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Lobo Baseball Inks 17 To National Letters of Intent
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/18/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 18, 2005

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobo baseball program announced the signing of 17 athletes to National Letters of Intent today. Head coach Rich Alday and his staff found top-notch talent from around the world at both the high school and junior college level.

"We have signed a lot of pitchers to basically rebuild our staff," Alday said. "You can never have enough pitching and we are really excited about the group of guys coming in. We also have some talented young athletes coming in to fill voids in our defense, especially at short and behind the plate. We've also signed a couple utility guys who will add depth. We are really excited about the recruiting class as a whole this year and expect to see great things from them."

Below is a list of the 17 signees who will be eligible for competition in the 2007 season.

Bryan Banes • LHP • Hacienda Heights, Calif./Rio Hondo College
College: Threw 73 innings with 12 starts ... went 7-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 52 strikeouts.

Alday's Thoughts: "Bryan is a left-handed pitcher who brings experience from the Junior College level."

Adam Courcha • INF • Gofnells, Australia./South Fremantle HS
High School: Member of the Australian Junior National team which competed in the World Games... hit in the lead-off spot ... a versitile player who can play multiple positions.

Alday's Thoughts: "Adam is a great utility player who has a lot of experience and speed. He will see action at different positions for us."

Jason Davidson • LHP/1B • Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva HS
High School: Threw 36.1 innings over nine games for La Cueva ... posted a 6-0 record with 33 strikeouts and a 1.16 ERA ... recorded a .391 batting avg. ... had 27 hits, 31 RBI and eight homeruns in 69 at bats.

Alday's Thoughts: "Jason is a dual player who can play first or pitch. He comes from a winning program and we will be able to use in at both positions."

Shane Dyer • RHP • Eaton, Colorado/Eaton HS
High School: Went 9-0 with a 1.15 ERA as a junior ... hurled three shutouts, allowed only five extra-base hits, which were all doubles ... walked just 19 batters while striking out 77 ... maintained a .984 fielding percentage, committing just one error all season ... hit .389 with 20 RBIs ... belted two homeruns, scored 19 runs on 28 hits ... drew seven walks while striking out just four times.

Alday's Thoughts: "Shane is a player who can really pitch and will be able to step in immediately. He has a great arm and has a chance to be a weekend starter."

Bret Fanning • OF • Cheyenne, Wyo./Central HS
High School: Honored on the all-state team as a junior after leading his team in at bats, runs, hits, walks, batting average, triples, slugging percentage and sacrifices ... guided his team to two state championships in 2004 and 2005 ... hit .411 with 82 runs score, 25 stolen bases and a .615 slugging percentage as a junior.

Alday's Thoughts:
"Bret is a guy who can really run and has a great arm for the outfield. He definitely has the opportunity to contribute to the outfield and could earn a starting position."

Matt Hibbitts • OF • Portland, Ore./Mt. Hood College
College: Started 22 of 33 games played as a freshman at Gonzaga ... appeared in 16 conference games, hitting .314 as a freshman.

Alday's Thoughts: "Matt is an outfielder and a right-handed hitter with power. We expect big things from him offensively."

Brian Hill • LHP • Cheyenne, Wyo./Central HS
High School: Two-time all-state honoree ... won three consecutive titles as a member of the Post 6 varsity team in Cheyenne ... went 8-4, throwing 83 innings with a 3.60 ERA, 66 strikeouts and just 21 walks as a junior ... tossed 82 innings as a sophomore for a 9-1 record, 2.66 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 27 walks ... pitched 45 innings, compiling a 7-2 record, 2.19 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks as a freshman.

Alday's Thoughts: "We are really excited about Brian because he is a left-handed pitcher, who can command the zone with three pitches."

Alex Johnson • 1B • Mulgoa, New South Wales, Australia/Glenmore Park HS
High School: Five-time state all-star, earning the honors once on the Under-14 team, twice on the U-16 team and twice on the U-18 team ... toured internationally to Japan and Taiwan with the Australian Junior National team, hitting in the clean-up spot ... rated one of the top hitters in Australia.

Alday's Thoughts: "Alex is a great hitter and we think he will step in and see time at many positions but it is his bat that will keep him in the lineup."

Bobby LaFromboise • LHP • Downey, Calif./Rio Hondo College
College: Tossed 78 innings with 13 starts ... posted a 7-1 record iwth a 3.33 ERA and 66 strikeouts.

Alday's Thoughts: "Bobby is a drafted left-handed pitcher who can come in and be a starter for us with all of his experience."

Jose Munoz • SS • Fontana, Calif./Chaffey College
College: Led the Foothill Conference in hitting with a .452 average ... recorded eight doubles, one triple, one homer and a .522 slugging percentage while striking out just six times in 134 at bats.

