The Charlotte 49ers baseball program has looked to the future by adding nine players in the early signing period to join the team for the 2015 season. Six pitchers, two infielders and a two-way pitcher/infielder will add depth to the roster, starting in the fall of 2014.
“We had a solid early signing period and were able to sign players who have a chance to develop in our system,” said Charlotte head coach Loren Hibbs, who begins his 22nd season with the 49ers this year.
Charlotte will welcome pitchers Devin Bagwell, Jacob Craver, Trevor Gay, Matt Horkey, Josh Maciejewski and Alon Smith, as well as infielders Brett Netzer and Alex Reynolds, along with shortstop and pitcher Hunter Jones to the 49ers Baseball family. Four of these players are Top 70 prospects in the state of North Carolina, with others ranked high by their position by Perfect Game CrossChecker.
“We signed a very ‘pitcher heavy group’ due to the fact that we will lose seven pitchers to graduation in 2014. (Associate head coach) Brandon (Hall) and (assistant coach) Kris (Rochelle) continue to display a relentless recruiting work ethic that allowed us to identify these young men very early in the process. Seven of our nine signees can pitch and we feel good about the balance of this group.”
Bagwell hails from Mooresville and played at Southlake Christian Academy, as well as the On Deck O’s Club Team. The right-handed pitcher is listed as a Top 70 player in North Carolina by Perfect Game Cross Checker and earned All-Tournament for the Perfect Game WWBA 17U squad.
Craver is a lefty hurler from King, N.C. and played his prep baseball at West Stokes High, as well as club ball for the Dirtbags. He was a State Games participant, and an All-Conference performer who also earned All-Tournament honors in the Perfect Game BCS Tournament on the 17U squad.
Gay is a High Point, N.C. product and pitched at High Point Central. The righty’s club baseball was with the NCBA Golden Spikes. He was an All-Conference player for HPC who also played in the State Games. He was a dual-sport athlete, also appearing on the basketball squad. Gay and Craver are both listed as Top 1,000 prospects by PG.
Horkey is from Jamestown, N.C. and tossed from the left side for Ragsdale High and also for the Dirtbags. He is another All-Tournament selection from the Perfect Game BCS Tournament for the 17U team and a State Games participant.
Jones is listed as a shortstop and right-handed pitcher and played at Piedmont High down near Monroe, N.C. He was also a member of the SBA Canes. He is listed as a Top 10 player by his position in the state and has the distinction of scoring the winning run in Piedmont’s 2013 State Championship game victory. He also participated in the State Games.
Maciejewski is a native of Morrisville, N.C. and played at Panther Creek High and for the Carolina Ravens club team. The left hander is a National High Follow by PG and was a State Games participant. He also played basketball in high school.
Netzer finishes his prep baseball career at Fort Mill HS and lives in Tega Cay, S.C. after moving from Maryland. He is a member of the Stealth Baseball club squad. He was listed as the top shortstop in Maryland before moving to the Palmetto State and is categorized as a National High Follow by PG.
Reynolds played for the Kings Mountain HS and Heat Showcase squads. The third baseman was an All-Conference selection and doubled his athletic participation on the football team in the fall.
Smith is another left handed pitcher coming to Charlotte out of Hopewell HS in Huntersville, N.C. He also played his summer ball with the On Deck O’s.
Charlotte tied the school record with 29 home wins and delivered its fifth conference title in the past seven seasons with a 37-23 mark in 2013. The 49ers return to Conference USA in 2014 and begin the regular season with a home tournament against Virginia Tech and Youngstown State, beginning Friday, February 14.
||RHP||6-2||180||Mooresville, N.C.||Southlake Christian Academy|
||LHP||6-4||190||King, N.C.||West Stokes HS|
|Trevor Gay||RHP||6-4||185||High Point, N.C.||High Point Central HS|
|Matt Horkey||LHP||6-0||180||Jamestown, N.C.||Ragsdale HS|
|Hunter Jones||SS/P||6-1||160||Monroe, N.C.||Piedmont HS|
||LHP||6-2||180||Morrisville, N.C.||Panther Creek HS|
|Brett Netzer||SS||6-0||170||Tega Cay, S.C.||Fort Mill HS|
|Alex Reynolds||3B||6-1||215||Kings Mountain, N.C.||Kings Mountain HS|
|Alon Smith||LHP||5-11||160||Huntersville, N.C.||Hopewell HS|
What they are saying about the signees...
