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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Baseball announces early signing class on Wednesday

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 11/27/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — UTSA head baseball coach Jason Marshall announced Wednesday his program's 11-member recruiting class that will join the team next fall. All but player one hails from the state of Texas and three call the city of San Antonio home.

Trent Bowles (Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch HS), Ben Brookover (San Antonio, Texas/Reagan HS), Aaron Burns (Jarrell, Texas/Jarrell HS/Temple [Texas] JC), Billy Craft (San Antonio, Texas/O'Connor HS), Zach Galm (San Antonio, Texas/O'Connor HS), Chance Kirby (Austin, Texas/Hyde Park Baptist HS), Kevin Markham (Willis, Texas/Willis HS/North Central Texas JC), Nolan Savage (Lubbock, Texas/Western Texas JC), Tyler Straub (Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva HS/North Central Texas JC), Dillon Turney (Houston, Texas/Travis HS) and Skyler Valentine (Pearland, Texas/Pearland HS) make up the class of new Roadrunners.

"First and foremost, recruiting is the lifeblood of any college program and making good decisions in this area is essential to our potential success moving forward," Marshall said. "I believe I am working with two of the best guys in the business in regards to evaluating talent. Coach (Jim) Blair and Coach (Brett) Lawler have done an incredible job on this recruiting class and I appreciate their commitment and thoroughness in regards to locating, evaluating and earning the commitment from these young men. Coach Blair has been on the front lines with the majority of these recruits and helping direct the staff through the recruiting process. It will be fun to see the result of his labor next fall.

"As a coaching staff, we are extremely excited to have these 11 young men on the board for next season. Collectively, they fill some very specific and important needs that we will have following the 2014 season. With a veteran ballclub and a decorated senior class exiting the program, this is an important signing class for the program. I believe this recruiting class will help advance the program and help us meet the bar that CUSA will set for us."

Below is biographical information on all 11 signees.

Trent BowlesTrent Bowles
6-3  ·  190  ·  OF
Katy, Texas (Cinco Ranch HS)

· Hit .370 with 10 doubles, two triples and three home runs in 2013
· A member of Kyle Chapman organization

Coach Blair on Bowles …
"Trent is an exceptional athlete who we project to be a big contributor early on. He was one of our favorite athletes to watch this summer and he continued to get better every week we saw him. Like the other position players in this class, he has a chance to be a complete player at the college level. We are excited to watch him develop when he is playing baseball full time."

Ben BrookoverBen Brookover
6-1  ·  190  ·  1B/P
San Antonio, Texas (Reagan HS)

· 2013 first-team all-district selection
· Hit .374 with seven doubles and three home runs in 2013
· Posted 7-1 record with 2.25 ERA on the mound for the Rattlers
· 2012-13 Oakley Battle of the Borders Tournament participant
· 2013 Battle of the Borders All-Tournament Team
· Ranked third-best first baseman in Texas by Perfect Game
· Member of South Texas Sliders organization

Coach Blair on Brookover …
"Ben is one of the better hitters in San Antonio and we are happy to keep him here at home.  He has an advanced approach at the plate and should develop into a middle of the order type of hitter.  He has great feel for the game and has competed at a very high level.  He will also have the ability to help on the mound.  He has a good feel for pitching and we have seen his velocity take a big step forward this past summer."

Aaron BurnsAaron Burns
6-4  ·  210  ·  P
Jarrell, Texas (Jarrell HS/Temple [Texas] JC)

· 2013 second-team all-conference
· Posted a 7-3 record with a 2.78 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 90 innings as a freshman at McMurry
· 2012 TSWA first-team all-state
· 2012 THSCA second-team all-state
· 2012 Central Texas Utility Player of the Year
· 2012 All-State Tournament (utility player)

Coach Blair on Burns …
"Aaron has the potential to be a dominating starting pitcher after his time at Temple College. He has a great frame and showed tremendous stuff this fall, running a good live fastball up to 92 at times. He has a very polished delivery and already has valuable experience at the college level. We have high expectations for Aaron and feel like he will continue to progress. We can’t wait to get him here."

Billy CraftBilly Craft
6-0  ·  190  ·  OF
San Antonio, Texas (O’Connor HS)

· Four-year letterwinner
· 2013 first-team all-district selection

Coach Blair on Craft …
"Billy will bring with him a very good bat from the left side of the plate. He is an accomplished two-sport athlete at O’Conner and was an integral part of his team reaching the state semifinals in 2013. His overall mentality and toughness really stuck out on the field for us this summer. Once he is focused on baseball full time, we feel like he has a chance to develop into an impact bat for us. We are happy he and his family choose UTSA."

