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February 14, 2012

Baseball signs an elite class

The Auburn baseball program will welcome 16 newcomers into the program next fall, head coach John Pawlowski has announced. The class consists of 11 high school seniors and five junior college transfers and is currently ranked 11th in the Perfect Game recruiting rankings.

"We are very excited about this group of 2012 signees and the talents that they will bring to the Plains." Pawlowski said. "Our coaching staff worked extremely hard in recruiting these special players to Auburn. We believe this is an elite class on a national level.

"We have two gold medalists, several all-Americans and a good mixture of high school and transfer players. We are committed to bringing the best student-athletes to Auburn University to compete for championships and we are very proud of the 2012 class."

David Dahl is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound outfielder from Oak Mountain HS (Birmingham, Ala.). Dahl is ranked the No. 6 prospect by Perfect Game USA and the No. 3 prospect by Baseball America. Dahl hit .449 with 29 RBI's, 55 hits, 38 runs, and a .523 on base percentage. Dahl was also a Team USA Baseball 18U Gold Medal Winner.

Pawlowski on Dahl: "David is one of the premier high school players in the country. Offensively, he has the unique combination of speed, the ability to hit for a high average and the ability to hit for power. Defensively, he combines speed with great baseball instincts and an elite throwing arm. We are proud that David represented Auburn and our country and won a gold medal as the leadoff hitter for Team USA."

Terrance Dedrick is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound right handed pitcher/outfielder from Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). Dedrick hit .347 with 38 RBI's during his first season, and was 5-0 and 1.41 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Pawlowski on Dedrick: "Terrance is a legitimate two-way player that has a very high baseball IQ. He is a disciplined hitter with a compact, textbook swing. As a pitcher, he is extremely competitive and has great command of his fastball to go with an advanced feel for his breaking ball."

Kyler Deese is a 5-foot-9, 175-pound catcher/infielder from Auburn HS (Auburn, Ala.). Deese hit .392 with four home runs and 27 RBI last season, and had a .443 on base percentage and a .608 slugging percentage.

Pawlowski on Deese: "Kyler is a player that we have followed since his freshman year in high school. He is a throw-back type player who is very versatile defensively. He has competed and been successful at the highest levels of Alabama High School baseball and he has been successful on a national level in summer and fall baseball."

Jordan Ebert is a 6-foot, 180-pound infielder/outfielder from Baldwin County HS (Bay Minette, Ala.). Ebert is the No. 118 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA. He is a .404 career hitter with 30 doubles, 24 home runs, 142 RBI's, and 53 stolen bases. Ebert was a 2011 Louisville Slugger First Team All-American.

Pawlowski on Ebert: "Jordan is an in-state player that has performed well on the national stage. He is an offensive force with a line-drive swing and terrific hand-eye coordination. He is athletic enough to play in the infield or the outfield in the SEC and he plays with a tremendous amount of energy."

Sam Gillikin is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder from Hoover HS (Hoover, Ala.). Gillikin hit .372 with six home runs and 36 RBI's, stealing 21 bases in 2011. Gillikin was a 2011 Under Armour All-American.

Pawlowski on Gillikin: "Sam is an elite athlete who has been a multi-sport star for his career at Hoover High School. He is one of the fastest players in the country and he has a powerful left-handed swing. We are proud that Sam represented Auburn well in the UnderArmour All-American game last summer."

Hunter Kelley is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound outfielder from Calhoun Community College (Alexandria, Ala.). Kelley hit .407 with 23 doubles, 12 home runs and 52 RBI's during his freshman season.

Pawlowski on Kelley: "Hunter possesses the type of polish and experience that we are looking for in a junior college signee. He had one of the best offensive seasons in Alabama Junior College in 2011 and we believe that he will continue that success this spring."

Conner Kendrick is a 6-foot, 185-pound left handed pitcher from Northwest Florida State College (Sharpsburg, Ga.). Kendrick played at Georgia Tech in 2011 with a 2.57 ERA in seven innings.

Pawlowski on Kendrick: "Conner fills a very important need for our program-left-handed pitching. He displayed electric stuff this fall during the recruiting process and we anticipate that he will be one of the top junior college pitchers in the country this spring."

Cole Lipscomb is a 6-foot, 175-pound right handed pitcher from Edgewood Academy (Prattville, Ala.). Lipscomb is the No. 266 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA. He was 13-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 72 innings in 2011, striking out 116.

