EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball Acting Head Coach Tony Stoecklin has announced the addition of six student-athletes to the Cougar baseball program.
Brandon George (DuQuoin, Ill.), Evan Martens (Lockport, Ill.), Brendan Miller (Plainfield, Ill.), Michael Miller (Tinley Park, Ill.), Austin Verschoore (O'Fallon, Mo.), and Keaton Wright (Troy, Ill.) all have signed to play baseball for the Cougars.
"Talent-wise this is one of the deepest classes I have had here," Stoecklin said of the group.
George is a 6-foot, right-handed pitcher currently playing at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill. As a freshman George appeared in 14 games, compiling an 8-2 record with a 1.85 earned run average. He struck out 55 hitters in 66.1 innings of work. He will be a junior at SIUE.
"Brandon had a good year for Rend Lake," Stoecklin said. "He has a plus-fastball. He will add upperclassman depth."
Martens, 6-0, is a right-handed pitcher and currently a senior at Lockport High School. As a junior Martens was a second team All-Area selection as well as an All-Conference pick after leading the team with 64 innings pitched and 51 strikeouts. He finished with 7-4 record and a team-best 2.30 ERA.
"Evan kind of flew under the radar a little bit," Stoecklin said. "He was pretty much a sleeper, but I noticed him last summer. Every time I saw him pitch he was dominating."
Brendan Miller is a 6-3 right-handed pitcher from Plainfield North High School. As a junior, Miller was 11-0 with a 0.85 ERA. In 65.2 innings he struck out 74 hitters while walking only 11.
Following the year he was named an IHSA and Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State Selection. He also was an All-Area and All-Southwest Prairie Conference selection as a junior.
"All (Miller) did was win as a junior," Stoecklin said. "He has three pitches he throws for strikes, he doesn't walk many guys, and he competes really well."
Michael Miller, 6-1, also is a right-handed pitcher. He is a senior at Lincoln Way North High School, where he pitched the Phoenix to a Regional title with a complete-game shutout of Lockport. In the game he outdueled fellow signee Evan Martens. Miller was 9-1 with a 1.26 ERA as a junior. He struck out 81 hitters in 72 innings. He was an Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State Selection and an All-State Special Mention as selected by the Chicago Tribune as a junior.
"He has an unorthodox delivery and impressive stuff," Stoecklin said. "His pitches are above average and guys just don't hit him."
Verschoore is a 6-0 right-handed hitting outfielder. As a junior, Verschoore hit .398 with a pair of home runs and 18 RBIs for the Jaguars. Verschoore also was an Academic All-Conference selection.
"He does a good job of handling pitches and can hit to all fields," Stoecklin said. "He is above average defensively and has an above average arm."
Wright is a 6-1 left-handed, power-hitting first baseman. He is a senior at Triad High School. Wright hit .410 with 18 doubles, two triples, and four home runs as a junior. His .410 average was fifth in the Mississippi Valley Conference. He led the Mississippi Valley Conference and was fourth in the St. Louis area with 48 RBIs.
"Keaton has one of the best swings I have seen since becoming the recruiting coordinator here," Stoecklin said. "I project him to be a middle of the order hitter. He hits well and with power to the opposite field."
"We're extremely excited about this class, because of the level of athleticism and academic success," Stoecklin added. "We're excited to add them to the program.