Central Oklahoma continued its baseball recruiting haul Thursday with the addition of six more players, including five junior college transfers and a Division I move-in.
Set to join the Bronchos for the 2014 season is pitcher Michael Barnhart of Murray State College, infielder Josh Blair of Redlands Community College, catcher Brad Lamberti of Division I Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, infielder/pitcher Dennis Morelli of Lassen Community College, infielder/catcher Dylan Tinkler of Carl Albert State College and pitcher Jake Wood of Eastern Oklahoma College.
"We feel really good about the completion of this recruiting class and are looking forward to getting all these guys on campus this fall," said fourth-year head coach Dax Leone, who signed 10 players last week. "Although this is a large recruiting class, we had some needs on both sides of the ball we feel we addressed. Coach (Jeff) Steele and the other coaches did an excellent job of finding guys who fit in our system."?
UCO went 30-19 this spring for their second straight 30-win season, tying for third in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association standings.
A look at the new signees:
Michael Barnhart • 6-3 • 223 • Junior • Keller, Texas/Murray State
District 5A-5 Pitcher of the year as a senior at Keller (Texas) High School . . . Played two years at Murray . . . Was a starter in 2012, throwing 62 1/3 innings while appearing in 15 games and going 5-5 with a 3.32 earned run average . . . Used in relief in 2013 and helped the Aggies to the NJCAA Division II national championship, going 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA.
Josh Blair • 6-4 • 195 • Junior • Oklahoma City/Redlands CC
Two-year starter at Redlands . . . Hit .298 with five doubles and 22 runs batted in as a freshman in 2012 . . . Batted .216 with two doubles, two homers and 19 RBI in 2013 while also leading the team in assists with 120.
Brad Lamberti • 5-11 • 200 • Senior • Pleasant Hill, Iowa/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Two-time All-Stater at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill, Iowa . . . Two-year starter at Des Moines Area Community College . . . Second-team All-Conference pick as a freshman in 2010 after batting .357 with 11 doubles and 34 runs batted in . . . Redshirted in 2011 and was an honorable mention All-Conference pick in 2012 after hitting .312 with seven doubles, 47 runs scored and 36 RBI on a 51-14 team that went to the NJCAA World Series . . . Played in 45 games last year for the Division I Islanders, hitting .216 with two homers and 15 RBI while committing just three errors in 236 fielding chances and throwing out 11 of 28 base-stealers.
Dennis Morelli • 6-0 • 160 • Junior • Sparks, Nev./Lassen CC
Class 3A All-State selection as a senior at Sparks (Nev.) High School after hitting .494 and putting together a 1.07 earned run average . . . Spent two years at Lassen (Calif.) Community College . . . Second-team All-Conference infielder as a sophomore in 2013 after hitting .257 with four doubles and 14 runs batted in while also earning two saves on the mound.
Dylan Tinkler • 6-4 • 205 • Junior • Latta/Carl Albert JC
Prep standout at long-time small-school powerhouse Latta High School . . . Played two years at Carl Albert . . . Led the Vikings in at bats (152), hits (44), runs (25), home runs (nine), doubles (eight) and runs batted in (25) as a sophomore in 2013 while hitting .289.
Jake Wood • 6-0 • 180 • Junior • McAlester/Eastern Oklahoma College
Kiamichi All-Star at McAlester High School . . . Pitched two years in relief at Eastern, appearing in 15 games in 2012 and 14 in 2013, finishing with two saves as a sophomore.