Alday's Thoughts: "Jose is a great defensive player who will step in right away and fill the void at shortstop that will be left by the loss of Ryan Barba. He is also a good offensive player."

Jacob Norton • LHP • Buena Park, Calif./Rio Hondo College
College: Pitched 21 innings with two starts ... was 0-1 with a 7.59 ERA and 12 strikeouts

Alday's Thoughts: "Jacob is someone we can expect to give us innings. He has lots of experience which is something we haven't had in the past."

Gilbert Palacios • RHP • Chino Hills, Calif./Chaffey College
College: Hurled 50 innings with six starts ... went 3-3 with a 3.42 ERA ... struck out 46.

Alday's Thoughts: "Gilbert was a starter and reliever on his JC team who brings us some innings and experience."

Todd Privett • LHP • West Jordan, Utah/College of Southern Idaho
College: Started 13 games last season ... went 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA ... struck out 58 batters in 68.1 innings.

Alday's Thoughts: "Todd is a good JC (Junior College) player who can step in for us. A left-handed pitcher, he is a proven winner at every level."

Mark Rockey • C • Mt. Lake Terrace, Wash./Shorewood HS
High School: Three-year letterwinner earned all-league honorable mention and all-area team honors ... team captain ... led team to start playoffs with three-run walk-off home run ... hit .412 with five doubles, two triples and three home runs as a junior ... threw out 17 of 20 base runners ... hit .478 with 14 doubles, three triples and three home runs on the Pepsi baseball team ... maintained a .985 fielding percentage on the pepsi team ... named to the all-league second team for football ... four-year National Honor Society member ... class senator and treasurer of community service group.

Alday's Thoughts: "Mark is a great catcher who could be drafted this year. He is a real offensive catcher who can play other positions if need be."

Tyler Sanford • C • Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro HS
High School: All-State honorable mention, All-Northeast Valley team and East Sky All-Region first team honoree ... named MVP of his high school team as a junior ... hit .471 with 21 stolen bases and a .685 on base percentage last season ... guided his team to the state playoffs.

Alday's Thoughts: "Tyler is a great player who can really catch and throw. He is good offensively and will only get better as he gets bigger and stronger."

Stephen Smith • RHP • Gilbert, Ariz./Arizona Western College
College: Tossed 75.1 innings last season ... posted a 5-7 record with a 2.99 ERA and 61 strikeouts ... started 11 games.

Alday's Thoughts: "He is a right-handed pitcher who throws in the upper 80's. He has the opportunity to be a starter or a reliever."

Jarrad Watkins • RHP • Farmington, N.M./Farmington HS
High School: Voted New Mexico's Class 4A Player of the Year by the New Mexico High School Baseball Coaches Association ... first team all-state honors ... guided his team to the New Mexico Class 4A State title with a 9-0-1 record, 3.15 ERA and .500 avg. as a junior ... first team all-state outfielder and second team all-state pitcher as a sophomore ... went 5-2-1 with a 1.28 ERA as a sophomoe ... led the team as a sophomore with 19 doubles, 33 RBI's and a .411 avg. ... won the Scorpion Big Stick Award as a sophomore ... hit .417 as a freshman ... in summer ball for the Connie Mack Four Corners Rattlers, posted a 7-2-1 record with a 1.80 ERA and a .510 avg. ... pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim scout team in the fall.

Alday's Thoughts: "He's the top in-state player who we think could pitch right away as a freshman. He has three good pitches that he can throw for strikes and it will be a lot of fun having him here."

2007 UNM Baseball Signees

Bryan Banes • LHP • Hacienda Heights, Calif./Rio Hondo College

Adam Courcha • INF • Gofnells, Australia./South Fremantle HS

Jason Davidson • LHP/1B • Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva HS

Shane Dyer • RHP • Eaton, Colorado/Eaton HS

Bret Fanning • OF • Cheyenne, Wyo./Central HS

Matt Hibbitts • OF • Portland, Ore./Mt. Hood College

Brian Hill • LHP • Cheyenne, Wyo./Central HS

Alex Johnson • 1B • Mulgoa, New South Wales, Australia/Glenmore Park HS

Bobby LaFromboise • LHP • Downey, Calif./Rio Hondo College

Jose Munoz • SS • Fontana, Calif./Chaffey College

Jacob Norton • LHP • Buena Park, Calif./Rio Hondo College

Gilbert Palacios • RHP • Chino Hills, Calif./Chaffey College

Todd Privett • LHP • West Jordan, Utah/College of Southern Idaho

Mark Rockey • C • Mt. Lake Terrace, Wash./Shorewood HS

Tyler Sanford • C • Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro HS

Stephen Smith • RHP • Gilbert, Ariz./Arizona Western College

Jarrad Watkins • RHP • Farmington, N.M./Farmington HS

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