Beavers Wrap Up Baseball Recruiting

Dec. 11, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State has completed its baseball recruiting class for the Fall, 2003 early signing period with five more players, OSU head coach Pat Casey announced Thursday. Joining the Beavers next fall will be outfielder Brandon Christenson (Coos Bay, Ore./North Bend HS, Mesa CC), lefthanded pitcher Matt Duryea (Coos Bay, Ore./Marshfield HS), catcher Rob Folsom (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS), infielder Lonnie Lechelt (Kennewick, Wash./Southridge HS) and outfielder/first baseman Ryan Royster (Eugene, Ore./Churchill HS).

That rounds out a group of 11 signees for the fall. Announced earlier had been the signings of shortstop Darwin Barney (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge HS); righthanded pitchers Nate Fogle (Gresham, Ore./Centennial HS, Mt. Hood CC) and Marc Hamel (Portland, Ore./David Douglas HS); righthanded pitcher/first baseman Eddie Kunz (Portland, Ore./Parkrose HS); righthanded pitcher/outfielder Rob Summers (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge HS); and righthanded pitcher/shortstop Dan Turpen (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville HS).

'These are some young guys who are good athletes and they're all from the Pacific Northwest,' Casey said. 'We think that athletically, they bring a lot of diversity to our club and a lot of them are going to have an opportunity to play early.'

Christenson played in his league's sophomore all-star game this fall. Last spring, he batted .300 with one triple, five doubles, 13 runs batted in and was 13-for-18 stealing bases; as a high school senior, he batted .460 and earned all-state second team honors.

'I'm from Oregon and I've always been a Beaver fan,' said Christenson, who plans to study secondary education and math. 'I just thought it would be great to be back home where my friends and family could watch me. I like the program, and I know the coaches and a couple of the players.'

Said Casey: 'Brandon is a very solid defensive outfielder and he'll bring us great experience. He's got great instincts and his arm strength has gotten better.'

Duryea was an all-league second team selection last season as a centerfielder, batting .449 with seven homers. On the mound he had a 5-2 record with 1 save and a 2.31 earned run average; in 49 innings, he recorded 96 strikeouts.

'The recruiting classes OSU had for 2004 and 2003 influenced my decision,' said Duryea, who is considering studying physical therapy. 'I really liked the coaches and what they had to say; most of my decision was the players and coaches.'

Said Casey: 'Matt is a lefthander who really has pitch ability. We really like his ability and competitiveness. We feel he fits right in with this class and that he can really help us on the left side.'

Folsom was conference player of the year and an all-state first team pick last spring, batting .541 with nine homers and 36 RBIs for North Medford. During the American Legion season, he batted .470 with 10 homers. He's thinking of studying engineering.

'I think in the next few years, we could be one of the better teams in the Pac-10,' Folsom said. 'We've got a lot of pitchers coming in, and that made me excited. I want to play against the best teams and some of those teams are in our conference so that's going to be exciting.'

Said Casey: 'Rob is the epitome of the ultra-competitor. He's been a starter in a very good baseball program since he was a freshman, and he was a cornerback and tailback on a football team that played for the state championship. He's a tough, tough kid. He can really swing the bat and he brings a tremendous makeup to our program.'

Lechelt was an all-league first team selection last spring, batting .411 with three homers and 15 stolen bases while playing shortstop most of the season. He may study engineering.

'During my visit, the coaches were really great - I really liked them,' Lechelt said of picking OSU. 'They've got a great baseball tradition and a good educational program in engineering. It really impressed me.'

Said Casey: 'Lonnie is very good, defensively, playing the middle of the infield. He runs well and he's another guy who comes from a solid baseball program.'

Royster hit .385 last spring with six homers and 28 RBIs while being named to the all-league first team and all-state second team. He bumped that to .478 with 23 homers, 91 RBIs and a .978 slugging percentage during the American Legion season.

'I really liked the coaching staff,' Royster said of OSU, where he plans to study business. 'I'd already been introduced to them and knew them for a year-and-a-half before I signed. We've got a great recruiting class - both last year and this year, the guys I'll be playing with. We've all looked around at each other and think we can be good in a couple years, and we want to bring that here, close to where we're from.'

Said Casey: 'Athletically, Ryan has a very high ceiling and he could be a very impressive player here. He runs well, he has good arm strength and he has some power. He'll be a fun kid to coach and to watch develop.'

OREGON STATE BASEBALL LETTERS OF INTENT - FALL, 2003Darwin Barney, SS (Beaverteron, Ore./Southridge HS)In 2003, batted .412, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs, 9 SBsMetro League Player of the Year; all-state first teamBrandon Christenson, OF (Coos Bay Ore./North Bend HS, Mesa CC)In 2003, batted .300, 13 RBIs, 13-for-18 SBsACCAC Fall Sophomore All-Star GameMatt Duryea, LHP (Coos Bay, Ore./Marshfield HS)In 2003, 5-2 record, 1 save, 2.31 ERA; batted .449, 7 HRsAll-Midwestern League second team as outfielderNate Fogle, RHP (Gresham, Ore./Centennial HS, Mt. Hood CC)In 2003, 5-2, 1.41 ERANWAACC All-Southern Region first teamRob Folsom, C (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS)In 2003, batted .541, 9 HRs, 36 RBIsSouthern Oregon Conference Player of the Year; all-state first teamMarc Hamel, RHP (Portland, Ore./David Douglas HS)In 2003, 5-1, 2.46 ERA; batted .389, 3 HRs, 24 RBIs, 3-3 SBsAll-Mt. Hood Conference second team first basemanEddie Kunz, RHP/1B (Portland, Ore./Parkrose HS)In 2003, 1-4, 1 save, 4.35 ERA; batted .278, 3 HRs, 11 RBIsLonnie Lechelt, IF (Kennewick Wash./Southridge HS)In 2003, batted .411, 3 HRs, 15 SBsAll-Big 9 Conference first teamRyan Royster, OF/1B (Eugene, Ore./Churchill HS)In 2003, batted .385, 6 HRs, 28 RBIsAll-Midwestern League first team; all-state second teamRob Summers, RHP/OF (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge HS)In 2003, 6-0, 1 save, 1.06 ERA; batted .360, 2 HRs, 18 RBIsAll-Metro League first team pitcher; all-state third team pitcherDan Turpen, RHP/SS (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville HS)In 2003, 8-5, 2.06 ERA; batted .468, 2 HRs, 24 RBIsPacific-9 Conference Co-Player of the Year; all-state third team pitcher
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