Lamar officially announces nationally ranked baseball class

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016


Eight days after the first signing day of the fall period for college baseball, coach Will Davis officially announced his second recruiting class, a group of 17 for the 2018 season.

The class includes Port Neches-Groves outfielder Logan LeJeune, Nederland first baseman and pitcher Chase Kemp and Nederland pitcher Brendan Dunkleberger, who signed last week.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I really wanted to make this my first big, true freshman class, and I certainly think we’ve done that with 11 quality guys that we can build a future with,” Davis said in a release. “We also felt like we needed to supplement that with some talented, experienced arms, and we’ve done that as well.”

Scouting service Perfect Game ranked Lamar’s class 80th in the nation and the top class in the Southland Conference, according to a news release. Lamar is the only Southland team in Perfect Game’s top 100, sitting one spot behind Rice and ahead of Houston.

“Of course you have to win games when they get here, but recruiting great talent is a great way to start,” Davis said. “I learned early on that Lamar is a place you can recruit a Top 100 class and be at the top of the league. Because we have that ability, we want to maximize it. We’ve started to do that, and I think it will only et better with this momentum going.”

Other members of the signing class include: Silsbee infielder/right-handed pitcher Chase Partain, Dickinson RHP Charles Peacock, The Woodlands outfielder Cole Secrest, Kirbyville catcher/RHP Chet Jones, Barbers Hill catcher Rhett McCall, Humble outfielder and middle infielder Tyrese Clayborne, Humble outfielder Avery George, Columbus RHP/outfielder Marcus Olivarez, Coastal Bend College RHP Adrian Cook, Brookhaven College RHP Doug Palmer, Galveston College RHP Kristjan Storrie, Panola Junior College RHP Erik Key, and McLennan CC LHP Jason Blanchard.

Hill College transfer Caleb Dean is already on campus but must sit out due to transfer rules. Dean, who prepped at Harker Heights, homered 22 times and led Hill to a third-place regional finish.

Partain batted .429 last season for Silsbee. Clayborne possesses tremendous speed with a 5-foot-5 frame. Blanchard, who graduated from Kingwood Park, began his collegiate career at Rhode Island, where he struck out 13 in 13 2/3 innings.

Davis has made recruiting Southeast Texas a priority since he was hired as coach-in-waiting under Jim Gilligan in January. His first incoming class, which begins play this season, includes six from Jefferson and Orange counties.

“All 11 of our high school guys are either from the Southeast Texas or Houston areas,” Davis said of his latest signing class. “We all know that our area and Houston are very fertile grounds for baseball.”

It was listed in a Nov. 11 article West Orange-Stark senior Jack Dallas had officially signed with Lamar. While Dallas has been recruited for football and baseball to Lamar, he has not yet officially signed.

That means a total of nine from Jefferson and Orange counties have signed with Lamar since Davis’ hire.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

email author More by I.C.