Lewis-Clark State College
Cheff Announces 2001 Recruiting Class
LEWISTON, ID-Lewis-Clark State Colleges head baseball coach, Ed Cheff, has announced this years recruiting class. Cheff, who will enter his 26th season at the helm of the Warrior program, has reloaded the team with a bevy of junior college transfers and several high school stand outs. The recruits have accepted scholarships to attend and play baseball this year for Lewis-Clark State.
Cheffs main goal was to recruit players who can provide an immediate impact to the Warrior offense that struggled this past year. "We were not a real good hitting team last year and Ill take the credit for that," said Cheff. "We are going to recruit to get better and make a greater on-field commitment."
A trio comes in from one of the most prestigious JC programs in the country, Sacramento City College in California. David Bernstine, a 6-1, 220-pound outfielder/corner infielder, is no stranger to the LCSC program. He is the nephew of former Warrior, Nehames "Pookie" Bernstine (1981-82). David was selected as a California Junior College All-America this past year. Unlike his uncle who was one of the fastest players to don a L-C uniform, Bernstine is a proven power hitter and is capable of playing several positions. This past year, he batted .415 with seven home runs and 36 RBI. Joining Bernstine are fellow Panthers, Marc Gallagher and Paul Gallegos. Gallagher, a 5-11, 185-pound outfielder, was an All-Bay Valley Conference selection. He hit .348 with five homers and 40 RBI and also collected 15 doubles. Gallagher is an aggressive player who will fit in to the Warrior baseball player mold. Gallegos is a 5-10, 185-pound outfielder. He was also an All-Bay Valley Conference player. Gallegos is a switch-hitter and has all the tools to be a solid center fielder for LCSC.
Matt Morgan comes to L-C via the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. He was a California Junior College All-America selection and helped lead the Giants to the Central Valley Conference Title. Morgan hit .348 with nine doubles and 25 RBI this past spring. The 6-1, 180-pounder, a first-team All-CVC selection last spring, can play shortstop or third base and is solid in the field. Cheff believes he could become a quality hitter as he progresses in the Warrior strength training program.
Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA has produced several Warrior players over the years and Kona Sampiao continues the tradition of Brahmas travelling east to Lewiston. The 5-10, 185-pound Sampiao is a pure athlete who can play several different positions. He was selected to the All-Western State Conference team in 2000, but did not play this past year due to an arm injury. "His injury will slow him up in the fall, but his outstanding bat should find him a spot on the field come spring," said Cheff.
Tory Haven, a NJCAA Division I First-Team All-America, comes to L-C from Highland Community College in Kansas. A native of Salem, OR, he hit .455 with 19 home runs (a new school record) and 66 runs batted in. He led the team in RBI, hits (70), doubles (12), and runs scored (55). The 6-4, 230-pound Haven was also selected to the NJCAA All-Region VI team as an outfielder, and was named to the KJCCC All-Eastern Division first-team and the Divisions Co-Most Valuable Player. He will see time in the outfield or at first base for the Warriors.
The College of San Mateos Brian Bowman will play at LCSC next year. The 5-9, 170-pound outfielder fits the mold of a leadoff or number two hitter in the lineup. Bowman does have some power and can hit for average as he did this past season at CSM. He batted .328 with 14 doubles, five home runs, and drove in 34 runs. Bowman is a scrappy player with solid hitting skills.
Joe Wagner, a 6-5, 245-pound first baseman transfers in to Lewis-Clark State from the Community College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. The Coeur dAlene native batted .342 with eight home runs, 16 doubles, and 56 RBI in 2001. Wagner should add some firepower to the Warrior offense next spring.
Yakima Valley Community College catcher/utility player Scott Wilson will attend LCSC and play baseball. He was voted the coaches and by his teammates as the captain this past season. Wilson was injured for the majority of the season, but is healthy now and could work his way into the starting lineup at several positions.
Cheff did not limit his recruiting to only junior college players. He also signed five players out of high school. Lewiston Highs Neil Litchfield will stay close to home and continue the pipeline of excellent athletes to make the transition from high school to college. The 6-1, 200-pound outfielder was an All-State selection for the Bengals in not only baseball, but football as well. Cheff thinks he could be one of the best players to ever don the Warrior uniform.
