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Huskers Announce Fall Recruiting Class
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
12/02/2009
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Lincoln - University of Nebraska Baseball Coach Mike Anderson announced that 11 high school seniors have signed National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball at Nebraska beginning in the 2011 season. The recruiting class features players from seven states. In addition, seven of the recruits garnered first-team all-state honors last season, including Nebraska products Logan Ehlers (Nebraska City, Neb.) and Mike Pritchard (Omaha, Neb.). Ehlers was the Louisville Slugger and Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska in 2009.

“These are kids we have followed and tracked for the last 18-24 months, and we are excited that they have signed to become Huskers,” Anderson said. “Our focus is always first in the Midwest in identifying players and tracking their development and have them continue that development in our program. The thing about this class is the balance, as have six pitchers and five position players. We are still going to have our work cut out for us because there are some kids in the class who are very draftable. This group, combined with the class we got to campus this fall, will set the tone for our program the next few years.”

Name

Pos

Ht.

Wt.

B/T

Hometown (High School)

Colton Bickerstaff

C/INF

6-0

195

L/R

Mineola, Texas (Mineola HS)

Logan Ehlers

LHP

6-2

200

L/L

Nebraska City, Neb. (Nebraska City HS)

Jon Keller

RHP

6-5

225

R/R

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier HS)

Tyler King

LHP

6-1

190

L/L

Republic, Mo. (Republic HS)

Tanner Krietemeier

RHP/OF

6-2

185

B/R

Castle Rock, Colo. (Rock Canyon HS)

Jon Musser

RHP

6-5

205

R/R

Waukee, Iowa (Dowling HS)

Shane Opitz

INF

6-2

180

L/R

Centennial, Colo. (Heritage HS)

Brandon Pierce

RHP

6-2

200

R/R

Gunter, Texas (Gunter HS)

Mike Pritchard

OF

6-0

170

L/L

Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep HS)

Ryan Richardson

IN

6-0

170

R/R

South Elgin, Ill. (St. Charles North HS)

Drew Robinson

INF/OF

6-1

185

R/R

Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado HS)

Colton Bickerstaff
Bickerstaff was one of the top players in Texas, playing at Mineola High School for Coach Heath Ragle * Collected second-team all-state honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association in 2009 after hitting .413 with seven homers, 28 RBIs and 32 runs scored * Had 20 of his 38 hits go for extra bases, as he added 12 doubles and a triple in helping his team to the bi-district playoffs * Choose Nebraska over a host of schools, including Rice, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Clemson * Is the son of Sherry Thompson and Perry Adams

“Colton is someone who could play a number of positions, but we think his best long-term position is at catcher. He is a left-handed hitter who can just flat-out hit and may be one of the best offensive players in our class.”

Logan Ehlers
Ehlers was the state’s top pitching prospect, throwing for coach Tom Bales at Nebraska City High School * Named Gatorade and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year in the state in 2009 after putting together one of the best pitching seasons in state history * Was a perfect 10-0 with three saves and a 0.20 ERA, as he fanned 161 in 68.2 innings and allowed just nine hits * Tossed four no-hitters and a perfect game as a junior and helped Nebraska City HS to a fifth-place finish at the state tournament * Led the state in wins, ERA and strikeouts in 2009, including one no-hitter where he fanned 21 of the 22 hitters he faced * Was one of 34 players chosen to try out for the USA Baseball Under-18 Team in Cary, N.C., in 2009 * Chosen as a first-team Class B all-state honoree in 2008, leading the state with 112 strikeouts while compiling a 4-3 record and a 1.00 ERA * Competes in three sports at NCHS, also starting in both football and basketball * Chose Nebraska over Arkansas and Texas A&M among others * Is the son of Dennis and Laura Ehlers.

“Logan is someone we have targeted for a long time and is someone who has dominated at the high school level and also had success on a national level with USA Baseball events. He has good velocity from the left side, a good work ethic and has the tools to be potentially a Friday night starter if he continues to develop.”

