Hoosiers Sign Four to National Letters of Intent
Nov. 16, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Tracy Smith and the Indiana baseball staff have signed four players to National Letters of Intent. Alex Dickerson (Poway, Calif./Poway), Josh Lyon (Indianapolis/Heritage Christian), Blake Monar (Rockport, Ind./South Spencer) and Cody Webber (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley) plan to join the Hoosiers in the fall of 2008.
"This is a small but solid class for us," Smith said. "As always, we try to sign the top talent in the state of Indiana, and we feel we have done that with the additions of Josh and Blake. However, in the off-season we made a conscious decision to expand our recruiting efforts to the West Coast, and we feel it paid off with two players from talent-laden programs in Southern California. In the end, we feel all of these players will make a significant impact in our program."
Dickerson joins the Hoosiers having played both first base and outfield for the Poway Titans under coaches Bob Parry and Dominick Johnson. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound lefty was selected as his team's offensive MVP in 2007 after hitting .354 with seven home runs, six doubles and 34 RBIs for the squad. He led his team in both home runs and RBIs, and finished second and first in the Palomar League in those categories, respectively. He elevated himself as one of San Diego area's top hitters through his performance on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays scout team this fall.
"Alex is a difference maker," Smith said. "It is as simple as that. He can change the complexion of the game with one swing of the bat. He is a tough kid that moves well for his size. In addition, because of his reputation of being one of the top players in Southern California, his decision to attend IU will allow us to be a presence out there in the future."
Lyon is entering his fourth season for Heritage Christian under Dan Ambrose this spring. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound left-handed hitting catcher had a breakthrough season as a junior, setting a school record with 14 home runs. He also added 13 doubles and 45 RBIs while hitting .530 on the year. That led to Lyon being named all-city first team, Indianapolis All-North first team, and earning honorable mention on the all-state squad. As a sophomore, he earned honorable mention on the all-city squad, and in his freshman campaign he helped Heritage take home regional and sectional titles.
"A main focus of our recruiting for the `08 class was left-handed hitting," Smith said. "The fact that Josh is a power hitter from the left side and the fact that he is a catcher made him a priority for us. You just don't find many left-handed hitting catchers out there with Josh's potential. It's true, we really focused on his bat, but he has a solid arm from behind the plate that will translate into him being a pretty good defensive catcher when it is all said and done."
Monar will pitch his third season for Brian Keuster and South Spencer this spring. As a junior, Monar burst onto the scene with a 9-0 record and a 0.69 ERA, as he helped the Rebels take home the 2007 2A State Championship. He also hit .522 at the plate for South Spencer, and the 6-foot-2, 195-pound southpaw earned all-state honors for his efforts. He also helped his American Legion squad to a regional championship and earned Great Lakes Region 5 MVP honors in the process. Blake was also recently rated the third best prospect in the state of Indiana by the Perfect Game Scouting Service following his performance at the Perfect Game National Tournament in Jupiter, Fla. in October.
"We identified Blake as the in-state pitcher we had to get," Smith said. "His competitiveness on the mound was unmatched by all the kids we evaluated last year. Don't get me wrong, he has very good `stuff' to go along with his `make up.' What is also interesting about Blake is he can really swing the bat too. We definitely signed him as a pitcher, but I honestly think he will make a push to be in the lineup offensively."
Webber joins Indiana Baseball entering his third year for Fountain Valley under Joe MacDonald. The slick-fielding second baseman was named Defensive Player of the Year after posting a .973 fielding percentage as a junior, and he also hit .370 with two home runs, nine doubles and five triples on the season. As a sophomore, he picked up Sunset League Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .375 with six doubles and three triples. The 6-foot, 180-pounder also was selected to play for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays scout team in the summer and fall of 2007, where he was a teammate of Dickerson's.
"Once again, we love the fact that Cody swings the bat from the left side of the plate. That, plus his abilities as a middle infielder, makes him a valuable addition to our team. Cody's fielding percentage speaks for itself, but we think he has the ability to produce runs for us with his consistent `line drive' swing."
The Indiana baseball team will begin its 2008 schedule on Friday, Feb. 22, when it heads to Baton Rouge, La., for the first game of a three-game set against LSU.
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