Baseball Announces Nine Signees In Early Period

Solid Class

<b>Head Coach Wayne Graham</b>

Head Coach Wayne Graham

Nov. 10, 2006

HOUSTON -- The Rice baseball program has signed nine recruits in the early period who will join the team for the 2008 season, announced head coach Wayne Graham on Friday (Nov. 10). The latest Rice baseball class is composed of seven from the high school ranks and two from junior college. Six are from the state of Texas and four are from the greater Houston area.

The signees include left-handed pitcher Matt Evers and catcher John Hale from Houston, infielder Rick Hague and outfielder Chad Mozingo from Spring, infielder Carmen Angelini of Lake Charles, La., catcher Garrett Tinsley of Fort Myers, Fla., outfielder Nick Natale, of Livingston, N.J. and right-handed pitcher Jordan Rogers and left-handed pitcher Lucas Luetge of San Jacinto Junior College.The signees officially enroll at Rice in the fall of 2007. Their first baseball season with the Owls would be in the spring of 2008. Coach Graham had nothing but praise for the Owls' latest class and his assistant coaches.

"We're all very excited about this class," Graham said. "They are all very talented and athletic with a lot of potential. I don't think you can ever have too much pitching and (the signing class is) particularly strong up the middle. I want to thank (Rice assistant coaches) David (Pierce) and Mike (Taylor) for doing another great job with our recruiting. They helped identify the best players from all over the country who addressed our needs and who can meet our standards. This class has a chance to be the best class we've had at Rice."

Rogers and Luetge are an experienced pair of 6-foot-3 pitchers from nearby San Jacinto College. Luetage, a southpaw originally from Industry, Tex., went 3-3 with a 3.71 ERA and averaged 8.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings for the Gators last year. Rogers, a right-hander from Dayton, Tex., went 6-4 on the mound and was among the team leaders in innings pitched (82.2).

Evers is a 6-2 left-handed pitcher from Stratford High School who earned first team all-District 18-5A honors as a junior last season. Hale earned first team all-District 21-5A honors as catcher for nearby Lamar High School.

Hague and Mozingo have one more season as rivals in District 14-5A before joining the Owls. Mozingo is 5-foot-11, left-handed hitting, all-district outfielder from Klein High School. Hague is a 6-foot-1 first team all-district infielder from Klein Collins High School.

Angelini is a 6-foot-1 infielder from Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La. He batted .405 as a junior and was named to the Louisiana 5A all-state team after leading Barbe to the 2006 state championship.

Natale is an outfielder from Seton Hall Prep. in Livingston, New Jersey. One of the region's top prospects, Natale hit .367 and was among the team leaders in RBI and extra-base hits.

Tinsley is a catcher from Fort Myers High School in Fla. As a junior he batted .370 with a .556 slugging percentage and drove in 15 runs in 21 starts behind the plate.

A year ago Rice baseball compiled a 57-13 record and reached the semifinals of the College World Series. The Owls begin practice in January and officially open the 2007 season against Central Missouri State on Feb. 3.

Rice Baseball Signing Class
Name, Pos B/T Ht.-Wt. Hometown (Previous School)

Carmen Angelini, Inf., R/R, 6-1, 185, Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
Matt Evers, P, L/L, 6-2, 195, Houston, Tex. (Stratford HS)
Rick Hague, Inf., R/R, 6-1, 185, Spring, Tex. (Klein Collins HS)
John Hale, C, R/R, 5-8, 170, Houston, Tex. (Lamar HS)
Lucas Luetge, P, L/L, 6-3, 180, Industry, Tex. (San Jacinto, JC)
Chad Mozingo, OF, L/L, 5-11, 180, Spring, Tex. (Klein)
Nick Natale, OF, R/R, 5-11, 170, Livingston, N.J. (Seton Hall Preparatory)
Jordan Rogers, P, R/R., 6-3, 190, Dayton, Tex. (San Jacinto JC)
Garrett Tinsley, C, R/R, 5-10, 180, Fort Myers, Fla. (Fort Myers HS)

Related Stories