Nov. 22, 2013
Baseball signs three players for 2014MARYVILLE, Mo. – Northwest Missouri State head baseball coach Darin Loe has announced the signings of three incoming student-athletes in an announcement made on Friday. The signing class includes Brad Roberts (Cairo, Mo.), Nick McKinney (Naperville, Ill.) and Jay Hrdlicka (West Des Moines, Iowa). All three players will be freshmen starting in the fall of 2014.
“These three guys are a great beginning to our 2014 recruiting class,” said Loe. “They fulfill our immediate needs and we expect all of them to come in and compete for playing time immediately.”
Roberts was an all-conference pitcher for Northeast RIV Cairo and head coach Jeff Schleicher, earning MVP honors last season. He was named all-district and all-state the past three seasons. Roberts had an overall record of 33-4 with five saves last season. In 217 innings, he has given up just 49 earn runs while recording 367 strikeouts and just 79 walks. Roberts is a member of the National Honor Society, member of the student council and the Principal’s Honor Roll. He also earned all conference, all district and all state honors in basketball along with qualifying for state golf. His father, Bob Roberts, is in the Missouri Basketball and Missouri Sports Hall of Fames for his coaching success.
“Brad is a polished hard throwing right handed pitcher that we expect to come in and make an immediate impact,” explained Loe. “He is a great overall athlete as he had to make a difficult decision whether to play basketball or baseball. We are certainly excited he choose to play baseball at the next level.”
McKinney comes to Northwest after a standout career at Downers Grove South High School. The right handed side-armer had a 1.76 ERA in 22 innings as a junior, recording seven saves. He won a state and a summer league title as well as an Illinois Regional title. An honor roll student, McKinney played for coach Darren Orel.
“Nick is a side arm pitcher who has a great feel for that unique arm angle,” Loe said. “He has had great success at the high school level and we expect Nick to be a key performer coming out of our bullpen.”
Hrdlicka earned All-America honorable mention accolades from Perfect Game last season while playing for head coach Brady Weber at Valley High School. He also earned all-tournament team honors at the Kernels Foundation Tournament. In the classroom, Hrdlicka was an academic all-conference honoree, has earned an academic letter four times and is a member of the National Honor Society.
“Jay is a solid defensive catcher with a great swing,” said Loe. “He can throw as good or better than any other catcher I have had the opportunity to coach. He is a guy that will come into our program and immediately have the ability to completely shut down our opponents running game.”
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