MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State baseball head coach Greg Beals announced the signings of seven players to national letters of intent Friday during the early signing period. The seven players will join the Cardinals for the 2011 season.
Joining the Cardinals are Jacob Brewer (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph), Cody Campbell (Muncie, Ind./Cowan), Derek Hannahs (Robinson, Ill./Robinson), Tyler Jordan (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South), Kenneth Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean), Mitch Overley (Zionsville, Ind./Brebeuf) and T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo).
"I am very pleased to announce this year's recruiting class as coach Stafford, coach Marconi and myself have worked hard to attract this group to Ball State University," Beals said. "This class exemplifies all the characteristics we are looking for in student-athletes - a history of success in the classroom and on the field, hard working players with development on their mind and tough competitors."
Brewer, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, is a standout at St. Joseph High School for coach John Gumpf. He posted a 3-2 record as a junior with a 2.80 ERA, including a 3-1 record in conference play. His biggest victory of the year came against Penn High School, which was ranked fourth in Class 4A at the time. He played summer ball for the Michiana Scrappers where he recorded a 4-0 record.
"Jacob is a hard working young man and a developing pitcher," Beals said. "We saw the velocity of his fastball increase over the summer and we really like his ability to throw a great changeup."
Brewer is the son of John and Susan Brewer.
Campbell, a 6-1 infielder/outfielder, is a three-year letterwinner at Cowan High School for coach Camden Parkhurst. He earned All-State, All-County and All-Conference honors as a junior while leading Cowan to its first county championship in 30 years. He posted a .506 batting average on the season and drove in 50 runs while tallying 11 home runs, 13 doubles and a triple. He helped the Blackhawks to a semi-state tile and a state runner-up finish as a sophomore when he posted a .449 batting average and drove in 45 runs.
"Cody is a very talented offensive player who will come in and compete for significant playing time right away," Beals said. "There is nothing he can't do on a baseball field. He can run, hit for average and hit for power. It will be exciting to help Cody polish his game."
Campbell is the son of Scott and Brenda Campbell and is the brother of current Cardinal Kirby Campbell.
Hannahs, a 6-1 infielder, is a standout at Robinson High School for Scott Albright. He played summer baseball for the Indy Pony Express where he hit .337 with two home runs and 12 doubles this season. Hannahs is the son of Mitch and Amy Hannahs.
"The more we watched Derek play this summer, the more we liked him," Beals said. "He is a good athlete with a great feel for the game. He is a steady defender with clean fielding actions. At the plate, he barrels a lot of balls, and as he develops physically, he will become an even more offensive threat."
Jordan, a 6-0 right-handed pitcher, is a two-year letterwinner at Bloomington South High School for coach Phil Kluesner. During his first two years at South he owns a 9-5 record over 103.2 innings of work with a 2.69 ERA. He has tallied 130 strikeouts during his career, including 78 as a junior. He earned First Team All-County and All-Conference accolades as a junior and was an all-state nominee. He played summer baseball for the Indiana Bulls.
"We are excited to have Tyler join our pitching staff," Beals said. "He possesses all the characteristics we look for in a pitcher. He has a loose, fast, three-quarters arm slot that gives his fastball movement. He has a dominating curveball and most importantly is a fierce competitor."
Jordan is the son of Rick and Shelley Jordan.
Mahala, a 6-1 third baseman, stars at Andrean High School for coach Dave Piskur. He posted a .395 batting average last season while driving in 43 runs on the strength of 10 home runs. He also excelled on the mound as he posted a 1.82 ERA in 50 innings of work while striking out 65 batters. He was named second team all-area by the Northwest Indiana Times and he plays summer baseball for the Indiana Bulls.
"Kenny is a left-handed power hitting third baseman who projects to hit in the middle of the lineup," Beals said. "We look for him to come in here and make an immediate impact for our lineup. He comes to us from a great high school program with a winning tradition. We will also explore the possibility of him pitching at this level."
Mahala is the son of Ken and Janine Mahala.
Overley, a 6-0 catcher, is a standout at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School for coach John Zangrelli. He posted a .407 batting average last season as he scored 26 runs and stole 10 bases. He plays summer ball for US Athletics.
"Mitch is very athletic with big time arm strength," Beals said. "We believe that combination will allow him to develop into a great player. We are very excited about his ability to play defense behind the plate. He will make an immediate impact to our catching corp."
He is the son of Kevin and Melanie Overley.
Weir, a 6-0 infielder/right-handed pitcher, is a standout at Kokomo High School for coach Steve Edwards. He was named All-Area Player of the Year and First team All-North Central Conference as a junior. He posted a .389 batting average with 29 runs scored and 28 RBI while stealing 11 bases. On the mound, he posted an 8-0 record with a 0.98 ERA in 57.0 innings while striking out 80 batters and walking just 22. He plays summer baseball for the Indiana Bulls and also played for Team Indiana in the Midwest Challenge.
"T.J. is an outstanding three-sport athlete in high school with excellent instincts on the baseball field," Beals said. "We really like how he goes about playing the game. He can play all of the positions in the infield and will also have a change to contribute on the mound. We are excited to be a part of his future as he begins to concentrate solely on baseball."
Weir is the son of Tim and Shelly Weir.
"We are very excited to have these quality young men and their families join the BSU baseball program," Beals said.
The Cardinals are coming off of a Mid-American Conference West Division title last spring and open the 2010 campaign February 19 as they begin a three-game series at 2009 College World Series participant Arkansas.