CHARLESTON, SC - Charleston Southern head coach Stuart Lake announced eight high school seniors have signed to join the CSU baseball program for the 2016 season.
Among the eight signees, four in-state products and two local signees will join the CSU baseball program next season. The class includes four pitchers, three left-handers.
"We are very excited that these eight talented players chose to sign with us this week," stated Lake, who enters his seventh season at Charleston Southern. "This is a well-rounded group with guys that we expect to make big contributions both offensively and defensively early in their careers. Our staff worked very hard to put this class together, and I am looking forward to seeing all of our signees play in a Buccaneer uniform in the spring of 2016."
Charleston Southern will open the 2015 baseball season Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. against Chicago State in the first game of a three-game series at CSU Ballpark.
Jacob Childress—RHP/OF/INF; Ninety-Six HS; Greenwood, S.C.
Childress signs with the Buccaneers after an impressive junior season at Ninety Six High School in the Upstate. This past spring, Childress led his team to a Class AA State Championship, earning All-Region and South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association All-State Honors along the way. In a season in which he hit .441 with four home runs and compiled a 10-2 record with a 0.96 ERA on the mound, he was also named the High School Sports Report AA Player of the Year and the Index Journal Player of the Year. Childress is also a Top 1,000 Prospect in the country and the 25thbest prospect in South Carolina according to Perfect Game.
Stuart Lake on Childress:
"Jacob is a versatile player that we are very excited about adding to the program. It's always good to be able to find players that were a part of winning high school programs, and following Jacob as he led his team to a state championship last spring was impressive. He shows a mature, confident approach on the mound and at the plate, and, with his ability, he has a chance to be a rare two way player that contributes as a pitcher and hitter."
Zuriel Collins—MIF; Clearwater Central Catholic; Palm Harbor, Fla.
Collins is a talented shortstop out of Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Florida. He has had a very successful career up to this point capturing several championships with the SWFL Baseball organization, including the 2013 Perfect Game WWBA Memorial Day Classic, in which he earned Most Valuable Player honors, and the 2014 Perfect Game Florida State Championship. He also led Clearwater Central Catholic to a District Championship in 2014, while batting .390 with a .451 on base percentage and 13 stolen bases earning first team All-District and second team All-Pinellas County honors. He is expected to make an immediate impact in the Buccaneer infield in 2016. Collins is ranked as a Top 500 prospect in the country and the 14th best shortstop in Florida according to Perfect Game.
Stuart Lake on Collins:
"We are happy that Zuriel chose to sign with us this week. He is one of the best shortstops in the state of Florida. He is as steady a defender in the middle of the infield as you will find, and with his line drive swing, advanced approach, and above average swing, he is an ideal candidate to hit at the top of a college lineup. We look for Zuriel to make an immediate contribution to our team next spring."
Jack Delongchamps—C; Wando High School; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
A local two-sport standout, Delongchamps joins the Bucs from Wando High School. Coming off a winter in which he was a forward on Wando's Class AAAA State Championship basketball team, Delongchamps had a productive spring splitting time at catcher and designated hitter in the Warriors' lineup. A player in the Lowcountry Lightning travel baseball organization, Delongchamps was rated by Diamond Prospects as the 2nd best catcher in his class in the state of South Carolina.
Stuart Lake on Delongchamps:
"Jack is a player that really stands out defensively when you watch him play. He is the rare catcher that has the ability to receive, block, and throw at a high level. He also plays with high energy and is a big target behind the plate. Combine that with his receiving ability, and pitchers love throwing to him. He has also shown promise offensively, and, with his work ethic, we expect him to make a big contribution for us offensively and defensively."
Josh Hall—OF; Charlotte Christian; Charlotte, N.C.
A three-year letter winner and starter in the outfield at Charlotte Christian, Hall signs with Charleston Southern in the middle of a very successful high school career. He has been a part of three consecutive state championship teams. A two-time All Conference player for Charlotte Christian, Hall posted a .404 batting average last spring. In the summer, he plays for the SBA Canes travel organization.
