BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University baseball officially announced its class of 10 newcomers on Monday, the first under new head coach Kermit Smith. The class of 10 includes two student-athletes who will transfer to Appalachian State and eight who signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period this fall.
The class features one catcher, two infielders, two outfielders and five pitchers. Of the 10 student-athletes, seven hail from Appalachian State's backyard of North Carolina with the rest coming from Georgia, Virginia and Florida.
“This was an absolute team effort,” Smith said. “Britt Johnson and Justin Aspegren worked tirelessly on the recruiting trail to identify and cultivate relationships with the future of Appalachian State baseball. Erik Lunde’s diligence on the home front afforded us the ability to be on the road as much as we were. We could not be more excited to have these 10 young men join our family.”
Smith continued, “One of the themes that you see in this class is that we have a group of winners. All of these guys play for good programs, good coaches, and not only won games but won championships. I have to give credit to our current team. Every time we had a visit on campus, our guys were very welcoming and helped share our vision for the future. It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer.”
2017 APPALACHIAN STATE BASEBALL SIGNEES
Jason Avers (C, 5-11, Marietta, Ga./Walton)
Kaleb Bowman (RHP, 6-1, Roundhill, Va./Woodgrove (Spartanburg Methodist))
Jason Cornatzer (RHP, 6-5, Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge)
Cam Kepley (RHP, 6-3, Concord, N.C./Central Cabarrus)
Alex Leshock (OF, 6-1, Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge)
Kendall McGowan (OF, 5-11, Forest City, N.C./East Rutherford)
John Price (RHP, 6-1, Wilmington, N.C./John T. Hoggard)
Cameron Roberts (RHP, 5-10, Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson)
Jordan Tylski (IF, 6-2, Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin (Gulf Coast State College))
Bailey Welch (IF, 5-9, Randleman, N.C./Randleman)
JASON AVERS (5-11, Catcher, Marietta, Ga./Walton)
A three-year letterwinner in baseball ... winner of the Iron Man Award his junior year ... hit the game-winning run home in game two of the state championship as a senior ... an honorable mention for all-county as a sophomore ... a member of the East Cobb Yankees AAU team ... was Connie Mack World Series Co-Champions ... full name is Jason Henry Avers ... son of Leslie and Jeff Avers ... born Sept. 22, 1998 ... has two siblings: Lindsey and Tyler ... major is undecided.
KALEB BOWMAN (6-1, Right-Handed Pitcher, Roundhill, Va./Woodgrove (Spartanburg Methodist))
A four-year letterwinner in baseball ... named second team all-district as a sophomore ... named all-Met High honorable mention as a sophomore, junior and senior ... named baseball MVP in Loudoun County as a sophomore ... earned the Coaches Award as a sophomore, junior and senior ... finished his high school career with 100 innings pitched, 146 strikeouts, 52 hits allowed, 10 earned runs and one save ... was a part of the EVOShield Canes AAU team during their back-to-back WWBA national championship runs in 2013-14 after being national champion runner-ups in 2012 ... attended Spartanburg Methodist College for two years ... finished 2016 1-1 with 15 innings pitched, 21 strikeouts, two walks, 3.5 ERA ... full name is Kaleb Alexander Bowman ... son of Shawn Ann and Kurt Bowman ... born May 22, 1997 ... has one sibling: Kaelin ... intends to major in business and be a coach/scout or open his own business after graduation ... enjoys hunting, fishing and paddle boating in his spare time.
JASON CORNATZER (6-5, Right-Handed Pitcher, Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge)
A four-year letterwinner in baseball ... named all-conference and all-state ... named Union County Pitcher of the Year ... earned first-team all-Union County ... two-time state champion ... in his junior year, finished with a 0.62 ERA, striking out 85 batters en route to an 11-1 record ... full name is Jason Thomas Cornatzer ... son of Carol Ann and Jeff Cornatzer ... born March 5, 1999 ... has three siblings: Anna, Jacob and Amber ... intends to major in marketing ... enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.
