Upstate Baseball Inks 16 Standouts in Early Signing Period

Contact: David Beall,

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate baseball program and Head Coach Matt Fincher have announced the signing of 16 players during the NCAA's recent early signing period for the 2014 season.

With Upstate starting the 5-1 and receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 poll, the Spartans have 16 players who have committed to play their collegiate careers at USC Upstate beginning in the spring of 2014.

"We are extremely excited to have these young men join our program," said USC Upstate Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Grant Rembert. "They all bring a wealth of talent, experience and academic excellence that will continue to build our program in the coming years."

Justin Allen, OF, Wren High School

Allen is a four-year varsity starter at Wren High School, tallying a season-best seven doubles during his sophomore campaign, including 31 total hits and a .373 batting average. He was a 2011 High Honorable Mention by Perfect Game and played summer ball for the Blue Chip Bulls. He is ranked as a top 500 player in the nation and No. 6 in the state of South Carolina by Perfect Game.

Zach Krider, INF, Lake Brantley High School

A three-year varsity starter, Krider was named the 2011 Offensive Player of the year after leading the team with a .390 batting average. He received Seminole County All-Conference honors in 2011 and 2012. He Played for the Orlando Scorpions under Coach Matt Gerber and is the 245th ranked player in the nation by Perfect Game and is named a 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention.

Drew Fisher, C, Chesnee High School

A 2012 All-Region and All-State recipient, Fisher hit .440 last season, driving in 20 runs and recording five doubles. He was named the team's best offensive and best defensive player in 2012 and earned Most Valuable Player honors. He is ranked as one of the top 400 catchers in the nation and No. 7 in the state of South Carolina by Perfect Game.

Richie Lacell, RHP, Cypress Lake High School

Lacell is a four-year letterwinner at Cypress Lake High School where he led the district last season with 79 strikeouts in just 54 inning of work. He hit .417 and led the district in doubles, including a five-game stretch where he recorded seven doubles and a home run. He helped lead his U17 squad to the 2012 WWBA National Championship. He is ranked in the top 1,000 players in the nation by Perfect Game.

Jordan Miller, C, Winter Springs high School

Miller led his high school team to a 27-2 record and a district championship during the 2012 season and received all-conference honorable mention. He hit .372 with a .560 on base percentage last spring and was a member of the Orlando Scorpions under head coach Matt Gerber. He is ranked as one of the top 50 catchers in the state of Florida.

Dylan Woods, SS, New Smyrna High School

A four-year varsity starter in high school, Woods led his team to the 2012 District and Regional Championship and was named second-team all-area in 2012. He hit .319 last season with 30 hits, three triples, 16 runs batted in and 17 runs scored. He is ranked by Perfect Game as one of the top 350 shortstops in the nation.

Brandon Gracey, RHP, West Orange High School

A recipient of the Cy Young award during his sophomore season and named The Love of the Game award winner during his junior campaign, Gracey tallied two wins in summer ball and recorded a 3-1 record last fall. He was named a 2011 and 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention and is ranked as one of the top 500 players in the nation by Perfect Game.

Brian Boocock, RHP, Estero High School

A three-year varsity contributor at Fort Myers High School, Boocock earned the program's Cy Young award in 2012 after posting a 2.62 earned run average with 39 strikeouts in 42 innings of work. He ranked in the top 1,000 by Perfect Game and was recognized as a 2013 Under Armour Preseason All-American. He transferred to Estero High School for his senior season. He was named a 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention.

Matt Fitzsimmons, RHP/OF, Providence High School

Leading his team to the 2012 Florida Class 3A State Championship, Fitzsimmons was ranked No. 33 in the country by ESPN FAB 50 after hitting .392 with 16 doubles, one triple and three home runs. He was a First Coast Selection as a junior by the Florida Times Union and a Prospect Wire Underclass All-American selection in 2011. He delivered the game-winning RBI in the State Championship game last spring. He is ranked in the top 1,000 players in the nation by Perfect Game and a 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention.

Eric Birklund, RHP, Lake Minneola High School

Birklund was a member of the inaugural baseball team at Lake Minneola High School, leading the squad to a No. 5 seed in the district tournament. He joined the Orlando Baseball Academy in the summer of 2011 and was selected to the Perfect Game Preseason High School Underclassmen All-American team. He is ranked in the top 1,000 players in the nation by Perfect Game and appeared in the Miami Power Showcase as one of the top players in the country, tossing a pair of scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

Stephen Dowling, OF, Florence Darlington CC

Dowling played the last two seasons at Florence Darlington Tech Community College where he hit .356 as a freshman with 11 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 40 runs batted in. He was named first-team all-region after stealing 17 bases and scoring 49 runs. He prepped at Irmo High School.

Bryan Hathaway, RHP, Timber Creek High School

Hathaway played his prep ball at Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Fla. and was a member of the Orlando Reds summer ball team. He was a varsity letterwinner in 2012 and was also invited to try out for the 2012 USSSA National Team.

Sam Kysor, OF, Port Allegany High School

A three-time Allegany Mountain League All-Star, Kysor hit .590 with a .632 on base percentage during his junior season and was the only player to be named a Big30 All-Star during his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons.

Ian Farrell, RHP, Father Lopez Catholic High School

Farrell led his team to the district championship last spring, earning District Player of the Year honors and being named to the 3A All-State team. He batted .317 with 20 runs batted in and led his squad with 69 strikeouts on the mound as he recorded a no-hitter during his junior season. He is a 2012 Underclass Honorable Mention by Perfect Game.

Zach Mitchell, RHP, Boiling Springs High School

Mitchell played at Boiling Springs High School last spring, earning All-Region II-AAAA honors and being named First-Team All-Area. He tossed 38 innings with a 6-1 record and an earned run average of 1.66. He played for the SC Shockwave U17 club in the summer of 2012, going 5-0 with a 2.26 earned run average.

Christian Germeroth, SS, Tavares High School

A four-year varsity player, Germeroth led his team to a district championship and region runner-up honors, hitting .386 with three home runs. He played for the CFBL Elite Prospects last summer, hitting .371 with two home runs in 169 plate appearances.

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