EUGENE, Ore. – Another phenomenal recruiting class appears to be on its way to the University of Oregon as head baseball coach George Horton announced his fourth signing class today.
The Ducks inked 10 current high school seniors during the early signing period, and each signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the U of O for the 2011-12 academic year.
This year’s class includes five current seniors ranked in the top-five of their respective states, and four of the top five high school recruits in the Northwest as rated by Perfect Game. The Ducks were able to bring in the top-ranked prospects out of Idaho and Oregon, as well as the second and third ranked recruits out of Washington.
“Once again coach Checketts and coach Kirby were able to do a remarkable job identifying and recruiting some of the best players in the country,” Horton said. “Like the classes that have preceded our latest signees, I expect these future Ducks to help our program right away when they arrive on campus next year. We have been able to find young men that are not only standouts on the field, but in the classroom, and we hope we are fortunate enough to endure the draft and have all 10 of these outstanding athletes join our family next year.”
In addition to the 10-member recruiting class, Oregon is assured that one 2011 recruit will arrive on campus as Porter Clayton of Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, plans to graduate early and enroll at the University of Oregon as a college freshman for the 2011 winter term. Clayton, the top-ranked recruit in the state of Idaho according to Perfect Game, has signed a Financial Aid Agreement, and will be eligible to play for the Ducks during the upcoming 2011 season.
Last season, Oregon advanced to the Norwich Regional Final in only the program’s second year of reinstatement after a 27-year absence. Horton manufactured the second-best turn around in NCAA history, as UO went from 14-42 in 2009 to 40-24 in 2010, and the Ducks also ended the 2010 season ranked in four out of five national polls.
After a fantastic finish to 2010, the Ducks look to improve for 2011 as UO’s freshman class has already received two top-5 national rankings. Baseball America ranked the Ducks’ 2010-11 freshman class fifth in the country, while Collegiate Baseball considered UO’s class third in the nation and tops in the Pac-10.
Oregon has now received three consecutive top-25 rankings from Baseball America with a potential fourth on the way in the fall of 2011 based on the program’s latest batch of newcomers.
Porter Clayton, 6-3, 185, LHP/1B, Idaho Falls, Idaho/Bonneville HS
The top-ranked player (No. 46 nationally) in the state of Idaho according to Perfect Game Crosschecker …was a 2010 Under Armour All-American…played for the Washington Nationals in the 2010 Area Code Games…was the 2010 All-Area Player of the Year…participated in the 2010 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and was chosen as an alternate for the 18U USA Baseball roster…was a two-time 4A High Country League First Team selection…helped the Bees to a 25-6 record last season with a 10-1 record on the mound and 0.42 ERA…recorded 135 strikeouts and just 34 walks…at the plate batted .417 with five home runs.
Billy Flamion, 6-1, 180, OF/LHP, Modesto, Calif./Central Catholic HS
Currently ranked as the No. 4 recruit (No. 15 nationally) in the state of California according to PerfectGame Crosschecker…Baseball America ranked Flamion at No. 18 in the nation in the publication’s evaluation of the 2011 senior class…following his junior season in 2010, was named to the MaxPreps California All-State Second Team…was also named to the Cal-Hi Sports Small Schools All-State Team…during the summer of 2010 played in the Aflac All-American High School Classic in San Diego at Petco Park…in the game, went 1-for 3 with a single and RBI for the West…also played for Milwaukee Brewers White Roster in the 2010 Area Code Games…was named to the Modesto Bee All-Stanislaus District First Team after batting .465 with 34 runs, 37 RBIs, eight doubles, seven home runs, 20 stolen bases, a .538 on-base percentage and an .826 slugging percentage his junior season…on the mound in 2010 posted a 9-2 record with a 2.76 ERA...on the mound as a sophomore in 2009 was 13-2 with a 2.03 ERA…as a freshman in 2008 batted .441 with six home runs and 40 RBIs…a two-sport standout at Central Catholic, as a wide receiver on the football field, Flamion recently helped the Raiders to the second round of the 2010 CIF Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoffs…was second on the team with 33 receptions and 705 yards, while also scoring seven touchdowns and averaging 58.8 receiving yards per game…in 2009 helped Central Catholic to a 11-2 record and Western League title with an undefeated record of 5-0 on the gridiron.
Scott Heineman, 5-9, 185, RHP/INF, Pacific Palisades, Calif./Crespi Carmelite HS
As a junior in 2010, batted .304 with 24 hits, 23 runs scored, 15 RBIs, five doubles, one triple, 12 walks and a .402 on-base percentage…saw limited time on the mound as a junior as he was recovering from an injury…helped the Celts to the 2010 Mission League title and 2009 CIF championship…was teammates with current Oregon freshman Ryon Healy....according to Perfect Game Crosschecker is the 34th-ranked player in the state of California in the 2011 class.
Sam Johnson, 6-0, 180, RHP, Beaverton, Ore./Westview HS
The-top ranked player (No. 130 nationally) in the state of Oregon according to PerfectGame Crosschecker…is a two-time 6A All-State second team selection…in the summer of 2010, played for the Washington Nationals in the Area Code Games with fellow signees Spencer O’Neil and Cole Wiper as well as 2011 freshman-to-be Porter Clayton…played for Westview in the 2010 Summer League and was 11-0 on the mound with one save, tossing a total of 66 and 2/3 innings…recorded 95 strikeouts and held opposing batters to a .104 average…at the plate hit .459 with 11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 47 RBIs, 35 runs scored and 21 walks…during his junior season at Westview helped the Wildcats to the OSAA 6A quarterfinals…finished 2010 with a 7-3 record on the mound and one save…tossed a total of 65 and 1/3 innings, while striking out 65 and holding opposing batters to a .171 average…at the plate batted .319 with 10 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 13 runs scored and 22 RBIs…as a sophomore was the 2009 Metro League Pitcher of the Year and helped the Wildcats to the 2009 Metro League championship.
