Baseball Adds 13 Student-Athletes For 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A total of five junior college players and eight high school seniors have declared their commitment to play baseball and attend UNCG beginning in the fall of 2013, according to an announcement by head coach Link Jarrett. The student-athletes will take the field for the Spartans at the start of the 2014 season.
"I am thrilled with our recruiting class as these players bring a high level of skill as well as versatility to our program," Jarrett said. "Our entire staff worked tirelessly to assemble this impressive group. We are excited about the contributions these players will make to our program as they help continue to build UNCG baseball for years to come."
Andrew George – LHP – L/L – 6-1 – 180 – Miami, Fla. – Florida Christian School (Miami, Fla.)
High School: Has pitched for the Patriots for the last three seasons … Produced a 4-1 record with 10 walks against 39 strikeouts this past season … As a sophomore, he threw 54 innings and compiled a 1.80 ERA on the way to a 7-2 record and 56 strikeouts … Was even more impressive his junior campaign, recording a 5-2 record in 61 innings pitched with a 1.18 ERA and 58 strikeouts … First year with the varsity squad was his sophomore season and he was awarded rookie of the year accolades after posting a 7-2 record on the bump … Followed that honor up by earning the 110% award and All-Dade Team laurels as a junior … Played his club baseball for Line Drive under head coach Ernie Padron … Will be reunited with former high school teammate and fellow select recruit Julian Abreu, who is currently a freshman for the Spartans … Personal: Full name is Andrew Michael George … Born Jan. 18, 1995 … Intended major is kinesiology … Son of Carlos and Tanya George.
Coach Jarrett on George: "With quality left-handed pitchers having been hard to find, we feel we have a good one in Andrew. His mound presence and competitiveness really set him apart from other pitchers we have seen."
Hunter King – INF – R/R – 5-11 – 190 – Mason City, Iowa – Northern Iowa Area Community College (Mason City, Iowa)
Community College: Hit .285 in 2013 with team bests in doubles (13) and RBI (30) … Batted .387 with 60 hits, 37 runs scored, 15 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 27 RBI in 155 at bats as a freshman for NIACC last season … Also posted an on-base percentage of .461 as well as stealing eight bases in 10 attempts … High School: Earned four varsity letters in baseball and earned a pair of all-state accolades as well as state championship MVP honors and conference player of the year recognition … During his senior season, he batted .482 with 73 RBI and 11 home runs … Played forward for the Knights' hockey squad and was a top-five scorer and all-state honoree … Also garnered three letters as a free safety for the football squad … Owns a pair of prep records both at the state and school levels – the Iowa state single-season grand slam mark as well as the Newman Catholic single-season RBI record … Helped the baseball team to a state title and three state semifinal appearances, the hockey squad to the state semifinals and three total tournament bids and the football team to the state championship game and two total tournament appearances … Personal: Full name is Hunter Murray King … Born July 20, 1993 … Intended major is political science … Son of Jim and Kathy King.
Coach Jarrett on King: "Hunter has proven that he can impact a team with his bat while playing a skill position. The type of competition he sees on a weekly basis will have him well prepared to compete in the Southern Conference."
Jake Kusz – C – R/R – 6-2 – 195 – Durham, N.C. – Riverside (Durham, N.C.)
High School: Recently completed his senior season at Riverside High School with a .395 batting average and four home runs, 11 doubles and 24 RBI … Helped the Pirates to the second round of the 2013 North Carolina 4A state tournament … Hit .471 for the Pirates his junior season … Is a four-time all-conference honoree and was the team MVP as a sophomore as well as defensive player of the year his freshman campaign … Was a key piece of the Pirate squad that won the PAC 6 Conference championship in 2010 while also earning three letters as a shooting guard and forward for the basketball squad – earning all-conference accolades in the sport twice … A four-year A/B honor roll student, Kusz also played for the Dirtbags club over the summer, helping the team to a top 20 ranking in the state … Personal: Full name is Samuel Jake Kusz … Born August 23, 1995 … Intended major is communication … Son of Jeffrey and Teresa Kusz.
Coach Jarrett on Kusz: "Jake has the ability not only command respect of his pitching staff, but to shut down the opponents' running game with his arm. We hope he continues the trend of top performing Spartans from the Triangle area."
