Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall has announced that 16 student-athletes have signed their National Letters of Intent during the early-signing period to play for the ACC Champion Yellow Jackets next season.
This highly-regarded, deep class features 13 players from the state of Georgia, two in the Team USA system and has been ranked in the top-10 by Perfect Game.
The 16-member class that will enroll at Tech in August and play the 2014 season includes: Elliott Barzilli, IF (Los Angeles, Calif./Palisades Charter); Brandon Gold, 3B/RHP (Alpharetta, Ga./Johns Creek); Matthew Gorst, RHP (Alpharetta, Ga./Johns Creek); Josh Hart, OF (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview); Syd Hopkins, RHP (Roswell, Ga./Roswell); Keenan Innis, OF/RHP (Cumming, Ga./Blessed Trinity); Connor Justus, IF (Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville); Eric Knox, OF (Guyton, Ga./Effingham County); Terry McClure, OF (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood); Arden Pabst, C/IF (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Harvard Westlake); Tanner Shelton, LHP (Woodstock, Ga./Etowah); Ryan Zentko, RHP (Canton, Ga./Creekview).
“This is a tremendously-talented class top to bottom and one that we’re very excited about,” said Hall, who enters his 20th season at Tech in 2013. “This should be ranked as a top-five class nationally, and one that will help in achieving our yearly goal of winning an ACC Championship and reaching the College World Series. We answered every need. We have the potential to lose a lot from this year, including our entire outfield, so I felt like we needed outfielders. We needed to add depth in pitching, and we did that. Top to bottom, there is a good balance in this class, and we’re excited to have them.
“I want to thank my assistant coaches Bryan Prince and Jason Howell for their tireless work during the recruiting process to find student-athletes that not only fill needs that we have on our team, but to find ones that are good fits academically at Georgia Tech.”
Elliott Barzilli, INF, 6-1, 175, R/R, Los Angeles, Calif./Palisades Charter
Ranked No. 4 on ESPN.com’s list of top middle infielders in the nation… Competed in the 15U and 16U USA Baseball National Team trials… 2012 Under Armour Second Team Preseason All-America… All-Western League shortstop as a junior at Palisades Charter.
Coach Hall Quote: “He’s a very talented, athletic shortstop with a good arm. We saw him a year ago at the US Trials, and liked him. He and his family made and unofficial visit, and committed. We are very fortunate and excited to have him next year.”
Brandon Gold, 3B/RHP, 6-3, 185, R/R, Alpharetta, Ga./Johns Creek
Set Johns Creek’s single-season records for batting average (.446) and slugging percentage (.561) in 2011 and claimed the single-season doubles record in 2012 (15)… 2012 All-Region co-Player of the Year… All-Region pick in 2011 and 2012… Ranked as the 31st-best third-baseman nationally by Perfect Game.
Coach Hall Quote: “Probably one of the best defensive third basemen I’ve seen in a while. He has power at the plate and is 88-89 off the mound, with the definite potential to be a two-way guy here.”
Matthew Gorst, RHP, 6-2, 205, R/R, Alpharetta, Ga./Johns Creek
Set Johns Creek single-season records last year for innings (73.1), wins (10) and strikeouts (70)… named the All-Region Pitcher of the Year and to the 2012 All-Region Team.
Coach Hall Quote: “Like Brandon, Matthew’s coming here from a very talented Johns Creek team. I saw him last year and he was pretty good, and I saw him again this summer and he was really good. He’s an athletic guy, a strike thrower and can really pitch right now.”
Josh Hart, OF, 6-3, 190, L/L, Lilburn, Ga./Parkview
Played in the 2012 National High School All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego… 2012 Under Armour First Team Underclass All-America… Ranked as the 41st-best overall player nationally, the 11th-best outfielder in the nation and the sixth-best overall player in the state of Georgia by Perfect Game… Played on Parkview’s 2011 and 2012 Georgia AAAAA State Championship teams…. Parkview finished this past season 31-6 to be named Baseball America’s No. 1 high school baseball team in the country.
Coach Hall Quote: “He’s one of the most athletic guys in this class. He’s an excellent centerfielder with great instincts for the game. He plays in one of the best high school programs at Parkview, and over the last three years has been one of the best players in the East Cobb program.”
Syd Hopkins, RHP, 6-2, 175, R/R, Roswell, Ga./Roswell
First Team All-Region as a junior… 2012 Under Armour Preseason All-America Honorable Mention… Georgia Dugout Club Award… Ranked No. 22 on the list of top high school players in the state of Georgia by Perfect Game.
Coach Hall Quote: “Plays for a very good high school coach in Mike Power. He’s got a good arm, but he’s an upside guy. He’s got a chance, in three years, to be a very, very good pitcher for us.”
Keenan Innis, OF/RHP, 6-0, 160, L/R, Cumming, Ga./Blessed Trinity
Rated as the 56th best high school player nationally and the eighth-best player in the state by ESPN.com… 2012 Under Armour Second Team Underclass All-America… His father played baseball at Illinois and in the Mets organization and his mother ran at Georgia Tech.
Coach Hall Quote: “Keenan is a very athletic, two-way guy as a pitcher and an outfielder. He has great instincts for the game. He’s just a very good baseball player, and comes from a highly successful high school program in Blessed Trinity, that has been good to Tech over the years.”
Connor Justus, IF, 6-1, 190, R/R, Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville
Won a region championship in 2011 with Carterville for head coach Stuart Chester… His team went 25-7 last season… First Team All-Region pick in 2012 and led his team with a .416 average, adding 29 RBIs and four home runs… 2012 Under Armour Third Team Underclass All-America… Ranked as the second-best shortstop in Georgia and 46th nationally by Perfect Game.
