JONESBORO, ARK. (11/12/20) – Arkansas State head baseball coach Tommy Raffo announced that eight student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball for Arkansas State in 2022.
“I would like to acknowledge the time and effort our recruiting coordinator, Rick Guarno, and our pitching coach, Rowdy Hardy, dedicated to signing this terrific recruiting class,” said Raffo. “Coach Guarno’s early recruiting approach helped lead us to these young men who bring the skill set and desire needed to win championships in the Sun Belt.”
Right-handed pitcher Sawyer Bentley, infielder Wil French, infielder Jackson Harris, 1B Ty Gordon, infielder Daedrick Cail, pitcher Kyler Carmack, infielder Dawson Chester, right-handed pitcher Cooper Pieri.
Sawyer Bentley | RHP | 6’1 | 170 | Jonesboro, AR | Jonesboro High School
Bentley prepped at Jonesboro High School where he was a four-year letter winner. He received 2020 Preseason Underclassmen All-American Honorable mention honors as he helped lead 3n2 Sticks 17U National to a 2020 World Wood Bat Association 17U North Championship. Bentley also earned all-tournament honors at the WWBA 17U North Championship. On his career, he registered a .229 batting average to go along with 16 hits, 21 RBI, 8 stolen bases and a homerun. On the mound, he pitched to an impressive 1.80 ERA to go along with 20 strikeouts over 19.1 IP.
“We identified Sawyer early on as a guy we wanted to make a Red Wolf,” said Guarno. “He is still coming into his own on the mound, but his athleticism and arm strength have us looking forward to the future. He is a local product of Jonesboro High School, coached by former Arkansas State baseball alumnus Mark Dobson. He plays for Sticks Baseball during the summer.”
Wil French | INF | 5-10 | 175 | Jonesboro, Ark. | Valley View High School
French prepped at Valley View High School where he was a four-year letter winner. French has registered 50 hits on his high school career, to go along with 26 RBI, 18 stolen bases, 15 doubles and 47 runs. French is a three-time all-conference, all-state, and all-state tournament award winner.
“Wil is a winner,” Guarno added. “He is a high-energy middle infielder who brings a lot to the table. He can make all the plays in the middle infield and can beat you in a variety of ways at the plate and on the bases. His all-around game is what drew our attention early. He will vie to break into the lineup early on. Wil is a product of Valley View High School, coached by former Arkansas State baseball alumni, Josh Allison and Dustin Jones. He plays for the Memphis Tigers during the summer.”
Jackson Harris | INF | 6-1 | 205 | Texarkana, Ark. | Arkansas High School
Harris prepped at Arkansas High school where he was a four-year letter-winner. Harris helped lead his summer team to the 15U Perfect Game National Championship and was ranked a top-500 player by PG for three consecutive years in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Jackson also earned All-State and All-conference recognition over his high school career.
“Jackson is a physical presence in the box who blends contact with power,” Guarno added. “More of a gap to gap hitter right now, we expect he’ll show more homerun pop as he matures. He’s got good hands in the infield and can play multiple infield positions. Jackson comes to us from Arkansas HS in Texarkana and is coached by Layne Berry. He plays summer baseball with Sticks Baseball.”
Ty Gordon | 1B | 5’11 | 210 | Nashville, AR | Nashville High School
Gordon prepped at Nashville High School where he was a four-year letter-winner. He was awarded 4A player of the year honors in 2019 as he helped lead the Scrappers to state titles in 2018 and 2019. Gordon received all-district honors in 2019 as he registered a .322 average to go along with seven doubles, six home runs and 36 RBI.
“Ty is a left-handed hitter who can do it all at the plate,” Guarno added. “He shows great plate discipline, and can drive the ball out of the park with ease. He is an outstanding defender at 1B, and will be a staple in the middle of our order sooner than later. Ty attends Nashville HS, where he is coached by Kyle Slayton. He plays summer baseball for Sticks Baseball.”