Pawlowski on Lipscomb: "Cole has been one of the most dominating pitchers in our state over the last two seasons and has been rewarded with state championships and player of the year awards. He is a great competitor and has been successful on all playing fields (football, basketball, baseball) and in the classroom."

Michael O'Neal is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound left handed pitcher from Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Columbus, Ga.). O'Neal was 11-2 with four saves and a 2.30 ERA in 121 innings of work as a freshman, striking out 110 against just 11 walks and throwing 10 complete games.

Pawlowski on O'Neal: "Michael had the best season statistically of any junior college pitcher in the state of Alabama in 2011. He throws strikes with all of his pitches and combines deception with tremendous movement. He adds valuable experience to the pitching staff for 2013."

Colin Rodgers is a 6-foot, 185-pound left handed pitcher from Parkview Baptist HS (Central, La.). Rodgers is the No. 102 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA.

Pawlowski on Rodgers: "Colin is a strong-armed left-handed pitcher who our staff has been able to follow very closely for three years. He solidified himself as one of the top lefties in the country by pitching well in many of the national tournaments during the summer and fall months. He brings with him a track record of winning and a great blend of power and finesse on the mound."

Rock Rucker is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound outfielder/left handed pitcher from Redan HS (Atlanta, Ga.). Rucker is the No. 130 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA.

Pawlowski on Rucker: "Rock is a physical two-way player that has excelled on the mound and at the plate. As a pitcher, he has the rare combination of being left-handed and being a power pitcher. He showed electric arm speed throughout the recruiting process. As a hitter, he has shown the ability to hit to all fields and has displayed true power."

Addison Russell is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound infielder from Pace HS (Pensacola, Fla.). Russell is the No. 24 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA, and the No. 18 ranked prospect by Baseball America. Russell was teammates with Dahl on Team USA 18U Gold Medal Winning team. Russell was a 2011 Perfect Game All-American, Louisville Slugger First Team All-American, and played in the 2011 Under Armour All-American game.

Pawlowski on Russell: "Addison is one of the best players in the country at any position. He is a sure-handed shortstop that also makes highlight reel plays. He has one of the most powerful swings in the country and has been the best hitter in the Florida panhandle area for the last three years. We are proud that Addison represented Auburn and our country and won a gold medal as the shortstop for Team USA."

Matt Schultz is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right handed pitcher from Oswego East HS (Plainfield, Ill.). Schultz is the No. 216 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA.

Pawlowski on Schultz: "Matt has one of the best fastballs in the country. He is an aggressive pitcher that will challenge hitters with his velocity and movement on his fastball. His slider is a nice compliment as his second pitch. We are proud that Matt represented Auburn and our country on Team America last summer in Italy."

Dylan Smith is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound infielder from Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.). Smith is the No. 240 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA. He hit .453 with 17 doubles, 14 home runs and 57 RBI's.

Pawlowski on Smith: "Dylan is one of the top hitters in the state of Alabama and he has a knack for driving in runs. He is a physical corner infielder who has power to all fields. His blend of power and hand-eye coordination makes him a valuable offensive weapon."

Danek Tomscha is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound right handed pitcher from Iowa Western Community College (Sioux City, Ia.). Tomscha is the No. 18 ranked JUCO prospect by Perfect Game USA. Tomscha was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 36th round in 2011, and by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 50th round in 2010. He hit .377 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI's as a freshman. Tomscha was the 2010 Gatorade, Louisville Slugger, and Coaches' Iowa Player of the Year.

Pawlowski on Tomscha: "Damek will be one of the top junior college hitters in the country this spring. He had a tremendous high school career and an outstanding freshman season in 2011. In addition to his offensive talents, Damek has one of the strongest throwing arms that our staff has seen. He will contribute on the mound as well."

Trey Wingenter is a 6-foot-7, 190-pound right handed pitcher from Bob Jones HS (Madison, Ala.). Wingenter is the No. 202 ranked prospect by Perfect Game USA.

Pawlowski on Wingenter: "Trey is a lean, projectable pitcher who pitches with a good downward angle to the plate. He is a very good strike-thrower with his fastball and secondary pitches and we believe that he will develop into a front-line pitcher for us. He pitched extremely well this summer against some of the best competition nationally."

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