Jon Keller
Keller is one of the top prospects in the country pitching for Cedar Rapids Xavier High School and Coach Dave Dave Schemmel * Rated as the No. 64 prospect in the nation by Perfect Game USA * Was a first-team all-metro and all-conference selection as a junior, going 6-4 with a 1.41 ERA * Fanned 78 over 59.2 innings and held opponents to a .135 batting average * Turned in his best performance in the state playoffs fanning 10 over 6.1 innings of two-hit ball while also collecting three hits and scoring a pair of runs *Is a multi-sport athlete who also plays basketball * Excels in the classroom as he has been on the honor roll in each of his first three seasons at Xavier * Is the son of Al and Joni Keller.

“We think Jon is one of the premier pitching prospects in the Midwest in this class. He is a prototypical power pitcher with a great frame, high velocity and good command of his pitches and is someone who can come in and start in our rotation early in his college.”

Tyler King
King has been one of the top pitchers in Missouri for the last two seasons, throwing for Coach Howard Quigley at Republic High School * Compiled a 16-4 record and an ERA below 1.25 over the last two years * Garnered first-team all-state honors by posting a 7-2 mark with a 1.20 ERA and 112 strikeouts * Began on the varsity team as a sophomore, recording a 9-2 mark with 94 strikeouts and a 1.27 ERA en route to first-team all-district honors * Pitched for the Midwest Nationals last summer for Coach Randy Merryman, going 8-0 with a 1.83 ERA * Is a three-sport athlete who also plays football and basketball at Republic High School * Is a member of the National Honor Society and in the top 10 percent of his high school class * Looked at Missouri and Missouri State before choosing to become a Husker * Is the son of Martin and Elizabeth King.

“Tyler is a very gifted left-handed pitcher with a lot of athleticism. Not only does he have good velocity, but also has good command of several pitches and still has a lot of potential to develop.”

Tanner Krietemeier
Krietemeier (Kreet-a-meier) is one of two Colorado natives in this year’s recruiting class, as he plays for Coach Tyler Munro at Rock Canyon High School * Two-way performer who earned honorable-mention all-state honors as a pitcher in 2009, as Rock Canyon advanced to the Class 4A playoffs * Named team MVP and was a first-team Continental League selection * Is a two-sport athlete who also was a first-team all-conference performer in football * Is the son of Roger and Janie Krietemeier

“Tanner is someone who we are projecting as a pitcher, but could also be a switch-hitting outfielder. He played with Shane (Opitz) in the summer for Coach John Quarton and is a fastball/slider guy who is in the upper 80s and low 90s. He has a lot of athleticism and a lot of potential to grow and develop in college.

Jon Musser
Musser was one of the top rising seniors in the state of Iowa pitching for Tim O’Neill at Dowling High School in West Des Moines, Iowa  * Compiled a 7-2 record with a 1.04 ERA, fanning 66 over 61 innings to earn first-team all-state honors from the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association and consensus all-district accolades * Tossed nine complete games and his year was highlighted by a 13-strikeout effort against Valley High School * Also hit .434 with seven homers as a junior to help Dowling to a state quarterfinals appearance * Named to the academic all-conference team during his junior campaign * Is the son of Steve and Teena Musser.

“Jon was a little bit overlooked because he focused on his high school team over the summer, but we think he has as much upside as anyone in this class. He is a right-hander with good velocity and has continued to develop every time we have seen him over the past two years.”

Shane Opitz
Opitz is one of the top high school seniors in the state of Colorado, playing at Heritage High School for Coach Scott Hormann * Was a first-team Class 5A pick as an infielder in 2009, hitting .464 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in helping Heritage to a fifth-place finish at the state tournament * Started at shortstop as a sophomore, hitting .482 with 15 RBIs in garnering first-team all-conference accolades * Is a multi-sport athlete who also plays football and basketball at Heritage HS, earning all-metro honors on the gridiron * Considered one of the state’s top football players, as he has 47 catches for 977 yards and a state-record 23 touchdowns entering this week’s state title game * Established  state records for touchdown receptions in a game (five) and in a season (22) * Is the younger brother of four-year NU starter Jake Optiz, who was a first-team All-Big 12 performer and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft * Is the son of Jeff and Melanie Opitz.

