MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois head baseball coach Mike Villano announced Wednesday morning the signing of eleven players to the 2011 recruiting class.
"These eleven kids will be outstanding for us at Western Illinois. It is a really exciting time for the program and I feel strongly that we are heading in the right direction. You look at the size and athleticism of the kids we are bringing in and you have to be excited. They are all athletic, versatile and have arm strength. I feel comfortable in saying this is the best class I have been involved with," said Villano.
"I want to commend Coach Coryell and our coaching staff for putting this class together. In addition, our administration did a great job of assisting with the process. Dr. W. Garry Johnson, Dr. Tim Van Alstine, Josh Moon, Annie Shepard, Lisa Melz, Sue Danner and Laurie Black and others need to feel great about this group of athletes that are coming to Macomb," continued Villano.
Position - Pitcher - 6'2'' 175
Hometown - Rochester Hills, Michigan
High School - Notre Dame Prep & Marist Academy
Summer Team - Michigan Bulls
Parents - George and Jennifer Constand
Coaches - Frank Gallagher and Darren Audia
Tom Constand joins the Leathernecks out of Rochester Hills, Mich. During his sophomore season was selected as an All-Catholic performer in the Catholic High School League - Metro Detroit. Named to the Michigan High School Athletic Association All-District Team as a sophomore. During that season he collected a 7-3 record with just 1.33 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 59 innings. In addition Constand hit .362 for his sophomore season.
Selected as an All-Catholic member in the Catholic High School League - Metro Detroit as a junior. Named All-District and All-Region by the MHSAA during that season as well. Constand was Honorable Mention All-State during his junior season. Named one of the top players in Oakland County by the Oakland Press after his junior year. He went 6-3 and notched an ERA of 1.78. He set down an impressive 108 batters in his 65 innings. Constand hit .370 with four home runs and 28 RBI during that season. During the summer he played for the Michigan Bulls in the elite 18U league. Constand compiled a 6-1 record with a dazzling 0.89 ERA and 65 K's in 42 innings.
Coach Villano: "Tom is a very aggressive pitcher that attacks hitters when he steps on the mound. He has good movement on his fastball and that along with his deceptive delivery makes him pretty tough to hit. He is a left hander that right now is in the mid-80's but we project him to throw much harder than that very soon."
Position - IF - 6'0'' 165
Hometown - Iowa City, Iowa
High School - West
Fall Team - Perfect Game Iowa Select
Parents - Joe and Brenda Ewing
Coaches - Charlie Stumpff and Steve James
Nate Ewing joins the Leathernecks out of Iowa City, Iowa. Ewing has started every game at shortstop since his sophomore year. His high school team finished as state runner-ups in consecutive seasons. He hit lead-off this past season and lead the team in batting average (.402), at bats (127), singles (36) and triples (2). Ewing was second on the team in hits (51), runs (41), doubles (12) and walks (21). He drove in 29 runs, which ranked third on the team. Ewing was named second team All-Conference at shortstop for his junior season.
Coach Villano: "He is very versatile player with great feet and hands. When you bring in players with athleticism and versatility, as a coach it gives you more options to get the best athletes on the field."
Position - Pitcher - 6'2'' 180
Hometown - Galesburg, Illinois
High School - Galesburg
Summer Team - Galesburg American Legion and Top Tier
Parents - David and Stacey Farrell
Coaches - Steve Cheesman and Arnold Gonzalez
Tyler Farrell joins the Leathernecks out of Galesburg, Ill. During his junior year he threw 69 innings and recorded a 2.03 ERA while collecting 78 K's. His high school team was regional and sectional champions. Ranked #14 in the class of 2011 by Prep Baseball Report in Illinois. Has participated in Silver/Black games, Area Code tryouts and the Suburban Baseball/Plainfield Showcase.
He was a member of National Honor Society and is an honor roll student.
Coach Villano: "Tyler is ready to pitch at the Division 1 level right now. He forces contact and can throw his three pitches for strikes. His fastball ranges from 86-89 mph and will touch in the low 90's."
Position - Pitcher - 6'3'' 195
Hometown - Moline, Illinois
High School - Moline
Summer Team - Moline Legion
Parents - Leonel and Lisa Rubio
Coaches - Jim Zacharewicz and Derek Lindauer
Joins the Leathernecks out of Moline, Ill. He went 6-1 with two complete games for the Moline Legion club that went 42-9 in 2010. Fuller finished with a 3.55 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 66.0 innings. He was productive at the plate as well with a .264 batting average. Knocked four home runs and drove in 30 runs.
Went 8-3 in 2010 for the Moline Maroons that finished 28-7. Fuller compiled a record of 8-3 with seven complete games. Set down 84 opponents in 68.0 innings via the strikeout. Hit .309 with nine doubles and six home runs while driving in 39 runs.
