Baseball class finalized

TUSCALOOSA -- University of Alabama head baseball coach Jim Wells announced Monday that 13 student-athletes have signed letters of intent to play baseball for the Crimson Tide beginning next year.

The signing class, which contains nine high school players and four transfers, includes some the top players in the country.

"I think we have put together a good all-around class, with special emphasis on pitching," Wells said. "We have added strength up the middle with pitching, a good middle infielder and a good catcher for the future. I think this is a very good class."

Alabama landed three of the nation's top100 high school players, according to Baseball America. Those three players are pitcher/infielder Josh Copeland (Northgate HS, Palmetto, Ga.), shortstop Cale Iorg (Karns HS, Knoxville, Tenn.) and catcher Chris Kirkland (South Doyle HS, Knoxville, Tenn.).

Four players rank among the nation's Top 200 High School senior according to Team One Baseball. That list includes pitcher Patrick Bryant (Pensacola Catholic HS, Pensacola, Fla.), Copeland, Iorg and Kirkland.

Season tickets for the upcoming 2004 season are now on sale through the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office (205-348-2262). Ticket applications have been mailed and existing season ticket holders have a Dec. 12, 2003 deadline to renew their season tickets.

The Crimson Tide opens the 2004 season on Friday, Feb. 13 against the New Orleans Privateers at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The 2004 season marks the 10th year for Alabama coach Jim Wells, who has led the Crimson Tide the three trips to the College World Series (1996-97-99) and five SEC Tournament Championships (1995-96-97-99-2002-03), including the last two in a row.

2004-05 Crimson Tide Baseball Signees

1) Patrick Bryant (RHP, 6-4, 190, Pensacola Catholic HS, Pensacola, Florida)
2) Josh Copeland (RHP/3B, 6-3, 200, Northgate HS, Palmetto, Georgia)
3) Wes Henderson (1B, 6-2, 205, Oxford HS, Oxford, Alabama)
4) Cale Iorg (SS, 6-2, 175, Karns HS, Knoxville, Tennessee)
5) Casey Kebodeaux (RHP, 6-2, 200, Mandeville HS, Mandeville, Louisiana)
6) Chris Kirkland (C, 6-3, 190, South Doyle HS, Knoxville, Tennessee)
7) Ray Liotta (LHP, 6-4, 217, Gulf Coast Community College, Kenner, Louisiana)
8) Kyle Moore (SS, 6-2, 190, Edgewood Academy, Montgomery, Alabama)
9) David Robertson (RHP/INF, 5-10, 170, Paul W. Bryant HS, Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
10) Trey Sheilds (RHP, 6-7, 230, Gulf Coast CC, Panama City, Florida)
11) Ben Soignier (INF, 6-0, 185, West Monroe HS, Monroe, Louisiana)
12) Adam Tennyson (RHP, 6-1, 200, Shelton State CC, Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
13) Nick Tisone (LHP, 6-1, 180, Tallahassee Community College, Covington, Louisiana)

