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Baseball Signs Seven Top Recruits to National Letters of Intent

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Nov. 23, 2009

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head baseball coach Robbie Wine announced on Monday the signing of seven top recruits to National Letters of Intent. Among the class are five of the top prospects from Pennsylvania and two from Massachusetts. The group, that will join the program in the fall of 2010, consists of two pitchers, three position players and two others who can both pitch and play in the field.

"I am extremely excited about this incoming class, both on and off the field," said Wine. "It's an important class, which should help fill our immediate needs. It's a talented group that should jump in and make an instant impact."

Among the incoming freshmen are five from the Keystone State: right-handed pitcher Scott Dixon (Blairsville), outfielder Zach Ell (Plains), third baseman Kyle Redinger (Lebanon), pitcher/infielder Austin Urban (Windber) and left-handed pitcher Greg Welsh (Holland). They are set to join 15 Nittany Lion underclassmen from Pennsylvania who are scheduled to return in the fall of 2010.

Dixon, Team MVP at Derry Area High School, was named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette All-Star Team. Joining Dixon on the mound is Welsh, a southpaw who comes to Happy Valley from Council Rock High School South where he went a perfect 5-0 with two saves in 2009. A notable highlight came when he threw a no-hitter to clinch the conference championship against rival Council Rock North.

The only outfielder of the group, Ell comes in with an impressive resume, having been named MVP of the prestigious Pennsylvania East/West Game. He also enters his senior season at Holy Redeemer High School as a 2010 Under Armour Preseason All-American

Redinger is a third baseman who is ranked as the No. 8 player in the state and No. 325 in the country by Perfect Game. He was also rated as the eighth-best corner infield prospect at the East Coast Professional Showcase.

Rounding out the in-state talent is Urban, a middle infielder and pitcher. He was successful at the plate and on the mound in hitting .450 with three home runs while also pitching a 14-strikeout complete game against Penn Cambria.



"Recruiting coordinator Eric Folmar and pitching coach Jason Bell deserve a lot of credit for their persistence in the recruiting process," said Wine. "They've put in endless hours to find and coral these top student-athletes.

"More important than simply success on the field, all seven are tremendous in the classroom and signify what we look for in a Penn State student-athlete," Wine continued.

Along with the Pennsylvania talent, the Nittany Lions will welcome two from Massachusetts: catcher Alex Farkes (Boston) and right-handed pitcher/infielder TJ Jann (Westford). Farkes is a two-sport athlete, who also played football in high school. Coming from a long tradition of athletic excellence, Farkes' brother Zak competed collegiately at Harvard before playing five seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization. His other brother Josh played baseball at UConn, while yet another brother, Adam, is a quarterback in college.

The second of two versatile recruits, Jann was ranked the No. 3 player in Massachusetts and 437 in the country. The pitcher/infielder hit .390 with 32 RBI last year while also striking out 50 batters in 29 innings of work.

Penn State looks ahead to the 2010 season, which is quickly approaching. One of many highlights is a late February trip to Florida for the second Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge to be held in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area. Check back to in the coming days for a complete schedule announcement, with ticket information, a tentative promotional schedule and more.

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SCOTT DIXON - Derry Area High School - RHP, 6'2"/200
• Team MVP
• First-Team All Section
• Named to Pittsburgh Post Gazette All-Star Team
• Competed for Allegheny Team in the Keystone State Games
From The Coaches: "Scott is a big, strong, physical kid. He is athletic and has both a good fastball and breaking ball. He will have a chance to come in as a freshman and compete for innings."

ZACH ELL - Holy Redeemer High School - OF, 6'0"/185
• Team captain of high school, legion and fall teams
• Hit .517 and led team in every offensive category
• Played in prestigious Pennsylvania East/West Game and was named Game MVP
• Selected as a 2010 Under Armour Preseason All-American
• Played fall ball for Moosic Mets
From The Coaches: "Zach is a player with great passion for the game. He has all the physical abilities we are looking for in an outfielder - a great arm, speed, and a very good approach at the plate."

ALEX FARKES - Buckingham Browne and Nichols - C, 6'3"/210
• Two-Time First Team selection
• Selected to play in both the East Coast Professional Showcase and Area Code Games
• Has two older brothers who played Division I and professional baseball
• Also an outstanding football player
From The Coaches: "Alex has made a great transition from third base to catcher this past spring. He is a big kid with great arm strength, good hands and very good feet. Offensively, he shows great power and should drive in a lot of runs."

TJ JANN - Westford Academy - RHP/IF, 6'4"/200
• Ranked as the No. 3 player in the state by Perfect Game and No. 437 in the country
• Last spring, recorded 50 strikeouts in only 29 innings of work and hit .390 with 32 RBI
• Went 7-1 on the mound and hit .550 this past summer
• Team captain
• Played this summer for the Northeast Rays
From The Coaches: "TJ is a guy who has tremendous ability. He is one of two players we signed that we feel will help us on the mound and in the field. As a pitcher, he has a power arm with quality secondary pitches and an advanced feel for pitching. He is also a corner infielder, who has displayed the ability to hit for average and power."

KYLE REDINGER - Cedar Crest High School - 3B, 6'3"/210
• Ranked as the No. 8 player in the state by Perfect Game and No. 325 in the country
• Participated in Keystone Games and helped lead Blue Mountain to a Silver Medal
• Selected to play in the East Coast Professional Showcase
• Rated as the No. 8 Corner Infield prospect at the East Coast Professional Showcase
• Played summer ball with Elite Baseball and fall ball for the Mid-Atlantic Rookies
From The Coaches: "Kyle is another player with outstanding ability. Defensively, he's very solid. He will make all the routine plays and is athletic enough to make the great ones. Offensively, he is a guy who will hit for a high average and drive in a lot runs."

AUSTIN URBAN - Richland High School - RHP/MIF, 6'1"/175
• Helped lead team to a 19-3 record and Laurel Highlands Championship as a sophomore
• Hit .450 with three home runs in 2009
• On the mound, threw a complete game against Penn Cambria with 14 strikeouts
• Traveled the east and west coasts over the summer, playing for NorCal East and NorCal
• Played fall ball ERA Elite
From The Coaches: "Austin is very athletic and a guy we feel could play a few different places for us. He is another player we signed who we feel will help us on the mound and in the field. On the mound, he has a very good arm and a great feel for his secondary pitches. Defensively, he is an outstanding middle infielder. At the plate, he is a high contact guy that shows good gap power."

GREG WELSH - Council Rock High School South - LHP, 5'11"/185
• Went 5-0 with two saves and averaged 1.3 strikeouts per inning in 2009
• Was named First-Team Suburban One National Conference
• Led team to conference championship
• Threw no-hitter to clinch conference championship against rival Council Rock North
• Played for All-Star Academy this past summer
From The Coaches: "Greg is going to be a great addition to our staff. He has a good arm with well above average secondary pitches. He has a great idea of what he is doing on the mound and is a tremendous competitor."

NamePos.Ht./Wt.High SchoolHometown
Scott DixonRHP6'2"/200Derry Area High SchoolBlairsville, Pa.
Zach EllOF6'0"/185Holy Redeemer High SchoolPlains, Pa.
Alex FarkesC6'3"/210Buckingham Brown and NicholsBoston, Mass.
TJ JannRHP/IF6'4"/200Westford AcademyWestford, Mass.
Kyle Redinger3B6'3"/210Cedar Crest High SchoolLebanon, Pa.
Austin UrbanRHP/MIF6'1"/175Richland High SchoolWindber, Pa.
Greg WelshLHP5'11"/185Council Rock High School SouthHolland, Pa.


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