Nov. 15, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - A talented group of recruits have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Tulane baseball program for the 2011-12 school year, announced head coach Rick Jones. A quartet of talented high school players, including Evan East, Jordan Gross, Alex Massey and Cameron Neal, will join four junior college transfers in Matt Lane, Tyler Mapes, Tucker Oakley and Andrew Reeves on the Uptown campus next season.
"We are excited about what this group of players will bring to our program as a people, players and students," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "Chad Sutter, our recruiting coordinator, and assistant coach Jake Gautreau did an amazing job of targeting some really talented individuals and finding some of the best players out there. All eight of them have a chance to really help our club in the future and we can't wait to get them to campus. We will add a two-way player Tucker Oakley, pitchers Matt Lane, Tyler Mapes and Andrew Reeves, who all have experience at the college level, while catcher Evan East, outfielder Cameron Neal and pitchers Alex Massey and Jordan Gross add depth to our squad after having solid high school careers as they enter their senior seasons."
"This is obviously a class that emphasizes pitching, as the bulk of our position players will be together for the next two to three seasons," jones added. "We feel like this is going to make a major impact on our program. We will lose Nick Boullosa, our starting senior center fielder, and we believe that Cameron Neal can step in and fill that position, while a player like Evan East really adds some depth to our solid catching corps."
The 11th ranked player in the state of New Jersey, left handed pitcher Jordan Gross will have earned three varsity letters from Don Bosco Prep in Franklin Lakes, NJ after completing his senior season this year. As a junior, Gross helped the Ironmen to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Elite Eight last season with the team finishing 24-5 overall and ranking 17th in the state. Gross earned Second Team All-City honors last season as he posted a 7-0 record on the mound for the #1 ranked team in Bergen County. The left hander played last season for head coach Mike Stanton, the former left-handed relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and New York Mets.
Matt Lane played last season at Mississippi State and will spend his sophomore season at Northwest Florida State College. The left-handed pitcher appeared in nine games for the Bulldogs last season and owned the second best ERA on the squad at 5.52. He compiled only 12 innings and held opposing hitters to a .283 batting average while on campus in Starkville. Lane attended Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. and struck out 99 batters in 77.1 innings of work, with just 15 walks. He was the Georgia Region 6-5A Regional Pitcher of the Year and was a member of a pair of Championship squads while playing for the East Cobb Baseball Club. Lane, who played with current Green Wave player Blake Crohan in the summers, helped the East Cobb Astros to the 16U AAU Junior Olympic Championship and then guided the East Cobb Braves to the 17U BCS National Championship the next year.
The path that brought Tyler Mapes to the Green Wave program is a path that is traveled by few. The right handed pitcher started his collegiate career with the Naval Academy, appearing in 15 games with two starts on the mound for the Midshipmen, before transferring to Navarro College to play this season. While at Navy, Mapes made nine multi-inning appearances in 2010 and compiled a 3-2 record with three saves. He allowed two-or-fewer runs in 12 of his 15 outings and walked nine to 15 strikeouts in 31.2 innings of work. As a prep standout at Newman Smith (Texas) High School, he was a unanimous First Team All-District 10-5A selection as a junior and a senior, while also earning Academic All-State honors on the diamond.
The ability to land top instate talent is always important to programs and the Green Wave did just that with Alex Massey, who was rated the ninth best player in Louisiana by Perfect Game USA, out of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. Massey was a teammate of current freshman Alex Facundus and helped the Bears to the 2010 LHSAA State 5A Championship. He earned All-District honorable mention during his sophomore season and roped in Second Team accolades last season. In the summer, Massey plays for the Marucci Elite, one of the premier summer baseball teams in the south, and helped the squad to a Top 8 finish at the Perfect Game BCS Championships and a Top 16 showing out of 216 squads at the World Wood Bat Association's 17U Championships.
In his first three seasons at the St. Johns School Cameron Neal has been one of the top players on the field for the Mavericks. After earning All-Southwest Preparatory Conference accolades during each of his first two seasons, the Outfielder is ranked as the 25th best player in the in the state of Texas and is the 281st prospect in Nation according to Perfect Game. Neal was a Preseason Underclassman Honorable Mention All-American in 2009 and 2010 and was invited to the Area Code Games. Last season, the right-handed hitter was selected to the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game and will serve as the team captain for the Mavericks when they take the field this season.
Tucker Oakley is one of four players to join the Green Wave program from a junior college, as he will play his second season at Weatherford College after a decorated prep career at Sharyland (Texas) High School. As a senior in high school, Oakley hit .420 with ten home runs and 46 RBI's to earn Second Team All-State honors. He was a two-time All-District First Team honoree and helped the Rattlers to a 35-4 record. In his first season at Weatherford, the pitcher/first baseman hit set a school single-season record for home runs with 16 and hit .355 with nine doubles and 42 RBI's. He earned Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Association honors as a designated hitter and was selected to the Texas Collegiate League All-Star Team this summer.
Another instate talent will bring his services to the Uptown campus, as Andrew Reeves will also join the fold after a prep career at Parkview Baptist High School and two seasons at LSU-Eunice. Last season, Reeves made 15 appearances on the mound for the Bengals and posted a 2-2 record in 28.1 innings of work. He held opposing batters to just a .230 batting average and struck out 20 batters with just eight extra-base hits allowed. He was a main cog in the bullpen last season while at LSU-E and helped the team to a 52-13 overall mark and the NJCAA Division II National Championship. While at Parkview, Reeves was the 2009 3A State Pitcher of the Year after leading the Eagles to the LHSAA 3A State Championship in 2008 and 2009.
|2011 Baseball Early Signings|
|Evan East||C||6-1||220||Fairhope, Ala.||Fairhope High School|
|Jordan Gross||LHP||6-2||190||Franklin Lakes, NJ||Don Bosco Prep|
|Matt Lane||LHP||6-5||190||Marietta, GA||Northwest Florida State College|
|Tyler Mapes||RHP||6-1||190||Plano, Texas||Navarro College|
|Alex Massey||RHP||6-2||180||Baton Rouge, La.||Catholic High School|
|Cameron Neal||OF||5-9||165||Houston, Texas||St. John's School|
|Tucker Oakley||RHP/IF||6-1||205||Mission, Texas||Weatherford College|
|Andrew Reeves||RHP||6-1||205||Baton Rouge, La.||LSU-Eunice|