WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNCW's latest baseball signing class definitely has a North Carolina feel.
Eight of the nine signees hail from the Tar Heel State.
Among the signees are a couple of players who played high school baseball locally -- Brooks Baldwin (Whiteville High) and Matthew Suggs (Hoggard High).
"We feel like we have put together an exciting class of student-athletes with all but one hailing from the state of North Carolina," said UNCW coach Mark Scalf, who enters his 27th season in charge of the Seahawks. "We were looking to add athleticism and versatility and feel we have accomplished that with all of our position-player signees. The pitchers feature projectable, power front line arms with plus off-speed stuff. We are extremely excited about this group of quality young men. We will continue to search and add a few more pieces as we get into the spring."
Here's what Scalf had to say about his newest recruits (info from UNCWsports.com):
Brooks Baldwin (Infielder / Whiteville, N.C.) is a product of prep-power Whiteville and has helped the Wolfpack to a pair of 1A State titles, including last spring. Baldwin was named All-State and Conference last season while splitting time between the mound and infield. Ha played with American Legion Post 137 last summer and participated in the East Coast Professional Showcase in Tampa, Fla.
"Brooks is an athletic switch-hitter who can handle the bat from both sides while providing gap power. He has the ability to play multiple infield positions and catch which makes him valuable early in his career. He comes from a high school with a strong winning tradition."
Jason Hudak (Right Handed Pitcher / Mooresville, N.C.) earned first-team All-State honors at Southlake Christian Academy after striking out 76 and walking just 16 over 43 innings. He also hit .488 and stole 23 bases in 2017. As a junior, Jason also earned All-Conference honors and played in the North Carolina State Games.
"Jason comes from a smaller high school, but he has big-time potential. He has a plus breaking ball to go with his upper 80's sinking fastball that reaches 90mph on regular basis. Once he gets in our program, we feel he'll make quick improvements. He is really strong competitor and has a chance to make an immediate impact."
Justin Jarvis (Right Handed Pitcher / Mooresville, N.C.) was named All-State after striking out 77 batters over 35 innings his junior season with Lake Norman High School. He posted a 1.35 earned runs average while earning All-Conference honors. Over the summer, he pitched for Canes National 17U and pitched in both the Perfect Game National Showcase and the East Coast Pro Showcase in Tampa.
"Justin will be close to being able to contribute on the weekend early in his career because he is a strike thrower with an advanced feel for his secondary pitches. His fastball will sit in the low 90s with solid life. He has loose arm action, which leads one to believe he has more in the tank when it comes to velocity. He is also a fierce competitor on the mound and shown the ability to win big games on the summer circuit."
Broadus Roberson (Outfielder / Matthews, N.C.) hit .365 with 33 runs scored and 17 driven in as a junior at Charlotte Country Day School. He earned second-team All-Conference honors while playing for coach Mike Hennesseey. Roberson played with the Dirtbags last summer.
"Broadus is an extremely talented two-sport athlete. Once he has the opportunity to concentrate solely on baseball, he has the tools to become elite player in our program. He has the ability to play all three outfield spots while displaying plus-power potential."
Adam Smith (Right Handed Pitcher / West Chester, Pa.) hit .250 and owned a 5-1 record his junior season at West Chester East, earning second-team All-Chesmont and Philadelphia honors. Smith comes from an athletic family that includes six relatives who played collegiately. His father, Harold, played baseball at King's College while his mother, Colleen, played lacrosse at Towson.
"Adam has an athletic body and shown he can really defend at the SS position in addition to showing a plus arm, which stood out on the summer circuit. We think he has the chance to make great strides as a hitter once he gets into our strength program."
Jake Smith (Right Handed Pitcher / Chapel Hill, N.C.) posted a 6-1 record and a 0.58 ERA as a junior at Chapel Hill High School. He's ranked 382nd overall in Perfect Game's national rankings and fifth in the state of North Carolina. Smith was an All-Conference selection and was named Conference Most Valuable Player for the Tigers and coach Lee Land in 2017. Smith played for Canes American over the summer and was named All-Tournament at the 17U National Championship.
"We expect Jake to compete for innings as a freshman because he really knows how to handle himself on the mound and has good stuff. He has an athletic lean body and loose arm, which allows his fastball to sit in the upper 80's while reaching the low 90s. His curveball has a tight spin with good downward action for a potential out pitch. We look forward to watching him develop."
Matthew Suggs (Catcher / Wilmington, N.C.) is a local product from the talented Wilmington baseball community. Suggs hit .356 as a junior and knocked in 23 runs as a junior at Hoggard High School. In two seasons with the Vikings and Coach Jeep St. Leger, Suggs has a .343 career batting average. He was named All-Mideastern Conference and All-Area by the Wilmington Star News. During the summer, Suggs played for the Dirtbags as well as Region II in the Powerade North Carolina State games.
"Matt is a very good defensive catcher with a strong and accurate arm. He has great leadership skills and will be terrific at working with our pitching staff. He has shown the ability to handle the bat and should learn to drive the baseball as he develops strength."
Christopher Thorburn (Outfielder / Raleigh, N.C.) is a three-year letterwinner for coach Jim Liebler and the Crusaders of Cardinal Gibbons. As a junior, Thorburn hit .324 with a pair of home runs and 15 runs batted in. He's a two-time All-Conference selection. Thorburn also played with Canes American last summer at showcases in Arizona and Georgia. His brother, Robbie, was a four-year starter for the Seahawks and was drafted by Baltimore in the 2017 MLB draft.
"Chris is very familiar with our program having been around watching his brother over the last four years. He is a left-handed hitting outfielder with gap power who should fit in on either corner spot. He is another two-sport player who should make big gains once he focuses on baseball only."
Tyler Wilson (Right Handed Pitcher / Durham, N.C.) earned All-Conference honors while hitting .309 and going 3-1 with two saves on the mound for Jordan High School. In his career with the Falcons, Wilson has appeared in 61 games and posted a .279 ERA in 52.2 innings.