Signee Sketches

RHP Patrick Bryant (6-4, 190, Pensacola Catholic HS, Pensacola, Florida)
  • Attends Pensacola Catholic High School
  • Plays for coach Richard Labounty
  • As a junior, Bryant posted a 9-1 (.900) record and 1.01 ERA with 120 strikeouts
  • Pitched three no-hitters
  • Also, fired a two-hit shutout in the semifinals of the state playoffs.
  • Led Catholic HS to the Class 2A state title
  • On the gridiron, he threw for more than 1,800 yards and 17 TDs as a junior
  • Rated as the 71st prospect by Team One Baseball's Top 100 HS prospects
  • Rated as the No. 1 football prospect in north Florida by The Pensacola News Journal
RHP/3B Josh Copeland (6-3, 200, Northgate HS, Palmetto, Georgia)
  • Two-year starter at Northgate High School
  • Coached by Greg Hamilton
  • In his two year career, Copeland has batted .583 (82-for-151) with 26 HRs and 83 RBI
  • As a junior (2003), Josh hit .513 (41-for-80) with 13 HRs and 46 RBI
  • Also added 34 runs, 11 doubles, eight walks and nine HBPs (10 K)
  • On the mound, he was 8-2 with one save and a 1.40 ERA
  • In 12 games (10 GS), Copeland worked 55 innings and allowed 11 earned runs, 37 hits, 16 walks and recorded 100 Ks
  • He averaged 12.7 strikeouts per seven innings pitched
  • Led team to a 20-8 record and the Douglas County Regional title and the Region 4AAAA state playoffs
  • Named Fist Team All-State by The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
  • Named Douglas County Player of the Year
  • Named 2003 Northgate HS Most Valuable Player
  • Also named Northgate HS Offensive MVP and Pitching MVP
  • As a sophomore, Josh batted .571 (39-for-71) with 13 HRs and 37 RBI.
  • He also added 23 runs, 10 doubles, eight walks, two stolen bases and one triple, while striking out only four times
  • On the mound, he appeared in 10 games and compiled a 5-1 record with two saves
  • Led his team to to a 19-5 record, the Douglas County Region Championship and a berth in the 4AAAA state playoffs.
  • Named First-Team All-State by The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
  • Named Northgate HS Offensive MVP
  • Rated 19th by Baseball America's Top 100 HS Prospects
  • Rated 120th by Team One Baseball's Top 200 HS Prospects
  • Played at the World Wooden Bat Association Tournament in Atlanta, Ga (2003 summer)
  • In one game against the East Cobb Brewers, Copeland pitched three innings and struck out six batters to record the save while hitting a three-run home run in the Warhawks 10-0 win
  • Played for Baseball America team at the 2003 Woodne Bat Tournament in Jupiter, Florida
  • Played summer ball in 2002 and 2003 for the Ohio Warhawks
  • In summer of 2003, Josh batted .322 (21-for-00) with two HRs and 21 RBI. He also added two doubles, three stolen base and 12 runs scored. On the mound, he was 1-1 with 1.84 ERA. He added 21 strikeouts in 17 innings of work
  • Also participated in the Junior Sunbelt games in Hartshorne, Okla., and went 4-for-4 with two home runs and two doubles helping Team Georgia to a 12-8 win over Oklahoma Gold
  • Born: December 13, 1985
1B Wes Henderson (6-2, 205, Oxford HS, Oxford, Alabama)
  • Attends Oxford High School in Oxford, Alabama
  • A four-year starter for coach Todd Mixon
  • In his last two seasons at OHS, Henderson has hit .453 with 23 HRS and 89 RBI as the clean-up hitter
  • As a junior (2003), Henderson batted .451 with 13 HRs and 46 RBI
  • Named 2003 First-Team All-State (Class 5A) by The Birmingham News
  • Named to The Anniston Star's 2003 All-Area Diamond Dazzlers Team
  • Also 2003 First-Team All-Calhoun County pick by The Anniston Star
  • Named to 2003 All-Calhoun County Tournament team at 2003 county tournament
  • Selected as member of the Super 100 by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association
  • Played in the ABCA Classic (June, 2003) at Birmingham Southern
  • Named Top 20 Underclassman by the ABCA
  • Member of Team Alabama that played in Atlanta (June, 2003) against the USA Junior National Olympic Team and Canadian Junior National teams
  • Played for the Bama Bombers at the 2003 World Wooden Bat Association Championships in Jupiter, Fla. (Oct., 2003)
  • Invited to Team One Showcase in Houston, Texas, where he was named one of the Top 25 prospects at the showcase
  • As a sophomore (2002), he hit .454 with 10 HRs and 43 RBI, where he led the Yellow Jackets in all three categories
  • Also led all Class 5A players with 13 HRs as a sophomore
  • Named 2002 First-Team All-State (Class 5A) by The Birmingham News
  • Named Calhoun County Player of the Year by The Anniston Star
  • Named to The Anniston Star's 2002 All-Area Diamond Dazzlers Team
  • Also a 2002 First-Team All-Calhoun County pick by The Anniston Star
  • Voted Most Valuable Player of the 2003 Calhoun County Tournament
  • Won the Oxford High School "BIg Stick Award"
  • Born: February 17, 1986
SS Cale Iorg (6-2, 175, Karns HS, Knoxville, Tennessee)
  • Attends Karns HS in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Son of former major league player, Garth Iorg
