LITTLE ROCK - The UALR baseball team recently announced the signing of seven players during the fall period, a group consisting of five junior college standouts to go along with a pair of local high school products in Ryan Scott (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock HS) and Joseph Paulino (Springdale, Ark./Shiloh Christian HS).
"I am very pleased with our early signing class. I believe our staff did a great job of recruiting and evaluating the talent we need to keep a high level of competitiveness here at UALR," said head coach Scott Norwood. "We have addressed some areas of need and look forward to seeing these young men next fall. We look forward to all of our recruits making an immediate impact for our team."
Below is a closer look at each of the signees:
INF // Southeast Community College
As a freshman last spring at Southeast (Neb.) Community College, Korsakas hit .444 with five doubles, 24 RBI and 10 runs scored. As a pitcher, he compiled a 2-3 record with 12 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA.
"Mark Korsakas is one of the best young men I have had the privilege to coach in my long career," said Ron Cullison, head baseball coach at Southeast CC. "He has become a student of the game and improved every day since he has been on campus. No one will out-work him or out-hustle him. I have no doubt that he will continue to strive for excellence and achieve at a high level for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock."
Norwood on Korsakas: "Mark can really swing the bat. His power should translate well at this level. He comes from a great family and we couldn't be more excited he decided to become a Trojan."
RHP // Lamar Community College
Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada
LeBlanc made 14 appearances and threw 22.1 innings in one year at Cochise College before transferring to Lamar (Colo.) Community College for the upcoming season. He struck out nine batters and surrendered 12 walks on the year.
"UALR is getting a quality junior college pitcher in David LeBlanc," said Scott Crampton, head baseball coach at Lamar CC. "David will be a weekend rotation guy for us this spring, and he is a quality person and student. On the field, he will assist in the successful direction that UALR baseball is headed."
Norwood on LeBlanc: "David is another physical, 6-6 right-handed pitcher with a definite presence on the mound. He'll have an opportunity to come in and compete for a weekend rotation spot for us right away. His fastball has great movement from his low three-quarter arm slot. He has a tremendous attitude and we expect him to pitch a ton of innings during his time here."
INF // Cochise College
Last year at Cochise (Ariz.) College, LeFevre hit .257 with seven doubles, 37 runs scored and 31 stolen bases. He totaled 44 hits on the year and drove in 15 runs.
"Max is one of the more physically talented baseball players we have had here," said Todd Inglehart, head baseball coach at Cochise College. "He is really excited about attending UALR and I believe it will be a great situation for him."
Norwood on LeFevre: "We expect Max to come in immediately and compete for a starting spot in the middle of our infield. Being a switch hitter will be a tremendous asset to our club as well. Max definitely plays the game the right way and our current players will feed off his energy."
LHP // Central Arizona College
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
As a freshman at Central Arizona College, McDonald made one start in 12 appearances, and struck out 29 batters in just 22.2 innings of work. He produced a 2.38 ERA and walked just 10 batters on the year.
"Travis is a left-handed pitcher from Australia," said Jon Wente, head baseball coach at Central Arizona. "He has a chance to be a great pitcher here at Central Arizona this year."
Norwood on McDonald: "Coach (Brandon) Rowan really liked Travis when he saw him pitch earlier this fall. Travis commands three pitches for strikes and uses both halves of the plate effectively. His best days are most definitely ahead of him and we look forward to having him in our program."
RHP // Lamar Community College
In 41.2 innings of work last year at Lamar (Colo.) Community College, Moritz went 1-2 with 34 strikeouts and a 3.54 ERA. A 6-6 right-hander, Mortiz surrendered just 16 earned runs while walking only 13 batters on the year.
"UALR is getting another quality pitcher in Dillon Moritz," said coach Crampton. "Dillon will be our closer this spring. He is a young man with outstanding character and is an excellent student. On the field, Dillon will be a strong asset to the UALR baseball program."
Norwood on Moritz: "Dillon is a big 6-6 side-armer that we'll use in a variety of roles. His arm angle as a true submariner should give hitters fits. We look forward to having him join our club."
INF // Shiloh Christian HS
Paulino hit .488 with 14 doubles, 28 RBI and 27 runs scored en route to being named All-Conference and honorable mention All-State as a junior at Shiloh Christian HS. He had a major hand in leading his team to its second-straight state title in 2011, driving in the game-winning run against Prairie Grove in the Class 4A State Championship game.
"Joseph is going on his fourth year playing in the Shiloh (Christian) baseball program. He is one of the hardest workers to come through our program," said Jimmy Harris, head baseball coach at Shiloh Christian HS. "UALR is getting a very, very good baseball player, but a much better person. He is a true man of God. He lives it every day. Joe is a great teammate and recently was voted as one of the team captains. Joseph will play a major part in our run to our third straight State Championship. He has played in six state championship games, winning five titles (both football and baseball). Joe is our first basemen; he is a born leader and he is a winner. Joseph has been a pleasure to coach and will do well at UALR."
Norwood on Paulino: "Joseph comes to us from a highly successful program at Shiloh Christian. We were very impressed with not only his baseball abilities, but also his maturity level. He is a wonderful young man and that's a testament to his parents. Joe is very strong for his age and will battle for playing time as a freshman. The future is bright for him as a Trojan."
OF // North Little Rock HS
North Little Rock, Ark.
A three-year starter at North Little Rock HS, Scott hit .375 with three home runs and 48 RBI as a junior. He will end his high school career as one of the top hitters in school history.
"We are happy that Ryan is signing with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock," said Randy Sandefur, head baseball coach at North Little Rock HS. "Ryan will be a four year starter for North Little Rock High School. He has been All-State for two consecutive years and excels academically as well."
Norwood on Scott: "Ryan is a local high school standout and I can't say enough about his athleticism. He has a great frame for an outfielder and is only going to grow stronger as he gets older. We needed a talented outfielder in this recruiting class and we feel like Ryan fills that need for us."