Coach Villano: "Seth is a big, strong guy whose fastball was up to 91 this summer. He is aggressive and throws three pitches and really loves to compete. Fuller comes from a very successful high school and legion program and knows how to win."
Position - Catcher - 5'11' 175
Hometown - Roscoe, Illinois
High School - Boylan Central Catholic
Summer Team - Hard Knox
Parents - Tom and Tarina Garton
Coaches - Tony Pigott and Chris Rozanski
Mark Garton joins the Leathernecks out of Roscoe, Ill. Last season he hit .370 with 25 RBI and four home runs. Three-year starter at third base and catcher at Boylan Central Catholic. Named Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention in 2010. He played for the Cincinnati Reds scout team and performed well this fall. Prep Baseball Report has listed Garton as the #40 player in the class of 2011.
Coach Villano: "Mark was the best catch and throw guy that we saw all summer. He can handle a staff and really does everything well. He looks to make an immediate impact early in his career at Western Illinois.
Position - IF - 6'3'' 185
Hometown - Janesville, Wisconsin
High School - Janesville Craig
Summer Team - Racine Hitters
Parents - James and Julia Henning
Coaches - R.J. Fergus
Jameson Henning joins the Leathernecks out of Janesville, Wis. Thee year letterman at Janesville Craig High School and received All-Conference honors in 2010. Played for Hitters Baseball National Team in 2009 and 2010 where he hit .387 and drove in 31 runs in 39 games. He also recorded a .433 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage. Henning also played for Team Wisconsin in 2010 in the Midwest Baseball Classic. He was named an ABR All-American in 2010. Selected by USA Baseball to play for their Great Lakes Regional Team in 2010 and named a USA Baseball Elite Prospect in 2010. Invited to play in Area Code Games and Silver & Black Showcase. Was a member of the Janesville All-Stars, which won consecutive state championships in 2007 & 2008.
Coach Villano: "Jameson is a great athlete and is a plus defender with excellent arm strength at shortstop. With his size he has a chance to be an excellent player both offensively and defensively."
Position - OF - 6'4'' 198
Hometown - McHenry, Illinois
High School - Wauconda
Summer Team - Pro Player
Parents - James and Wendy Maki
Coaches - Bill Slinker and Sean Rudolph
Erik Maki joins the Leathernecks out of McHenry, Ill. In 2010 he hit .396 and drove in 61 RBI with seven home runs, 21 doubles and five triples. He also recorded a 1.43 K's/Inning mark and had an ERA of 3.14. Maki was on the USA Great Lakes Regional Team. He was named an Under Armour Pre-Season All-American. Hit .857 in the state tournament (6-for-7). Ranked 46th by Prep Baseball Report of Illinois. Perfect Game USA Pre-Season High School Underclassmen All-American Honorable Mention. Selected All-Conference Honorable Mention by the North Suburban Conference.
In 2009 Maki was named a Perfect Game USA All-American Honorable Mention. He was named to Perfect Game Underclass Showcase Top Prospect Team at Midwest and National levels. His summer team (Team Pro Players) won the 16U Diamond Sports World Series.
In 2008, Maki was named to the USSSA 15U Nationals All-Tournament Team. He hit .500 and was 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in the tournament. He was also named to the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase Top Prospect Team.
Coach Villano: "Eric comes from an athletic family, his mom ran track here at Western Illinois. He is a very projectable kid and could develop into a big time player here."
Position - Pitcher/Outfielder - 6'4'' 195
Hometown - Galesburg, Illinois
High School - Galesburg
Summer Team - Galesburg American Legion
Parents - David and Kelly Milligan
Coaches - Steve Cheesman and Arnold Gonzalez
Nick Milligan joins the Leathernecks out of Galesburg, Ill. As a member of the Galesburg Silver Streaks he went 7-3 with a 4.51 ERA. Milligan struck out 42 hitters in 45 innings and also recorded three saves. At the plate he helped the squad with a .351 batting average and 25 RBI. Collected a .485 slugging percentage and .411 on-base percentage. He led the Silver Streaks as the winning pitcher as the team won Regionals and Sectionals in 2009-10. Milligan was named Western Big 6 All-Conference in 2010.
He went 4-0 with 2.00 ERA for the Galesburg Legion team. He recorded 23 K's in 28 innings and led the team to the C.A.B.A World Series and won. He also was strong at the plate with a .427 batting average and 27 RBI. Recorded a .519 on-base percentage and a .562 slugging percentage. Nick is ranked #38 in the class of 2011 by Prep Baseball Report of Illinois.
