Baseball Adds Five More for 2011 Season
July 30, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Head Coach Tracy Smith has announced the addition of five additional players that have signed on to join the Indiana baseball team for the 2011 season. Cody Leichman (Trenton, Ohio/Edgewood), Austin Lentz (Crawfordville, Fla./Wakulla), Will Nolden (Indianapolis/Lawrence North), Aaron Slegers (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) and Tyler Thicke (Colgate, Wis./Germantown) will all join the Hoosiers this fall.
Leichman is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound infielder from southwestern Ohio who had a monster senior season for Edgewood. The lefty hit .606 with seven home runs, 41 RBI, 31 runs and 10 doubles in the 2010 season, one of three letters he earned in his career for Edgewood. He is a two-time first team Fort Ancient Valley Conference selection, and was named FAVC co-Player of the Year and a First Team All-Area selection this past season.
"Cody really impressed us with his potential at the plate," Smith said. "We are not sure where he projects out yet defensively, but he will push for at-bats right away because he can swing the bat."
Lentz, a 6-foot, 170-pound middle infielder, hit .347 in his senior season with 20 RBI and 21 runs. That followed a .370 junior campaign where he added a pair of homers. A seven-time letterwinner across three sports (baseball, football, soccer), Lentz earned offensive MVP honors in football and soccer for Wakulla in addition to defensive MVP laurels in baseball.
"Austin bounces around just like you like to see in your middle guys," Smith said. "His all-around athleticism impressed us in high school, and it will serve him well at IU, especially once he gets stronger physically."
Nolden will bring his athleticism to Bloomington after a strong career for Lawrence North. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound outfielder hit over .400 in each of his four years on the diamond for the Wildcats, stealing over 30 bases with over 60 RBI in his career. He also won 15 games in his career as a pitcher, and started a game at every position but catcher and first base in his time at LN. He was an all-county selection in football at quarterback and defensive back as well.
"Will is a tough kid that likes to compete," Smith said. "His defensive abilities in the outfield are what impressed us most. Once Will focuses on just baseball, we think he has a chance to be pretty good."
Slegers possesses a mammoth 6-foot-9, 245-pound frame and is still growing into his body. The righty hurler went 6-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his junior season for Notre Dame Prep, striking out 43 in 41 innings of work. As a senior, he threw just two innings due to growth issues, but struck out five of the six batters he faced. He helped the team to a state runner-up finish in 2009.
"Aaron is going to be fun to work with because he still hasn't come into his body yet and consequently, he has not thrown a lot of innings," Smith said. "Because of his frame, he has a chance to be a special pitcher if he continues to develop."
After being a top prospect his sophomore season, Thicke suffered an arm injury and underwent Tommy John surgery, missing his entire junior campaign. The southpaw went 7-1 with a 3.02 ERA as a freshman, becoming the first frosh in state history to throw a no-hitter, and then had an 8-1 campaign with a 2.24 ERA as a sophomore. This season, he helped pitch Germantown to the state quarterfinals. He earned four letters for Germantown in baseball in addition to three in football and two in track.
"Tyler is coming off a major arm injury last year," Smith said. "Prior to the injury he was as a good a left-handed pitcher as we had seen. We will take it slow with him, but he has a chance to be very good."
Check back soon