedom HS Orlando, FL

Will Irvin 6-1 205 RHP R/R Itawamba CC Bolivar, TN

Will Kendall 6-3 185 LHP S/L Pope HS Marietta, GA

Andrew Morris 6-3 180 RHP R/R Gulf Coast CC Prattville, AL

Dillon Ortman 6-3 180 RHP R/R Grissom HS Huntsville, AL

Mike Reed 5-10 190 IF R/R Middleburg HS Middleburg, FL

Derek Varnadore 6-4 215 RHP R/R Chattahoochee Valley CC Bishop, GA

Jay Wade 6-0 190 RHP L/R Bremen HS Bremen, GA

Ethan Wallen 6-1 170 RHP R/R Northwest Shoals CC Anderson, AL

Brandon Allen, 6-6/190, RHP, R/R Milton HS/Milton, FL

· Ranked 300th nationally by

· Participated in the 2009 National Showcase and the 2008 SE Underclass Showcase

· Plays for George Blake at Milton HS

· 2009 Milton HS Pitcher of the Year

· 2009 Second Team All-Area

· Pensacola News Journal Player of the Week

· Played for Chris Counts and the Louisiana All-Stars during the summer

· Also played basketball and was the Milton MVP (2007-08 and 2008-09) and 2009 Second Team All-Area

· Named the 2009 Kessler Invitational (basketball) MVP and to the All-Tournament Team

· Academically ranked 14th out of 443 students for the class of 2010

Coach Pawlowski on Allen…

"Brandon is an athletic pitcher with a very good arm who throws with a nice downhill angle to the plate and is very projectable. He also knows how to compete with his off-speed pitches and plays in one of the best baseball areas in the nation in the Florida panhandle. He has a chance to be a very special pitcher for Auburn because of his physical abilities and his tremendous aptitude."

Zach Alvord, 6-0, 180, IF, R/R, South Forsyth HS/Alpharetta, GA

· Ranked 27th nationally by

· 2009 AFLAC and Under Armour All-American

· 2009 East Coast Pro Showcase and 2009 PG National Showcase participant

· Team USA and Area Code Games invitee

· Four-year varsity letter winner for Russ Bayer at South Forsyth HS

· Named All-County and All-Region

· Helped lead South Forsyth HS to 2009 5A Georgia State runner-up

· Set the school record with 16 home runs as a junior … Also hit .387 with 16 doubles, 37 RBIs and a .972 slugging percentage

· Hit .408 with nine home runs, eight doubles, 28 RBI and an .887 slugging percentage as a sophomore

· Also played for Kevin Baldwin and the East Cobb Braves where he won nine national titles over six years as a starter

· 2009 East Cobb Baseball 17 year-old MVP

Coach Pawlowski on Alvord…

"Zach is an exceptional talent from the baseball-rich Atlanta area. His tools are in the elite class and he has led both his high school and summer teams to championships over the last few seasons. Zach will be an exciting offensive and defensive impact player for the Tigers. He has explosive right-hand power and an electric throwing arm as well as exceptional speed."

Blake Austin, 6-1, 205, C, R/R, Landmark Christian/Douglasville, GA

· Ranked 270th nationally by

· Participated in the 2009 National Showcase

· Four-year starter for the War Eagles of Landmark Christian, where he plays for Phil Williams

· Three-time 5A All-Region selection

· 2008 and 2009 Tri-City All-State Team, 2008 Dugout All-State and a two-time Georgia Top 100

· Hit .450 in 2009 to help Tri-City to the 5A Championship Round

· Collected 131 RBIs during his high school career

· Holds the Perfect Game National Record for underclassmen at Catcher Pop-Time at 1.78 seconds and Velocity at 83 MPH

· Also played for Lloyd Thompson and former Auburn pitcher Rodney Dickinson with the Home Plate Chilidogs

· Four-year starter on the football team … Named 2007 and 2008 5A All-Region

Coach Pawlowski on Austin…

"Blake has been one of the top hitters in the state of Georgia over the past couple of years. We are anxious for him to hit for the Tigers in Plainsman Park. Defensively, Blake has the arm strength, quickness, and toughness that it takes to be a catcher in this league. He has caught some of the most talented pitchers in the southeast and is a leader behind the plate."

Brooks Beisner, 6-2, 215, OF, R/R, St. Pete Junior College/Port Charlotte, FL

· Is in his second year at St. Pete JC where he plays for Dave Pano

· Hit .330 with four home runs and 42 RBI last year at St. Pete

· Played at Charlotte HS in Port Charlotte, FL

· 2008 Sarasota Classic First Team All-Tournament

· 2008 Tommy Murphy Leadership Award winner

· 2008 Sun Herald First Team All-Area

· 2008 Sarasota Herald Tribune First Team All-Area

Coach Pawlowski on Beisner…

"Brooks established himself as one of the top junior college hitters in the state of Florida this fall. He will bring an experienced bat into our program at a time when we will be looking to replace much of our offense from our current team. Brooks brings a polished, consistent swing with excellent right-handed power."