Tyler Long – OF/LHP – L/L – 6-0 – 190 – Halifax, Va. (Louisburg College)
Louisburg College: Had a solid year in 2013, batting .347 with 11 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 39 RBI and 16 stolen bases … Hit .346 for the Hurricanes as a freshman, helping the team to a 52-9 record … Also posted 53 hits, eight doubles, a triple, three home runs, 32 runs scored and 30 RBI as well as stealing 10 bases in 13 attempts … Produced an on-base percentage of .440 while also recording 74 putouts, six assists and just one error for a fielding percentage of .988 … High School: Won MVP honors for the JV squad and the team's batting title as a freshman … Was a first-team all-conference outfielder, team MVP and all-state honoree as a junior … Wrapped up his prep years winning first-team all-district and all-region accolades as well as the Comets' outstanding pitcher award … Personal: Full name is Tyler David Long … Born May 4, 1993 … Undecided on a major … Son of David and Sharon Long.
Coach Jarrett on Long: "Tyler was one of the most coveted players returning to a Junior College team that was ranked No. 1 nationally last season. My favorite thing about Tyler is his hard-nosed, get it done type attitude that he brings to the park every day."
Dustin Jones – C – R/R – 6-0 – 160 – Shelby, N.C. (Crest)
High School: Has served as Crest High School's catcher the last four seasons under head coach Steven Hodge … Chargers currently own a 14-4 overall record and are 8-1 in the Big South 3A Conference … Jones is hitting .261 with a .375 on base percentage in conference games this season with four RBI and five stolen bases and has thrown out six runners sd well as tallying three pickoffs … Earned the team's most improved player award and the coaches award in 2010 before garnering the Team Before Self Coaches Award in 2011 … Crest has won the Shelby Easter Tournament for two years running … Has competed for the Shelby Post 82 Legion team since 2011 … Personal: Full name is Dustin W. Jones … Born June 16, 1995 … Undecided on a major … Son of Todd and Nikki Jones.
Coach Jarrett on Jones: "Dustin adds some much needed catching depth to our roster. He is an excellent defensive catcher as well as a hard worker."
L.J. Kalawaia – OF – R/R – 6-0 – 175 – Wailuku, Hawai'I (Ohlone College)
Junior College: Has played outfield for Ohlone College the last two seasons … Owns a team-best .405 average this season with 51 hits, seven doubles, six triples, a home run and five stolen bases in 33 games … Is also slugging .579 with an on base percentage of .462 … Currently leads the Coast Conference in batting average, slugging percentage and triples while ranking third in total bases … Hit .330 in 2012, earning first team all-conference accolades while also being named an All-NorCal Team outfielder … Batted 4-for-5 with two RBI in a 7-3 victory over San Mateo Feb. 12 … High School: Attended Lahainaluna High School for three seasons before finishing his prep career at St. Louis School … Played second base his senior year at St. Louis School, leading the Crusaders to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship … Personal: Full name is Lee-Jun K. Kalawaia … Born September 30, 1993 … Intended major is kinesiology … Son of Mark and Lisa Ann Kalawaia.
Coach Jarrett on Kalawaia: "L.J. is a very athletic player that can fill several needs for us. He has good speed and a strong arm which will play well at our field. Offensively, his well-rounded approach makes him a great addition to our lineup."
Jordan McDonald – INF – R/R – 6-1 – 197 – Perth, Australia (Chattanooga State)
Junior College: Has spent the last two seasons at Chattanooga State Community College where he plays shortstop for the Tigers … Is currently batting .361 with 56 hits, 18 doubles, four home runs, 44 RBI, six sacrifice flies and 49 runs scored … Also slugging .555 with an on base percentage of .450 … Hit .343 last season as a freshman with 57 hits in 166 plate appearances … Also recorded 14 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 42 RBI and 37 runs scored while stealing eight bases in as many attempts … Drew 38 walks and owned an on-base percentage of .460 … High School: Was a six-time junior state representative and led the team to two national titles … Named the Under 18 Australian National MVP, hitting .440 with a wooden bat … Led Australia to the silver medal at the 2010 International Baseball Federation Championships … Earned a number of honors in 2009 … Won the Western Australia State Schoolboys batting title with an average of .538 and garnered one of his two Australian Baseball Academy Golden Gloves … Also nabbed a spot on the all-state team and was a nominee for the Western Australia State Junior Sports Award … Played his club baseball for the Wanneroo program under head coach Steve Fish and led the squad to a pair of league titles … Personal: Full name is Jordan M. McDonald … Born July 22, 1992 … Undecided on a major … Son of Kevin and Leanne McDonald.
