Baseball Bears Sign 12 to National Letters of Intent
Nov. 15, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State head coach Keith Guttin announced Tuesday (Nov. 15) the receipt of National Letters of Intent from 10 high school standouts and a pair of transfers. The new additions to the Bears' 2013 roster include seven pitchers and nine players from within the borders of the state of Missouri.
Committing to the Bears for the 2012-13 academic year are:
Andy Cheray LHP Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst High)
Matt Dezort OF St. Louis, Mo. (Hazelwood Central High)
Matt Hall LHP Lee's Summit, Mo. (Lee's Summit West High)
Jonathan Harris RHP St. Louis, Mo. (Hazelwood Central High)
Tyler Harris C Springdale, Ark. (Shiloh Christian School)
Matt Hasenbeck RHP/1B Eureka, Mo. (Eureka High)
Spencer Johnson OF/1B Springfield, Mo. (Parkview High)
Tate Matheny OF St. Louis, Mo. (Westminster Christian Academy)
Tayler Ross RHP Clinton, Mo. (Clinton High)
Tyler Thompson RHP Cuba, Mo. (Jefferson College/South Pemiscot High)
Brett Wiley INF Huntington, Ind. (Jefferson College/Univ. of Evansville/Huntington North High)
Bryan Young RHP Kansas City, Mo. (Staley High)
"We feel that we've addressed some needs for the coming years with this group," Guttin commented. "With seven seniors on our roster, as well as several juniors who could get looks in the draft next June, this was an important class. It's a deep, evenly-distributed group, with a number of solid arms and some quality position players as well."
Andy Cheray, a 6-3, 180-pound left-hander, went 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA as a junior last spring. Cheray helped Rockhurst to district and conference titles, as well as a third-place state tournament finish, as a sophomore in 2010. He is the cousin of current Bear Eric Cheray.
A speedy outfielder that could see time at the top of MSU's lineup , Matt Dezort batted .386 with 28 stolen bases and a Suburban North Conference-best seven triples as a junior this past spring to power Hazelwood Central to its second straight district title. Dezort hit .419 with 38 runs scored and 19 steals to help the Hawks to a Class 4 sectional appearance as a sophomore in 2010.
Matt Hall was an MHSBCA all-state selection as a left-handed pitcher for Lee's Summit West last spring. He went 6-1 with a 1.03 ERA, 77 strikeouts and 13 walks in 52 2/3 innings as a junior in 2011, garnering all-metro recognition from the Kansas City Star.
Jonathan Harris is a right-handed pitcher who went 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA during a junior campaign that saw him fan 60 hitters in 55.1 innings of work, complete three starts and post a pair of saves. That effort came on the heels of an impressive sophomore season, in which he was a perfect 8-0 to lead the Suburban North Conference in victories. Harris posted a 2.49 ERA and two shutouts while striking out 48 batters in 45 innings to lead the Hawks to a district title and state tournament appearance. He also excelled at the plate, batting .475 as a sophomore.
Tyler Harris was an all-state selection as a junior at Shiloh Christian, where he hit .478 with 13 home runs, 10 doubles, a triple and 63 RBIs in 37 games to help lead Shiloh Christian to its second straight state title this past spring. He picked up second-team National Christian School Athletic Association All-America honors and played summer ball for the Midwest Nationals.
Matt Hasenbeck is a 6-6, 230-pound two-way player who was an All-Suburban West and all-district performer at Eureka High in 2011. He batted .395 as a junior, popping three homers and driving in 30 runs this past spring to help the Wildcats to a Class 4 sectional appearance. Hasenbeck was strong on the mound as well, going 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA, while striking out 33 batters in 30.2 innings-pitched.
Spencer Johnson, a 6-4, right-handed hitting first-baseman/outfielder, has consistently been rated as one of the top prospects in Missouri. He batted .438 with eight doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs on his way to first-team all-state honors as a junior in 2011. Additionally, he scored 30 runs, recorded 16 walks and swiped 12 bags. The two-time Springfield News-Leader All-Ozarks Team selection initially broke through as a sophomore, hitting with 14 home runs and batting .563 with 46 RBIs.
Tate Matheny, the son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, is a right-handed hitting outfielder who helped Westminster Christian capture its first state title in baseball this past spring. The two-time St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro selection batted .505 with eight doubles, 10 triples and 10 home runs. He slugged 1.047 and drove home 54 baserunners while swiping 22 bags as a junior. Matheny hit .551 with five homers, 45 RBIs and seven triples while slugging .907 in 2010 as a sophomore.
Tayler Ross, a 6-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher, led Clinton to a district title last spring as a junior, going 5-2 on the mound while garnering all-conference honors as an infielder as well. He earned all-district nods as a pitcher as a sophomore and junior and picked up all-tournament recognition at the Missouri Junior Sunbelt Classic in the summer of 2011. Ross batted .413 as a junior and .397 as a sophomore after lettering as a freshman for a Clinton squad that advanced to the state quarterfinals and included current Bear standout Nick Petree.
Tyler Thompson will join the Bears from Jefferson College, where he helped his club to a NJCAA Division I World Series appearance as a freshman this past spring. A right-handed hurler, Thompson went 9-5 with a 3.24 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched. A four-time all-conference and all-district performer as a prep at Southern Boone and South Pemiscot High Schools, he was an all-state honoree as a senior in 2010.
Brett Wiley will join the MSU program as a junior infielder after making 13 appearances and seven starts at Evansville as a freshman in 2011, splitting time between outfield and second base. Wiley was tabbed a Northwoods League All-Star over the summer after hitting .318 with 25 RBIs and 11 steals for the Battle Creek Bombers.
Bryan Young was a Kansas City Star All-Metro Team and MHSBCA First-Team All-State selection for Staley High in 2011, after going 7-3 with a 1.04 ERA, 63 strikeouts and 12 walks in 47.1 innings on the mound. Young also handled the bat well for the Falcons, hitting .383 with seven doubles, four triples, two home runs and 27 RBIs in 81 at-bats.
Coming off a 33-23 campaign this past spring, the Bears open the 2012 season February 17 against Tennessee Tech in Lubbock, Texas.