BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—After graduating eight seniors from this season's Southern Athletic Association regular season championship team, Birmingham-Southern Head Baseball Coach Jan Weisberg is set to welcome 13 new faces to the Panthers roster this fall.
The newcomers hail from six different states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and New York. Pitching is strength for this class as eight members of the squad could see time on the mound for the Panthers early in their careers.
The members of the incoming recruiting class include:
RHP | Oxford, Ala. | Oxford High School
Cook was an All-Calhoun County performer in both football and baseball (as well as a four-year letter winner in both sports) in his senior year at Oxford, playing baseball for Coach Wes Brooks. In his career he tallied a 16-6 record on the mound with 126 innings pitched, 128 strikeouts, and a 2.87 ERA.
"We are excited to have Jake join this recruiting class," Coach Weisberg said. "Not only is he talented physically, but he is the type of player look for. His determination and grit will be a great fit with BSC Baseball."
John Michael Shirley
RHP | Mobile, Ala. | UMS-Wright Preparatory School
Shirley led the Alabama Area 1 Championship in both 2014 and 2015. He had a 6-1 record in 2015 and finished his career in the top 10 in single-season ERA and top-five career ERA leaders at UMS-Wright. He was named to the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Underclassman All-Star Team and Team Alabama in 2014. Shirley played for Coach Kevin Raley at UMS-Wright. He was also a standout on the hardwood for UMS, earning two varsity letters and being named to the 2015 Area 1 All-Tournament Team.
"John-Michael is a mature, bright-minded young man," Assistant Coach Drew Briese said. "He is the type of player and person we look for in the recruiting process. His abilities as a player should allow him to contribute early in his career."
RHP/1B | Sylacauga, Ala. | Sylacauga High School
Green is a three-time All-County performer (2013, 2014, 2015) and was also selected to the Alabama High School North/South All-Star game in 2014. In his senior year at SHS, where he played for Coach Mike Gibbs, he hit .338 with 12 doubles, two triples, and two home runs. Green was also a factor on the mound for the Sylacauga Aggies, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.78 and 20 strikeouts.
"Will is a young man with a ton of ability," Weisberg said. "His size and strength are assets that will serve him well at the college level. We look forward to having him on the field this fall."
C | Hoover, Ala. | Spain Park High School
Wise is a two-year starter behind the plate for the 2014 State Champion Spain Park Jaguars. In 2015 he hit .360 with 11 doubles and 17 RBIs. He was named to the 2014 Perfect Game World Wood Bat 17U All-Tournament Team and was a Perfect Game Preseason All-Region Team selection. Wise played for Coach Will Smith at Spain Park and for Steve Gendron and Josh Beshears at Excel Baseball Academy in the summer. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate and member of the National Honor Society.
C | Memphis, Tenn. | Memphis University School
Hunt was a two-sport athlete at MUS and earned All-Conference, All-Region, and Memphis Commercial Appeal "Best of the Preps" recognition in both football and baseball. Additionally, for his senior baseball campaign, playing for Coach John Jarnagin, he earned All-West Tennessee and All-State honors. In his senior year he hit .431 with 12 doubles, two triples, and two home runs. Hunt was also a perfect 15-15 in stolen bases.
INF/RHP | Atlanta, Ga. | Parkview High School
Chapman comes to BSC from 2015 Georgia State Champion and No. 1 nationally-ranked Parkview High School, where he played for Coach Chan Brown. As a utility player he offered Parkview flexibility throughout the infield. After making 20 appearances as a backup in 2014, Chapman won the opening day starting position at third base.
"We love Schyler's maturity and the fact that he comes from a program with a tremendous history of performing at a high level," Weisberg said. "The transition to the college game will be no surprise for him."
INF/RHP | Memphis, Tenn. | Christian Brothers High School
Wilson is another member of the incoming class from a high achieving high school program. Christian Brothers is a perennial power in Memphis and produces some of the best talent in West Tennessee. Wilson, who played for Coach Buster Kelso at CBHS, has the ability to play a corner infield position and offers the added bonus of being able to take some innings on the mound.
"Eric has been on our radar for two years," Briese said. "As a young player, he showed very well at one of our camps. He is a great fit for BSC in terms of what he offers to the team and the type of person he is. We look forward to having him in Black and Gold."
1B | Houston, Texas | St. Pius X
Englet is an All-District, All-Houston, and All-State first baseman out of St. Pius X where he played for Coach Adam Massiatte. In his junior year in 2014 he hit .377 with nine doubles and nine home runs. Englet's power and ability to present a big target at 6'5" at first base will be a great asset to the Panthers. He is also a high achiever in the classroom, and was a member of the Honor Roll and National Honor Society.
1B/C | Alpharetta, Ga. | Alpharetta High School
Hamel was a four-year varsity player at Alpharetta High School for Coaches Justin Zier and Steve Bohn. He was the team leader in home runs, doubles, and RBIs in both his junior and senior seasons, and was named to the All-Region Team for his efforts in 2014. Hamel played in the summer for Coach Danny Pralgo and the 6-4-3 DP Baseball Academy. With 6-4-3 he was named to the Perfect Game 2015 Southeast Region Honorable Mention Team and the 2014 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention Team.
OF/RHP | Memphis, Tenn. | Memphis University School
White will come to BSC along with teammate AJ Hunt from John Jarnagin's Memphis University School Owls. In his senior campaign of 2015 White earned All Division 2-AA West Region Honors as a utility player. His athletic background is impressive as he also played on the Owls football and basketball teams.
Other members of the recruiting class include:
Alex Hans | RHP | Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Rich Misischia | LHP | Eau Claire, Wis.
Vincent Torres | LHP | Bronx, N.Y.