ULM Baseball Inks Four to Open Early Signing Period
Tanner Hebert (IF) from Zachary (La.) High School, Christo Jones (RHP) from Gulf Coast State College, Josh Leone (RHP) from Calvary Baptist (La.) HS and Kodie Tidwell (IF) from West Ouachita (La.) High School will all join the Warhawks beginning with the 2013 season.
"This is a great start to one of the top overall and freshmen recruiting classes we have had in a while," Schexnaider said. "The coaching staff did an outstanding job of addressing our needs on the field in addition to bringing in high character young men. This group will represent the University with tremendous class both as players and as individuals. Our fans and community will enjoy watching them compete. This is an exciting day for ULM baseball."
Hebert has started every game for Zachary High School over the past two seasons. The 5-foot-7 left-handed hitting shortstop was named second team all-district following his junior season after he hit .350 with a .430 on-base percentage. Hebert helped the Broncos to the Louisiana 5-5A district championship and hit over .500 without committing an error defensively in the playoffs. A 4.0 student in the classroom, Hebert hit .300 as a sophomore and committed just eight errors in the field.
"Tanner is an outstanding infielder from a great high school program," Schexnaider said. "He has tremendous passion for the game and is a true grinder. Tanner will fit into the middle of our infield and bring some energy and excitement to our program."
Jones, a 6-foot-4 pitcher from Panama City, Fla., compiled a 3-1 record with a 5.18 ERA in 41.2 innings as a freshman at Schexnaider's alma mater Gulf Coast State College. He held opponents to a .272 batting average and struck out 31 opposing hitters. As a senior at Rutherford High School, Jones went 5-1 with a 3.75 ERA.
"Christo is a hard-throwing power pitcher that will provide immediate depth to our pitching staff," Schexnaider said. "He has great size at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, but is very athletic for a physical pitcher."
Leone, a 6-foot-3 pitcher from Keithville, La., is ranked as the 11th best player in Louisiana, one of the top 150 pitchers in the nation and one of the top 430 players in the nation by Perfect Game. Armed with a fastball in the 90s, Leone was named to the Perfect Game Underclass All-America Third team after posting a 3-0 record with a 3.17 ERA last season. He recorded 33 strikeouts and allowed just two extra-base hits in 17.2 innings of work.
"Josh comes to us from a solid high school program under the director of ULM alum Rodney Traweek," Schexnaider said. "He will add tremendous depth to our pitching staff next spring as we feel he is capable of pitching as a true freshman. He will only continue to get stronger and should develop into another outstanding pitcher."
Tidwell, a 6-foot-1 left-handed hitting infielder from West Ouachita High School, was named District 3-4A MVP in addition to receiving Louisiana 4A all-state honors as a junior after batting .469 and helping lead the Chiefs to the state playoffs. Tidwell also played quarterback for West Ouachita before turning all of his focus towards baseball his senior season.
"We are very excited about the signing of Kodie to become a member of our baseball program," Schexnaider said. "He is one of the top players in the state and we are glad he made the decision to stay close to home so the local fans can continue to see him play. He comes from a solid program led by former ULM great Mitch Thomas and former ULM assistant coach Britt Oubre. Kodie is a solid player and his best days are ahead of him."
The early signing period runs through Nov. 16.
ULM Baseball Signing Class
Tanner Hebert (IF) - Zachary (La.) HS
Christo Jones (RHP) - Gulf Coast State College
Josh Leone (RHP) - Calvary Baptist (La.) HS
Kodie Tidwell (IF) - West Ouachita (La.) HS