Nov. 26, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington baseball signed a pitcher-heavy recruiting class, Mavericks coach Darin Thomas announced.
"I'm really proud of how our coaching staff grinded it out in the summer and fall," Thomas said. "We signed six quality pitchers and a top-of-the-order position player."
Six of the seven players signed are pitchers. Five members of the class are junior college players. The two high school players signed both are both local, having attended Arlington High and Arlington Martin, respectively. All seven will join the program for the 2014 season, which is also the first for UT Arlington in the Sun Belt Conference.
"We really filled out needs on the mound," Thomas said. "We should not need to go out and getting any pitching in the spring for next year. We have some quality arms from the right side. Zach Hobbs really reminds me of some of the real effective lefthanders we've had here in the past.
"I feel really good about our two local guys from Arlington. Javier Pontifes is hopefully the next Arlington High star here and we've had a lot of them. Coach David Nix does a really good job of coaching those guys and he puts out really good players, and we're fortunate to get Zach.
"Drew Dowdy comes from a powerhouse at Martin that made it to Austin last year. UTA-ex Curt Culbertson coaches at Martin. Drew should step in and play for graduating senior Jake Pinchback. Drew really uses his skill set."
UT Arlington Baseball Signees (current school)
RHP Justin Schnedler (Northeast Texas Junior College)
Notable: Went 2-1 with 3.21 ERA in 28 innings with 23 strikeouts and 8 walks.
Pitching coach Jay Sirianni: "A three-pitch mix guy that throws a lot of strikes. He is an athletic guy that fits the mold of our guys that have been successful in the past."
LHP Zach Hobbs / 6-4, 190 (Navarro Junior College)
Notable: Went 7-2 and added 3 saves with 1.98 ERA in 81 innings with 59 strikeouts. First-team All-Conference.
Sirianni: "A guy that has had some success and has room to keep developing. Really good feel for a changeup that knows how to pitch."
RHP Quade Adams / 6-3, 190 (New Mexico Junior College)
Sirianni: "Has a very good breaking ball along with live loose arm, kind of raw and the more he is on the mound the better he will be."
RHP Colin Tornberg / 6-2, 170 (Hill Junior College)
Sirianni: "Was a two-way player out of high school. Really has only been a pitcher for a year. Has a great feel for a changeup and above-average arm strength. A strike thrower with a feel for a breaking ball."
RHP Javier Pontifes / 6-0, 175 (Arlington High)
Notable: Went 3-5 with 4.20 ERA in 52 2/3 innings with 57 strikeouts.
Sirianni: "A highly-competitive kid that will attack the zone with three pitches. Javier is raw but has all the pieces to be very successful for us."
RHP Jess Amedee / 6-3, 195 (Central Arizona Community College)
Notable: Notched 5 wins and 2 saves in 59 innings as a freshman at Northern Colorado.
Sirianni: Jess is a guy with D1 experience and will only get better the more he pitches, has a very good feel for a BB and will attack the zone with all of his pitches
OF Drew Dowdy (Arlington Martin High School)
Notable: Hit .430 as a junior at Arlington Martin and helped lead team to the semifinals of the Texas High School playoffs.
Assistant coach K.J. Hendricks: "We are very excited to have Drew as a part of the family. He has the skill set to make an immediate impact on the field right away. He is a plus runner that projects as a top of the order type of hitter. Drew is a plus worker, an outstanding student, and has plus character as well. We are extremely pleased Drew decided to further his career here at UT Arlington."