Stuart Lake on Hall:
"Josh is an athletic outfielder with really good tools that we are excited to see in a Buccaneer uniform very soon. He knows what it takes to be a part of championship teams as evidenced by his outstanding high school career so far. He is a lefthanded hitter that looks really good in the box, and, with his swing and frame, he has an excellent chance to be a middle of the order hitter at the next level."
Eddie Hiott—LHP; Stratford High School; Goose Creek, S.C.
Another local two-sport athlete, Hiott is a LHP from Stratford High School. He is a member of the Stratford football team. Hiott is the first of three very talented lefthanders that chose to sign with Charleston Southern in this early signing period. He has had a very productive 2014 so far, posting a 1.67 ERA for his high school team this past spring and leading the North Charleston All Stars to a Dixie Majors World Series Championship this summer.
Stuart Lake on Hiott:
"We are all very happy that Eddie chose to sign with us this week. He is a tough competitor that seems to play his best in crucial situations. When you watch him pitch, you can tell that he is an intense competitor that hates to lose. This is an important quality to find in a pitcher, and, when you combine that with Eddie's talent, you have a pitcher that we are counting on to play an important role on our pitching staff next spring."
Cole Irick—INF; Camden High School; Camden, S.C.
A three year letter-winner at Camden High School, Irick signs with the Bucs in the middle of a successful high school career. Irick was an All Region infielder during his freshman season. He also posted double-digit stolen base totals, including 22 in 2014, and batting averages exceeding .300 in all three of his high school seasons up to this point. A summer baseball player with the Rawlings Stars, Irick is the best second baseman and the 37th best overall prospect in South Carolina according to Perfect Game.
Stuart Lake on Irick:
"Cole is a very athletic middle infielder. He runs extremely well, and, with his hands and range, he is an above average defender that can play shortstop or second base. He is also a talented hitter that brings another dimension to an offense with his ability to make things happen on the bases. We are really looking forward to watching Cole make a big impact on our team early in his collegiate career."
Dustin Lander—LHP; South Side Beaver HS; Hookstown, Penn.
Lander comes to the Buccaneers from South Side Beaver High School in Hookstown, Penn. He was very impressive this past spring posting an 8-0 record with 78 strikeouts and a 0.62 ERA in 45 innings pitched, while also leading his team to a Section Championship and their first playoff berth in 14 years. He continued his dominance in the playoffs firing a no-hitter in the first round. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the regional Class AA Pitcher of the Year. He was also one of twenty six individuals to represent Pennsylvania in the Big 26 series. While playing summer baseball for Team All-American, he earned the distinction of being ranked as a Top 1,000 Prospect in the country and the 8th best lefthanded pitcher in Pennsylvania according to Perfect Game.
Stuart Lake on Lander:
"Dustin is a power lefthanded that we are happy chose to sign with us this week. He is a hard worker, and he pairs that work ethic with great stuff also. He is able to throw a ton of strikes with a fastball that reaches the upper 80s and a devastating breaking ball. It is tough to find these qualities in high school left-handed pitchers, and we are so excited to be able to add Dustin to our roster next spring."
Shane McClanahan—LHP; Cape Coral HS; Cape Coral, Fla.
A summer ball teammate of fellow signee Zuriel Collins, McClanahan comes to the Bucs from Cape Coral HS in Florida. McClanahan is a talented lefthanded pitcher coming off a dominant spring in which he was 7-1 with a 1.03 ERA and struck out 70 batters in 47.2 innings of work. Playing alongside Collins with SWFL Baseball, McClanahan was also a driving force behind championships at the 2013 Perfect Game Memorial Day Classic and the 2014 Perfect Game Florida State Championship. McClanahan is also a very highly touted pitcher with Perfect Game ranking him as a top 500 overall prospect in the country and the 16th best left-handed pitcher in the deep and talented state of Florida.
Stuart Lake on McClanahan: