Tornado ink six in early signing period

BRSITOL, Tenn. – With the early signing period over, the King University baseball team has announced the signing of six players. The Tornado inked Letters of Intent from five infielders and one catcher who will begin competing in Navy and Scarlet this fall.

Head coach Blaine Brown on the class
"We are ecstatic about the class we signed early. I can't say enough about the hard work put in by the entire coaching staff. Coaches Luke HowardJake CockerhamDustin Pannell, and George Laoo did a great job of getting quality players and people. Every player has a GPA over 3.3. They are all high character players, and all have a chance to come in and play early in their careers. They will continue to build upon the foundation we have laid and the continued success of the program on and off the field for the future."

Tyler Pierce, Infielder, Chilhowie, Va./Chilhowie HS

 

As a junior Pierce posted a 23-game hitting streak while hitting .445. He was named All-District three times, and was named All-Region and All-State as a junior. He played his summer baseball for RBA South. Pierce also has time on the mound, posting a record of 12-1. In the classroom, he holds a 4.2 grade-point-average.

"Tyler is an outstanding student-athlete," head coach Blaine Brown said. "He gets it done on the field and in the classroom. Tyler comes from a great high school program where he has been an integral part of their success. He has great energy and is a perfect fit for our program."

 

Jonathan Perez-Castaneda, Infielder Miami, Fla./Southridge Senior HS

 

 

A four-year varsity starter Perez-Casaneda has been a career .300 hitter while posting a .400 on base percentage. He has also been slick with the glove as he has a career .970 fielding percentage. In the summer he competes for Team Florida. Perez-Castaneda has also been selected as a Pre-Season Under Armour All-American. Academically he holds a 3.6 GPA.

"We got on Jon late in the signing period and he made a great impression on us," Brown stated. "He has great tools that will only get better. As he gets stronger, his ceiling is extremely high. Jon really impressed us with his character and he will be a great addition to our program."

 

 



 

Ben Donaldson, Infielder, Millersville, Md./Old Mill HS

 

Donaldson hit .365 in his junior year while fielding at a clip of .960. He is a captain of his high school team. In the summer he played for the Rawlings A's Prospects out of Maryland. Donaldson holds a 3.5 GPA.

"Ben has a very high ceiling. Once he grows into his body the sky is the limit for him," said Brown. "He has quick actions in the field and at the plate. He is a great student and will be a great asset to the program."



Tyler Bailey, Infielder/Outfielder, Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS

 

During his junior season, Bailey hit .422 stealing 24 bases. He prides himself on his speed and versatility as he can play either in the infield or the outfield. He played on the prestigious Richmond Braves in the summer. He holds a 3.3 GPA.

"We have been on Tyler for quite a while. The more we saw him play the more we liked him," Brown stated. "The way he plays grows on you the more you watch. He plays at a great high school program. We have had great success with players from his high school and we expect the same out of Tyler."



Mark Michael, Infielder, Bel Air, Md./John Carroll HS

 

Michael hit .403 during his junior year, and was named second team All-County as well as the Patriot Newspaper Athlete of the Month. He has been a Captain on his high school team since his sophomore year. Mark competed for Dig In Baseball in the summer. Mark holds a 3.5 GPA.

"We have talked about Mark as a staff since the first time we watched him," commented Brown. "He never stops talking on the field. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious. He has so many leadership qualities that every coach wants in a program. He will put his stamp on our program."




BJ Donathan, Catcher, Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe HS

 

Donathan comes out of Ohio ranked as one of the top ten catchers in the state according to Prep Baseball Report. He has been the starting catcher, on back-to-back regional teams, since his sophomore year. He held a .351 caught stealing percentage while ranking second on his team in batting average and home runs. In the summer Donathan played for the Raptors Elite. He holds a 3.6 GPA.

"BJ was another guy we got on late in the signing period," Brown said. "He is a great student-athlete with the intangibles you want in a catcher. He has good size and leadership skills that will translate into what we want behind the plate. He is motivated and we can't wait to get him on campus."