ATLANTA- The Georgia State baseball team has inked 10 talented signees during the fall early signing period- eight high school seniors and two junior college transfers.
Every player comes from the baseball-rich states of Georgia and Florida, including five high school seniors from the metro Atlanta area.
The class will enroll at GSU in the fall of 2012 in preparation for the 2013 spring season.
"Excitement is the word that comes to mind when I think about this class," says head coach Greg Frady. "This is the most talented and deepest group we've ever signed during the early signing period.
"As a staff, we assessed our needs and targeted Georgia and Florida for the pieces that we needed," Frady says. "(Assistant) coach Jason Arnold deserves a lot of credit for helping us reap the rewards of this terrific signing class."
Here is the class:
Nathan Bates - RHP, Starr's Mill HS (Ga.)
A right-hander from Senoia, Ga., who towers on the mound at 6-foot-7. He led Starr's Mill to a win over rival McIntosh junior year by allowing just one run in a complete game victory.
McCauley Bryant - RHP, Alpharetta HS (Ga.)
Right-hander who helped lead Alpharetta to a region championship and the final eight of the state playoffs as a junior. He also earned team MVP honors as a sophomore.
Brantley Burton - RHP, Lithia Springs HS (Ga.)
Right-hander who was one of the top players both on the mound and at the plate in Region 5-AAAA. He tossed a perfect game for Lithia Springs as a sophomore against Tri-Cities.
Andrew Fessler - LHP, Gordon College (Ga.)
Left-handed pitcher who went 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA over 20 appearances on the mound as a freshman at Gordon College. He allowed just four extra-base hits in 42.2 innings of work. The Dallas, Ga., native attended South Palding High School.
Garrett Ford - LHP, Loganville HS (Ga.)
A left-hander who led Loganville High to the state semifinals as a junior. He joins the ranks of Panther pitchers from LHS like current right-hander Ben Marshall and former star Romas Hicks. Ford also starred on the gridiron as a quarterback for the Red Devils.
Shane Gordon - OF, Rockledge HS (Fla.)
Multi-talented outfielder from Florida's Brevard County who has also pitched for the Raiders.
Matt McCloskey - RHP, Lake Brantley HS (Fla.)
A right-hander from central Florida who appeared with the CFBL Elite Prospects at the 2011 Under Armour Fall Classic.
Josh Merrigan - OF, Walton HS (Ga.)
Switch-hitting outfielder who has also pitched, guiding Walton team to state AAAAA playoffs as a junior. Plays on the 6-4-3 DP club team in metro Atlanta.
Chase Raffield - OF, Gordon College (Ga.)
Outfielder who redshirted last season after compiling one of the best years in Gordon College history as a freshman. He batted .392 in leading the Highlanders to the 2010 Region XVII title, setting a school record with 23 doubles and 83 runs scored while belting 14 home runs. He is a product of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, Ga.
Matt Rose - 3B/RHP, Palm Bay HS (Fla.)
A right-handed pitcher from Florida's Brevard County who can also play third base. He played with the Palm Bay East All-Stars, making two consecutive trips to the Senior League World Series.
"When we add these players with those we'll already have in place, it will put us in great position for the future," Frady adds.
The Panthers will begin the 2012 season in mid-February, looking to reach their fourth straight Colonial Athletic Association tournament and fifth in Frady's sixth season as head coach.
GSU has won 30-plus games in four straight seasons.