Coach Hall Quote: “Connor’s a highly skilled infielder who can make every play in the infield. He’s the first player from Carterville since I’ve been here, and we’re excited to have him. He’s a good baseball player with great defensive skill in particular.”
Eric Knox, OF, 6-3, 200, R/R, Guyton, Ga./Effingham County
2012 Under Armour First Team Underclass All-America… MVP of Perfect Game’s WWBA 15U National Championship in 2011… Played on the East Cobb team that captured the Perfect Game World Series title this past summer… Ranked 20th on the PG National Games Top Prospects lists.
Coach Hall Quote: “Eric is an upside guy. He’s big, strong and physical. He’s a lifelong Tech fan, and player we’re thrilled to have in the program.”
Terry McClure, OF, 6-2, 190, R/R, Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood
Played in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago… 2012 Under Armour First Team Underclass All-America… Posted the ninth-fastest 60 time (6.63) at the East Coast Pro Showcase… Ranked as the fourth-best high school player in the state of Georgia and the 41st overall player nationally by Perfect Game… Named to the All-Tournament Team of the 2012 WWBA World Championship after hitting .444 with two triples, a homer and seven RBI.
Coach Hall Quote: “Terry has been one of the best players in the East Cobb program for many years and has really emerged on the national stage this fall. He’s an athletic outfielder, that can run, throw and hit.”
Arden Pabst, C/IF, 6-4, 200, R/R, Sherman Oaks, Calif./Harvard Westlake
A member of Team USA 16 National Team that won a gold medal at the 2011 IBAF World AA/16U Youth Championships in Mexico… Participated in the 2012 Area Code Games… Rated by Perfect Game as the No. 6 catcher in California and the 23rd-best nationally.
Coach Hall Quote: “Arden’s a pure baseball player. He was in the USA Trials and made the US Team a year ago, and won a gold medal on that team in Mexico. He can catch and play in the infield. Arden plays in one of the best high school programs in the country in Harvard Westlake – it’s not only a good baseball program, but a fine academic school.”
Ben Parr, LHP, 6-4, 175, L/L, Social Circle, Ga./George Walton Academy
Helped his team come within one victory of the 2012 state championship… GWA won a school record 28 games this past season… Played summer baseball with Team Elite.
Coach Hall Quote: “Ben’s a sleeper left-handed pitcher. He’s under the radar to a degree now. He played this summer for a team with several Division-I players on it, and held his own.”
Ryan Peurifoy, OF, 6-3, 175, R/R, Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill
(”pure-ee-foy”)… 2012 Underclass Preseason All-America Honorable Mention… Listed by Perfect Game as having one of the top-15 outfield arms in the Southeast… Sound fundamentally… Strong academically.
Coach Hall Quote: “Ryan is a sound outfielder with really good bat potential. He’s a good, physical athlete that also plays football at Starr’s Mill. We’re fortunate to have him, and I know the family is excited as his father is a Tech grad.”
Matt Phillips, RHP, 6-1, 175, R/R, Milton, Ga./Milton
Ranked by Perfect Game as the eighth-best right-handed pitcher in Georgia and the state’s 25th-best overall prospect… Was a member of the East Cobb Yankees that won the 2012 WWBA 18U National Championship… 2012 Under Armour Second Team Underclass All-America… Helped Milton to region championships in 2012 with his 6-0 record and 1.50 ERA.
Coach Hall Quote: “Matt is an excellent pitcher already, with a 90-plus fastball, and a very good breaking ball and change-up. He was one the first commits in this class and I know he’s excited to be a Yellow Jacket.”
Zac Ryan, RHP/IF, 6-2, 195, R/R, Valparaiso, Ind./Andrean
Went 9-2 on the mound with a 1.80 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched for Andrean… At the plate he hit .400, with 48 RBI and seven home runs… Ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 3 right-handed pitcher in Indiana and the Hoosier State’s seventh-best overall high school prospect… Named the All-Tournament Team of the 17U Perfect Game World Series.
Coach Hall Quote: “Zac played for the Indiana Prospects, which is a very, very good team out of Midwest. He’s a two-way guy as a pitcher and an infielder with a 90—plus fastball. We saw him this summer and are very excited about him.”
Tanner Shelton, LHP, 6-1, 190, L/L, Woodstock, Ga./Etowah
Ranked as the state of Georgia’s No. 5 left-handed pitcher, the 48th-best lefty nationally and No. 37 on the list of overall high school players in the state… 2012 Under Armour Third Team Underclass All-America… Played in the 2012 PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla… Was on the East Cobb 18U National Championship Team.
Coach Hall Quote: “Tanner is a lefty with a tremendous upside. We’re excited to get him in our program and we feel he has great potential to be a dominate lefty at our level.”
Ryan Zentko, RHP, 6-7, 195, R/R, Canton, Ga./Creekview
Named to the All-Tournament of the WWBA 18U National Championship after going 1-0 with a 0.88 ERA and 11 strikeouts against two walks in 8.0 innings… Listed among 22 players nationwide as a Top Academic Prospect by Perfect Game… Named to Georgia’s 7-AAAA All-Region Team.
Coach Hall Quote: “Ryan is very talented two-way guy. What I like is that he possesses a dominate slider, one that can get guys out right now. He’s a big strong, physical guy that’s got some power at the plate.”
– Courtesy of RamblinWreck.com