Gavin Concepcion comes to LCSC by way of Pearl City High School in Hawaii. A Honolulu Advertiser Honorable Mention All-State selection and second-team All-OIA catcher, he comes to the Warriors with high regards from ex-Warrior Tyler Cheff, a current high school coach in Hawaii and former L-C assistant coach. The 5-10, 195-pounder could see time behind the plate next year.
Tyson Dietz was an All-State selection from Minico High School in Rupert, ID and was also named the Region 3 Player of the Year. A shortstop/second baseman, he batted .467 with four triples and 14 doubles for coach Russ Wrights Spartans.
Justin Fuller, a 6-1, 175-pound middle infielder from Lynwood High School in Washington. He is a longtime pupil of Bill Stubbs respected baseball instructional camps. Both Cheff and Stubbs feel that Fullers potential level of play is quite high. He is also an excellent student.
Hubert Pruett is a Honolulu Advertiser second-team All-State pick as well as a first-team All-ILH selection as a utility player. He is another Hawaiian player for LCSC, out of Kamehameha High.
Recruiting also needed to be done in regards to the pitching staff. After losing two starters, a reliever, and setup man, to the draft, and a couple more to graduation, help would be welcome. Ten pitchers have accepted baseball scholarships to LCSC, many of whom will see mound time quickly.
J.D. Burns, a 6-5, 195-pound right-hander, comes to LCSC from Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA. He helped lead the Vikings to a second-place finish in the NWAACC East Division. Burns also pitched for Clarkston High School. He played for former Warrior Glen Johnson at Big Bend CC.
Tony Caswick, a 6-3, 170-pound righty, transfers in from Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington, CA. His sidearm delivery and mental toughness are similar to former Warrior and current Atlanta Brave, Steve Reed. Caswick was a second-team South Coast Conference selection. He posted a 2-0 record with 41 strike outs and a minuscule 1.96 earned run average.
Joining Sampiao from L.A. Pierce College is Ryan Cowsill. He is a 6-0, 175-pound right-hander.
Casey Hoorelbeke, a 6-7, 240-pound right-handed pitcher travels south to Lewiston from North Idaho College in Coeur dAlene. He was selected in the 29th Round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft by the Florida Marlins. This past spring, Hoorelbeke posted a 6-6 record with a 6.00 ERA. In two years, he has recorded 96 strike outs and finished with an 11-8 record. Hoorelbeke was also a USA Today All-America basketball selection at Coeur dAlene High School.
Jeremy Mannin, a 6-6, 195-pound southpaw, comes to LCSC via Wenatchee Valley College. Out of Wenatchee High, he was selected in the 44th Round of the 1999 draft by the Chicago Cubs. Mannin went 4-7 with a 3.03 ERA and 58 strike outs for WVC.
Justin Matsukawa is transferring in from the University of Hawaii-Hilo
Former Oregon State University reliever Nick Renault will bring his talents to Harris Field. The 5-9, 170-pound rightys fastball has been clocked in the low-90s. In 18 appearances in 2000 for OSU, Renault posted a 1-0 record with a pair of saves and a 4.76 earned run average.
Nick Sealy, a College of the Redwoods transfer, can throw in the mid-80s, but will do so from several different arm angles. The 6-0, 180-pound right-hander will cause a lot of problems for hitters next year. Sealy posted a 5-6 record with 72 strike outs in 66 innings of work.
Phoenix College transfer Will Simmons helped lead the Bears to second place at the NJCAA Championships. This 6-5, 210-pound right-hander is primarily a fastball pitcher, clocked in the 88-92 mile per hour range. Former Warrior J.R. Crider also pitched at Phoenix College.
Spencer Stein is a 6-4, 220-pound transfer from Lower Columbia College from Longview, WA. He is a right-handed fastball pitcher with a good splitter. Stein posted a 10-1 record as a freshman and 8-3 as a sophomore for the Red Devils and coach Kelly Smith. He helped lead Lower Columbia to the NWAACC West Division Title and a second place finish in the conference tournament. Stein was named All-Tournament, first-team West Division, and second-team All-Conference.
Mark Sutherland, a 5-11, 190-pound right-handed pitcher from Porterville College in California and Kevin Welch, a 6-4, 185-pound righty from Glendale Community College, also in California, rounds out the class. Welch posted a 6-3 record with 62 strike outs and a 3.94 ERA for the Vaqueros.