Benedictine College baseball head coach Anthony Everman and the Raven Baseball Program are excited to announce the addition of nine players to the 2017 recruiting class. The talented nine-man class brings in prospects from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. The group includes two infielders, two outfielders, one utility, and four pitchers.
"We are extremely thrilled about this incoming group of players, said Coach Everman," They are outstanding athletes, and students that are going to bring a lot to this program and the Benedictine community. The goal with this class is to bring in more depth and athleticism to our team, and we believe this is a great way to start our 2017 class. We are looking forward to having these guys in our program next fall."
Alex Bean | MINF | Maryville High School | 5'8" 160 | Maryville, Mo.
Bean comes to Benedictine by the way of Maryville High School and his travel ball program the Andrew County Kings. The Kings have been one of them most competitive teams in the area over the past few years and Bean is a huge reason why. He has seen time all over the field but primarily anchors the middle infield.
Coach Everman on Bean: "Alex is a player we've got to see play a bunch of times over the last two seasons here at Benedictine, and caught our eye right away. He comes from a highly competitive travel team and you can see that in the way he plays and goes about his daily business. We know he is going to push guys to compete and play hard every day."
Riley Zerni | OF | Blue Valley Northwest | 5'10" 150 | Overland Park, Kan.
Zerni comes to Benedictine from Blue Valley Northwest where current Raven LHP Kamden Miller hails. During the summer and fall Zerni plays for Natural Baseball Academy. A gifted athlete Riley plays wide receiver for the Husky football team and outfield for the baseball team.
Coach Everman on Zerni: "Riley is an outstanding outfielder that can track down any ball hit his way. He is a tremendous athlete that plays hard and will be one of the fastest players on our team next year. He has a chance to get on base using his speed and driving the ball into the gaps."
Ryan Suholaski | RHP | Rockhurst High School | 6'1 190 | Kansas City, Mo.
Ryan will be a 2017 graduate of Rockhurst High School and his father is a Bendictine baseball alumni. Ryan plays both outfield and pitches for the Hawkletes in the spring. Suholaski is a competitive strike thrower on the mound with a feel for three different pitches.
Coach Everman on Suholaski: "Ryan is an absolute strike pumper on the mound. He can locate three different pitches and gives his team a chance every time he gets on the mound by attacking hitters. He comes from a great family and is a tireless worker."
Preston Pope | RHP | Nashville High School | 5'9" 140 | Nashville, Ark.
Preston will be coming to Benedictine from Nashville, Ark., where he is a staple for his high school's pitching staff. He is not afraid to go right after hitters. During the summer and fall he plays for the Arkansas Sticks. This past fall he was named the Arkansas Fall Prospect League Pitcher of the Year. He posted a 4-0 record without allowing an earned run, while striking out 14 in 16 innings of work.
Coach Everman on Pope: "Preston is a very aggressive pitcher on the mound. He is not afraid to come right after hitters by establishing his fastball to both sides of the plate. His competitiveness alone is going to get a lot of outs for us next year."
Dillon Elliott | RHP | Belton High School | 5'11" 180 | Belton, Mo.
The senior at Belton High School will see time both in the infield and on the mound for the Pirates. Elliott pitches side arm and creates a lot of deception with his delivery. He will bring a different look to the pitching staff for next season.
Coach Everman on Elliott: "Dillon attacks hitters with a fastball and slider mix from a low arm angle. He has had tremendous success over the last couple seasons and we are looking forward to adding him to our staff."
Jacob Pavlyak | OF | Lawrence Free State | 6'0" 170 | Lawrence, Kan.
The senior for the Firebirds is coming off a stellar junior season and looking to build upon his 1st Team All-Sunflower League and 6A All-State Team accolades. Pavlyak was a vital part of Free State's run to the state title game last season. Working primarily in CF and hitting lead off for the Firebirds, Jacob is going to be a large reason for Free State's success this spring.
Coach Everman on Pavlyak: "Jacob is an athletic outfielder that flat out knows how to win. He comes from a very successful high school program, and we are looking forward to bringing his athleticism and competitiveness to our team next fall."
Tripp Wright | RHP | Neosho CC | 5'10" 170 | Lawrence, Kan.
Wright is a junior college transfer from one of the most successful junior college programs in the country. Used primarily out of the bullpen, Wright was a part of a team that won 51 games in 2016.
Coach Everman on Wright: "Wright is a tireless worker, and comes to us from two great programs in Lawrence Free State and Neosho. He has been a part of winning cultures throughout the years and been a large part of those teams success. We are looking forward to what Tripp will bring to Benedictine and will compete for a lot of innings for us."
Noah Baniewicz | 1B | Maur Hill-Mount Academy | 5'10" 185 | Atchison, Kan.
Baniewicz is a senior at Maur Hill-Mount Academy. He has seen a lot of time for the Junior Ravens at first base and on the mound through out his career. He will be a four-year varsity starter this season coming off a year where he was voted Honorable Mention All State while hitting .400 and swiping 14 bases.
Coach Everman on Baniewicz: "Noah comes from a great baseball family, and it really shows with his advanced knowledge of the game. He plays extremely hard with a great approach at the plate. We are excited to welcome Noah to Benedictine this fall."
Colten Hill | UTL | Rock Canyon High School | 5'10" 165 | Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Colten will be joining the Ravens from Rock Canyon High School where current Raven infielder Daryl Myers graduated from last year. Last spring Hill hit .500 and swiped 12 bags for the Jaguars on his way to earning 2nd Team All-Continental League honors.
Coach Everman on Hill: "Colten loves to put pressure on the defense by stretching singles into doubles and stealing bases. His speed plays very well into the offense we like to run. His versatility to play both the infield and outfield will give him a great opportunity to make an impact next year."