BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech baseball coaching staff announced on Wednesday the official signing of five players to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-10 school year, as well as the addition of one transfer from an SEC school.
The new signees scheduled to join the Hokies for the 2010 season include outfielder/first baseman Tyler Horan of Boston College High School in Middleboro, Mass., pitcher Joe Mantiply of Tunstall High School in Danville, Va., catcher Chad Morgan of Paul VI Catholic High School in Springfield, Va., pitcher/first baseman Patrick Scoggin of Douglas S. Freeman High School in Richmond, Va., and shortstop/pitcher Brent Zimmerman of Nova High School in Cooper City, Fla. Also joining Tech in 2010 will be shortstop Tim Smalling, a Raleigh, N.C., native who spent the past two seasons starting for the University of Arkansas.
Horan is a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder who was a Catholic Conference all-star last season as a junior for Coach Norm Walsh at Boston College High, a school which he led to the 2008 Division I state championship. He was also named to the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic Team after hitting .376 with 16 stolen bases, 29 RBIs and 33 runs scored, while adding seven doubles, three triples and two home runs. As a sophomore in 2007, Horan helped the team to the South Sectional Division I Championship while batting .288 with four homers, five steals and 15 RBIs. Also an all-star running back in football, Horan has tallied 14 touchdowns throughout his first nine games this fall.
“Tyler is a tremendous physical athlete,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete Hughes said. “He’s got unlimited power potential and he may be the most physically impressive kid that I’ve ever recruited.”
Mantiply has been dominant on the mound for the past three years under Coach Barry Shelton at Tunstall High, where he has helped the team win the Piedmont District regular season and tournament titles each season. The 6-5 lefty was named the Piedmont District player of the year after a junior season in which he went 9-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 91 strikeouts. Mantiply went 9-1 with a 0.65 ERA and 115 strikeouts as a junior, and he has been named to the Piedmont District, AA-Region IV and All-Metro first teams after each of the past two seasons.
“Joe might be the one of the most accomplished high school pitchers in the state of Virginia,” Hughes said. “He’s already put up some ridiculous numbers and he’s nowhere close to being as good as he eventually will be.”
Morgan is a three-year letterman for Coach Billy Emerson at Paul VI, where helped the team to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship in 2007 and to the state playoffs in 2008. As a junior last season, he batted .418 with 28 RBIs and two home runs, while drawing a school-record 26 walks. Morgan, who has also played first base and third base, will serve as a team captain for his upcoming senior year.
“I feel that Chad is the best high school catcher in the state of Virginia and he is definitely a cornerstone recruit for us,” Hughes said. “Not only could he catch and throw for us at this level right now, but he’s also a great person with character through the roof.”
Scoggin is a 6-4, 265-pound right-hander who was named a Colonial District honorable mention pitcher under Coach Ken Moore at Freeman High in his junior season. He went 2-2 in 27.1 innings with 39 strikeouts, a 4.10 ERA and a .242 opponents’ batting average, while hitting .333 from the plate himself. He had even more success as a sophomore, fanning 62 batters in 34.2 innings, while compiling a 2.60 ERA and a .201 opponents’ batting average. Scoggin also plays offensive and defensive line for the football team.
“Patrick was recruited for his unbelievable love for competition,” Hughes said. “He is not afraid to challenge the strike zone and it is important to have guys out there with his level of intensity.”
Zimmerman is a right-handed shortstop/pitcher who named to the 2008 Florida all-state team for Nova High, a school that has made the state 5A playoffs each year during his tenure and compiled a 75-14 record. At the plate in 2008, the team MVP batted .438 with 37 hits, 32 RBIs, three home runs and 33 runs scored, while going 5-2 in 52 innings on the mound with 67 strikeouts and just eight walks. Zimmerman has been a part of a national championship team in each of the past three summers, and he tossed a four-hit complete game to clinch the 2008 18U WWBA tournament in Georgia. He was one of only 144 players in the country selected to participate in USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars, which is presented by Major League Baseball and aids in the process of choosing the 18U National Team.
“I’m excited to get a guy like Brent in our program,” Hughes said. “He is a finely-tuned player with ACC-level defensive skills, and he’s a legitimate two-way player who could also contribute out of the bullpen.”
The final member of the recruiting class will be Smalling, who will arrive at Tech this coming spring. The 6-3 right-hander must sit out the 2009 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and he will be a redshirt junior when he puts on the Hokie uniform in the spring of 2010. He brings great experience to Blacksburg, as he started 101 games over the past two seasons for the Razorbacks. He batted .288 as a freshman with two home runs, eight doubles and 23 RBIs. Smalling’s average dropped to .250 as a sophomore, but he increased his other numbers to the tune of nine homers, 14 doubles and 33 RBIs. He also ratcheted up his defense and turned in a .967 fielding percentage. Smalling is a native of Raleigh, N.C., where he was a two-time first-team all-state selection at Broughton High School.
“It will be a huge addition to add someone who already has that many games under his belt,” Hughes said. “And not only that, but those games are against SEC opponents, so we’re excited to have Tim’s experience on our team.”
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