Xavier Baseball Announces Early Signing Class
Nov. 16, 2006
CINCINNATI - Xavier baseball head coach Scott Googins has announced five letters of intent received in the early signing period. Googins, in his second season with Xavier, has received National Letters of Intent from Phil Bauer, Ryan Bellamy, Nathan Mutsch, Tom Shirley and Ben Thomas who will all join the Musketeers next fall.
"I am very pleased and excited about this group of signees," stated the second-year mentor. "We have added some depth to our team with strong arms and very gifted position players."
Bauer, a standout from Fairfield, Ohio, will provide XU with speed and depth in the infield. "Phil is a very good athlete who plays outstanding defense," commented Coach Googins. "As an infielder he has great range and actions. He is a winner at whatever he does and comes to play hard every day."
Bauer, a 6-foot, 170-pound primary shortstop, was the 2006 All-Defensive Player of the Year and also received the 2006 All-Academic Award for his outstanding work in the classroom.
Bellamy, another local prospect, is the second of Googins signing class. A Cincinnati native and a primary catcher from Northwest High School will add much needed depth with two departing seniors next season. "As a catcher, Ryan is a great catch-and-throw guy that can handle the pitching staff but can also stop the running game," admired Coach Googins. "He is a tough, hard-nosed competitor and we look forward to his contributions behind the plate."
Bellamy, a 5-10, 165-pound catcher, received First Team All-FAVC in 2006 after carrying a .382 batting average and producing 31 RBIs with 14 stolen bases last season.
The third signee, Mutsch, is a native of Alexandria, Ky. where he excelled at Bishop Brossart High School. The 6-5, 225-pound right-handed pitcher helped lead his team to the 37th District Championship last season after recording a 2.47 ERA with 64 strikeouts in only 51 innings pitched. Coach Googins stated that, "Nathan has a high ceiling as a right-handed pitcher. He is very athletic with a strong arm and will consistently throw in the upper 80's. He is one of the top pitchers in Northern Kentucky."
Voted as one of the top players in western Pennsylvania, Shirley is a 6-3, 175-pound, left-handed pitcher from North Huntington, Pa. He was named to the First Team All-WPIAL squad in 2006 and registered 96 strikeouts in only 51 innings pitched a season ago. The Norwin High School standout will add another quality arm to the XU pitching staff. "Tom comes to us as a very talented left-handed pitcher," stated Coach Googins. "As one of the better pitchers in western Pennsylvania, his velocity has really increased to compliment his off-speed stuff. We are looking forward to watching him develop into a great pitcher for our program."
The final signee for the Musketeers is an Ohio product that will bolster the offense and the bullpen. Thomas, a 6-0, left-handed pitcher and first baseman from Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio, was a 2006 First Team All-Ohio Capital Conference selection and named to the First Team All-District squad. Thomas was also named as one of the top prospects in Ohio by multiple scouting services. "Ben brings us some versatility in that he is going to be a two-way guy for us," commented Coach Googins. "He is a left-handed pitcher who has a dominating fastball. Offensively, he has a natural left-handed swing that is very smooth but posses a lot of power."
The 2007 edition of Musketeer baseball opens their spring schedule at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. on February 16. Xavier's Atlantic 10 schedule begins on March 23, as XU welcomes rival Dayton to Hayden Field for a 3:00 pm contest.