"Devin has been a member of our program for 3 years. We are very proud of his growth and development on and off the field. As a program that has several alumni of UNC Charlotte, we will enjoy following his progress and success as a 49er in the future." - Jason Hill, Former 49er and Owner/Director, On Deck Academy
"Trevor is a tremendous person and student who has worked himself into an exceptional player. His work ethic and leadership ability has helped our program grow. Trevor is a high character young man who commits to everything he starts." - Ken Morgan, High Point Central Head Coach
"Trevor has developed into an outstanding prospect on the mound over the past few years through his commitment, dedication, hard work and his desire to compete. Trevor is an athletic pitcher with a live arm and a sharp breaking ball that he commands and one that produces swings and misses. Trevor is excited about his opportunity with the 49ers and he should compete for innings early in his career. Trevor is an outstanding young man, a good student and a student/athlete that has made excellence part of his everyday routine!." - Scott Bankhead, Owner/Director, NC Baseball Academy
"Matt Horkey is a coach’s dream. In his 4 years at Ragsdale, he has been very program-oriented, wanting only what is best for our team. He comes from a great family, and I have no doubt that he will make a very positive impact at UNCC. I hate to lose him, but he will be Charlotte’s gain. I believe he can lead us to great things at Ragsdale; he has the ability to be great and the intangibles to be special." - Donnie Manness, Ragsdale High School head coach
"Hunter Jones progressed and improved as a baseball player each time he took the field. His love for the game will allow him to continue to improve in the coming years. It was a joy to coach Hunter the past 3 years. His consistency as a person and a ball player provides a unique intangible that many strive to possess." - Jake Robbins, Showcase Baseball Academy, SBA Canes
"Josh has developed into an intense competitor on the mound. He will lead our high school pitching staff and team into a tough conference schedule giving us a chance to compete at the top of the league. We look forward to seeing Josh continue to develop and prepare for the next level!." - Daniel Hall, Panther Creek High head coach
"Josh came into his own in 2013. After a successful spring at Panther Creek HS, he got off to a fast start this summer with the Ravens and only got stronger as we moved into the fall season. Josh is a big strong LHP that attacks hitters with good velocity in the upper 80’s on his fastball , a plus change up and sharp biting curveball. Josh comes from a good baseball family, I have known him since middle school, watching his progression to HS and now onto college has been a pleasure." - Rich Towler, Carolina Ravens head coach
"Brett came to us as a sophomore and has continued to improve every year. His offseason work in the weight room will compliment his on the field ability. We are looking for great things out of Brett for his senior season and want to wish him the best of luck as he continues his career at Charlotte." - Brad Mercer, Fort Mill High School head coach
"Brett is a terrific athlete and an exceptional hitter. He told me the first day that I met him, that he wanted to play Division 1 baseball. I saw the determination in his eyes. He prepares and plays the game with full intent on being the best. I’m excited for Brett. He recognizes that good things are happening at Charlotte and he wants to be a part of that." - Mike Gardner, Stealth Baseball head coach
"Alex has played for the Heat Showcase for 3 years. He is a great kid with a hard working attitude. Alex has played every position on the field. Alex is very athletic with a strong bat. I wish Alex the best for the 49ers." - Jason Harris, Heat Showcase head coach
"Alon has been a key member of the On Deck O's. He is a LHP who really competes with every pitch, and he has a phenomenal work ethic. We hope and expect that he will be a versatile contributor to the 49ers Pitching Staff early in his career." - Jason Hill, Former 49er and Owner/Director, On Deck Academy