  • Nephew of former major league player, Dane Iorg
  • Older brother Isaac played at Brigham Young University and is currently playing the Atlanta Braves organization
  • Another older brother, Eli, is on the baseball roster at the University of Tennessee
  • As a junior (2003), Iorg batted .489 with 19 stolen bases and 20 RBI for the Beavers
  • 2003 First-Team All-Knoxville Interscholastic League selection, while leading his team to the district championship
  • Iorg missed his sophomore season at Karns HS with shoulder surgery
  • Played summer ball of the Knoxville Yarddogs, where he was coached by his father
  • Member of the East team in the inaugural 2003 AFLAC All-American High School All-Star Game, played Aug. 23, 2003 at Hammon Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Participated in the 2003 World Wooden Bat Association Showcase in Jupiter, Florida, where he played for the Yarddogs
  • Participated in the 2003 Southeast Top Prospect Showcase in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • participated in the 2003 East Coast Professional Showcase
  • Rated 2nd by Baseball America's Top 10 HS Infielders (2003-04)
  • Rated 72st by Baseball America's Prospects Plus Top 400 HS Prospects (2003-04)
  • Rated 14th at 2003 Perfect Game World Underclassmen Top 20 HS Prospects (2003)
  • Also turned in the PG Showcase third-fastest 60-yard dash time
  • Rated 13th at the 2003 Perfect Game National Top 75 Showcase in Lincoln, Nebraska (June 13-15)
  • Rated 147th by Team One Showcase Top 200 HS Prospects (2003-04)
  • Born: September 6, 1985
RHP Casey Kebodeaux (6-2, 200, Mandeville HS, Mandeville, Louisiana)
  • Attends Mandeville HS in Mandeville, Louisiana
  • Coached by Carrey Stockton
  • Named 2nd Team All-District following his junior season, winning all seven district games on the mound for the Skippers
  • Played summer ball (2003) for Bill Hood Broncos
  • participated in the World Wood Bat Perfect Game/Baseball America Championship in Jupiter, Fla.
  • Also played in the 2003 Connie Mack Southeast Regional Tournament
  • Born: May 30, 1986
C Chris Kirkland (6-3, 190, South Doyle HS, Knoxville, Tennessee)
  • Attends South Doyle HS in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Coached by Robby Howard
  • Hampered by a broken hand during his junior season
  • As a sophomore, he batted .406 with one HR and 25 RBI
  • Played summer ball of the Knoxville Yarddogs, where he was coached by Garth Iorg
  • Participated in the World Wooden Bat Association Tournament in Jupiter, Florida for Team Baseball America
  • Played in the Blue-Gray Baseball Game
  • Participated at Young Guns on the campus of Furman University in Greenville, SC
  • A Diamond Warrior Invitee
  • Named Most Valuable Player at the Cocoa Beach Invite
  • 2003 Perfect Game World Underclassmen Showcase
  • 2003 Perfect Game National Showcase Baseball Game, where he was the 2nd best catcher and 20th best overall prospect
  • Member of the West team in the inaugural 2003 AFLAC All-American High School All-Star Game, played Aug. 23, 2003 at Hammon Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Coached by Garth Iorg.
  • Rated as the No. 1 prospect at the 2003 Southeast Top Prospect Showcase at the University of North Carolina
  • Rated 5th by Baseball America's Top 10 HS catchers
  • Rated 118th by Baseball America's Prospects Plus Top 400 prospects (2003-04)
  • Rated 20th at the 2003 Perfect Game National Top 75 Showcase in Lincoln, Nebraska (June 13-15)
  • Rated 70th Team One Showcase Top 200 HS Prospects
  • Born: October 6, 1985
Ray Liotta (LHP, 6-4, 217, Gulf Coast Community College, Kenner, Louisiana)
  • Attends Gulf Coast Community College
  • Plays for Coach Darren Mazeroski, the son of former Pittsburgh Pirates legend and Hall of Famer, Bill Mazeroski
  • Liotta is in his first season at Gulf Coast Community College
  • Originally signed with Tulane University in New Orleans
  • Graduated from Rummel High School in New Orleans
  • A three-year lettermen for Coach Frank Cazeaux
  • Named to the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Class 5A All-State team as junior (2000) and senior (2001)
  • Member of the East squad in the 2001 Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star game in Alexandria
  • Also a two-time all-metro and all-district selection
  • Selected in the 12th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2001 June MLB First-Year Player Draft
  • Born: April 3, 1983
Kyle Moore (SS, 6-2, 190, Edgewood Academy, Montgomery, Alabama)
  • Attends Edgewood Academy in Montgomery, where he is a two-year letterman for coach Bobby Carr
  • Led the Wildcats to the 2001 and 2002 Alabama AISA State Championship
  • Named to AISA All-Tournament team as a sophomore and junior
  • Played for Team Alabama, selected by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association (2003)
  • As a member of Team Alabama, Moore played this summer in Atlanta, Ga., against the United States Junior Olympic team and the Canadian Junior Olympic team
