Thirteen Baseball Players Sign With Upper Division Schools

Thirteen Baseball Players Sign With Upper Division Schools

July 5, 2011
Contact: Scott Jamison



Gainesville, FL – Thirteen players from the Mid-Florida Conference champion Santa Fe Saints baseball team have signed with upper division NCAA and NAIA schools, Coach Johnny Wiggs announced. Five inked with NCAA division I schools, six with NCAA division II and two with NAIA institutions.

Pitcher Ben O’Shea headlined the DI group, signing with the University of Maryland of the Atlantic Coast Conference. O’Shea joins a Maryland team that finished 2011 21-35 overall and 5-25 in the ACC. As a sophomore at SF, he finished with a 9-2 record and a 3.03 ERA in 65.1 innings pitched with 98 strikeouts.

All-American and FCSAA State Pitcher of the Year Malcolm Clapsaddle signed with High Point University in High Point, NC. The Panthers were 24-32 overall in 2011 and 9-18 in the Big South Conference. Clapsaddle finished his one season at SF as the record holder for strikeouts (103) and wins (11). His 11-2 record and 1.81 ERA were team bests (at least 20 innings pitched).

Infielder Jake Huxtable has signed with Jacksonville University. Huxtable hit .324 with 11 doubles, two HR and 29 RBI as a sophomore and will add to a Dolphin lineup that went 37-24 overall and 17-10 in the Atlantic Sun in 2011. They appeared in the NCAA Gainesville Regional where they finished third to the University of Florida and the University of Miami.

TJ Spina, a local player from Alachua, has inked with the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A mainstay at shortstop the last two seasons for the Saints, Spina hit .275 as a sophomore with eight doubles, three HR and 33 RBI. He joins a Spartans team that finished 34-20 in 2011 and 22-8 in the Southern Conference.

The final NCAA Division I signee is Kyle Rowe. Kyle recently signed with the 2011 Southern Conference Tournament champions Georgia Southern University. Rowe was one of the most consistent relief pitchers for the Saints, completing his sophomore season with a 4-2 record, 2.36 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 34.1 innings pitched. He will add depth to a GSU team that was 36-26 overall, 18-12 in the SoCon and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament at the Columbia, SC Regional.

Infielder Austin Lawrence and pitcher Jarrod Carlton have both signed with division II power Valdosta State University. The Blazers suffered an uncharacteristically down year in 2011, finishing 22-27 overall and 10-11 in the Gulf South Conference.
Lawrence started nearly every game for SF the last two seasons and finished his career second all time in doubles and fourth in runs scored. In 2011 he hit .350 with a team high 18 doubles and 31 RBI.

Carlton split time between the bullpen and starting roles, completing his sophomore season with a 2-0 record, 2.89 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 46.2 innings pitched.

Pitcher Kentrail Pierce and catcher Cory Elasik signed LOI’s with the 2009 NCAA Division II National Champions Lynn University. In 2011 the Knights were 26-23 overall and 10-14 in the Sunshine State Conference.

Pierce appeared in nine games out of the bullpen, posting a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings pitched with eight strikeouts. Elasik, a two year starter for the Saints, split time between catcher and third base, hitting .330 with two homeruns and 16 RBI in 37 games.

Outfielder Jay Laurienzo signed an LOI with Flagler College. Flagler went 21-28 overall in 2011 and 9-15 in the Peach Belt Conference.

Laurienzo led Santa Fe with 11 homeruns and hit .338 with eight doubles and 39 RBI.

Zach Taylor, a transfer from the University of Georgia, signed with Armstrong Atlantic University. The Pirates concluded a successful season in 2011 with a 35-17 overall record and a 14-10 mark in the Peach Belt Conference.

Taylor hit .290 in 2011 for SF with four homeruns, six doubles, two triples and 25 RBI.

Pitcher Steven Ragans, a local product from Buchholz High School, inked with NAIA power Lee University in Cleveland, TN. The Flames were 51-14 overall in 2011 and 16-2 in the Southern States Athletic Conference. They finished in third place at the NAIA World Series.

Ragans, a dependable arm out of the bullpen and as a starter for two years at Santa Fe, finished his sophomore season with a 2-0 record in 17 appearances and a 5.14 ERA. He struck out 36 batters in 28 innings pitched.

Pitcher Antwan Brown, a local player from Bradford High School, has signed with Emrby Riddle University, an NAIA institution in Daytona Beach. The Eagles were 51-11 overall in 2011 and 24-3 in The Sun Conference. They concluded their season with a trip to the NAIA World Series where they finished fourth, one spot behind Lee University.

Brown appeared in 13 games in 2011, pitching 13.1 innings with a 6.57 ERA and eight strikeouts.

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