MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State baseball second-year head coach Alex Marconi announced the signings of Alex Rodriguez (Willemstad, Curacao/Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.), Sean Eder (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich), Ryan Spaulding (Converse, Ind./Oak Hill), Luc Rennie (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines), Clay Manering (Kokomo, Ind./Parkland College) and Cole Griesinger (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) to national letters of intent Monday. The six-member class will join the Cardinals for the 2013 season.
"I am very pleased to have this group of student-athletes join the Ball State baseball family next year," Marconi said. "The whole coaching staff worked very hard this past year identifying players that would be a good fit both on the field and in the classroom for us and we feel like we have been very fortunate with the results."
Rodriguez, a 6-5 left-handed pitcher/first baseman, is the first Cardinals' recruit from the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. He moved to the U.S.A. in September of 2010 and has played one season at Trinity Christian Academy in Palm Beach, Fla.
Rodriguez is a Perfect Game National High Follow recruit. He is the son of Arlison and Zulaika Rodriguez.
"Alex is a two-way guy for us as a left-handed pitcher and first baseman/corner outfielder," Marconi said. "He has the potential to make an immediate impact both on the mound and with the bat. He has been successful in high school against very good competition, which should make for a natural transition to college."
Eder, a 5-10 right-hander pitcher/outfielder, has been a two-year letterwinner at Lake Zurich High School for coach Gary Simon. He helped the Bears post a 16-17 record as a junior while earning First Team All-North Suburban Conference honors. He recorded a .415 batting average with eight doubles and four home runs, while picking up All-Area accolades.
Eder is a Perfect Game National Top 1000 recruit entering his senior season. He also plays summer baseball for the Chicago Elite for coaches Brian Forystek and Eric Welsh. He is the son of Steven and Kathryn Eder.
"Sean is another potential two-way guy for us," Marconi said. "He is a big strong athlete who has been in the low 90's on the mound and has the potential to be a front-line guy. I am confident that as he works with Coach Jeremy Plexico on his pitching that the sky is the limit with him."
Spaulding, a 5-10 second baseman, is a three-year letterwinner at Oak Hill High School for coach Shane Edwards. He has helped the Golden Eagles to a 54-26 record during his first three years with the program. He owns a .463 career batting average at Oak Hill with 37 career doubles, both program records. He was named Perfect Game Preseason All-America prior to his junior season when he tallied a .451 batting average with 15 doubles, four home runs and 14 stolen bases. He recorded a .513 batting a sophomore when he was the Marion Chronicle Tribune Grant County Player of the Year.
Spaulding, a Perfect Game National Top 500 recruit, plays summer baseball for the Indiana Prospects. He led the Prospects for the Perfect Game National Championship in 15U in 2010, the first ever team from the Midwest to earn the honor. He also is a three-year letterwinner in basketball, averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 assists per game as the point guard. He is the son of Roger and Laura Spaulding.
"Ryan is another player who has played against some of the best high school competition in the country and has been successful," Marconi said. "His ability to make solid contact all the time is what intrigues us most. Whether he's facing 85-mph or 95-mph, he has the ability to square the ball up. He is also a high academic student who will fit in as a silent leader right away."
Rennie, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, is a two-year letterwinner at Torrey Pines High School for coach Matt Chess. He led the Falcons to a 26-11 record as a junior and a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Semi-Finals appearance. He posted a 2.43 ERA in 31.2 innings of work last season while notching 29 strikeouts. He held opponents to a .213 batting average and led the Falcons to the North County Tournament championship.
Rennie is a Perfect Game National Top 1000 recruit. He earned Union Tribune All-Academic Honors last season. He is the son of Bill and Renee Rennie, who both played Division-I tennis at Indiana and Middle Tennessee, respectively.
"Luc is a very interesting pitcher for us," Marconi said. "We saw him late in the summer pitching in the low 90's with a very good splitter and were very excited about him. He has ties to the Midwest and is eager to start his college career at Ball State. He has the potential to be a front-line guy for us on the mound."
Manering, a 6-1 left-handed pitcher, pitched last season at Parkland College (Ill.) for coach Matt Kennedy. He helped the Cobras to a 46-11 record last season as he was 4-1 on the year with a 5.12 ERA. He posted 38 strikeouts in 41.0 innings in nine games as a freshman.
Manering played at LaPorte High School and was part of the Indiana Breakers summer baseball team. He is the son of Mark Manering and Lori Magnuson. His father Mark played in the New York Yankees farm system for two years reaching Double-A Albany in 1986.
"Clay is a left-hander who has the ability to compete with his pitch-ability," Marconi said. "He is a mid-to-upper 80's pitcher with feel for two off-speed pitches that have helped him be successful at the junior college level. He will bring maturity and experience to our pitching staff."
Griesinger, a 6-0 center fielder, is a three-year letterwinner at Gahanna Lincoln High School for coach Mike Shade. He has led the Golden Lions to a 68-21 record during his first three years, including district championships as a freshman and a junior. He posted a .315 batting average last spring with 30 RBI and 32 stolen bases.
"Cole is a very athletic outfielder who has a lot of upside," Marconi said. "His ability to run and swing the bat makes him a very good fit for our program needs. As he works hard and matures, he will be a successful player for us."
Griesinger plays summer baseball for the Ohio Elite. He posted a .385 batting average with 21 RBI and 18 stolen bases during the summer while helping the Ohio Elite win the Notre Dame Tournament with a 5-0 record. He was ranked No. 37 in the state of Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and was ranked the No. 4 outfielder in the state. He is the son of Phillip and Susan Griesinger.
"We were able to continue our goal of solidifying the pitching staff and adding potential impact players both on the mound and in the field," Marconi said. "Each of these players has the ability to make an impact in the near future for us and we are excited to have them in our family."