Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate head baseball coach Matt Fincher has announced the signing of six players during the early signing period. The early signees attend schools in five different states.
"We are very excited about this signing class," Fincher said. "Tyler (Cook) and Tim (Brown) worked many hours to put it together and we feel strongly we have addressed a number of program needs. It is my thought everyone in this group can contribute quickly."
The early signees are Ben Ferrer, Robby McGaha, Kyle Schmitt, Garrett Wallace, Ty Watts and Davis Wilber.
Ben Ferrer, P, South Forsyth HS (Alpharetta, Ga.)
A Perfect Game top 500 player, Ferrer earned All-Region honors after he went 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA during his junior season. Ferrer recorded a 23/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is also one of the Georgia Dugout Club's Top 100 players.
"Ben is a guy we are very excited about," assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tyler Cook said. "He runs his fastball into the upper 80s and is always in the zone. His athleticism and competitiveness will be valuable to us over his career."
"I knew Upstate was where I wanted to spend my next four years after stepping on campus," Ferrer said. "Everyone, including the coaching staff, was very welcoming and it felt right. The opportunity of being one of the players to continue a winning baseball tradition here was not something I could pass up."
Robby McGaha, OF, Olney Central College (Olney, Illinois)
McGaha hit .300 with four doubles and 11 RBI during his freshman season at Olney Central College. McGaha was the starting center fielder for the Blue Knights and has played all three outfield positions as well as catcher during his junior college career. Playing for the Henderson Flash in the Ohio Valley League this summer, McGaha batted .357 with five home runs and was named to the All-Star team.
"Robby has a chance to be a very good player in this program," Cook stated. "He has great instincts in the outfield and a solid approach at the plate. His junior college is highly respected, and we are excited he has decided to make Spartanburg his home the next two years."
"I chose USC Upstate because I feel that the coaches, facilities, and teammates will help me become the best player and person I can possibly be," McGaha commented. "I'm looking forward to playing great competition."
Kyle Schmitt, P, Ellsworth Community College (Iowa)
Schmitt struck out 51 batters in 57 innings during his freshman season at Ellsworth Community College. He was also named to the NJCAA All-Academic Third Team. Schmitt earned letters in five sports while at Van Meter High School in Iowa.
"Kyle is a tall, strong right-handed pitcher that can run his fastball into the upper 80s," Cook commented. "His frame will allow him to throw harder, and we are excited for his potential in our program."
"I chose Upstate because I feel it is the best possible place that I can continue my academic and baseball career," Schmitt said.
Garrett Wallace, INF, Lake Mary HS (Sanford, Fla.)
One of Perfect Game's Top 500 players, Wallace earned second team All-Conference honors as a junior after batting .337 with four home runs and 29 RBI as a junior.
"Garrett's bat is the first thing that jumps out at you," Cook explained. "He is a physical kid with bat speed who we think will be a great addition to the lineup. He comes from a great high school program in Florida and we're really excited about what he will bring to Upstate."
"I fell in love with the school and the staff, and knew this was a place where I could succeed," Wallace said.
Ty Watts, P, Lexington HS (Lexington, S.C.)
A Palmetto Games participant, Watts recorded a 5-0 record with a 1.50 ERA during the summer. He is a one of Perfect Game's Top 1000 players.
"Ty is a talented in-state pitcher that has a ton of upside," Cook said. "His frame and athleticism will allow him to compete early, and we are excited for his potential as a Spartan."
"I chose Upstate because the coaches and staff I met treated me like one of their own and made the visit feel like home," Watts stated.
Davis Wilber, UTIL, Wando HS (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Wilber is a four-year baseball letterwinner and has played at the Palmetto Games for each of the past four years. He earned All-Region honors in 2017 and was a member of Wando's 2015 state championship team.
"I believe Davis' best baseball is ahead of him," Cook stated. "He has shown us great defensive ability with potential power at the plate. We can't wait to work with him over the next four years."
"I'm looking forward to being a part of a program that has such a bright future and being able to add to the great things the current players have started," Wiber said.
Upstate opens the 2018 season on Friday, Feb. 16 against Dayton. First pitch from Harley Park is scheduled for 4 p.m.
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