Florence, Ala. - University of North Alabama Head Baseball Coach Mike Keehn has announced the early signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent with the Lions for 2013-14.
The list of signees includes left-handed pitcher Bradley Bailey of Haleyville High School, left-handed pitcher Will Bishop of Shoals Christian School, outfielder Mitchell Lovell of Sheffield High School, shortstop Colby Smith of Mars Hill Bible School, catcher Payton Thomas of Arab High School, right-handed pitcher Austin Carpenter of Gulf Coast State College and outfielder Jakob Smith of Itawamba Community College.
“We are excited about the quality of players we have signed in the early period,” said Keehn. “By signing five high school players, all coming from very good programs, we have helped keep our future bright. Bailey and Thomas have a lot of upside and both will be looking at competing next fall.”
“We are also very excited to sign three players from the Shoals Area in Bishop, Lovell and Colby Smith. They have all been on very successful programs with a lot of post season success. We look at all three as having a chance to compete for a position in the Fall of 2013.”
Keehn said the two-year transfers will also be expected to contribute early.
“The two junior college transfers will be able to help up us immediately next fall,” he said. ” Jake Smith is a dual player who is a very talented outfielder but also can help on the mound. Carpenter should be able to compete for a weekend role on our pitching staff next season. He has good poise and knows how to pitch and will fit well into the UNA pitching staff.”
2013 UNA Baseball Early Signees
High School Players
LHP Bradley Bailey Haleyville High School Haleyville, Alabama
Bailey finished the 2012 season with a 7-2 record on the mound and an ERA of 1.79 while striking out 63. His batting average was .291 with a .388 on-base percentage. Bradley has helped Haleyville reach the second round of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012 and was also selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game.
LHP Will Bishop Shoals Christian School Florence, Alabama
Bishop was 7-7 with a 2.36 era striking out 119 in 80 innings. Bishop also hit .440 with 3 HR, 17 doubles and 46 RBI while helping Shoals Christian to the 2012 1A State Championship. Bishop, a three time All-State selection, as a Junior, was the 1A Hitter of the Year and the 1A Player of the Year.
OF Mitchell Lovell Sheffield High School Sheffield, Alabama
Lovell hit .333 with 15 doubles, 28 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for Sheffield last season in helping the Bulldogs to a 33-19 record and the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. “Mitchell is a very hard
SS Colby Smith Mars Hill Bible School Florence, Alabama
As a junior, Smith was named all-state as a utility player. Smith plays shortstop hit .368 with 3 HR, 42 RBI and 10 SB , but also set a school record for wins as he compiled a 13-1 pitching record and help lead Mars Hill to the 2A Baseball State Championship.
C Payton Thomas Arab High School Arab, Alabama
Thomas hit .365 with 5 doubles and 17 RBI along with 5 stolen bases for Arab High School last season. He was very solid behind the plate with only 2 errors, including 21 assists and throwing out 14 of 18 runners.
RHP Austin Carpenter Gulf Coast State College-Panama City, Florida Fort Payne, Alabama
Carpenter was 3-2, 5 Saves and struck out 27 in 28 innings and walked only 9 with a 4.15 era. He helped Gulf Coast State College to a 32-16 record and a 3rd place finish in the Panhandle Conference as a Freshman.
OF Jakob Smith Itawamba CC – Fulton, Mississippi West Point, Mississippi
Smith played his Freshman year at Wallace State CC in Hanceville, Alabama before transferring to Itawamba. Smith, one of the top defensive centerfielders in the area, will also see time on the mound for Itawamba CC this Spring.
Courtesy UNA Media Relations