  • Also the starting quarterback on the Edgewood Academy football team
  • First-team AISA All-State at quarterback with 2,800 yards and a state record 38 TD passes
  • Participated in the 2003 AISA All-Star Football Game
  • Suffered same injury and surgery as a 13-year old as former Atlanta Braves slugger Andres Galaragga
  • His father, William Moore was a standout track and field star at Middle Tennessee State University (1975-76)
  • His brother, Matt Moore, played baseball at Jacksonville State University of legendary coach Rudy Abbott
  • Born March 4, 1986
David Robertson (R/INF, 5-10, 170, Paul W. Bryant HS, Tuscaloosa
  • Attends Paul W. Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa
  • The first student-athlete from Bryant HS to sign a Division I scholarship in any sport
  • Coached by John Cameron
  • Prior to his senior season, Robertson was a two-year starter from Cameron at Tuscaloosa Central High School
  • Led the Falcons to back-to-back Class 6A state playoff appearances
  • Started as pitcher and third baseman the last two years at Central
  • His brother, Connor, played baseball at Birmingham Southern and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1999 NAIA World Series, leading the Panthers to the NAIA National Championship
  • Born: April 9, 1985
Trey Sheilds (RHP, 6-7, 230, Gulf Coast CC, Panama City, Florida)
  • Attends Gulf Coast Community College
  • Coached by Darren Mazeroski, the son of Major League Hall of Famer and former Pirates great Bill Mazeroski
  • He will enroll at Alabama as a redshirt sophomore
  • Redshirted last year at Gulf Coast CC with a season-ending injury, which required "Tommy John Surgery"
  • Despite the season-ending surgery, Sheilds was still drafted in the 15th round of the June draft by the Minnesota Twins
  • 2002 graduated of Bay High School in Panama City, Florida
  • Drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in 22nd round
  • Played baseball and basketball at Bay HS
  • Played for R.L. Turner Little League (Panama City, Fla) that advanced to the 1996 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn, losing to Cranston, R.I. in the United States Championship game
  • Member of the US South Region Championship Team
  • Member of Florida Little League state championship squad
  • Member of 1998 Florida Junior Major League state championship team
  • Sheilds two-out, two-run home run gave Panama City Eastern 12-11 over North Pensacola at Frank Nelson Park
Ben Soignier (INF, 6-0, 185, West Monroe High School, Monroe, Louisiana)
  • Attends West Monroe High School
  • A three-year letterman for Coach Jeff Schexnaider as a middle infielder and pitcher
  • Named 2004 Top Prospects by the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association
  • Led the Rebels to back-to-back district baseball championships in 2002 and 2003
  • Two-time all district selection and district MVP
  • As a junior, Soignier batted .418 with nine home runs and 39 RBI
  • On the mound, he recorded 67 strikeouts and a 1.12 ERA for the Rebels
  • Named to the 2003 Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Class 5A All-State team
  • Named to the 2003 Louisiana Sportswriters Association Class 5A All-State team
  • Named to the 2003 All-Northeast Louisiana Baseball Team by the Monroe (La.) News-Star
  • Participated in the 2003 Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in Alexandria
  • Named 2004 Top Prospects by the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association
  • Also a standout football player, leading West Monroe to a pair of district titles and a state runner up finish in 2002 and 2003
  • Played for the Texas Rangers Area Code Team in 2002 and 2003
  • A teammate of current UA pitchers Brandon Belcher and Wade LeBlanc for the Louisiana All-Stars this past summer
  • Played in the 2003 Baseball America/Perfect Game World Wooden Bat Association Showcase in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Also played for the Louisiana All-Stars, that participated in the 2003 Baseball America/Perfect Game World Wooden Bat Association tournament in Jupiter, Fla.
  • Born: August 16, 1985
RHP Adam Tennyson (6-1, 200, Shelton State CC, Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • Attends Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Coached by former Alabama pitcher and major leaguer, Bobby Sprowl
  • As a freshman (2003), Adam appeared in 12 games and posted a 3-3 record and a 5.63 ERA for the Bucs
  • He worked 25 1/3 innings and allowed 12 hits, 18 runs, 16 earned runs, 19 walks and 33 strikeouts
  • Opponents batted only .132 against the right-hander and collected only three extra base hits (2 doubles, one HR)
  • In limited duty at the plate, Adam batted .182 (6-for-33) with four runs scored, one home run and four RBI
  • A Second Team All-Northern Division selection
  • In his lone start of the 2003 season, Tennyson allowed only one run and three hits in six innings en route to win over eventual World Series participant, Bevill State (Fayette)
