Yellowjacket baseball adds 8 more recruits for 2018 - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Yellowjacket baseball adds 8 more recruits for 2018

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BILLINGS, Mont. – Eight more players will join the Montana State University Billings baseball team for the 2018 season announced head coach Aaron Sutton on Sunday.

Latest 2017-18 MSUB Baseball Signings

Name

Position

Hometown

Previous School

Jackson Ayala

First Base/Third Base

Cheyenne, WY

Monterey Peninsula

Blake Bell

Outfielder

Boise, ID

Treasure Valley CC

Travis Edgar

Right-Handed Pitcher

Gypsum, CO

Nebraska Kearney

Hayden Humphrey

Outfielder

Battle Ground, WA

Clark College

Zach Johnson

Right-Handed Pitcher

Portland, OR

Clark College

Tony McCarty

Right-Handed Pitcher

Idaho Falls, ID

Treasure Valley CC

Chase Teter

Infielder

Pocatello, ID

Morehead State

Sam Wong

Left-Handed Pitcher

Boise, ID

Lewis-Clark State

Jackson Ayala

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne Central High School/Monterey Peninsula College

6’3” – First Baseman/Third Baseman

Major: Finance

Entering MSUB’s program as a freshman, Ayala brings strong offensive potential as a corner infielder. The 6-foot-3 righty was a dual-sport athlete at Cheyenne Central High School, competing in both baseball and basketball. In 2014, Ayala went 9-1 with a 2.97 ERA on the mound, while batting .353 as a hitter.

The Cheyenne, Wyo., native earned three letters in each sport, and helped his team to the Idaho Class 4A state title in basketball as a senior. Also competing with the Sixers in American Legion baseball, Ayala was a three-year starter and part of a state championship team in 2015.

Coach Sutton on Ayala: “The bat plays very well for Jackson. He is the type of hitter we project to do damage in the middle of our lineup down the road. His versatility as a player will allow us to find multiple spots for him in the field. We really liked his quiet demeanor and confidence he carries as a player, and we look forward to his development in a Yellowjacket uniform.”

Ayala on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because of the school, the baseball program, and to be in the Rocky Mountain area.”

Blake Bell

Boise, Idaho

Centennial High School/Treasure Valley CC

5-11 – Outfielder

Major: Communications

Bell had a standout freshman season at TVCC, leading the team with a .331 batting average in 41 games. He was a second-team all-region pick within the NWAC. The outfielder had 16 doubles and 21 RBIs, while stealing six bases and scoring 26 times. Bell played in 24 more games as a sophomore in 2016, logging four doubles and nine RBIs.

During his high-school career at Centennial, Bell was a first-team all-Southern Idaho Conference centerfielder who batted .341 during his senior season. He also won three letters in football as the quarterback for the Patriots.

Coach Sutton on Bell: “Blake is a corner outfielder who can really hit. He has the potential to hit for average and run some balls into the gap. He fits right into a competitive outfield that will be losing some impact players in Casey Merritt and Zach Robinson.”

Bell on choosing MSUB: “I chose to come to MSUB because I am being given a second chance to play baseball here. Being away from the game due to injury was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through. I am excited to be a part of this program and play for Coach Sutton again, along with some of my best friends from my time at Treasure Valley.”

Travis Edgar

Gypsum, Colorado

Eagle Valley High School/Butler Community College/University of Nebraska Kearney

6’7” – Right-Handed Pitcher

Major: Marketing

Edgar pitched in 12 games as a junior at Nebraska Kearney in 2017, totaling eight innings in relief. The 6-foot-7 right-hander struck out 10 hitters in his limited action last spring. Prior to his time at UNK, Edgar spent two seasons at Butler Community College in Kansas. Edgar had 45 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings as a sophomore in 2016, after going 3-1 with a 4.45 ERA in his debut collegiate season.

A four-sport athlete at Eagle Valley High School, Edgar won letters in baseball, basketball, and football, and also competed in volleyball for one season. He was a first-team all-Western Slope pick, a team captain, and all-star game participant as a senior on the diamond. He was also an all-conference selection as a center on the Devils’ basketball team.

Coach Sutton on Edgar: “Our staff really looks forward to having Travis for his final collegiate season. He has professional potential arm strength that can be electric at times. With his stuff, he has a chance to fit into our rotation or be a back-end bullpen arm.”

Edgar on choosing MSUB: “I feel like I can really grow as a player and person at MSUB. It will give me a great opportunity to continue to play baseball beyond the college level. The facilities are fantastic and I look forward to being on campus. I also look forward to meeting my new team and working with the coaching staff.”

Hayden Humphrey

Battle Ground, Washington

Battle Ground High School/Clark College

6’ – Outfielder

Major: Business

Making the most of his at-bats last spring, Humphrey hit .323 in 18 games as an outfielder at Clark College. In his freshman collegiate season, he scored 13 runs and drove in five while stealing four bases.

