BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University baseball signed six high-school seniors and two junior-college prospects to National Letters of Intent during this month’s early signing period, head coach Chris Pollard announced on Thursday. IF/RHP Austin Brice (Pittsboro, N.C./Northwood), LHP Chad Farmer (Evan, Ga./Greenbriar), IF Cal Hardee (Boone, N.C./Watauga) IF Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and his brother, IF Trey Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan/Pitt C.C.), IF/LHP Lawrence Pardo (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus), IF/RHP Preston Troutman (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) and RHP Ben Watson (Ty Ty, Ga./Tift County/Young Harris J.C.) will attend ASU beginning next fall with their first season on the field for the Mountaineers coming in the spring of 2011.
“Assistant coaches Matt Boykin and Josh Jordan deserve a lot of credit for working as hard as they did to bring in this very talented group,” Pollard said. “I’m particularly pleased with this class because I think that we have addressed a couple of needs that we will have in 2011. We’ve continued to add depth to our left-handed pitching, which should complement the talented lefties that we brought in with our last class of newcomers, and we added some strong left-handed hitting, which was a point of emphasis since David Towarnicky and Wes Hobson are graduating next spring. In all, I’m very pleased and look forward to all eight student-athletes joining us next fall.”
AUSTIN BRICE (IF/RHP, R/R, 6-3, 190, Pittsboro, N.C./Northwood)
Ranked among the 40 players in North Carolina by Impact Baseball ... selected to play in the Impact Select ... played for Region 5 in the N.C. State games ... coached by Rick Parks.
CHAD FARMER (LHP, L/L, 5-11, 190, Evans, Ga./Greenbrier)
Recorded 113 strikeouts as a junior last spring ... coached by Chris Wilkins ... played for the Upstate Mavericks Showcase team that is coached by Chris Nall, a former player for ASU head coach Chris Pollard at Pfeiffer University ... also recruited by The Citadel, Western Carolina, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern.
CAL HARDEE (IF, R/R, 5-11, 165, Boone, N.C./Watauga)
Local product is ranked among the state’s top 25 players by Impact Baseball ... hit .356 with 19 runs scored, two home runs and 18 RBI as a junior last spring ... two-time representative of Region 7 in the N.C. State Games ... also participated in the Impact Select Games ... a member of Watauga’s National Honor Society ... son of Pete Hardee, Appalachian’s all-time leader in single-season wins, an inductee of the ASU Athletics Hall of Fame and the head coach at Watauga ... Cal was also recruited by Western Carolina, East Carolina and Virginia Tech.
NOAH HOLMES (IF, L/R, 6-0, 190, Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan)
One of three members of ASU’s incoming class that played for the 2008 East Rowan team that advanced to the N.C. 3A state championship ... coached by Brian Hightower ... played third base for Salisbury American Legion club that advanced to the American Legion World Series this past summer ... played for Region 6 in the N.C. State Games ... also recruited by Western Carolina and Campbell.
TREY HOLMES (IF, L/R, 6-0, 180, Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan/Pitt C.C.)
One of three members of ASU’s incoming class that played for the 2008 East Rowan team that advanced to the N.C. 3A state championship ... hit .455 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI for Salisbury American Legion club that advanced to the American Legion World Series this past summer ... plays for Pitt C.C. team that is ranked among the nation’s top 15 junior-college programs ... coached at East Rowan by Brian Hightower and at Pitt C.C. by Tommy Eason ... also recruited by Western Carolina, UNC Wilmington and Catawba.
LAWRENCE PARDO (IF/LHP, L/L, 6-0, 180, Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus)
Hit .400 and led team in RBI, doubles, slugging percentage and fielding percentage as a first baseman last spring ... team was the 2009 Florida 6A state runner-up and is one of the most talent-laden programs in the country with all nine starters and three pitchers signing National Letters of Intent during the early signing period ... coached by Joe Weber ... played in the East Coast Pro Showcase (the most prestigious baseball showcase on the east coast) and the Dade-Broward Senior All-Star Game ... father, Larry Pardo, played professionally for the Texas Rangers, California Angels, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox organizations, coached in the Florida Marlins system and was a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers, signing 2007 National League Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun in that capacity ... also recruited by Florida State, South Carolina, The Citadel, Penn State and Ohio.
PRESTON TROUTMAN (IF/RHP, L/R, 5-10, 170, Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan)
Ranked one of the top 30 players in North Carolina by Impact Baseball ... One of three members of ASU’s incoming class that played for the 2008 East Rowan team that advanced to the N.C. 3A state championship ... coached by Brian Hightower ... played shortstop for Salisbury American Legion club that advanced to the American Legion World Series this past summer ... played for Region 6 in the N.C. State Games ... also recruited by Western Carolina.
BEN WATSON (RHP, R/R, 6-4, 190, Ty Ty, Ga./Tift County/Young Harris J.C.)
Made 14 appearances on the mound last spring for Young Harris club that is ranked among the top 10 junior-college programs in the nation ... was a teammate of ASU’s Kurt Frisbee at Young Harris ... coached at YHC by ASU alumnus Rick Robinson and at Tift County H.S. by Chuck Beale ... also recruited by Samford and Mercer.