Stafford Booth, 6-2, 190, IF/OF, L/R, Madison Academy/Madison, AL

· Ranked 397th nationally by

· Plays for Mike Good at Madison Academy which won the 2009 3A Alabama State Championship

· 2009 3A Alabama All-State Team, Huntsville Times Elite Team and AHSAA North-South All-Star

· 2009 Preseason Under Armour All-American

· Set the school single-season records for hits (69), total bases (128) and innings pitched (85 2/3) and is the school’s career leader in hits (199), doubles, walks, runs scored and total bases and is second in career home runs, RBI and innings pitched.

· 2008 PG National Underclassman Top Prospect Team and Southeast Top Prospect Team

· 2008 and 2007 CABA World Series Championship Team

· 2008 All-State Honorable Mention

· 2007 WWBA 16U Perfect Game Championship Team

· Two-Time Huntsville Times All-Metro choice

· Three-time All-American Travel Ball Select Team, three-time All-Tournament Team USSSA Elite 24 and the MVP of the USSSA World Series in Henderson, Nev.

· Also played for James Beavers and the East Cobb Yankees

Coach Pawlowski on Booth…

"Stafford is one of the top hitters in Alabama and he is very versatile defensively. He has championship experience and will bring a winning attitude with him to Auburn. We like the way Stafford hits for average and believe that his swing will be very productive in the SEC. He has had an amazing high school career and we are excited about him being in a Tiger uniform."

Tyler Dial, 5-10, 195, IF, L/R, Russell County HS/Phenix City, AL

  • Ranked 143rd nationally by
  • Three-time All-State selection for coach Tony Rasmus at Russell County HS
  • Three-time All Bi-City
  • Three-time Hitting Award winner at Russell County
  • Hit .465 with eight home runs and 36 RBI as a junior
  • Hit .447 with eight home runs and 38 RBI as a sophomore
  • Hit .350 with six home runs and 33 RBI as a freshman
  • Also played for Kevin Baldwin and the East Cobb Braves
  • 2009 WWBA Champion with the East Cobb Braves

Coach Pawlowski on Dial…

"Tyler is a physical middle infielder with a powerful left-handed swing. Defensively, he has shown the ability to play all the infield positions very well. Tyler is a throw-back type player who practices and plays to win every day. We love his competitiveness and we believe that he will be an impact player early in his career."

Jay Gonzalez, 5-11, 170, OF, L/L, Freedom HS/Orlando, FL

· Ranked 280th nationally by

· Plays for James Anderson at Freedom HS

· 2009 First Team All-Metro Conference … 2008 All-Metro Conference Honorable Mention

· Has a .400 career batting average, which is a school record … Also is the career leader in hits (92) and runs (81)

· Holds the single-season record for runs scored (38 in 2009) and stolen bases (27 in 2009) and is the career leader in steals with 39

· Three-year varsity letterman

· Led Freedom to the 2008 Metro Conference Championship

· Participated in the 2009 National Showcase and the 2007 National Underclass Showcase

Coach Pawlowski on Gonzalez…

"Jay will bring the element of speed to the Tigers on offense and defense. He is a leadoff-type hitter who bunts and steals at an advanced level. Jay really understands his offensive game and has catered his swing to suit his speed. He has the ability to cover ground in the outfield in addition to having good instincts."

Will Irvin, 6-1, 205, RHP, R/R, Itawamba CC/Bolivar, TN

· Currently plays for Rick Collier at Itawamba CC

· Went 10-1 with 44 strikeouts and just 21 walks in 68 1/3 innings for Itawamba in 2009

· Opponents hit just .251

· Hit .364 with three home runs, 17 RBI and a .582 slugging percentage

· Was the winning pitcher in the state championship game, throwing a complete-game, allowing a run while also hitting a grand slam

· Played at Bolivar Central HS

Coach Pawlowski on Irvin…

"Will adds pitching experience to this class in the form of a powerful right arm. He was a big winner in junior college as a freshman and continued to improve throughout the fall with velocity and consistency. Will is a two-way talent at Itawamba and we really like his athleticism. We believe that his best baseball is ahead of him."

Will Kendall, 6-3, 185, LHP, S/L, Pope HS/Marietta, GA

· Plays for Jeff Rowland at Pope HS

· Was a starter for the 2009 Georgia State Champions

· Went 7-1 with a 1.56 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 49 IP in 2009

· First Team 6A All-Region Team

· First Team All-Cobb County

· 2009 National Showcase invitee

· Selected Top Prospect Team at the 2008 National Underclassman Perfect Game Showcase

· Also played for Wes Fields and the East Cobb Astros

· Two-time East Cobb Team MVP

Coach Pawlowski on Kendall…

"Will won a state championship at the highest classification in Georgia last spring and pitches in one of the top summer programs in Atlanta during the summer. He is a proven starting pitcher who commands three pitches and has been successful against some of the best competition in the country. Our staff believes in his up-side as well and we think that he has a chance to be a big winner at Auburn."

