EIU Baseball Recruiting Class Announced, T-town's Wenthe Among Players

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Published on November 18 2013 7:43 pm
Last Updated on November 18 2013 7:43 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois head baseball coach Jim Schmitz has announced his recruiting class for next fall. A total of 11 newcomers will join the Panthers for the 2015 season.

Brendon Allen (Moscow Mills, Mo./Jefferson College), Hunter Clark (Granger, Ind./Penn HS), AJ Diepholz (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon HS), Luke Dietz (Westfield, Ind./Westfield HS), Joe Duncan (Highland, Ill./Highland HS), Andy Fisher (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green HS), Cale Hennemann (Pawnee, Ill./Pawnee HS), Hunter Morris (Paris, Ill./Paris HS), Isaac Sampen (Brownsburg, Ind./Parkland College), Josh Turnock (Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Marian HS) and Bobby Wenthe (Teutopolis, Ill./Teutopolis HS) are the members of the recruiting class. The class consists of five position players and six pitchers.

“We are thrilled to name these 11 players to our 2015 class,” said Schmitz.  “It is a class that has power, speed, defense and both young and experienced arms. Jason Anderson did a great job evaluating our team, our needs and getting the commitments to fill those needs.”

A complete bio on each player is below.

Brendon Allen - RHP
6’5, 190 lbs., R/R
Moscow Mills, Mo. (Jefferson College)

Accolades: Earned first-team all-conference honors at Troy Buchanan HS… helped Jefferson College capture a conference title last season… played for the Ocean State Waves of the New England League in the summer of 2013.

Coach Schmitz: “Brendon was the experienced junior college arm we felt we needed to complete this class. We are losing many arms and felt he is a quality pitcher that can steady the staff next year.”

Coach Anderson: “Brendon comes from a great junior college program.  He has a great frame and three quality pitches.  His experience will be counted on with all of the new faces we will have in the pitching staff.”

Hunter Clark - LHP
6’1, 195 lbs., L/L
Granger, Ind. (Penn HS)

Accolades: Played for the Michiana Clippers travel baseball team during the summer, helping the team compile a 294-57-2 record in six seasons… helped the Clippers to a No. 21 national ranking in the summer of 2013 by Perfect Game Baseball… is a member of the High Honor Roll… saw action on the varsity team as a freshman… was on homecoming court.

Coach Anderson: “I saw Hunter play last summer and was thrilled when he signed up for our summer pitching camp.  He is a competitor that throws three pitches for strikes including a great slider.  He also possesses a great pitcher’s mentality.  Hunter is going to offer some tough at bats for left-handed hitters over the course of his college career.”

HS Coach Todd Marazita: "Hunter is a great young man to have on a team.  He works hard and has a team attitude. He will be a nice addition to the EIU pitching staff!"

AJ Diepholz - RHP
6’2, 180 lbs., R/R
Mattoon, Ill. (Mattoon HS)

Accolades: Posted a 3-1 record with a 3.32 ERA during his junior season… also threw 18 strikeouts with two walks in 19 innings of work.

HS Coach Mark Jackley: “AJ Diepholz has been a model student-athlete during his time at Mattoon HS.  AJ is well respected by teachers and coaches at MHS. Academically, AJ has excelled in the classroom.  As a baseball player, AJ has shown improvement each season.  He has the tools to compete on the next level. AJ threw some good games for us last spring and we are hoping to build on his junior year accomplishments.”

Coach Schmitz: “AJ has been in our sights for many years.  I really was impressed with how much he progressed. I like his size and his breaking ball.  If he is able to see his velocity spike up a few mph he will have a chance to pitch a lot for EIU.”

Luke Dietz - RHP
5’10, 150 lbs., R/R
Westfield, Ind. (Westfield HS)

Accolades: Named to the all-conference and all-area team last season… set the single-season earned run average and WHIP record in 2013 at Westfield HS… helped HS team capture the conference title last season with a 22-7 overall record and a 15-3 mark in conference action… helped team break the school record for single season earned run average, saves and team fielding percentage in 2013.

HS Coach Ryan Bunnell: “Luke is a great kid with a ton of upside. I think he is just beginning to realize how good he can be. With a good spring and summer behind him and an off-season of work ahead of him, the sky is the limit for Luke. He’ll fit in nicely at EIU and look to be an impact player for them.”