CAM KEPLEY (6-3, Right-Handed Pitcher, Concord, N.C./Central Cabarrus)
A multi-year letterwinner in both baseball and football ... named all-conference his sophomore and junior year ... named team MVP his sophomore year ... full name is Cameron Chavis Kepley ... son of Denise and David Kepley ... born Oct. 5, 1999 ... has two siblings: Chelsey and Brittany ... major is undecided ... enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.
ALEX LESHOCK (6-1, Outfield, Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge)
A four-year letterwinner in baseball and a three-year letterwinner in football ... named all-conference in baseball as a sophomore and junior and all-state as a junior ... named first team all-South Charlotte as a junior ... named USA Today All-State SCC Player of the Year and Union County MVP as a junior ... named All-Charlotte Observer as a junior ... named to Union County Super Team as a sophomore and junior and named newcomer of the year as sophomore ... as a sophomore, hit .411 avg, had 30 hits, 21 RBI, 30 runs, and 14 stolen bases ... as a junior, hit .450 avg, 54 hits, three home runs, 21 RBI, 33 runs, 20 stolen bases and 10 doubles ... in football, was named all-conference as a junior before having more than 1,200 all-purpose yards as a senior ... full name is Alexander Michael Leshock ... son of Karen and James Leshock ... born Jan. 24, 1999 ... has one sibling: Alan ... major is undecided ... enjoys fishing in his spare time.
KENDALL McGOWAN (5-11, Outfield, Forest City, N.C./East Rutherford)
A four-year letterwinner in baseball and a one-year letterwinner in football ... named all-conference and all-state as a junior ... won state championship his junior year ... named JV team MVP as a freshman ... finished junior year with .470 batting avg, .480 on-base percentage, .769 slugging percentage, 55 hits, five home runs, 14 doubles, four triple, and 34 RBI ... full name is Kendall King McGowan ... son of Kathryn and Terry McGowan ... born Dec. 30, 1998 ... has four siblings: Kenbritt, Patrick, Mason and Marshall ... major is undecided ... father, Terry, was an all-American football player at Gardner-Webb.
JOHN PRICE (6-1, Right-Handed Pitcher, Wilmington, N.C./John T. Hoggard)
Lettered one year in baseball ... in 48 innings pitched during his junior year, struck out 46 batters en route to a 1.08 ERA ... full name is John Furman Price ... son of Violet Price ... born Sept. 5, 1998 ... has one sibling: Sarah ... intends on majoring in exercise science and minor in construction management ... enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time.
CAMERON ROBERTS (5-10, Right-Handed Pitcher, Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson)
A four-year letterwinner in baseball ... named all-conference and all-South team his junior year ... named team pitcher of the year after a junior campaign that saw him serve 104 K Burgers ... struck out 30 batters in his sophomore year and 12 as a freshman ... has a 1.20 career ERA ... recorded 20 strikeouts for a 2.90 ERA for the South Charlotte Panthers ... full name is Cameron Tyler Roberts ... son of Connie and Brent Roberts ... born Aug. 21, 1998 ... has three siblings: Brendon, Shelby and Ryan ... intended major is computer science.
JORDAN TYLSKI (6-2, Infielder, Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin (Gulf Coast State College))
A four-year letterwinner in baseball, three-year letterwinner in football and two-year letterwinner in basketball ... earned all-conference honors all four years ... named all-state his senior year ... named team MVP all four years ... spent two years at Golf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla. ... full name is Jordan Richard Tylski ... son of Richard Tylski ... born Sept. 30, 1996 ... has two siblings: Josh and Jake ... intended major is business ... enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time ... father, Rich, played nine years in the NFL
BAILEY WELCH (5-9, Infielder, Randleman, N.C./Randleman)
A four-year letterwinner in baseball and a two-year letterwinner in football ... named all-state as a junior ... named all-conference as a freshman, sophomore and junior ... named all-county as a sophomore and junior ... earned team MVP award as a junior ... as a junior, he hit .400 avg, 39 hits, one home run, 12 stolen bases and two triples ... in football, named all-conference as a sophomore and junior ... named all-county as a junior for finishing with 1,600 passing yards, 600 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns ... full name is Bailey Whitman Welch ... son of Lisa and Clayton Welch ... born June 8, 1999 ... has two siblings: Easton and Chesney ... major is undecided.