  • He also added a season-high six strikeouts in the win over Bevill State
  • Recorded four strikeouts in two innings of hitless relief in win over Northwest Shoals
  • Allowed only one earned run over six-game stretch (14.2 IP) from March 22-April 15
  • Attended Holt High School in Tuscaloosa, where he graduated in 2002
  • A four-year baseball letterman for the Ironmen
  • Named team captain as a senior (2002)
  • Threw a no-hitter and recorded 18 strikeouts as a senior against Fayette County High School
  • Played on 1999 Area Championship team as a freshman
  • Member of the first team in school history to win area championship
  • Also a member of first Holt team to win 20 games in one season, including the school's first-ever playoff win
  • His brother, Aaron, is a member of the Alabama baseball team
  • Also played for Tuscaloosa American Legion Post 34 and finished state runner up twice in four years
  • Born: October 15, 1983
Nick Tisone (P, 6-1, 180, Tallahassee Community College, Covington, Louisiana)
  • Tisone is in his first season at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College
  • Played this past summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he pitched for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
  • In 11 games, Tisone was 0-1 with a 2.96 ERA and one save
  • He worked 27 1/3 innings and allowed 29 hits, 17 runs, nine earned runs, 19 walks and 22 strikeouts
  • Played on same team as Auburn OF Sean Gamble, Vandy third baseman Tony Mansolino and LSU pitcher Justin Meier
  • Played the 2003 season at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi for Coach Jay Artigues
  • Rated as the nation's 12th best Junior College Prospect by Baseball America
  • Led the Wildcats to a 38-13 overall record, the second-most wins in school history
  • As a freshman, Tisone compiled an 8-2 record in his lone season at Pearl River CC
  • Tossed complete-game win over Jones CC, striking out seven batters in a 6-5 win
  • Pitched three-hit shutout, with six strikeouts, in a 6-0 win over Hinds Community College
  • Defeated Holmes CC in the 2003 Mississippi Junior College state tournament, with seven strikeouts
  • Selected in the 19th round by the Kansas City Royals in the 2003 MLB First-Year Player Draft
  • First-Team Region XXIII selection
  • First-Team All-Miss-Lou Conference selection
  • Originally signed with McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., before leaving for Pearl River CC
  • A three-year starter and letterman at Mandeville High School for Coach Carey Stockton
  • Posted a 7-1 record with 1.74 ERA on the mound as a prep senior, with 83 strikeouts in 56 innings
  • At the plate, he batted .419 with 30 RBI for the Skippers
  • Named the 2002 New Orleans Times-Picayune Player of the Year
  • Named to the 2002 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State team
  • Named to the 2002 Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Class 5A All-State team
  • Named to the 2001 Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in Alexandria
  • In leading the East squad to the All-Star series win, Tisone was named the 2001 East Team MVP, going 2-for-2 with a double and four RBI
  • As a prep senior, Tisone threw a no-hitter in Mandeville's 9-0 win over Higgins High School in a game stopped after five innings due to heavy snow and temperatures in the upper teens. He struck out nine batters in the five-inning game
  • Rated No. 21 at the Top Prospects at Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field (June 15-17, 2001)
  • Perfect Game called Tisone the "the best two-way player in the nation"
  • Team One Showcase 2002 Pre-Draft High School Top 100 Players (80th)
  • Team One Showcase Top 35 High School Third Basemen (11th)
  • Team One Showcase Top 200 Overall High School Prospects (189th)
  • Selected in the 24th round by the Houston Astros in the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft
  • Played for the Bill Hood Broncos (2001-02), where he was a member of the West Plain AAU Regional Championship in Houston, Texas
  • Finished runner up at the 2002 Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico, where he was teammates with Alabama pitcher Brandon Belcher, LSU catcher Matt Liuzza and LSU infielder Will Harris
  • Named to the Connie Mack World Series All-Tournament team
  • At the Connie Mack World Series, Tisone batted .600 (9-for-15) with one double, three home runs and 11 RBI in six games, including one grand slam
  • Tisone was named the "Player of the Game" in Bill Hood Broncos win over Cincinnati Midland Redskins as he went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI at the plate and tossed a complete-game victory on the mound, striking out the side in the final inning
  • He was the losing pitcher in championship game to Long Beach (Calif.) Cardinals, dropping a hard-fought 2-1 decision, allowing only two runs and eight hits in complete game setback
  • Born: August 2, 1983

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