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    Pack Inks 11 Early Signees

    Jan. 4, 2013

    RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent announced an early signing class of 11, continuing to build on the recruiting momentum generated by an exciting Regional Championship and Super Regional berth at No. 1 ranked Florida last spring.

    The Wolfpack's 2013 class includes Wilmington Hoggard's highly sought after pitcher Joe O'Donnell, considered by many to be the top prospect in the state. Four of the seven position players in this year's class hail from North Carolina. Avent and his staff also added a mix of three infielders, three outfielders, and a catcher that each boast impressive offensive numbers.

    The early class will serve to bolster a pitching staff already ranked as one of the best in the country, and gives the Pack a necessary spark for continuing the offensive production that has long been a hallmark of Wolfpack baseball. The MLB draft awaits as a recruiting hurdle the Wolfpack must navigate, as several of these young men will have their commitments tested in June.

    "Their commitment to an NC State degree as they continue their pursuit of professional baseball is what will land them on campus next August," said Avent. "Signing players that are attracted to education as well as championships has been key to our success these past few years. Holding on to players like Corey Mazzoni, Tarran Senay, Brett Austin, Carlos Rodon, Trea Turner, and Brad Stone (who opted out of the 2012 draft), has helped create the solid foundation our program recruits on. We're excited that these student-athletes have made the decision to join our Wolfpack family and tradition."

    Cody Beckman
    LHP • 6-2 • 195 • R/L
    Alonso HS • Tampa, Fla.
    - Went 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA as a junior, holding opponents to a .211 batting average. Invited to the USA Baseball 17-under National Team Development Program in Cary, N.C. Ranked in the Top 500 nationally, 48th among left-handers, and 14th in Florida. Pitched for the Tampa Bay Warriors travel team, and earned a spot on the 2012 Diamond Club, a team chosen from Florida's top prospects.

    Kyle Cavanaugh
    C • 6-4 • 185 • R/R
    Trinity Prep • Winter Park, Fla.
    - Batted .520 with six homers and 35 RBIs as a junior. Top 500 National ranking and 87th in Florida by Perfect Game. Played for Derek Wolfe at Trinity Prep, and a member of the Orlando Scorpions travel club.

    Nathan Hood
    OF • 6-2 • 185 • R/L
    Whiteville HS • Clarkton, N.C.
    - Led Whiteville to the 2A state championship in 2012, earning the Fayetteville Observer's All-Cape Fear Region Player of the Year award and an all-state mention. Batted .413 with five home runs, 12 doubles, and five triples. Made Star News All-Area, All-Conference, and All-County in both sophomore and junior seasons. Ranked 96th nationally among outfielders by Perfect Game, third best in North Carolina.

    Markel Jones
    INF • 5-9 • 175 • S/R
    West Brunswick HS • Shallotte, N.C.
    - Propelled West Brunswick to a 16-9 record during his junior season, batting .457 with 27 RBIs and three home runs to earn an all-state mention. Scored 29 runs, slugged .679, and enjoyed a .500 on base percentage.

    Andrew Knizner
    SS • 6-1 • 190 • R/R
    Hanover HS • Glen Allen, Va.
    - Batted .425 with 10 doubles and four home runs in 2012. All-State at shortstop, named to the first team of the Richmond Times Dispatch All-Metro, Central Region, and Capital District teams. Named to the first team among Virginia state underclassmen according to Rivals. Varsity captain for baseball and football, playing quarterback, punter, and wide receiver.

    Joseph O'Donnell
    RHP • 6-2 • 185 • R/R
    Hoggard HS • Wilmington, N.C.
    - Ranked 154th best in the nation by Perfect Game. Pitched a 20-strikeout no-hitter against Jacksonville in summer 2012 for the Wilmington Post 10 American Legion team. Named to Maxpreps Freshman All-America team in 2010. Struck out 35 over 40.1 IP with a 2.60 ERA as a junior.

    Patrick Riley
    OF • 6-3 • 192 • L/L
    Jesuit HS • New Orleans, La.
    - Earned all-state honors at Jesuit in 2011 before being named State Tournament MVP following the championship game. Batted .308 with nine doubles and three home runs over 52 games at Delgado Community College in 2012.

    Garrett Suggs
    OF • 6-0 • 165 • L/L
    Fuquay-Varina HS • Fuquay-Varina, N.C.
    - Two-time all-conference talent, named 4A all-state in 2012. Managed a .372 batting average, .495 OBP, 20 stolen bases, and 27 runs as a junior. Twice named all-state in football, leading the state with 19 interceptions over the last three seasons.

    Matthew Vernon
    3B • 6-2 • 195 • R/R
    Davie County HS • Advance, N.C.
    - Eight homers and 23 RBIs through 25 games played in 2012. Slugged .654 for an OPS of 1.054. Tallied 12 extra base hits and swiped seven bases as a junior. Ranked the 32nd best third baseman in the country, and fifth in North Carolina.

    Cory Wilder
    RHP • 6-3 • 200 • R/R
    Lima Shawnee HS • Lima, Ohio
    - Hit .319 with 23 singles, seven doubles, one triple, and one homer at shortstop before transitioning to pitcher, where he posted a 4-1 record with a 1.00 ERA and 39 strikeouts. Ranked fourth in Ohio among right-handers, 152nd nationally.

    Ryan Williamson
    LHP • 6-3 • 195 • L/L
    Cranford HS • Cranford, N.J.
    - Went 6-0 with an 0.52 ERA over 47 innings in 2012. Allowed just four earned runs, striking out 66 batters. Named third team all-state by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Played for the New Jersey Group 3 State champions. All-American honorable mention by Perfect Game.



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