Coach Jarrett on McDonald: "Jordan's consistency on defense and the ability to drive the ball will help bring an overall confidence to our team. Last season he was one of the top offensive performers in the Tennessee Junior College ranks."
Gavin Russell – RHP – R/R – 6-3 – 190 – Raleigh, N.C. (Cary)
High School: Compiled a 4.30 ERA at Cary High School during the 2012 season … Threw 14.2 innings and struck out 19 batters, including five in his first appearance of the season against Hillside … Did not allow a home run all season … Picked up two victories against Williams and Apex … Made his lone start of the season vs. Green Hope while appearing in eight games overall … Served as a team captain his sophomore campaign … Was the winning pitcher in the championship game of the 2012 Hilltop Invitational … Has earned two varsity letters as both a pitcher and an outfielder … Garnered all-conference academic honors … Played club baseball for Purpose Driven Baseball 18U under head coach Jay Stott … Personal: Full name is Gavigan Grey Russell … Born April 14, 1995 … Intends to major in business administration … Son of Glenn and Amy Russell … Father competed in track and field for East Carolina University while mother played basketball and volleyball at Mary Baldwin College.
Taylor Stephens – INF – R/R – 6-0 – 155 – Raleigh, N.C. (Garner)
High School: Has played on the varsity squad at Garner High School the last three seasons as a second baseman under head coach Derek Goffenea … The Trojans have advanced to the third round of the 2013 North Carolina 4A state playoffs … Batted .356 during the current campaign with an on base percentage of .468 and 25 stolen bases … Earned all-conference honors his junior year while hitting .468 and swiping 20 bases … Trojans are currently 23-2 overall and finished a flawless 14-0 in Greater Neuse River 4A action … Has earned all-conference honors the past two seasons … Also plays soccer and basketball at Garner, racking up six varsity letters in those sports … Personal: Full name is Samuel Taylor Stephens … Born April 3, 1995 … Intended major is education … Son of Randy Stephens and Helen Cole … Father played baseball for East Carolina University.
Coach Jarrett on Stephens: "Taylor is a kid that really knows how to play the game. He will add a great deal of speed and athleticism to our team. His base running skills will make him an exciting player to watch."
Dillon Stewart – INF – R/R – 6-0 – 185 – Dunn, N.C. (Triton)
High School: Led the Hawks to a 19-9 overall record this season and an appearance in the second round of the 2013 North Carolina 3A state playoffs while batting .390 with three home runs, 19 stolen bases, an on base percentage of .460 and a fielding percentage of .960 … Hit .410 as a junior with two home runs and 25 stolen bases … As a sophomore, batted .375 with a pair of home runs while swiping 22 bases … Played with Jake Kusz for the Carolina Cubs this summer … Earned three letters and participated in the Region 4 State Games in 2011 and 2012 … Picked up all-conference honorable mention accolades for the 2011 campaign before racking up team MVP and all-conference laurels last season … Was also a Carolina Classic Scholastic Summer Baseball League participant the last two years, recently helping Triton to the South Division championship… As a member of the Cubs summer program, Stewart was named to the 2012 Perfect Game Wood Bat World Series All-Tournament Team … Personal: Full name is Dillon Ray Stewart … Born May 22, 1995 … Intended major is education … Son of Kevin Stewart and Felecia O'Rourke.
Coach Jarrett on Stewart: "The fact that Dillon starts at shortstop for his high school team and plays center field on his showcase team is a true testament to his athletic ability. Dillon is also one of the top players in an area that consistently produces upper-level NCAA Division I talent."
