Nov. 13, 2000
NEW ORLEANS, La. - - The Tulane baseball team inked four signees during the fall early signing period, head coach Rick Jones announced on Monday.
The incoming Green Wave class is lead by local stand-out Ray Liotta (6-5, 200, LHP) and Brooks Shankle (6-3, 195, INF). Liotta, a Kenner, La. native, was named the top pitcher in the state of Louisiana by Team One Baseball. The Lonestar Baseball Report tabbed Shankle, a native of Dallas, Texas, as a top-25 prospect in Texas.
"From a quality point of view, this is an outstanding fall recruiting class," Jones said. "We were able to sign the New Orleans-area Catholic League Most Valuable Player and three very talented, offensive-minded position players. We knew we needed some impact players in the infield, so that was our thrust for fall recruiting. At Tulane, we sign guys to play early in their careers, and these players certainly fall into that category. We're not looking to sign a huge class and then redshirt most of them. We're definitely looking for quality over quantity and these four players should add a lot to the program."
Liotta hails from Archbishop Rummel high school, the 1999 Catholic League Champions. In 1999, Liotta posted a 7-2 record and a 1.25 ERA. He struck out 109 in 67 innings pitched. Liotta earned six starts in league play, and struck out 58 and allowed just one run through 35 1/3 innings.
Shankle, recently played in the Tournament of Stars held in Cooperstown, N.Y., and was billed as a top-100 high school junior/senior in the US. A product of Dallas Christian High School, Shankle played for Team USA in the 1999 Goodwill Games in Australia and participated as a member of the Texas Rangers in the 2000 Area Code Games.
Chris Taylor (6-2, 185, INF) and Trey George (6-1, 190, UT) round out the fall signing period. Taylor, a transfer from Seward County Community College, is a native of Arvada, Colo. Last season at Seward, Taylor hit .330 with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 42 RBI. He was the only player on the squad to play in all 60 games this past season. Taylor was also named to the First Team All-Jayhawk Conference.
George brings versatility to the Wave, spending time in the outfield, infield and on the mound. This Houston, Texas, native George hails Bellaire High School. He was named an All Star at the Area Code Games National Showcase.
The 2001 Tulane baseball season kicks off on Friday, February 2nd with a three-game series gainst Sam Houston State.