Sept. 18, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- University of New Mexico baseball coach Ray Birmingham and his staff have announced the signing of four more UNM baseball players. Freshmen Oscar Almeida, Arthur Nelson and Zak Miller and transfer Mike Lachapelle have signed National Letters of Intent to play with the University of New Mexico. All four were brought in for their abilities to touch 90 mph on the radar gun.
"We brought in a group of kids with serious arm strength," said Birmingham. "We look to improve our pitching staff and make it the best staff in Lobo baseball history. The top programs in the country recruited all four of these guys and they chose to be Lobos. We got these guys away from some really good programs and that just tells you the respect Lobo baseball is getting. The upside is that all four have really good grade point averages as well."
Oscar Almeida RHP 5-11/180 Fr.-HS Albuquerque, N.M. Rio Grande HS
Four-year letterwinner at Rio Grande HS under head coach Orlando Griego ... named All-State first team as a senior and All-Metro first team as a senior and junior ... earned an academic letter in 2008 ... played club ball for the Albuquerque 18's.
Coach Birmingham on Almeida
"Almeida is a local kid with a great work ethic who will be a good pitcher for us."
Mike Lachapelle LHP 6-2/165 Jr.-Tr Tucson, Ariz. Pima CC
Transfer from Pima CC and four year letterwinner at Sahuaro HS in Tucson, Ariz. under head coach Mark Chandler ... also lettered in football ... was a three-time Conference Pitcher of the Week while at Pima CC ... earned first team all-conference, first team all-city and pitched in the Arizona Super 50 game in high school ... played club ball for Holyoke Blue Sox.
Coach Birmingham on Lachapelle
"Lachapelle was probably the best left-hander in the Arizona junior college system. He has a real good shot of getting drafted. He can get to the high 80's and touch 90 every now and then. Most importantly, he is a very smart pitcher."
Zak Miller RHP 6-3/198 Fr.-HS Surry, B.C., Canada Elgin Park Secondary School
Lettered in baseball under head coach Doug Mathieson ... also lettered in hockey and volleyball ... went 10-2 with a 1.01 earned run average his senior year and was named league MVP and to the all-conference defensive and offensive teams ... won championships with hockey and volleyball teams while at Elgin Park ... earned Top Student honors at Elgin Park, which is awarded to the athlete who best exemplifies academic standing, community service and athletics.
Coach Birmingham on Miller
"Miller was the number one pitcher for an elite team in British Columbia. He could have gone to the pros but chose to come here. Miller will be a freshman pitcher out of the bullpen and will have a good chance at being a starter by the end of the year. His upside is huge."
Jacob Nelson RHP/3B 6-2/170 Fr.-HS Lakewood, Colo. Wheatridge HS
Four-year letterwinner under head coach Adam Miller ... was named Jeffco all-conference all four years of high school ... also lettered in basketball ... played club ball for the Colorado Slammers.
Coach Birmingham on Nelson
"Nelson is an all-state pitcher out of Colorado. He is a dual threat because he was also a top infielder in Colorado. He can also swing the bat with a lot of power. Nelson could be a two-way guy for us."
Three more were signed to scholarships this past spring.
Alex Allbritton INF 6-2/180 Fr.-HS Aurora, Colo. Grandview HS
Four-year letterwinner under head coach Dean Adams ... was named All-Centennial League three times in his career ... earned four academic letters ... club teammate with current Lobo Jacob Nelson on the Colorado Slammers.
Kenny Held OF 6-2/215 Jr.-TR Tucson, Ariz. Central Arizona JC
Received his Associates degree in exercise science from Central Arizona JC ... letterwinner for Toni Gabasi at Mountain View HS in Tucson, Ariz. ... was the 2007 5A Arizona Player of the Year ... played in the Arizona high school All-Star game as a senior ... earned first team all-state and all-city honors in both his senior and junior years ... earned academic all-state honors his junior and senior years ... played for the Arizona Sunbelt in high school and the Mankato Moon Dogs in 2009.
Gerardo Sanchez RHP 6-0/175 So.-TR Las Cruces, N.M. New Mexico JC
Earned all-conference and all-region honors for New Mexico JC ... lettered for head coach Miguel Gomez at Mayfield HS in Las Cruces, N.M. ... earned all-state and all-district honors ... was named New Mexico Player of the Year in 2006.
