July 21, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tracy Smith and the Hoosier baseball staff have announced the signing of two additional players to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 school year. Infielder Dillon Dooney (Poway, Calif./Poway) and right-handed pitcher Ryan Halstead (Alta Loma, Calif./Los Osos) have signed on to join the IU squad this coming fall.
"Dillon and Ryan both have the potential to be impact additions for our team next year," head coach Tracy Smith said. "We are thrilled to be able to add two players as talented as them this late in the process."
Dooney, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound righty, played both catcher and third base for Poway in 2010. He hit .462 on the year with 10 doubles, three triples, 34 RBI and 34 runs in 93 at-bats on the season. He posted 18 walks to just six strikeouts on the year for a .547 on-base percentage and an .860 slugging average.
Dooney was a third team all-state selection, a second team All-California Interscholastic Federation honoree and a First Team All-Palomar League designee. He led the Titans to the Palomar League Championship and a runner-up finish in the CIF playoffs. He also was named the Team MVP for Poway in 2010, and was a high school teammate of current Hoosiers Alex Dickerson and Drew Leininger.
"Dillon isn't your prototypical power hitter with his frame, but he flat-out knows how to hit and can do it with plenty of power," Smith said. "With the departures of Michael Earley, Tyler Rogers and Ethan Wilson, we are in need of right-handed bats and Dillon will be a good addition to our lineup right away."
Halstead is still relatively early in his pitching career, but impressed scouts enough to be selected in the 36th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound righty threw just 9 2/3 innings for Los Osos in 2010, allowing eight hits and striking out nine with two walks. He was named to the Inland Valley All-Star Team as a first baseman in 2010.
"Ryan is still a little raw as a pitcher, but I think he has a tremendous upside on the mound," Smith said. "When I saw him a couple of weeks ago I couldn't believe that he hadn't signed anywhere. With our young pitching staff, he certainly has a potential to make an immediate impact."
Dooney and Halstead join the nine players who signed with the Hoosiers in November. Blair Betts (Cary, N.C./Athens Drive), Matt Dearden (Newberry, Fla./Gainesville), Dustin DeMuth (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte), Joey DeNato (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines), Ty Downing (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood), Eric Kartman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead), Brian Korte (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), Chad Martin (Lexington, Ky./Vincennes University) and Reed Reznicek (Vista, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista) all joined the Hoosiers in the early signing period.