Beavers Wrap Up Baseball Recruiting

Sept. 9, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State has completed its spring/summer baseball recruiting class, as head coach Pat Casey announced the signing of eight players on Thursday. Joining OSU for the 2005 season will be outfielder Nik Chapin (Oregon City, Ore./Oregon City HS, Mt. Hood CC), second baseman/shortstop Ryan Gipson (Central Point, Ore./Crater HS, Shasta JC), righthanded pitcher Josh Keller (Portland, Ore./Cleveland HS), outfielder/first baseman Joey Ledesma (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe HS, Pima CC), lefthanded pitcher Anton Maxwell (Anchorage, Alas./East Anchorage HS, Feather River JC), catcher Chris Parker (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek HS), catcher/firstbaseman Nate Saylor (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hills HS, Monterey Peninsula JC) and infielder Todd Shelton (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale HS, Bakersfield JC).

'This group brings us some diversity - we've got some infielders and some pitching and some outfielders there, and that's obviously going to help us with our depth,' Casey said. 'We have a couple of junior college guys who will give us experience and some young guys will help us keep a good group in those classes. We feel that offensively, there are some guys in here who will help us; we thought that was one of the areas where we need to get better.'

The spring/summer recruits join nine players who signed letters of intent last fall - shortstop Darwin Barney (Beaverteron, Ore./Southridge HS), outfielder Brandon Christenson (Coos Bay Ore./North Bend HS, Mesa CC), righthanded pitcher Nate Fogel (Gresham, Ore./Centennial HS, Mt. Hood CC), catcher Rob Folsom (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS), righthanded pitcher Marc Hamel (Portland, Ore./David Douglas HS), righthanded pitcher/first baseman Eddie Kunz (Portland, Ore./Parkrose HS), infielder Lonnie Lechelt (Kennewick Wash./Southridge HS), righthanded pitcher/outfielder Rob Summers (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge HS) and righthanded pitcher/shortstop Dan Turpen (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville HS).

Those recruits will join OSU's returning players when the Beavers report for fall baseball on Sept. 17. Oregon State is scheduled to open the 2005 season on Feb. 4 at the Arizona State Tournament, then begins a 25-game home schedule on March 4 against California-Riverside at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

Chapin was an All-NWAACC Southern Region first team pick and was named to the NWAACC All-Tournament team in 2004, batting .365 with one home run, one triple, seven doubles, 10 runs batted in and four stolen bases. In his freshman year at Mt. Hood, he had batted .318 with three triples and nine doubles and was an all-region first team pick.

'Nik Chapin is a junior college guy who had some success offensively,' Casey said. 'He's a lefthanded swinger who can help us get better offensively.'

Said Chapin, who plans to study Liberal Arts and History at Oregon State: 'I wanted the chance to play in the Pac-10 and the chance to play close to home, and I'm excited about Oregon State's future as a baseball club.'

Gipson was an All-Golden Valley Conference first-team selection in 2004, batting .358 with three triples, nine doubles, one home run and 28 RBIs and going 16-for-16 on stolen base attempts. As a freshman at Shasta, Gipson batted .344 with four triples, five doubles and 20 RBIs and was 22-for-25 on stolen bases.

'Ryan Gipson is an in-state guy who went down to a junior college and improved his game,' Casey said. 'He has tremendous makeup and we're looking for some depth in the infield, and he can help bring us that.'

Said Gipson, who plans on studying Forestry at OSU: 'I'm from Oregon, so it's going to be nice to be closer to home. And it's going to be nice to play in the Pac-10.'

Keller was the Portland Interscholastic League Player of the Year and a first team all-state selection in 2004, posting a 12-0 record with three saves and a 1.67 earned run average; in 64.1 innings, he struck out 96 and walked 39. As a junior at Cleveland, Keller was 7-2 with a 2.56 ERA and had 69 walks and 30 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

'Josh Keller is a young freshman arm who looks like he could be real good in the future,' Casey said.

Said Keller, who will study Biochemistry at OSU: 'It was the Division I school that showed interest, so it was an easy decision for me.'

Ledesma batted .280 in an injury-hampered season in 2004, but as a freshman at Pima he had been an All-Arizona honorable mention pick while batting .346 with two home runs, 18 doubles and 35 RBIs.

'Joey Ledesma is a lefthanded swinger who played junior college ball and has some experience and can play more than one position,' Casey said.

Said Ledesma, who will study Business at OSU: 'Oregon State recruited me in 2003 but I decided to stay in school another year. I really liked the recruiter (OSU assistant coach Dan Spencer) ... he was very outgoing. They have a very down-to-earth coaching staff; they were very up-front with me in everything and I appreciated that. After I visited, I decided that out of all the schools recruiting me, OSU was the one.