Coach Birmingham has also opened the door to several players who will try to earn a roster spot as a walk-on.
Eric Baalman RHP 6-0/190 So.-TR Littleton, Colo. New Mexico JC
Played the last season at New Mexico JC ... lettered in baseball and basketball at Dakota Ridge HS ... went 11-1 with a 1.39 ERA.
Devon Conley OF 6-0-155 Fr.-HS Rio Rancho N.M. Rio Rancho HS
Four-year letterwinner for head coach Ron Murphy ... part of the 2009 5A state championship team ... named first team all-state, first-team all-district, first-team all-metro all in 2009 ... named Mr. Baseball 2009 for 5A ... named to the North team in the North/South All-Star game.
Mitchell Garver C 6-1/195 Fr.-HS Albuquerque, N.M. La Cueva HS
Four-year letterwinner for head coach Stan McKeever ... named first team all-state and first team all-district from 2008-09 ... earned honorable mention All-American in as a senior ... named APS and La Cueva Male athlete of the year in 2009 ... first team all metro in 2009 ... member of the Albuquerque Baseball Academy.
Trey Horn INF 6-0/205 Jr.-TR Burkburnett, Texas, Hill JC
Letterwinner for head coach Mike Leach at Burkburnett HS ... also lettered in football ... named first team all-district ... earned academic all-state honors ... played for Burkburnett Blacksox, Union City Greyhounds and Ozark Generals club teams.
Jerome Montoya-Maston RHP 6-4/230 Farmington, N.M. Eastern Arizona College
Letterwinner for head coach Don Lorret and was part of the four-time 4A state champion Farmington HS baseball team ... named first team all-state and all-district as a pitcher ... part of the Four Corners Thunder club team who went to the Connie Mack World Series.
Thomas Malone RHP 6-4/215 Fr.-HS Katy, Texas Cinco Ranch HS
Letterwinner for head coach Kevin Hilderbrand ... was a National Merit Semifinalist ... played for the Katy Collegians who won the NBC Gulf Coast Championship.
Orrin Sears C 6-3/205 Fr.-HS Albuquerque, N.M. El Dorado HS
Four-year letterwinner for head coach Jim Johns ... named second team all-state ... also lettered in football where he was a first-team all-state ... named Athlete of the Year at El Dorado HS ... played for Post 49 American Legion team as well as the Albuquerque Heat.
Cody Voelker INF 6-2/190 Fr.-HS Albuquerque, N.M. La Cueva HS
Four-year letterwinner for head coach Stan McKeever ... named first team all-state 2008-09 ... earned honorable mention All-American in 2009 ... was named American Legion State MVP ... played for the Post 49 American Legion state championship team.
Alex Wehner RHP 6-2/185 Fr.-HS Rio Rancho, N.M. Rio Rancho HS
Lettered for head coach Ron Murphy ... part of the 2009 state championship team ... named first team all-state and all-district 2008-09 ... named Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for New Mexico in 2009 ... named ABCA first team all-region ... has the Rio Rancho HS school record for career wins with 24 ... carried a varsity record of 24-1 ... was the No. 1 ranked pitcher in New Mexico ... a member of the North All-Star team in the North/South All-Star game ... played for the Albuquerque Baseball Academy club team.
This group of incoming freshmen and transfers join the signing class of fall '08.
Zack Cleveland RHP 6-1/180 Jr.-TR Golden, Colo. Central Arizona JC
Richard Olson RHP 5-10/170 Jr.-TR Baulkham Hills, Australia Clarendon JC
Austin Terhune LHP 6-0/190 Jr.-TR Perryton, Texas Sweard County CC
Brett Doe INF 5-11/170 Fr.-HS Mesquite, Texas Poteet HS
Steven Florez 6-1/185 Fr.-HS Mesilla, N.M. Las Cruces HS
Austin House RHP 6-4/175 Fr.-HS Albuquerque, N.M. La Cueva HS
Bobby Mares RHP 6-0/195 Fr.-HS El Paso, Texas Socorro HS
John Twitchell OF 6-2/195 Fr.-HS Sunnyvale, Texas Navarro JC