Baseball Signs Another Good Recruiting Class


CINCINNATI --- The Xavier baseball team signed a very impressive recruiting class this past week, featuring Brett Smith of Cincinnati Country Day, Jay Johnson of Dixie Heights High School, Kevin Cunningham of Laurel, Md. and Sean Finnegan of Hillsborough, N.J.

"We feel that we have secured another excellent recruiting class, highlighted by the signing of Brett Smith and Jay Johnson, two of the best players in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. Each player in this class has an opportunity to contribute early and often in his career," said Xavier Head Coach John Morrey.

Smith, a 6?2", 195-pound Shortstop/Pitcher was named Cincinnati Enquirer Small School Player-of-the-Year last year as a junior. He led his team in all offensive, defensive, and pitching categories and was named MVP of his team. He won the Cincinnati All-City Batting Title in 2000 with a .582 batting average, 9 home runs and 37 RBI. Additional accolades include being named First Team All-Conference.

Johnson, 6?1", 178-pounds, will enter his third year of varsity baseball at Dixie Heights. As a third baseman, he led the team in nearly every offensive category last season, including runs (43), hits (57), RBI (44), home runs (7) and batting average (.487). As a pitcher, he was 6-2 with a 1.59 ERA. He led his team in innings pitched with 48.

In 2000, Johnson?s team racked up a 24-10 record and was ranked No. 1 in Northern Kentucky for most of the year. Johnson earned Player of the Year honors in the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference. He was also named All-9th Region as a pitcher and third baseman.

Cunningham is a 6?2", 195-pound catcher, who also saw time as pitcher for his high school team last season. He was named First Team All-County as a catcher. As captain, he led his team in doubles with nine. He also posted a .375 batting average and a .729 slugging percentage. On the mound, Cunningham recorded three saves and 22 strikeouts in 23.7 innings pitched.

The 6?1", 195-pound Finnegan will fill a huge void on the Xavier pitching staff. The lefthander is in his fourth year playing baseball at Hillsborough High and his second on the varsity squad. Last season, he was named All-Conference, All-County and All-Area as a pitcher. He led his team to the County Finals in his sophomore campaign.

All four signees will start classes at Xavier in the Fall of 2001.