'It was the best fit for me - the players and the vibe I got from everything.'

Maxwell, who will enter OSU as a sophomore, earned All-Golden Valley Conference second team honors in 2004 by posting a 2-0 record and 2.82 ERA; in 51 innings, he allowed 43 hits and 22 walks while striking out 60. As a senior at East Anchorage High, he was 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 25 innings; he was a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year for Alaska and was named the state's Most Valuable Player for 2003.

'Anton Maxwell is going to be able to come in and pitch for us right away,' Casey said. 'He had a lot of success last year in junior college and comes in as a sophomore.'

Said Maxwell, who is considering studying Pharmacy: 'I always wanted to go to Oregon State through high school. They contacted me when I was in high school and I looked into it, and it looks like a really good program. I think it will be fun, a great experience. I'll go down and try to help the ballclub.'

Parker was slowed by an injury in 2004 but batted .500 with four homers, two triples, three doubles and 19 RBIs during an abbreviated season. As a junior at Cherry Creek, he batted .380 with four homers and 27 RBIs to earn all-league first team and all-state second team honors.

'Chris Parker is a young catching prospect, and you can never have enough catching so it'll be interesting to see how he develops this fall,' Casey said.

Said Parker, who will study Business and Finance at OSU: 'I liked Oregon State a lot. The coaches and the team were really nice when I went for my visit.'

Saylor was All-Coast Conference South first team as a catcher in 2004, batting .417 (.450 in league games) with three homers, 30 RBIs and a team-high 14 stolen bases. As a freshman at Monterey Peninsula, he was second team all-conference as a first baseman after batting .345 with two homers and 10 doubles.

'Nate Saylor will compete for a couple of different spots,' Casey said. 'He had a real successful year offensively at the junior college level.'

Said Saylor, who plans to study History or Communications at OSU: 'I liked the campus, and you can't get much better than playing in the Pac-10.'

Shelton was named to the All-Western State Conference South second team in 2004 after batting .336 with one homer, one triple, five doubles and 22 RBIs; he was also hit by pitch 16 times and stole 25 bases as Bakersfield's leadoff hitter and shortstop and won the team's Gold Glove Award. As a freshman, he batted .311 with 4 doubles, 4 triples, 15 RBIs and 11 stolen bases and was hit by pitch 11 times.

'Todd Shelton is a guy we recruited out of high school and he went down to Bakersfield and had a good career there,' Casey said. 'He'll give us some depth in the infield that we need and he can play more than one position.'

Said Shelton, who plans to study Exercise and Sport Science at OSU: 'Oregon State plays a lot of quality teams. It's a great conference and a great team - when I saw them play, they executed everything.'

OREGON STATE BASEBALL SPRING/SUMMER 2004 SIGNINGSNIK CHAPIN, OF (Oregon City, Ore./Oregon City HS, Mt. Hood CC)In 2004, batted .365, 1 homer, 1 triple, 7 doubles, 10 RBIs, 4 SBsAll-NWAACC Southern Region first team; NWAACC All-Tournament TeamRYAN GIPSON, 2B/SS (Central Point, Ore./Crater HS, Shasta JC)In 2004, batted .358, 3 triples, 9 doubles, 1 homer, 28 RBIs, 16-for-16 SBsAll-Golden Valley Conference first teamJOSH KELLER, RHP (Portland, Ore./Cleveland HS)In 2004, 12-0 record, 3 saves, 1.67 ERA; 64.1 innings, 96 strikeouts, 39 walksAll-state first team; Portland Interscholastic League Player of the YearJOEY LEDESMA, OF/1B (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe HS, Pima CC)In 2004, batted .280ANTON MAXWELL, LHP (Anchorage, Alas./East Anchorage HS, Feather River JC)In 2004, 2-0 record, 2.82 ERA, 51 innings, 43 hits, 22 walks, 60 strikeoutsAll-Golden Valley Conference second teamCHRIS PARKER, C (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek HS)In 2004, batted .500, 4 homers, 2 triples, 3 doubles, 19 RBIsNATE SAYLOR, C/1B (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hills HS, Monterey Peninsula JC)In 2004, batted .417, 3 homers, 1 triple, 8 doubles, 30 RBIs, 14-for-19 SBsAll-Coast Conference South first team catcherTODD SHELTON, IF (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale HS, Bakersfield JC)In 2004, batted .336, 1 homer, 1 triple, 5 doubles, 22 RBIs, 25 SBsAll-Western State Conference South second team
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