Joplin, Mo. -- Missouri Southern baseball coach Bryce Darnell has announced the signing of six individuals for the 2014 season as part of his early signing period. Each of the players will start school with Southern this fall.
The list includes two junior college athletes and four high school athletes from the states of Missouri and Kansas. Below are short biographies and quotes about each eathlete from Darnell.
Junior College Transfers
Robbe Ewing - Outfield - 6-0/170 - Stockton, Mo. - Neosho County CC
Ewing transfers to Southern after two seasons at Neosho County. In his first season, (final year yet to be played) Ewing started in 50 of the 56 games he played in and hit .288 as a true freshman ... he scored 27 runs with three doubles, two triples, two home runs and drove in 29 ... he was 4-6 on the basepaths ... Prior to NCCC, Ewing started four years at Stockton High School for coach Steve Ewing where he was a two-time All-State selection, and a three-time 1st team All-District selection, while being named All-Conference all four seasons ... He was the Ozark Sports Player of the Year his senior season ... He holds the school record for triples, batting average, and ERA in a season, while also holding the mark for most runs scored in one game ... He also was a four-time letterwinner on the basketball court where he was a two-time All-Conference and All-District selection ... the Son of Brian and Jayne Ewing, Robbie will be a business major at Southern.
"Robbe is a long levered player with a lot of athleticism," Darnell said. "He defends very well in the outfield, has a good arm, is a disciplined hitter, and plays hard. He started as a freshman on a very good Neosho County team that made it to the NJCAA World Series."
Skylar Hill - RHP - 6-0/185 - Hutchinson, Kan. - Barton County CC
Hill transfers to Southern after two seasons at Barton County. In his first season, (final year yet to be played) he had a 2-1 record with a 5.18 ERA in 40 innings pitched ... He appeared in 16 games with three starts, striking out 26 ... Prior to Barton, Hill was a four-year starter on the baseball and basketball teams, while starting two years on the football team ... He was an All-State selection in both baseball and Basketball ... Hill is the son of Brad Hill and Joni Razo and plans to major in physical education at Southern.
"We feel that Skylar will be a very good starting pitcher in the MIAA," Darnell said. "He competes, has a good arm, knows how to pitch, and has very good secondary stuff. He's at a very good junior college that faces very good competition and will bring a lot of quality experience to our pitching staff."
High School Athletes
Matt Smith - Catcher - R/R - 5-6/190 - Brooklyn Park, Minn. - Champlin Park High School
Smith comes to Southern after four years at Champlin Park High School in Brooklyn Park, Minn. ... A four-year stafter at catcher for the Rebels, he is a team captain ... He was named an All-Conference pick as a junior with his senior year still ahead of him ... The son of Michael and Debra Smith, Matt plans to major in Kinesiology at Southern.
"Matt is a very nice player on defense and at the plate," Darnell said. "He's a strong kid with a strong arm to keep a running game in check. At the plate, he's a line drive hitter who can go to all fields and has the ability to plug a gap. He's started since he was a freshman at a very large school in the Twin Cities area."
Matt Harvey - RHP - 6-2/165 - Imperial, Mo. - Seckman High School
Harvey comes to Southern after a solid prep career at Seckman High School just south of St. Louis ... A two years starter so far on both the baseball and basketball teams, Harvey was an All-Star with his summer league team ... The son of Tom Harvey and Lori Harvey-Lanning, MAtt plans to major in Math at Southern.
"Matt is a tall RHP with a really good frame to build on," Darnell said. "Matt has a live arm and a lot of secondary movement. He's another quality high school arm that we feel will be able to compete for innings right away."
Tyler Whiteis - Infield - 5-8/160 - Branson, Mo. - Branson HS
Whiteis comes to Southern from Branson High School ... A starter as a junior, Whiteis has lettered in both his sophomore and junior seasons with his final year yet to be played ... as a junior, he was an All-Tri Lakes team member, a first team All-Conference pick and an All-District selection, as well .... This past season he helped the Pirates to a conference championship ... he also holds the school record for hits in a game with five ... the son of James and Kristi Whiteis, Tyler is undecided on his future major at Southern.
"Tyler is a high school middle infielder who's good on defense and can handle the bat," Darnell said. "He has a very good approach at the plate and is able to consistently hit the ball to all fields. He's gotten a lot of experience playing for Coach Nimmo in a very successful Branson baseball program."
Nathan Strobel - RHP - 6-1/176 - Republic, Mo. - Republic HS
Strobel comes to Southern from Republic High School where he played for coach Howard Quigley ... a three year starter at both pitcher and centerfield, Strobel was 5-1 as a junior with 58 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched ... He also allowed just 19 walks ... A first-team All conference selection, Strobel also played a season of football at Republic ... the son of Rick and Audra Strobel, Nathan intends to major in business at Southern.
"Nathan is from Republic where he's plays high school baseball for Coach Quigley," Darnell said. "He's a tall RHP with a good arm and a good feel for what he's doing on the mound. He's one of the top high school arms in the area and will be able to come in and compete for innings right away."