UTA Baseball Inks Eight in Early Signing Period

Nov. 18, 2009

ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington head baseball coach Darin Thomas announced Wednesday that eight student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. The signing class includes five high school standouts and three junior college prospects. Seven of the student-athletes are from Texas with one coming from Arizona.

"I'm extremely happy about our early signing class," Thomas said. "We received commitments from quality players that are also committed in the classroom. I want to thank our recruiting coordinator, Jay Sirianni, and coach Mark Flatten on all their efforts with this recruiting class."

The Mavericks signed right-handed pitchers John Beck (Temple, Texas/Temple HS), Collin Reynolds (Frisco, Texas/McLennan CC), Michael Morales (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler-Gilbert CC), right-handed pitcher/outfielder Kasey Merck (Keller, Texas/Keller), left-handed pitcher Chase Weaver (Richardson, Texas/Richardson), infielder Ryan Walker (Arlington, Texas/Martin HS) and catchers J.T. Files (Mesquite, Texas/Navarro JC) and Greg McCall (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland HS).

"We signed some great arms that will give us the depth we feel is necessary to compete at a championship level," Thomas said. "We also signed some position players that will fill an immediate need in our lineup."

J.T. Files - C - R/R - Mesquite, Texas/Poteet HS/Navarro JC
Files redshirted last spring at Texas and then transferred to Navarro where he will play his freshman season this upcoming season. As a senior at Poteet HS, Files batted .397 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 37 RBI. In 2007 he batted .460 with 19 doubles, seven home runs and 55 RBI. In his high school career, Files collected 52 doubles and 15 home runs while hitting at least .320 every season. He was the District Newcomer of the Year in 2005 and was a three-time All-District selection. In 2007, Files helped lead Poteet to the state championship finals where he was named All-State and made the state all-tournament team. Files will play his freshman season at Navarro JC this spring for head coach Whoa Dill, who played for the Mavericks from 1998-2000. In addition, Files' sister, Jennifer, currently runs track and field at UT Arlington.



Greg McCall - C - L/R - Frisco, Texas/Wakeland HS
McCall was a first team All-District performer in 2009 while batting .407 with seven doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI. As a sophomore, McCall helped lead Wakeland to a district championship with a 26-8 overall record. He was named second team All-District in 2008 and was tabbed team Defensive Player of the Year.

Kasey Merck - RHP/OF - Keller, Texas/Keller HS
Merck helped guide Keller HS to a District 5-5A runner-up finish last season with a 20-9 overall record. He batted .340 with 21 RBI as a junior. Merck's brother, Kaleb, is currently a sophomore pitcher at TCU.

Collin Reynolds - RHP - Frisco, Texas/Wakeland HS/McLennan CC
Reynolds appeared in nine games with three starts for McLennan CC in 2009. Reynolds batted .333 with four home runs and tallied a 1.68 ERA as a senior at Wakeland HS in 2008. He was tabbed first team All-District in baseball and football and was selected to the North Texas All-Star Game as a senior.

Ryan Walker - INF - Arlington, Texas/Martin HS
Walker had a breakout season as a junior batting .513, which broke the Martin HS all-time record that was previously held by former Major Leaguer Ben Grieve (.486) since 1994. He posted a .543 batting average in district competition. He was among league leaders in batting average, runs, hits and on-base percentage. He was named the District 4-5A Hitter of the Year along with being named third team All-State (second base), first team Dallas Morning News All-Area and first team Star-Telegram Super Team.

Chase Weaver - LHP - Richardson, Texas/Richardson HS
Weaver enters his senior season as a three-time 9-5A All-District selection, earning a unanimous selection in 2009, first team honors as a sophomore and was tabbed honorable mention in 2007. Weaver helped lead Richardson HS to its first state playoff appearance since 1978 last season. He went 4-3 with a 1.76 ERA and collected 78 strikeouts while hitting .386 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 31 RBI. This past summer, Weaver went 6-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 46.0 innings pitched with 48 strikeouts playing for the DBAT Mustangs.

John Beck - RHP - Temple, Texas/Belton HS
Beck was one of three seniors at Belton HS to sign early with an NCAA D-I program. As a junior, Beck was named second team All-District 12-5A while pitching 28.0 innings with a 5-1 record, 2.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts. He pitched last summer for the Waco Storm.

Michael Morales - RHP - Chandler, Ariz./Chandler HS/Chandler-Gilbert CC
Morales pitched his freshman season at Chandler-Gilbert Junior College in Chandler, Ariz. He played his prep career at Chandler HS. As a senior at Chandler HS, Morales went 3-1 with two saves and posted two complete games. He pitched in 36.1 innings while tallying 29 strikeouts and had one shutout.

Thomas feels the addition of these eight recruits makes his recruiting class close to being complete.

"This group puts us really close to being finished with our recruiting class for next year," Thomas said.


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