Baseball Announces The Signings Of Six Players

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: November 12, 2008
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            MUNCIE, Ind. Ball State baseball head coach Greg Beals announced the signing of six student-athletes to national letters of intent Wednesday afternoon, the first day of the early signing period. The six players will join the Cardinals’ Baseball program for the 2010 season.

The six players are: Jonathan Cisna (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township), Stephen Claypool (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn Divine Child), Kevin Franchetti (Highland, Ind./Andrean), Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail College), Kyle Raleigh (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) and Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown).


“We are excited to announce this group of student-athletes,” Beals said. “They are high quality young men that meet the standards and needs of our program. All six are very good baseball players who will be key contributors to our future. They all come from outstanding schools and summer programs that have winning histories and great coaching.”


Cisna, a 6-0 left-handed pitcher and first baseman, is a three-year letterwinner at Lockport Township High School for coach Steve Stanicek. He earned First Team All-Conference honors in 2008 as a junior and was named First Team All-Area by the Joliet Herald and Southtown Star. He posted a .358 batting average with 23 RBI and four home runs. On the mound, he worked 43 innings with 47 strikeouts while recording a 4-1 record. He played summer ball for the Illinois Sparks.


“Jon will have the opportunity to compete at both first base and on the mound for us,” Beals said. “He first caught our eye with the quality of his breaking ball. His left-handed curve ball will give him an opportunity to contribute to our pitching staff immediately.”


Cisna is the son of Bill and Kim Cisna.


Claypool, a 5-11 second baseman, played under coach Tony DeMare at Dearborn Divine Child High School. He earned All-City, All-District and All-Region honors as a junior. He posted a .385 batting average in 2008 as he drove in 39 runs and tallied four doubles. He plays summer baseball for A. Green.


“Stephen is simply a baseball player and the skill of his hands is special,” Beals said. “He is a solid defender and an outstanding left-handed hitter. He will compete immediately for playing time at second base.”


Claypool is the son of Dan and Karen Claypool and intends to major in business management.  


Franchetti, a 6-0 catcher and team captain, is a three-year starter at Andrean High School for coach Dave Pishkur. He earned All-Conference and All-Area accolades as a junior when he batted .309 with four home runs, nine doubles and 28 RBI. He was named the team co-MVP and earned the Region Gold Glove Award. He played for Team Indiana in the Midwest Challenge and plays summer baseball for the Hammond Chiefs.


“Kevin is an outstanding defensive catcher and his arm strength is as good as you will find behind the plate,” Beals said. “He has the make-up to be a team leader and will have an immediate impact on our catching corp.”


Franchetti is the son of Bob and Susan Franchetti.


Grabner, a 6-3 left-handed pitcher, played at Carroll High School under Dave Ginder before playing at Lincoln Trail College for coach Mitch Hannas. As a freshman at Lincoln Trail, he worked 20 innings as he posted a 3.98 ERA and a 1-3 record. He set the Carroll record for lowest ERA in a season and was a team co-captain as a senior.


“Derek is a physical left-hander who really came on strong this fall,” Beals said. “He has a developing fastball, which has been clocked at 87 mph with great movement. His experience at Lincoln Trail will allow him to pitch quality innings for us right away.”


Grabner is the son of Scott and Terrie Grabner and plans to major in theatre.


Raleigh, a 6-4 left-handed pitcher, is a three-year letterwinner at Oak Hills High school under head coach and Ball State alum Chuck Laumann. He earned All-Conference honors as a junior when he worked 30.1 innings and posted a 3-1 record. He recorded 43 strikeouts on the year and posted a 2.79 ERA. He is also a three-year letterwinner in football where he was named the team’s Most Valuable Receiver and Most Valuable Defender. He plays summer baseball for the Columbus Cobras.


“Kyle is another big left-handed pitcher with a huge upside,” Beals said. “We are really excited about his future and we believe he has the ability to be a frontline rotation pitcher.”


Raleigh is the son of Steve and Julie Raleigh and intends to major in education.


Winkle, a 6-3 right-handed pitcher and outfielder, plays for coach Mike Larrabee at Yorktown High School. He is a two-time All-Conference and All-County selection and has guided the Tigers to two final four appearances. Last season, he posted a .352 batting average with 10 doubles, five triples and seven home runs. He also drove in 28 runs, scored 36 runs and stole 16 bases.


On the mound, he tallied a 6-0 record with three saves and a 0.82 ERA in 51 innings. He plays summer baseball for the Indiana Bulls and the Muncie Legion, which won the 2008 State Championship. He also is a two-time All-Conference selection football and a letterwinner in basketball.


“Wes is an outstanding athlete with loads of potential,” Beals said. “We are excited to watch his development flourish even more once he concentrates on just baseball. He has the opportunity to contribute both on the mound and in the outfield. He is a sinker-slider pitcher who gets a lot of ground balls and he can really cover ground in the outfield.”


Winkle is the son of Joe and Michelle Winkle.


 “We have landed recruits locally and expanded over four different states,” Beals said. “This outreach says a lot about Ball State University, our baseball tradition and the efforts of our coaching staff.”



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