Coach Schmitz: “Luke impressed us this summer with his ability to throw three pitches for strikes. He has great command and his fastball is 88 mph on the radar gun. He is such a good athlete and has the mound presence needed to win in college.”

Joe Duncan - OF/IF
6’2, 175 lbs., R/R
Highland, Ill. (Highland HS)

Accolades: Earned second-team all-conference honors and honorable-mention all-area honors as a sophomore… named to the all-conference first team and all-area second team as a junior… also earned all-conference honorable mention honors in basketball in 2013… helped team win the conference title in baseball in 2013… also helped the basketball team capture a conference title in 2012 and 2013.

HS Coach Joel Hawkins: "Joe is a terrific athlete.  His speed combined with his arm strength and ability to drive the baseball offensively makes him a terrific all-around high school player. He is a complete package as a young man which is something I am most proud of as his coach."

Coach Schmitz: “Joe is an outstanding athlete who has the speed we were looking for next year. He plays shortstop for Highland but we think he is versatile to play many positions for us. As he gets bigger and stronger he has a chance to be a big time player.”

Andy Fisher - LHP
6’1, 150 lbs., L/L
Bowling Green, Ohio (Bowling Green HS)

Accolades: Helped BGHS win a sectional title in 2013… also played for the Whitehouse Legion Post 183 in the summer… is an honor roll member… is also a member of the National Honor Society and the National French Honor Society.

HS Coach Bob Yenrick: “Andy is one of the most dangerous players in the state of Ohio. Andy is good enough to beat you on the mound, bases and at the plate. Andy Fisher is a quiet leader who goes above and beyond what is required for success. Typically, Andy is one of the best athletes and smartest kid on the field. He will excel in the classroom and on the field. I would be proud to have him my program forever.”

Coach Anderson: “Andy is the first kid I ever recruited and I expect great things from him. He leads by example on the field and in the classroom.  He is an athletic LHP that repeats his mechanics and has a great slider. Andy can also run like the wind and could be called on to steal a few bases if needed. He will be an immediate asset to the team and to the university on many levels.”

Cale Hennemann - IF
5’10, 160 lbs., L/R
Pawnee, Ill. (Pawnee HS)

Accolades: Has helped his HS team capture three consecutive conference titles while compiling a 76-23 overall record… helped team win a regional title as a sophomore and junior… also helped team to sectional title in 2012… is a three-year varsity basketball starter, earning all-conference honors on three occasions… also earned first-team all-area honors as a sophomore and junior in basketball… earned all-state honors in basketball in 2013… has earned the PSAE achievement award and the top Spanish Student Award.

HS Coach Chris Hennemann: "Cale has been an intense competitor with a tremendous drive to work hard on improving his skills. Offensively, he battles at the plate and has led our team in batting average and on-base percentage since he was a freshman. His good baseball instincts, solid defensive play up the middle and leadership have been a huge part of our recent success."

Coach Schmitz: “Cale is your typical coach’s son. He does everything right and nothing flashy. If you see him play only once you don’t come home with great notes. We have seen him many times and he can really play the game and swing the bat. It’s rare we get a complete player like Cale. Once he puts on some weight and adds some strength he is going to be something to watch.”

Hunter Morris - C
5’11, 190 lbs., L/R
Paris, Ill. (Paris HS)

Accolades: Was a first-team All-Apollo selection as a sophomore and junior… holds four school baseball records… serves as team captain… has helped his team to three winning seasons… named the Terre Haute Tribune Star Area Player of the Year in 2013… posted a .539 batting average last season… also earned all-conference honors in football this fall.

HS Coach Creighton Tarr: “Hunter is exactly the type of player you want leading your team, especially as a catcher.  His work ethic, his leadership abilities and his commitment to the game make him not only a top player in the area but also the state.  Once he gets to EIU and works with Coach Schmitz and his coaching staff, I really feel he will develop into something special.”

Coach Schmitz: “Hunter has been to our camps for years. We knew he could hit but didn’t know where to play him defensively. Over the past year his catching skills improved where he has a chance to come in and play right away. He has an above average arm and is a great leader behind the plate. He gives us left-handed power.”

Isaac Sampen - RHP/OF
6’1, 205 lbs., R/R
Brownsburg, Ind. (Parkland College)

Accolades: Earned all-conference and all-region honors at Parkland C.C. in 2013… earned all-state honors at Brownsburg HS and was named to the Hoosier Crossroads All-Conference Team twice.