Daedrick Cail | INF | 6-0 | 200 | Marion, Ark. | Marion High School
Cail prepped at Marion High School where he was a four-year letter-winner and earned all-state honors. He received back-to-back Preseason Underclass All-American honors in 2019 and 2020 as he was ranked in the Top-500 by Perfect Game. Cail helped the Easley Baseball Club 21s to a 2019 PGBA 18U Memphis Championship in 2019. The Marion, Ark. native earned all-tournament honors at the 2020 PG 18U World Series and the 2019 WWBA 2021 Grads/16U National Championship. On his career, he has registered a .242 average to go along with 16 hits, 13 runs, six RBI and five stolen bases.
“Daedrick is an all-around athlete with great baseball actions,” Guarno added. “He is an extremely physical, strong player who has soft hands in the infield and a plus arm across the infield. He has all the tools necessary to be a force in the lineup for years to come. Daedrick comes to us from Marion High School, where he is coached by Pete Prater. He plays summer baseball for Easley Baseball Club.”
Kyler Carmack | OF/RHP | 6-0 | 200 | Cabot, Ark. | Cabot High School
Carmack prepped at Cabot High School where he was a four-year letter-winner. He was named back-to-back Perfect Game Preseason All-American honorable mention in 2019 and 2020. Carmack received all-tournament team honors at the 2018 15U Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational and the 2019 18U Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational. On his high school career, he registered a .282 average to go along with 22 hits, 14 RBI, two doubles, a triple and a homerun. He also walked seven times as he recorded a .345 on base percentage.
“Kyler is a true two-way player,” said Guarno “He’s a CF with speed and gap power who will push to be a top of the order guy early in his career. On the mound, his arm strength and ability to spin the baseball will get him innings as a freshman. We are looking forward to him making an impact on both sides of the diamond. Kyler plays at Cabot High School, coached by Ronnie Goodwin. He plays summer baseball for the Cabot Rail Cats.”
Dawson Chester | INF | 5-10 | 185 | Pocahontas, Ark. | Pocahontas High School
Chester prepped at Pocahontas High School where he was a four-year letter winner. Chester earned back-to-back all-conference honors in 2018 and 2019 as he was named Best Under the Sun. He was named back-to-back Underclass All-American Honorable Mention in 2019 and 2020 as he was ranked in the Top-500 by Perfect Game.
“Dawson is an extremely athletic middle infielder who brings a lot to the table,” Guarno said. “He can really run and is strong enough to be an extra base threat at the plate. He will compete to play in the middle of the diamond early in his career. He comes to us from Pocahontas HS, where he is coached by Dustin Eddington. He plays summer baseball for Sticks Baseball.”
Cooper Pieri | RHP | 6’1 | 180 | Jonesboro, Ark. | Gosnell High School
Pieri prepped at Gosnell High School where he was a four-year letter winner. Pieri received back-to-back Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American Honorable Mention in 2019 and 2020 as he was ranked in the Top-500. Pieri tossed a combined 9.2 innings in 2019 and 2020 as he recorded seven strikeouts for a 1.40 ERA.
“Cooper has as high of a ceiling as any pitcher we’ve recruited recently,” said Guarno. “He has shown high velocity and a great breaking ball, and hitters really struggle to square him up. We are excited about how we will progress as he matures physically in college. Cooper attends Gosnell High School and is coached by Garrett Hart. He plays summer baseball with Sticks Baseball.”
“This class of new Red Wolves brings significant leadership traits and well-rounded athleticism to the diamond. All are from the state of Arkansas with many hailing from Northeast Arkansas. Most are successful multi-sport athletes at their high schools (four are quarterbacks) and are very coachable, having played in a variety of environments. We are excited for their potential and future for Arkansas State Baseball,” Raffo added.
For the latest on A-State baseball follow the team by logging onto the Arkansas State Baseball Facebook page or by following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (arkansasstatebaseball).
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/11/12/-astatebaseball-inks-eight-to-nli.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council