Zach GalmZach Galm
6-0  ·  180  ·  UT
San Antonio, Texas (O'Connor HS)

· 2013 Baseball America All-American
· 2013 Max Preps Underclass All-American
· 2013 all-area selection
· 2013 all-city choice
· 2013 unanimous first-team all-district honoree
· Hit .384 with 39 runs scored, 12 HR and 42 RBIs in 2013
· 2013 San Antonio Area home run leader

Coach Blair on Galm …
"Zach is a very athletic young man who can move all over the field. It is very important to our coaching staff to keep the best players in San Antonio here at home. We love what he brings to the table and feel like he will be a good fit in our program. He has the makings of being a true five-tool-type player at the college level and he has already put up huge numbers for a very good 5A program. Zach also has the chance to compete for a position on the mound, as his arm strength one of his best tools. We look forward to having him in our program."

Chance KirbyChance Kirby
6-0  ·  170  ·  P
Austin, Texas (Hyde Park Baptist HS)

· 2013 first-team all-state selection
· Three-time first-team all-district honoree
· Registered a 10-3 record with a 1.66 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 2013
· A member of Washington Nationals Area Code Team
· Plays for the Austin Wings organization

Coach Blair on Kirby …
"Chance’s pitchability was off the charts for us this summer. He brings three plus pitches to the table and that allows him to be a front-line guy. We feel that he could pitch for us right now, as his maturity and competitive make-up are very advanced.  He competed in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., this past summer against the best competition in the country. We feel he is one of the best high school pitchers in the state of Texas in the 2014 class. We welcome him and his family to UTSA."

Kevin MarkhamKevin Markham
6-0  ·  190  ·  UT
Willis, Texas (Willis HS/North Central Texas JC)

· A member of the 2013 Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star Team
· Hit .344 with 13 doubles, five triples and two home runs in 2013
· A three-time all-region, all-area and all-district selection at Willis High School

Coach Blair on Markham …
"We were thrilled to get Kevin in this class. He truly is a complete package as a player. He has the ability to hit for power from the left side of the plate, is an above average runner, has a great arm and his baseball make-up is outstanding. We expect him to compete at the top of the order next year and his versatility will allow him to move around, as he can probably play any position on the field. His intangibles as a player are tremendous and we are excited he is coming to San Antonio."

Noaln SavageNolan Savage
6-1  ·  205  ·  P
Lubbock, Texas (Western Texas JC)

· 2013 Most Outstanding Pitcher for the Kelowna Falcons of the West Coast League
· 2011 TXSWA all-state selection
· 2011 All-South Plains, All-City and All-District Pitcher of the Year

Coach Blair on Savage …
"Nolan projects to be a power pitcher for us next season. He is a very good athlete and his stuff will allow him to fit into different roles. He has three quality pitches that allow him to be a power-pitch type of starter. We have also seen velocity spikes in shorter stints, which may lend to him being a dominate closer type, especially with his competitive demeanor. His work ethic is off the charts and we think he will bring a contagious passion for development to our pitching staff."

Tyler StraubTyler Straub
6-3  ·  195  ·  INF
Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS/North Central Texas JC)

· Registered a .327 batting average in 2013
· A member of the 2013 Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star Team
· A two-time state champion at La Cueva High School
· Hit .481 in his senior year en route to all-state honors

Blair on Straub …
"Tyler will be a great addition to our team in 2015, as he has already had an accomplished career. He is your prototypical tall rangy shortstop. He has great defensive skills and the offensive tool set to be an impact bat. His ability, coupled with his passion for the game, make him a great asset. He has a history of being part of winning programs and his enthusiasm while on the field is fun to watch."

Dillon TurneyDillon Turney
6-0  ·  170  ·  P
Houston, Texas (Travis HS)

· Posted a 5-2 record with a 2.20 ERA and 58 strikeouts and allowed just 22 hits in 35 innings in 2013
· A member of Houston Heat organization

Coach Blair on Turney …
"Dillon will give us depth on the left side of the mound and he has the ability to be a front-line arm. He has a plus breaking pitch and tremendous athleticism, which should allow him to impact our program right away. His ability to spin the breaking ball is what really separated him this summer. With added development and strength, his stuff should allow him to be a dominant pitcher at the college level. We welcome Dillon to the Roadrunners family."

Skyler ValentineSkyler Valentine
5-10  ·  175  ·  INF
Pearland, Texas (Pearland HS)

· 2013 second-team All-Greater Houston honoree
· 2013 first-team all-district selection
· 2013 Pearland Oilers Offensive Player of the Year
· Hit .416 with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs and 35 RBIs in 2013
· A Texas Scouts Association Game participant
· A member of Texas Rangers Scout Team in Jupiter, Fla.
· Plays for the Houston Banditos organization

Coach Blair on Valentine …
"Skyler is a versatile player that has the ability to play anywhere on the field. He has a plus tool set, which separated him for us in the recruiting process. We were very impressed with his baseball make-up and feel like he will mirror many of the other great players we have had in our program from Pearland High School. Some of his best performances have come on big stages and we are excited to have him at UTSA."

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