Adam Swim – RHP – R/R – 5-10 – 170 – Greensboro, N.C. (Northwest Guilford)
High School: Widely considered one of the top pitchers in the Triad area, Swim was 8-3 with a 1.68 earned run average in 63 innings pitched this season while adding 68 strikeouts as Northwest Guilford won the Piedmont Triad 4A conference title and advanced to the second round of the 4A state playoffs … Named a 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention All-America by Perfect Game … Has earned All-Piedmont Triad conference honors the past two seasons under head coach Sonny Gann … Posted a 6-1 record on the bump last season while compiling a miniscule 1.08 ERA … Also recorded 45 strikeouts and two saves in 38 innings pitched … Also helped lead the Vikings to the Piedmont Triad 4A championship in 2011 … Has competed for the Golden Spikes baseball club since 2010 … Personal: Full name is Nicholas Adam Swim … Born Dec. 25, 1994 … Intended major is business … Son of Keith and Mary Swim … Brother Alex plays baseball for fellow SoCon member Elon.
Coach Jarrett on Swim: "We are very excited to add one of the top arms in the Greensboro area to our staff. Adam possesses the grit and competitiveness we want in each of our players."
Bryan White – RHP – R/R – 6-2 – 190 – Woodstock, Ga. (Etowah)
High School: Will graduate from Etowah after a fine career as a pitcher for the Eagles … Has earned three varsity letters and garnered first-team all-county recognition … Threw 60 innings in 2013 with 70 strikeouts while allowing just 40 hits and compiling a 2.11 earned run average … Made 10 appearances in 2012, pitching 25 and two thirds innings … Produced a 2-2 record with a 3.55 earned run average … Struck out 34 batters … Fanned eight batters in a league win over Cherokee on March 22 … Exceled on the summer ball circuit as a member of the East Cobb Blue Jays as he has competed for head coach Chris Butler the last five seasons … Helped guide the Blue Jays to the title at the 2012 Perfect Game 17U/18U East Cobb Invitational, earning most valuable pitcher accolades in the process … Named East Cobb Baseball 18u Pitcher of the Year … Threw nearly 64 innings for the Blue Jays and ended the summer undefeated with an 11-0 record … Turned in a miniscule 0.77 ERA … Struck out 65 batters … Former teammate of current Spartan Nick Jones … Personal: Full name is Bryan Michael White … Born May 27, 1994 … Intended major is sports broadcasting … Son of Mike and Kathy White.
Coach Jarrett on White: "Getting named the East Cobb pitcher of the year really says it all about Bryan's skills as a player. But even more than that, his level of maturity and focus on what he wants to become is what will help him succeed as a Spartan."
Aaron Wright – INF – R/R – 6-2 – 210 – Asheville, N.C. (Chattanooga State)
Junior College: Has spent this season as the starting first baseman for perennial junior college powerhouse Chattanooga State, earning first-team all-conference honors in region 7 … Named national player of the week for games from Feb. 25 – March 3 as he hit .611 (11-for-18) with 10 RBIs and six runs scored … Batting .358 with 59 hits, 42 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples and team bests in home runs (10) and RBIs (65) … RBI total is currently tied for third nationally … Also slugging .642 with an on base percentage of .437 … Has only made three errors all season in 418 chances for a fielding percentage of .993 … UNC Asheville: Began his collegiate career at UNC Asheville … Produced a team-best .340 batting average in 31 games played … Tallied three home runs and 10 RBIs while slugging .528 … High School: A four-year standout at TC Roberson High School … Earned all-conference honors his sophomore and senior seasons and Western Region accolades as a junior and senior … Holds the school's single-season hits record which is also the ninth-highest single-season total in North Carolina prep history … Batted .500 his senior season with 12 home runs and 42 RBI … Led the Rams to the state semifinals his junior year before the team reached the state championship series his senior season … Personal: Full name is Aaron James Wright … Born May 16, 1993 … Intended major is exercise science.
Coach Jarrett on Wright: "Aaron has had one of the top offensive years in the NJCAA. We feel like Aaron will be able to step right in and provide a consistent force in the middle of our lineup."
Keep up with the UNCG baseball team all season by logging onto www.uncgspartans.com or following the squad on twitter @UNCGsports and @UNCGBaseball.
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