Coach Villano: "Nick just turned 17 and has already has a fastball that has topped out in the low 90's with excellent arm side run. He throws a hard late-breaking 80-82 slider that has a chance to be a plus pitch. At the plate he is a gap-to-gap type hitter and as he matures a lot of those doubles will become home runs."
Position - IF - 5'7'' 152
Hometown - Chicago, Illinois
High School - Simeon
Summer Team - Chicago White Sox Acdamey
Parents - Quentis Richardson and Reena Patrick
Coaches - Todd Prince, Robert Fletcher, Leroy Franklin and Raynell Ferguson
Quintin Richardson joins the Leathernecks out of Chicago, Ill. He will be a four-year starter and has hit in the leadoff or second spot during his career for the Simeon Wolverines. Richardson has participated in Area Code Games tryouts. He has started in the MVP Tournament in Atlanta, Ga. twice and played in the MLB Breakthrough Series in Compton, Calif. and Cary, N.C. In 2009 and 2010 Richardson was selected All-Conference and All-City at shortstop. In 2010, he was named Honorable Mention All-State by both the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.
He was also selected
to play in the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club Elite Showcase in 2010. Also
played in the Perfect Games Underclassman Showcase in Ft. Meyers, Fla.
in 2009 and was 4-for-8 with four stolen bases while playing with the
Racine Hitters. He started in the Double Duty Classic Game as a
freshman, sophomore and a junior, which was held at U.S. Cellular Field.
During the junior year he was named the game's MVP. Quintin had offers
from Boston College, Kentucky and Grambling.
Coach Villano: "In my opinion, Quintin is the best fielder in the Chicago area. He can compete right away for playing time. He has good speed and will continue to get faster. It is tough to find better hands and feet from a high school kid than Quintin.
Position - Pitcher - 6'3'' 175
Hometown - Greenfield, Indiana
High School - New Palestine
Summer Team - New Palestine 17U
Parents - Don and Diane Smith
Coaches - Don Smith and Al Cooper
Nick Smith joins the Leatherneck out of Greenfield, Ind. Smith recorded a 6-0 record in 2010 with victories over #7 ranked Batesville and #2 ranked Brebuf Jesuit. Threw 29.6 innings and finished the year with a 2.80 ERA and 21 K's. Smith hit .413 and drove in 16 runs. He also stole nine bases. His high school squad won sectionals and regionals. Smith hit a lead-off double and eventually scored the only run in the 1-0 win over Crawfordsville. They would lose the state semifinal 1-0 to Jasper. He went 1-for-1 in the game. He was selected to the Indiana Crossroads Baseball Series as one of the top 92 players in the state of Indiana. Smith was selected Team Indiana and pitched three innings and struck out four in the win over Team Pennsylvania.
Played in the IU Elite Tournament in Bloomington, Ind., 18U Hoosier Diamond Shootout in Noblesville, Ind., 18U National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. and the 18U Backyard Brawl in Lawrence, Kan. Smith's fastball was clocked at 91 during the summer. He tossed 38 innings and recorded 51 K's with an impressive 0.55 ERA.
Coach Villano: "Nick throws an easy 87-91 mph sinking fastball. He forces contact and can induce a lot of ground balls. He throws a lot of strikes and will be a nice pitcher for us. He fits perfectly into our vision of what we want to become here at Western Illinois. He has a chance to be a top of the rotation type guy."
Position - Pitcher - 6'5'' 170
Hometown - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
High School -Oshkosh West
Parents - Marl and Kim Willman
Coaches - Brian Burgert and Wayne Gerhatz
Tyler struck out 108 batters in 60 innings this past season. Along with Garton, played on the Cincinnati Reds Midwest scout team this fall. Member of of the 2005 Wisconsin All-Stars that competed in Cooperstown, N.Y. that finished 5th. Willman tied a tournament record when he threw out two base runners at first base from the outfield in one inning. He was recorded at 90 mph at the Team Wisconsin tryouts in Kenosha, Wis. Selected to Team Wisconsin, which played in the Midwest Classic Baseball Tournament and finished the tournament 2-1-1. Member of his American Legion team that went 50-12 in two seasons and won the Stevens Point Firecracker Invite both of those seasons. Willman was 11-1 in those seasons. Played an exhibition game at Wrigley Field where he struck the side. Member of team that took second place at the PG Kernels Foundation Championship. He finished that season striking out nine in four innings at Parkland Junior College in Champaign, Ill. Tyler is an honor roll student and is also involved with Project West and is DARE role model. He has over 40 hours of volunteer work at a domestic abuse shelter.
Coach Villano: "He is a big lanky RHP and throws from a fairly high arm slot. He has a chance to have a plus breaking pitch and has the ability to miss a lot of bats. He has very good downhill plane and with his fastball is in the upper 80's and touching in the low 90's can make him pretty tough to hit."