ATLANTA (Nov. 18)- Georgia Tech’s baseball program continued to attract quality pitchers by recruiting five among the eight players who inked letters-of-intent during the early signing period, including 6-9 lefthander Kyle Bakker of Omaha, Neb., and 6-7 righthander Adam Wainwright of Brunswick, Ga.
Bakker and Wainwright, both of whom are expected to attract lots of pro scouts in the spring, headline a class that also includes righthander Matt Lorenzo of Hartville, Ohio; righthander Brian Burks of Alpharetta, Ga.; and lefthander Aaron Walker of East Palestine, Ohio.
The Yellow Jackets also signed a pair of outfielders in Matt Murton of McDonough, Ga.; Adam Pritchard of Griffin, Ga.; and first baseman-catcher Kevin Gergel of Marietta, Ga.
“One of our objectives was to get some lefthanded pitching,” said head coach Danny Hall. “In Bakker, we hope we got a guy who is on the edge of being a very high draft. He’s a big lefthander who throws strikes and he knows how to win.”
Bakker, listed at 6-9 and 255 pounds by the Omaha World Herald, posted a combined 24-0 record for his high school and summer teams this year. An all-state performer in basketball and baseball, Bakker posted a 10-0 record with an 0.57 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 61 innings. For his summer team, he went 14-0 with a 1.28 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 93 innings. He was named the 1999 Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year for the state of Nebraska and the American Baseball Coaches Association all-America team. As a basketball player, Bakker averaged 24.7 points and nine rebounds a game as a junior. He chose Tech over Nebraska.
Wainright, 6-7 and 195 pounds, made the Savannah Morning News all-Coastal Empire team last spring at Glynn Academy after posting a 6-3 record and a 1.85 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 64 innings. He also batted .500 with six home runs. Also a two-sport star, he earned first-team all-region recognition as a wide receiver.
Lorenzo, who was 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA last spring at Uniontown Lake High School, was rated the No. 4 prospect in Ohio by the Buckeye Scout News and was named the Federal League most valuable player. Burks, a three-time all-North Fulton County pick, has a career mark of 16-7 with a 1.98 ERA in three years at Chattahoochee High School. Walker, a top 10 Ohio prospect by the Buckeye Scout News, is 15-1 in three years at East Palestine High School and has twice been named to the all-Tri-County team.
“Wainwright is a great athlete who can help us two ways,” said Hall. “He’s for a very good fastball and he’s a good hitter. Walker pitched on a very good Connie Mack team in Ohio, and he’s a three-pitch guy. Lorenzo may have the biggest upside of all of them because he’s just 17. Burks is a three-pitch guy who can eat a lot of innings.”
One of the top prospects in Georgia, Murton hit .425 with 34 RBI as a junior at Eagles Landing High School, while hitting .429 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI last summer for the East Cobb Astros. Pritchard, a switch-hitting speedster, hit .484 with five home runs and 34 stolen bases last year at Griffin High School. Gergel, a first-team all-Cobb County choice, hit .420 with eight home runs and 46 RBI last year at AAAA state champion Lassiter High School.
“Were very excited about Murton,” said Hall. “He played last summer for the East Cobb Yankees, which won the Connie Mack World Series, and was one of the better hitters on that team. Pritchard is the best athlete we signed. He can run and throw, and he’s a switch-hitter. Gergel is a very good hitter on a great team at Lassiter.”
Georgia Tech Baseball SigneesSignee Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)Kyle Bakker P L/L 6-9 255 Omaha, Neb. (Millard West)Brian Burks P R/R 5-9 170 Alpharetta, Ga. (Chattahoochee)Kevin Gergel 1B-C L/R 6-4 210 Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter)Matt Lorenzo P L/R 6-3 205 Hartville, Ohio (Uniontown Lake)Matt Murton OF R/R 6-1 208 McDonough, Ga. (Eagles Landing)Adam Pritchard OF S/R 6-2 185 Griffin, Ga. (Griffin)Adam Wainwright P R/R 6-7 195 Brunswick, Ga. (Glynn Academy)Aaron Walker P L/L 6-3 180 East Palestine, Ohio (East Palestine)