Joe Mello, 5-11, 175, SS, Dublin, Calif./Dublin HS
A two-time Diablo Foothill Athletic League First Team selection…is entering his fourth-year as shortstop on the varsity squad…helped lead the Gaels to the 2010 Division II playoffs, batting .485 with a .697 slugging percentage, .551 on-base percentage, 24 RBIs and 16 runs scored…as a junior in 2009, batted .344 with a .547 slugging percentage, 21 runs scored, 16 RBIs, and three triples…ranked No. 56 in the state of California by PerfectGame Crosschecker.
Spencer O’Neil, 6-4, 190, OF, Kennewick, Wash./Southridge HS
The third-ranked player in the state of Washington (No. 147 nationally) according to Perfect Game Crosschecker…played in both 2009 and 2010 for the Washington Nationals in the Area Code Games… for three consecutive seasons was named Baseball Northwest’s 2011 Class top prospect in the state of Washington…participated in the 2010 Perfect Game National Showcase and the 2009 World Wood Bat World Championship with the Kansas City Royals…as a junior in 2010 was named to the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Class 4A Second Team and 4A Columbia Basin League First Team….was also a 2010 First Team All-Area outfielder and second team all-conference pitcher…was named the Suns’ 2010 Team MVP after hitting .480 on the season with an .867 slugging percentage, a .583 on-base percentage, nine doubles, six home runs, and 32 RBIs…on the mound maintained a 1.91 ERA…in 2009 was named first team all-conference.
Jake Reed, 6-2, 190, RHP/INF, La Mesa, Calif./Helix HS
A two-sport athlete for the Highlanders, plays both football and baseball at Helix…was a 2010 Grossmont Hills League first team selection following his junior season on the diamond….at the plate tallied 33 RBIs, and on the mound managed a 2.24 ERA and 90 strikeouts…helped the Highlanders reach the Division II championship game with back-to-back game-winning hits in the playoffs, including a walk-off two run homer that broke a 4-4 tie and advanced Helix to the championship game…was a Union-Tribune All-Academic Team selection…rated the No. 35 player in the state according to PerfectGame Crosschecker…on the football field as a senior in 2010 has helped Helix to the CIF San Diego Section Division II semifinals and Grossmont Hills League championship with an 11-0 record as the team’s kicker…entered his senior season having converted 7-of-10 field goals and 65-of-78 PATs in his career…in 2009 as a quarterback for Helix, passed for 1,691 yards with 15 touchdowns.
Tommy Thorpe, 6-0, 165, LHP/OF, Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen HS
Named to the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State First Team…was named the 2010 4A Greater St. Helens League Player of the Year and first team all-league after finishing his junior season 9-3 on the mound…pitched a total of 66 innings in 14 appearances, maintaining a 1.92 ERA and fanning 87 while also tallying one save…received the Scholar Athlete Award and the T.O.D.A.Y Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award.
Mitchell Walding, 6-3, 190, SS, Lodi, Calif./St. Mary’s of Stockton
A two-sport star plays both football and baseball at St. Mary’s of Stockton…the starting shortstop for the Rams, was a major contributor on last year's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championship squad, defeating Elk Grove High School in a two-game sweep by the scores of 10-7 and 20-13, and winning St. Mary’s its first title since 1982…in the championship series scored five runs, drove in two runs and hit two doubles...as a junior in 2010, led the Rams and the Tri-City League in batting average (.486) and on-base percentage (.585)…also scored a team-high 46 runs, adding 12 doubles, two triples, 27 RBIs, 24 walks and 53 hits…helped the Rams to a 28-7 record and unbeaten mark of 10-0 for the Tri-City League championship…the Rams were ranked fifth in the state according to MaxPreps.com…was named first team all-league…in 2010 as a senior on the football field, quarterbacked the Rams to the semifinals of the Sac Joaquin Section Division II playoffs as St. Mary’s finished the year with an 11-2 record and Tri-City League championship…this season has passed for 2,505 yards and averaged 202.8 yards per game in the air…has thrown for 20 touchdowns…has rushed for five touchdowns and 326 yards.
Thomas Walker, 6-1, 200, 3B, Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS
Named to CIF Southern Section Division I Second Team after batting an area-best .526, while adding 40 hits and 28 RBIs as a junior in 2010…was a first team all-Moore League selection after leading the league with six home runs, an .895 slugging percentage and a .575 on-base percentage…also scored 28 runs and added eight doubles…participated in the 2010 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars.
Cole Wiper, 6-4, 180, RHP, Bellevue, Wash./Newport HS
Considered the No. 2-ranked recruit in the state of Washington (No. 111 nationally) according to PerfectGame Crosschecker… Baseball America ranked Wiper at No. 75 in the nation in the publication’s evaluation of the 2011 senior class...was invited to the 18U USA Baseball tryouts…in the summer of 2010, played for the Washington Nationals in the Area Code Games with fellow signees Spencer O’Neil and Sam Johnson as well as 2011 freshman-to-be Porter Clayton….was 2-0 on the mound his junior season in four appearances and two starts…maintained a 0.88 ERA in 16 total innings while striking out 15…tossed one five-inning no-hitter and held opposing batters to .088 average…in the spring of 2010 was named to the Perfect Game USA Third Team Preseason HS Underclassman All American team.