Dec. 15, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane baseball team received every commitment they had expected during the NCAA's early signing period. Head coach Rick Jones and the Green Wave received commitments from nine student-athletes for the 2012-13 academic year. The class features players from four different states, with two venturing to the Uptown campus from junior colleges and seven coming straight from the high school ranks.
The 2012-13 early signing class includes Cameron Burns, Emerson Gibbs, Chris LaVorgna, Ian Gibaut, Dan Rankin, Chase Scott, Chad Vanaman, Brady Wilson and Tim Yandel. The Lone Star state provided four of the Green Wave signees (Burns, Gibaut, Rankin, Vanaman), while two came from Louisiana (Gibbs, Wilson) and Georgia (Scott, Yandel), while LaVorgna ventures to the Crescent City from Connecticut.
"With evolution of recruiting, you have to canvas the country for the best talent," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I think that recruiting coordinator Jake Gautreau and associate head coach Chad Sutter did a great job making sure that no stone went unturned. This recruiting class shows what kind of effort that those two put in this offseason."
Burns will look to blaze his own trail while at Tulane, but he will bring a familiar feel to the Green Wave catching post. The 6-0, 165- pound catcher from Bellaire High School will not be the first player from Bellaire High School to control the Tulane pitching staff, with current backstop Jeremy Schaffer also attending BHS. The right-handed hitter will have three varsity letters to his credit after this season and is academically among the top-15 percent of his graduating class. He was a First Team All-District 20-5A as a junior and earned All-Tournament honors last season for the Cardinals.
A two-way player from Lamar High School in Houston, Gibaut brings the heat from the mound and the plate. The right-hander was among the top-60 players in Texas, according to Perfect Game, and was named a 2011 Underclass Honorable Mention All-American by the online publication. The Redskins finished last season with a 23-5 record and won the District 20-5A title with an 11-1 mark. Perfect Game rated Gibaut as one of the top-500 players in the nation and the 55th best prospect in the state of Texas.
LaVorgna will earn his fourth varsity letter in baseball in 2012 and has roamed the outfield all four seasons at North Haven High School in Connecticut. A right-handed hitter, LaVorgna has helped the program to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference postseason in each of his first three seasons. In 2011, the Indians bowed out in the Elite Eight to eventual state champion, Notre Dame-West Haven, and NHHS has finished among the top two in the Southern Connecticut Conference Oronoque Division the past two seasons.
A 6-2, 170 pound right handed pitcher from Second Baptist High School in Texas, Rankin will join the Green Wave on the mound in 2013. A two-time Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-American, he helped the Fighting Eagles to the State Championship in two of the past three seasons. The hurler is a two-time Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools All-District selection and earned the SBS Cy Young Award on the mound.
Scott is ranked among the top 175 players in the nation according to Perfect Game and was the 18th best player in Georgia. A 6-0, 195-pound infielder for Luella (Ga.) High School, Scott helped lead the Lions to a 5A Elite Eight appearance last season with a 21-9 overall record. A 2010 and 2011 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-American, he is a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American entering his senior season. Entering his senior year, Scott was the 2010 Southern Crescent Player of the Year and already owns the school record for home runs, RBI's, doubles, on-base and slugging percentage.
Vanaman lettered three times as a catcher while at Calallen (Texas) High School and graduated among the top-50 in his class. He was a Second Team All-State pick and earned District 31-4A Co-Most Valuable Player and will take the field for Texarkana College in 2012. The Wildcats won the district title during his senior season and posted a 39-6 overall record, while advancing to the Texas 4A State Finals in his junior and senior season.
Joining the Green Wave from LSU-Eunice is Wilson, a left-handed pitcher for the Bengals. Wilson appeared in 14 games as a freshman and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when he arrives on the uptown campus. In 2011, he boasted a 10-1 overall record with a 2.57 ERA and four complete games. In 84 innings of work, Wilson fanned 68 batters and walked 25, while holding his opponents to a .220 batting average.
A native of Woodstock, Ga., Yandel has lettered three times for the Eagles and can catch, play infield and will help the Green Wave on the mound. He guided Etowah High School to a 20-9 overall mark last season and a second place showing in Region 5-5A. The Eagles have won the postseason regional championship the past two seasons. During the summer, Yandel plays for the 18U East Cobb Yankees and has helped them to a second place showing in the 198-team field at the World Wood Bat Association Championships, ranking second on the team in batting average.
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