“We are excited to have Shane join our program and we were fortunate that he has a strong bond with our program.  He is similar to Jake, as he is a left-handed hitter with the ability to hit for some power and play either middle infield spot, but is also a little bigger.

Mike Pritchard
Pritchard is one of the top rising seniors in the state of Nebraska playing for Pat Mooney at Creighton Prep High School * Was a first-team All-Nebraska selection from both the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star in 2009 after hitting .450 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and 31 runs scored * Posted an .860 slugging percentage, as 22 of his hits went for extra bases and set a  school single-season record with eight homers * Propelled Creighton Prep to a runner-up finish in the state tournament, hitting .563 with four doubles, a triple, a grand slam and 10 RBIs in the state tournament * Played American Legion ball the last two summers, hitting .407 with 14 homers and 80 RBIs in that span *Also played one season of hockey * Selected Nebraska over Creighton * Is the son of John and Jenelle Pritchard.

“Mike is one of the premier hitters in the state and comes from a program that has developed its share of great hitters. He has shown the ability to produce and has a nice smooth swing from the left side.

Brandon Pierce
One of two Texas products in this fall’s recruiting class, Pierce has been one of the state’s most dominant pitchers at Gunter High School for Coach Todd Hogan * Enters his senior campaign with a 30-2 record and is a three-time all-state selection after helping his team to three straight regional appearances * Garnered first-team all-state and District MVP honors in 2009, going 12-0 with a 0.99 ERA, fanning 134 over 71 innings while allowing just 32 hits * Also hit .449 with 29 RBIs during his junior campaign * Participated in the Area Code games in California and was one of 144 players around the country chosen to try out for the USA Baseball Under-18 National Team * Chosen as District 11-2A Player of the Year as a junior and Pitcher of the Year following his sophomore campaign * Selected Nebraska over TCU, Texas A&M, Texas and Miami (Fla.) * Is the son of David and Sandy Pierce.

“Brandon is someone who we targeted early and had success both in Texas and in showcase events. He not only has good command and velocity, but has a great intensity and focus and you see that in the way he pitches. He competes on the mound and he is a gamer.”

Ryan Richardson
The lone Illinois product in the recruiting class, Richardson attends St. Charles High North High School and plays for Coach Todd Genke * Was a teammate of current Husker freshman Zach Hirsch both at St. Charles North HS and in summer ball * Was a first-team all-state selection by the Illinois Coaches Association in 2009, hitting .459 with 18 doubles, 40 RBIs and 35 runs scored in 34 contests * Is a two-time all-conference and all-area selection * Carries a 4.82 GPA and is a two-time academic all-conference honoree * Selected Nebraska over Coastal Carolina and Michigan * Is the son of Jeff and Jayna Richardson.

“Ryan is probably the scrappiest player we have in the group and has a lot of toughness. He has very good speed and athletic ability and the defensive skills to play nearly anywhere in the infield.”

Drew Robinson
Robinson hails from Las Vegas, where he plays at Silverado High School for Coach Brian Whitaker * Named second-team all-state by the Las Vegas Review Journal in 2009 after hitting  .569 with nine homers and 56 RBIs and compiling an 1.157 slugging percentage in just 28 games * Tabbed first-team All-Southern Nevada and all-region as a junior, a year which was highlighted by a 5-for-5 game with two homers, two triples and a double * Excels in the classroom, where he carries a 3.8 GPA and was the school’s student of the month for his classroom achievements * Selected Nebraska over a host of schools, including Arizona State, Wake Forest, Pepperdine, Oregon State and TCU among others * Is the son of Darryl and Renee Robinson.

“We are excited to sign Drew and have him join our program. He is similar to an Adam Stern or Jeff Leise-type hitter, as they just have great speed and consistently make good contact and someone who could be a very good top of the order hitter in our lineup.”

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