MUNCIE, Ind. - First-year Ball State baseball head coach Alex Marconi announced the signings of high school standouts Brandon Estep (Selma, Ind./Wapahani), Scott Baker (North Manchester, Ind./Manchester) and Elbert Devarie (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) to national letters of intent during the early signing period.
"We are excited to add three players of this caliber to our program," Marconi said. "All three are not only good baseball players but solid students with high character. They will mesh great with the group we have on campus now and we look forward to having them as part of the Ball State baseball family."
Estep, 6-2 infielder/right-handed pitcher, has been a three-year letterwinner at Wapahani High School for coach Brian Dudley. He helped the Raiders to a 22-8 record in 2010 and a sectional championship. He was named All-Mid-Eastern Conference as a junior when he posted a .428 batting average with eight home runs and eight doubles. On the mound, he posted an 8-3 record as the Raiders' No. 2 starter.
Estep, a three-time All-Delaware County selection, helped the Raiders to a 16-11 record as a sophomore. He guided Wapahani to a 24-6 record his freshman campaign and a Mid-Eastern Conference championship. He played summer baseball for the Indiana Bulls Legion Post #19.
"We are very happy to add another local player who we feel has a chance to make an impact in his time as a Cardinal," Marconi said. "Brandon is a projectable infielder who can really swing the bat and has the ability to play multiple infield positions. Brandon is also a hard-working player who has his best baseball ahead of him."
Baker, a 6-4 right-handed pitcher, has been a three-year letterwinner at Manchester High School for coach Jack Rupley. He was named First Team All-Three Rivers Conference as a junior when he posted a 4-2 record with a league-low 1.38 ERA. He struck out 88 batters while walking just 27 in 55.2 innings of work.
Baker earned Second Team All-Three Rivers accolades as a sophomore when he posted a 5-4 record with a 2.15 ERA. He struck out 72 batters in 58.1 innings of work for the Squires. He played summer baseball for the Summit City Sluggers which posted a 37-13 record. The Sluggers won the Hoosier Classic and finished as the runner-up in the Continental America Baseball Association (CABA) World Series.
"Scott is the prototype player we look for as a pitcher," Marconi said. "His 6-4 frame allows a lot of room for him to grow. He has a very high ceiling and we are excited to see how he progresses with the help of pitching coach Plexico. He is another player who will be a great fit for Ball State and has a bright future."
Devarie, a 6-0 shortstop, earned his first letter at Gateway High School for coach Rob Hammond last spring. He helped the Panthers to a 13-11 record while playing as one of the conference's top defensive shortstops and being named First Team All-Orange Belt Conference. He played summer baseball for the FTB Mizuno17-U and helped the team win the USSSA national championship with a 10-1 record in the tournament. He posted a .349 batting average for Mizuno while guiding the team to a No. 2 ranking in the Perfect Games.
"Elbert is a top level defensive shortstop who is a good athlete," Marconi said. "He is a switch hitter who can run well and we are ecstatic to have a player like him on our program. He is a fundamentally-sound player who will add strength at Ball State and his future is very bright."