Baseball Inks Three Junior College Players
Nov. 24, 1999
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The University of Memphis baseball team has received national letters of intent from three junior college sophomores for the 2000-2001 academic year. Memphis has now signed five players during the early signing period.
Ryan O'Malley is a pitcher and outfielder from Springfield, Illinois, who is entering his second season with Lincoln Land Community College. Last season for LLCC, O'Malley hit for a .370 average with 78 hits in 211 at-bats. Eight of those hits were home runs. As a pitcher, he struck out 19 on the way to two saves in only 12 2/3 innings. Memphis baseball coach Jeff Hopkins hopes to use O'Malley as a two-way player, but is particularly excited about seeing him on the mound for the Tigers.
The Tigers also signed a pair of players from Triton Junior College in Illinois. Nicholas Steht and Matthew Krabbe both signed national letters with the University of Memphis. The two pitchers are expected to come into the baseball program and contribute early. Krabbe was drafted in 1998 in the 23rd round by the Florida Marlins and redrafted by them in 1999. Last season, Krabbe made 10 appearances pitching 41 innings. He posted a 4-1 record and held opponents to a .248 batting average. Steht led his Danville, Illinois, High School team in RBI's his senior year and led his American Legion team in RBI's for two seasons. He was a pitcher on the American Legion team that was second in Illinois in 1997 and was named Most Valuable Player of the 4th division. Steht received rookie of the year honors in that same season.
Last week, the Tigers signed a pair of local high school standouts. Michael Lewis and Kyle Scott are teammates on the Germantown High School baseball team, and both committed to attend Memphis next year.
Lewis, who plays infield for the Red Devils, batted .303 as a sophomore and .377 as a junior. Last season, Lewis was 23 for 24 in stolen bases, had a slugging percentage of .613, and a fielding percentage of .874. He was selected to the All-Metro, All-District, and All-State teams. "He is going to be and outstanding college infielder," said Hopkins. "He has great hands and above average speed."
Scott batted .390 as a junior third baseman with seven doubles, three triples, and 30 RBI's. He was selected to the Best of Preps All-Metro Team. "We think Kyle will be an outstanding college hitter," stated Hopkins. "Both of these players come from an outstanding high school program that is accustomed to winning."
The Tigers open their 2000 season with UT-Martin on February 15th at Nat Buring Stadium.