Dec. 2, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. - Twelve student-athletes have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Washington State University beginning next fall, Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut announced, Friday. All 12 are natives of the state of Washington.
The additions are outfielder Tyler Carlson (Enumclaw), right-handed pitcher Maxwell Dammeier (Mercer Island), shortstop Shea Donlin (Woodinville), left-handed pitcher Kelly Fitzpatrick (Mead), centerfielder/right-handed pitcher Mitchell Gueller (Rochester), right-handed pitcher Christopher McDowell (Mount Vernon), infielder Patrick McGrath (Woodinville), infielder Matt Mendenhall (Kennewick), outfielder Austin Pernell (Kent), utility player James Robinson (Colfax), right-handed pitcher Jacob Schroeder (Ferndale), and shortstop Trek Stemp (Kennewick).
"This class is really exciting to think about, "Marbut said. " A couple of things that stand out are the relationships that are already built. Carlson, Dammeier, and McDowell are teammates in the summer and were teammates with current Cougar Ian Sagdal last summer. Donlin, Pernell and Schroder are teammates this summer and were teammates with current Cougar Yale Rosen last summer. Stemp and Mendenhall are teammates this summer and have been playing with current Cougars Bryce and Ty Jackson forever."
Marbut added, "We try to build a family in our program and it's a lot easier to do when these players are familiar with one another. Coach (Spencer) Allen and coach (Gregg) Swenson did an outstanding job again identifying our needs and filling them with the right types of student-athletes. Those two know exactly what a Cougar baseball student-athlete looks like and I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication to our program."
Carlson has led Enumclaw High School to three-straight South Puget Sound League titles. He was a first team all-league selection last season while leading his team to a 20-4 record.
Marbut Says: "Tyler was our first commit of this class. He comes from a strong Cougar family who committed to us before his junior year in high school. A very physically gifted player who has been a standout on the football field as well as the baseball diamond, we see him being a very solid defender with a solid bat who also will have some power. Now that he is just going to be playing baseball I see his game really developing."
A football and baseball student-athlete at Mercer Island High School, Dammeier was KingCo 3A honorable mention as a pitcher during his sophomore season and a first team selection at first baseman in 2011.
Marbut Says: "Another recruit from a strong Cougar family. Max is a big, strong and raw right handed pitcher. He also has been a standout on the gridiron as well. As Max develops on the mound we think he will have a plus fastball and a solid breaking ball in the Pac-12. He is a very diligent worker who we see having a really nice upside."
Donlin batted .289 at Woodinville High School as a junior before being earning the MVP award while leading his team to the Seattle Premier League tournament championship.
Marbut Says: "Another recruit with Cougar Blood, Shea's older brother Sean was a left-handed pitcher for the Cougs. Shea is a super competitor with great instincts to play the middle infield. He reminds us of former Cougar infielder Shea Vucinich. One scout told me he thought Shea would be the type of player that would be a three-year captain for the Cougs."
Fitzpatrick has posted an 11-2 career mark and was an All-Greater Spokane League First Team recipient last season. He earned the team Cy Young Award in 2011 at Mt. Spokane High School after striking out a school-record 79.
Marbut Says: "The lone left-handed pitcher in this class, Kelly has a feel for multiple pitches and he is a really competitive individual. He reminds coach Swenson of former Cougar Jayson Miller with a better fastball. Left-handers have had great careers here and we see the same thing happening for Kelly."
After helping lead W.F. West High School to an Evergreen 2A Conference title as a sophomore, Gueller batted .506 and was 8-0 as a pitcher on a team that finished third at state last season. He drove in 41 runs and struck out 67 in 41 innings pitched in 2011.
Marbut Says: "In our opinion, Mitch is the best two-way threat in the Northwest. He has a chance to be an everyday outfielder as well as an everyday pitcher. I have no problem calling him the best athlete in this class or we have ever signed, but fellow recruit Austin Pernell might take offense to that. Mitch also has plans to help the Cougar football team in the fall."
McDowell tossed a no-hitter in each of the last two seasons on the mound. He was a second team All-Northwest Conference selection and led Mount Vernon High School to the league title last season.
Marbut Says: "Another recruit coming from a strong Cougar family, Chris is 6-feet, 6-inches tall and 180 pounds with tons of room for growth. He also plays basketball in the winter. We think when he puts all his concentration on pitching he has a chance to be in the front of the rotation one day. Chris and fellow recruit Jacob Schroder have a lot of similar attributes."
A two-year starter at Redmond High School, McGrath led his squad to a KingCo 4A championship as a sophomore. Last year, as a junior, McGrath batted over .500 in the state tournament and led the Mustangs to a fourth-place finish.
Marbut Says: "Patrick is a very projectable player who we think can play multiple positions and I love everything about him. I think he's the type of person and player we always need in our program. The first time we saw him he reminded us of former Cougar Matt Fanelli. If he has the type of career Matt did he will be a fine addition to our program."
Mendenhall earned All-Columbia Basin Big Nine First Team accolades in football, basketball and baseball. He will join Southridge High School teammates and current Cougars Bryce and Ty Jackson at Washington State.
Marbut Says: "Matt is another recruit from a strong Cougar family. His father Randy played football and ran track here. Matt also being from the Tri-Cities has the hitting gene as well. He is one of those hitters that is at the plate trying to hurt the baseball and I like that. He is also an all-league football and basketball player with a 3.9 GPA. I will tell you that is usually a great recipe for success in Pullman."
Pernell is a two-time All-South Puget Sound League First Team honoree in baseball. A three-sport athlete at Kentlake High School, he is a point guard in basketball and was a wide receiver/defensive back in football.
Marbut Says: "Austin Pernell is electric. Watching him play football, basketball and baseball has been exciting. We are imagining him being a star one day when he puts all his focus on baseball. He is a true centerfielder who can bat at the top of your lineup and change a game on both sides of the ball. We love his passion for the game."
A three-time all-conference selection, Robinson was named Bi-County League MVP as a junior. He led Colfax High School to a state runner-up finish as a sophomore.
Marbut Says: "A local recruit, J.J. has done it all at Colfax. He has played shortstop, pitched, and caught. We plan on converting him behind the plate so we can best use his athleticism. He has a very strong arm and has shown some nice left-handed power. We think with development he will have a fine Pac-12 career. It's exciting to have a local product playing for the Cougs."
Schroeder was a second team All-Northwest Conference selection as a junior at Ferndale High School. He also earned three varsity letters in basketball.
Marbut Says: "One of the most projectable players in the state of Washington, Jacob is 6-feet, 7-inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds with plenty of room to grow. We have seen him throw multiple pitches for strikes with a fastball in the upper 80s. Jacob also plays basketball and is a great student. You put all those together and you feel like there is someone special on his way to Pullman."
A first team All-Columbia Basin Big Nine 3A shortstop last season, Stemp batted .571 with 14 doubles, six triples and seven home runs at Kennewick High School. He was named the league player of the year and earned all-state honors while leading the league in average and tied for the league title in home runs.
Marbut Says: "Trek could fall out of bed and hit. I've seen him get hits in the sun, rain, sleet and hopefully he can hit in the snow. I've seen him get hits off right-handers, left-handers, guys throwing hard, and guys throwing soft. Trek's a really good athlete who plays a solid shortstop and second base. All the guys we have recruited and signed from the Tri-Cities over the years have really been able to hit and Trek is no different."