JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 10, 2009) - ETSU head baseball coach Tony Skole announced Tuesday that the Buccaneers have added two more players to the 2009-10 recruiting class with the signings of Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) and Jamie Crawford (Kingsport, Tenn.).
Niesman, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound, infielder and outfielder comes from American Heritage School where he was a First-Team All-State and First-Team All-County selection for head coach Carm Mazza. The team offensive MVP hit .422 his junior season with 12 doubles, two home runs, drove in 25 and swiped 16 bags. Niesman also played for the prestigious Diamond Vision Elite team that won the 2008 17U BCS National Championship and the 18U WBF National Championship and were the runners-up at the 2008 World Wood Bat Tournament.
"We are very excited that Derek has decided to continue his education and baseball career at ETSU," Skole said. "Derek is a phenomenal talent who can do a lot of different things well on the baseball diamond. Derek has excelled at a very high level amongst some of the best baseball competition in the entire United States. He is a tremendous young man who possesses all the intangibles that we look for in a baseball player at ETSU. We anticipate to Derek to make an immediate impact next season"
Crawford, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound, middle infielder comes from Dobyns-Bennett High School where he played for head coach Mike Ritz. Crawford was a two-sport athlete earning All-Conference honors in 2008 and Honorable Mention All-Conference honors in 2007. Crawford is hitting .450 with 3 home runs, 23 RBI and 15 stolen bases in his senior campaign. The Kingsport native was also the Big East Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year as a quarterback in football in 2008.
"Jamie is without a doubt one of the best athletes in East Tennessee," Skole said. "He is an exciting player who has had an outstanding high school career. As always we want to try to attract the best players in our area and we feel that Jamie definitely meets those criteria. Jamie has tremendous feet and can really run and defend. He is a fierce competitor who are fans will really enjoy watching play. We are excited to see him in the Blue and Gold next season."
Niesman and Crawford join four others on a 2009-10 class that includes right-handed pitcher and infielder Kerry Doane (Davie, Fla.), left-handed pitcher and outfielder Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), right-handed pitcher Scott McNally (Acworth, Ga.), and right-handed pitcher Ben Booker (Knoxville, Tenn.).
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