Baseball Bears Receive Eight Commitments



Missouri State baseball coach Keith Guttin announced the addition of eight players to the 2010 squad Thursday. Blake Barber, Grant Gordon, Pierce Johnson, Keenen Maddox, Jason McBride, Clay Murphy, Nick Petree and Beau Stoker have committed to the Bears and will begin attending Missouri State in the 2009-10 school year.

Blake Barber, RHP Kenner, La. Northeast Texas Community College Crescent City HS

The 6-1, 210-pound righty went 4-4 with a 4.68 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 77 innings as a freshman at Northeast Texas Community College in 2008. As a prep at Crescent City High School, Barber struck out 146 hitters in 58 innings as a senior, going 9-1 with two saves and a 0.98 ERA. Barber also hit .334 that year and earned all-state, all-metro and district MVP honors. NTCC Head Coach Chris Smith on Barber: “We are excited to see Blake get an opportunity at the next level with such a quality program and coaching staff. Blake has done a great job on the mound over the past two years for us but the exciting part is seeing his development as a person. We are proud that Blake will be apart of the Missouri State family next year and we expect the fans in Springfield will see great things.”

Grant Gordon RHP Salem, Mo. Salem HS

A talented two-way player for Salem High, Gordon has excelled at pitcher and shortstop his first three years of prep ball. The 6-foot, 166-pounder posted a 1.17 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 46.2 innings as a sophomore while earning first-team all-conference honors as a shortstop. Gordon’s junior season was cut short to two mound outings due to injury, but those two included an 18-strikeout no-hitter versus Licking and a 16-strikeout one-hitter against Thayer. Salem High Head Coach Don Smith on Gordon: “Grant is an exceptional player both mentally and physically. He was heavily recruited by several Division I and Division II schools but feels MSU is his best choice athletically and academically. Grant is excited about the opportunity the coaching staff has provided him to play for Missouri State.”

Pierce Johnson RHP Arvada, Colo. Faith Christian Academy

Johnson’s Faith Christian Academy Eagles have won the conference championship each of his three years as a prep, with the 6-2, 165-pounder bringing home first-team all-state honors each of the last two seasons. Johnson went 10-0 on a state championship team his sophomore season, hurling a four-hitter in the title game. As a junior, Johnson was 6-2 with a 0.54 ERA that included a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts. PlayBall Sports Coach Derek Hines on Johnson: “We are very excited about Pierce going to Missouri State. I have a lot of respect for Keith Guttin’s program and Paul (Evans) is a great pitching coach. Plus the facilities are second to none. He is only going to get better under those guys.”

Keenen Maddox OF St. Louis, Mo. Parkway West HS

Maddox has been a three-year starter for the Parkway West Longhorns. As a freshman, the 5-9, 175-pounder was a first-team all-state pick and the Missouri High School Coaches Newcomer of the Year after hitting .482 with 35 RBIs and 15 extra-base hits. Maddox hit .269 as a sophomore and earned second-team all-conference laurels, and was a .275 hitter as a junior. Maddox was also the starting running back for the Longhorn football team. Parkway West Head Coach Scott Wiessman on Maddox: “We have had the opportunity to watch Keenen play at the varsity level since his freshmen year. He burst upon the scene as a freshmen by hitting a key home run in his first varsity game. He further distinguished himself by being voted as an all-state player as a freshman and was awarded the Newcomer of the Year by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association. We are proud of what Keenen has accomplished.”

Jason McBride 3B Lake Lotawana, Mo. Coffeyville Community College Lee’s Summit North HS

McBride’s Lee’s Summit North squads won a conference championship his junior year and a district title his senior season behind his second-team all-state and all-conference campaign. McBride set school season records for home runs (8), RBIs (47) and slugging percentage (.902) that season. CCC Head Coach Andy Morgan on McBride: “The Coffeyville Community College baseball program is very excited that Jason McBride has decided to attend Missouri State and play for Coach Guttin. Jason is a good kid and a very talented baseball player. He will be a good addition to the Missouri State program.”

Clay Murphy RHP Wolf Lake, Ill. Shawnee HS

Murphy is a 5-10, 160-pounder who will end his Shawnee High career as a four-year starter. Murphy’s numbers have been outstanding since his freshman season, as he hit .461 and pitched to a 9-4 record and 1.84 ERA as a rookie. As a sophomore, Murphy was an honorable mention all-state choice after hitting .551 and finishing 10-2 with a 0.88 ERA, 139 strikeouts and a .135 opponent batting average on the mound. He repeated that all-state honor as a junior, going 10-3 with a 0.71 ERA, 86 Ks and a .129 opponent average in 49 innings while hitting .507. The Redskins were regional champions the last two seasons, combining to go 62-11. Shawnee High Head Coach Mike Hanson on Murphy: “Clay represents the best and brightest we have to offer. He is a consummate teammate with the abilities to lead. He has no ego, but is extremely competitive and hates to lose. He possesses tremendous balance and initiative and will never shrink from competition. We are extremely proud to have him sign with Missouri State.”

Nick Petree RHP Clinton, Mo. Clinton HS

Petree is in line to become a four-year starter at pitcher and shortstop for the Clinton Cardinals. He was a first-team all-conference shortstop and first-team all-district pitcher as a sophomore on a district championship team that took third in the state playoffs. As a junior, Petree was first-team all-conference and all-district as a pitcher and was named the MVP at the CABA World Series. Through his junior season, Petree had a 14-5 career record and 1.94 ERA with 158 strikeouts in 119 innings. Clinton High Head Coach Jim Garvin on Petree: “Nick is a fearless competitor on the mound. He can pitch to both sides of the plate with his fastball and has tremendous confidence in all of his pitches. Nick has great character on the field and in the classroom, he possesses great athleticism and his versatility will allow him to be successful at the collegiate level.”

Beau Stoker INF Kansas City, Kan. Bishop Ward HS

Stoker is a 6-1, 205-pound infielder and pitcher for the Bishop Ward Cyclones, who have won a state title each of his first three prep seasons. Stoker earned all-state honors at third base as a junior, adding all-metro and all-league as well after hitting .500 with a .792 on-base percentage that season. Stoker also started at quarterback, defensive back and handled the kicking duties for the Ward High football team. Ward High Head Football Coach Greg Duggins on Barber: “Obviously, Beau is a terrific athlete but even more he is a person of great character.  Beau will give you whatever he has on and off the field and no one will work harder.  He will be a great addition to the Bears’ program.”


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