During his prep career at Battle Ground High School, Humphrey was a first-team all-state selection as a senior and was picked as the 2014 Greater St. Helens League Player of the Year. A three-time first-team all-conference pick for the Tigers, Humphrey was a team captain, MVP, and Silver Slugger while batting .490 in high school. He also competed in football for four seasons, and was an all-scholastic student as well.

Coach Sutton on Humphrey: “Hayden comes in as a converted shortstop and brings athleticism to the table. He possesses a very simple, compact swing that plays to a high batting-average hitter and he has the ability to run some doubles into the gap. His overall speed and athleticism will allow him to fit into our system right away. Hayden has a tremendous work ethic, and will really elevate our atmosphere in the clubhouse.”

Humphrey on choosing MSUB: “I chose to come to MSUB to play baseball and get my degree.”

Zach Johnson

Portland, Oregon

Grant High School/Clark College

6’4” – Right-Handed Pitcher

Major: Undecided

Last season at Clark College, Johnson started five games and appeared in nine overall. The 6-foot-4 right-hander totaled 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings, and carried a solid 3.50 ERA.

During his prep career at Grant High School, Johnson earned a pair of letters in baseball and also participated in cross-country and basketball. Helping the Generals end a seven-year playoff drought, the two-time all-Portland Interscholastic League selection pithed his team into the postseason. Highlights from his days in the grey and blue include a no-hitter against Central Catholic and a 0.60 ERA as a sophomore.

Coach Sutton on Johnson: “We really like Zach’s ability to pound the strike zone and put hitters away. Zach has yet to meet his ceiling, and with his frame he really projects to be a power arm for our pitching staff. He has shown the ability to be a late-inning arm and spot starter when needed, and that versatility will fill the gaps we have with our graduating arms.”

Johnson on choosing MSUB: “MSUB seems like it is the best possible home for me. I believe that our team has a chance to do something special.”

Tony McCarty

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Idaho Falls High School/Treasure Valley Community College

6’4” – Right-Handed Pitcher

Major: Management

As a freshman at TVCC in 2015, McCarty was an all-NWAC East Region starter with a 1.51 ERA in 71 1/3 innings. McCarty logged 63 strikeouts against just 16 walks, while making seven starts and 19 total appearances. The right-hander’s top performance was a nine-strikeout effort against Dawson on March 1, as he surrendered just one run and two hits over five innings in a 6-5 victory.

During his high-school career at Idaho Falls, McCarty earned three letters on the diamond and also competed in basketball as a forward for three seasons.

Coach Sutton on McCarty: “Tony has battled injury the last two seasons, and we hope he can return to his freshman form at Treasure Valley. When he’s right, he can throw any pitch in any count, and he has put-away secondary pitches. He will be right in the mix for innings in any capacity on the pitching staff.”

McCarty on choosing MSUB: “I feel that Montana State University Billings is the best opportunity for me to better my baseball game and continue reaching the highest level of play possible while getting a quality education. I previously played under Coach Sutton at Treasure Valley Community College, and feel this will be a good transition to continue my career path.”

Chase Teter

Pocatello, Idaho

Pocatello High School/Treasure Valley Community College/Morehead State

6’ – Infielder

Major: Marketing

Teter saw action in 24 games, starting 10 as a junior at Morehead State University in 2017. The versatile infielder logged four doubles and one home run, while driving in nine runs and scoring 10 in 52 at-bats.

Beginning his collegiate career with two seasons at Treasure Valley Community College, Teter batted .242 in 45 games as a freshman in 2015. He followed with a stellar sophomore season, hitting .343 with three home runs and 35 RBIs in 204 at-bats while playing in 52 of 54 games. The big season resulted in NWAC East Region Player of the Year honors, and he was named a second-team All-American.

A three-sport athlete at Pocatello High School, Teter earned four letters in baseball and also competed in football and basketball. He was a two-time first-team all-area pick during his prep career.

Coach Sutton on Teter: “Chase has the ability to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. He gives us much needed infield depth at all three spots, and has shown that he can be a complete hitter at the plate. Adding his senior maturity will really help our team the moment he steps on campus.”

Teter on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because of the coaching staff, competitive atmosphere, and the players.”

Sam Wong

Boise, Idaho

Capital High School/Treasure Valley Community College

6’4” – Left-Handed Pitcher

Major: Business

As a sophomore at Treasure Valley in 2016, Wong led the team in innings pitched with 81 while holding a miniscule 1.66 ERA. The 6-foot-4 lefty logged 56 strikeouts against 36 walks, while starting 13 games on the mound. In 2015, Wong started 11 games and struck out 49 hitters in 69 innings pitched, while carrying a 3.78 ERA.

He was a second-team all-NWAC pitcher, and helped the Chukars to the East Region title in 2015. Wong earned three letters in baseball at Capital High School, and led the Eagles to the 2014 Idaho state title.

Coach Sutton on Wong: “Sam is an inning-eater with four big-time pitches that he can throw in any count. He pitches at a dream pace for defenders, and knows how to compete day-in and day-out. He will battle it out for one of the starting rotation spots next season.”

Sutton’s eight latest signings join a group of nine who previously committed to the Yellowjackets. View the full list of MSUB baseball signings online here.

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