JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 16, 2004) - East Tennessee State head baseball coach Tony Skole announced Wednesday that Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Buccaneers beginning next season.
Russell is a power-hitting third baseman from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. The Stags finished this season 22-4, winning their third consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. After winning its final 13 games, DeMatha finished the season ranked No. 1 in the Washington, D.C. metro area by The Washington Post and No. 22 in the nation by USA Today.
Russell is the second DeMatha player to commit to play for ETSU next season, as right-handed pitcher Robbie Campbell signed an NLI earlier this year.
Anthony hit .370 with five home runs and 36 RBIs in his senior season. As a junior, he hit .451 with 30 RBIs and 26 runs scored. Russell was an honorable mention All-Met selection by The Washington Post after each of the last two seasons.
"I am really excited to be playing baseball at East Tennessee State," said Russell. "It is a great opportunity for me as a hitter. Coach Skole told me that he wanted someone that could come in and score some runs and I feel like I am a person that can do that."
Russell played in the inaugural AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic last August in Fort Myers, Fla. The game featured the top rising seniors in the nation selected by baseball's leading recruiting sources, Perfect Game and Baseball America. Eight first-round picks in the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft participated in the AFLAC Classic, including No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush.
"We are very excited and fortunate to have Anthony Russell sign a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at ETSU," said Skole. "We were looking for one more hitter to help complete our recruiting class and we feel that in Anthony we have landed one of the best high school hitters in the country. He is a big, strong young man who can flat-out hit. He has had a very accomplished high school career and we think he will immediately make us better. Anthony will be a tremendous asset to our baseball program and our campus community."