Parkland Coach Dave Garcia: "Parkland is very happy for Isaac Sampen and his future at EIU. He is an impact player at any level on the mound and at the plate. We feel that EIU was a perfect fit for Isaac and know that he will be very successful for Coach Anderson and Coach Schmitz."

Coach Schmitz: “Isaac will help us both with his arm and his bat. He was originally recruited to pitch but the more we saw him hit we knew he could be a middle of the lineup guy. He has a power arm with sink that you don’t see very often in college. As I told him, he can hit a three run homer and then come in the game and get a save.”

Josh Turnock - IF
5’10, 190 lbs., L/R
Granger, Ind. (Mishawaka Marian HS)

Accolades: Helped HS team to Class 3A state runner-up performance in 2011… also helped team win a sectional title in 2012… is a four year varsity letterwinner in baseball… earned all-conference honors as a junior… is also a three-time letterwinner in hockey… was named to the all-conference first team three times in hockey… also earned first-team all-state honors as a junior in hockey… is a honor roll member… earned academic all-conference honors in hockey three times.

HS Coach Joe Turnock: “Josh has been our starting varsity catcher since his freshman year.  He’s a student of the game which has been an asset in handling our pitching staff.  His defensive presence behind the plate and arm has allowed us control our opponents’ running game. He has provided a strong left-handed bat in the three hole leading our team in most offensive categories.  As our captain, he has provided good leadership through his work ethic and play. His game has continued developed each season and we’re excited to see what he can achieve at the next level.”

Coach Schmitz: “Josh brings the flexibility to play many positions. I like that he can catch as well as play first or third base. He is a talented left-handed hitter who has the ability to hit with power.  He played for his father at Marian so he is a smart baseball player.”

Bobby Wenthe - OF/LHP
6’1, 200lbs., L/L
Teutopolis, Ill. (Teutopolis HS)

Accolades: Helped HS team to an elite eight appearance in the 2012 Illinois State Baseball Tournament… also helped the team to a final four appearance in 2013… hit .427 with six home runs as a junior… also posted a 4-0 record with a 0.78 ERA in 18 innings of work… won a state title in the discus in 2010.

HS Coach Justin Fleener: “Bobby has one of the quickest bats that I have seen. The bat head explodes through the zone. He joins the list of Wooden Shoe baseball players that have had an impact on our program.”

Coach Schmitz: “Bobby is a big time player.  He has the raw power that you don’t see any more.  He was our first commitment because we knew he was an impact player.  He can play outfield or first base and will get a chance to pitch in relief.”

Eastern Illinois head baseball coach Jim Schmitz has announced the 2014 schedule. EIU plays seven teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including two College World Series teams.

The Panthers open the season at Louisiana-Lafayette in a four-game series on Feb. 14-16 before traveling to Arkansas for a three-game series on Feb. 21-23. EIU then travels to The Diamond Classic presented by Polk’s Meat Products in Starkville, Miss., for two games each against Michigan State and Mississippi State on Feb. 28 - March 2.

The Panthers end their 13-game stretch away from Coaches Stadium at Indiana State on March 4. EIU also has non-conference midweek away games at Vanderbilt (March 11), Southern Illinois (March 18), Illinois State (April 1), Illinois (April 22) and Saint Louis (April 29). The Panthers participate in a tournament in Champaign, Ill., on March 21-23 and will play Xavier and Illinois twice.

Home midweek games include playing host to Saint Louis (March 25), Illinois College (April 9), Indiana State (April 15) and Butler (May 13). EIU will play its annual contest with Illinois at Peterson Park in Mattoon, Ill., on April 8.

The Panthers open their home schedule in an Ohio Valley Conference series with SIU Edwardsville on March 7-9. EIU also has home conference series with Jacksonville State (March 28-30), Tennessee Tech (April 11-13), Belmont (April 25-27) and Morehead State (May 9-11).

Road OVC series include trips to Austin Peay (March 14-16), Murray State (April 4-6), Southeast Missouri (April 17-19), Eastern Kentucky (May 2-4) and UT Martin (May 15-17). The OVC Tournament will be played in Jackson, Tenn., at the Ballpark in Jackson on May 21-25.