Andrew Morris, 6-3, 180, RHP, R/R, Gulf Coast CC/Prattville, AL

· Plays for Mike Kandler at Gulf Coast CC

· Drafted in the 44th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers

· Went 10-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 2009, striking out 107 in 94 IP

· 2009 Panhandle Pitcher of the Year

· Played for Tommy Goodson at Prattville HS

· Went 10-5 and had a 1.44 ERA in 87 2/3 IP in 2008 at Prattville

· Montgomery Metro Player of the Year and All-State selection

Coach Pawlowski on Morris…

"Andrew is one of the premier junior college pitchers in the country. Anytime you can get a successful pitcher or player out of the Florida Panhandle Conference, you feel great about it. Andrew was the best in that league last year so we feel extremely fortunate to have him as a part of this signing class. He has an unmatched work ethic combined with exceptional talent and a high baseball IQ."

Dillon Ortman, 6-3, 180, RHP, R/R, Grissom HS/Huntsville, AL

  • Ranked 436th nationally by
  • Plays for Adam Moseley at Grissom HS
  • Went 7-2 with a 2.24 ERA in 45 IP with 59 strikeouts and 13 walks in 2009
  • 2009 First Team All-City and the Huntsville City Pitcher of the Year … Huntsville Times Elite Team Pitcher
  • Selected to the Alabama North/South All-Star Game and the ABCA All-Star Weekend at Troy
  • East Coast Professional Showcase participant in Lakeland, FL
  • Went 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 52 strikeouts as a sophomore
  • 2008 All-Metro 6A as a utility player
  • 2008 ABCA All-Star

Coach Pawlowski on Ortman…

"Dillon emerged as one of the top pitchers in our state last spring. He pitches at the highest level of baseball in Alabama. He has great sink on his fastball and knows how to spin a quality breaking ball. His change-up is also effective and he throws a bunch of strikes. We feel very good about Dillon’s future on the mound."

Mike Reed, 5-10, 190, IF, R/R, Middleburg HS/Middleburg, FL

· Plays for Alan Burnsed at Middleburg HS

· Hit .432 and led the tri-county area in home runs with eight in 2009

· 2008 and 2009 St. Johns River Athletic All-Conference selection and FACA District 5 First Team shortstop

· Lettered in three varsity sports as a freshman (baseball, football and basketball)

· Also plays for Jared Goodwin at FTB Mizuno

Coach Pawlowski on Reed…

"Mike will bring outstanding infield skills with him to the Plains. He impressed us with his ability to handle the baseball and make plays defensively. His versatility on the infield is invaluable. Mike is also an accomplished hitter and he has had great success in the ultra-competitive Florida high school ranks."

Derek Varnadore, 6-4, 215, RHP, R/R, Chattahoochee Valley CC/Bishop, GA

· Plays for Adam Thomas at Chattahoochee Valley CC

· Went 6-5 with a 3.90 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 80 2/3 IP during the 2009 season at CVCC

· Played at Oconee HS for Stan Fricks

· Was 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA as a senior at Oconee, striking out 93 in 71 IP

· Was 5-2 with a 1.45 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 33 IP as a junior

Coach Pawlowski on Varnadore…

"Derek is a durable power pitcher with multiple weapons. We saw him a few times this fall and he seemed to get better each time. He had a great freshman year and with a good spring he has a chance to set some career records at Chattahoochee Valley. Derek gives us another junior college ace in this class and makes our 2011 pitching staff even more experienced."

Jay Wade, 6-0, 190, RHP, L/R, Bremen HS/Bremen, GA

  • Plays for Mark Clark at Bremen HS
  • Hit .450 with 10 home runs and also struck out 98 in 62 IP in 2009
  • 2009 Time Georgian Pitcher of the Year
  • Hit .529 with four home runs and also struck out 61 in 53 IP in 2008
  • 2008 Region 6A Champion
  • 2008 Time Georgia Top Newcomer of the Year
  • Also played for the East Cobb Titans (Jamie Crane) and the East Cobb Yankees (James Beavers)
  • 2009 AABC Regional Champion with East Cobb

Coach Pawlowski on Wade…

"Jay has a competitive streak in him that caught our attention early on. He is very detailed-oriented and has made himself into one of the best pitchers in the state of Georgia. He has one of the best breaking pitches in this class to go along with a very good fastball. He played at the highest national level this summer and was extremely successful."

Ethan Wallen, 6-1, 170, RHP, R/R, Northwest Shoals CC/Anderson, AL

  • Plays for David Langston at Northwest Shoals CC
  • Was 5-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 2009
  • Played at Lauderdale County HS for Trent Patterson

Coach Pawlowski on Wallen…

"Ethan had some of the most electric stuff that we saw this summer and fall. He throws with outstanding arm strength from a low side-arm slot. Hitters do not get very good swings off of him because of his deception, movement, and velocity. He has a chance to be very good for us in 2011."

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