By Eric Samulski
After being unable to sign junior college players during their first two seasons due to employing four-year NCAA coaches, the Dutchmen will finally field players from the JUCO ranks in 2011. The impact should have a marked affect on the pitching staff in particular. Turning to two JUCO powerhouses, the Dutchmen signed versatile right-handers Cameron Brewer of North Central Texas College and Preston Hill of Chandler Gilbert CC. Both players have experience starting games and coming out of the bullpen, which should provide valuable flexibility for the Albany coaching staff.
A sophomore from Garland, Texas, Brewer is a major component on a strong North Central Texas staff. The NCTC Lions are a perennial power, earning thirteen regional bids in the last sixteen years, being nationally ranked in nine of the last ten years and averaging 37 wins per season during that span. In his final year at NCTC, Brewer has already signed to move to the NCAA division one ranks next year, agreeing to play for Northwestern State. The 6'4" 185 pounder has made a smooth transition to the starting rotation for the Lions after pitching the majority of last season out of the bullpen. In his first four starts of the season, Brewer allowed only four earned runs in twenty-three innings pitched, striking out eighteen batters and compiling a 1.57 ERA. After battling through mid-season arm soreness, the affable Brewer appears back on track, striking out six, while limiting Temple College to two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched. A two-sport athlete at Garland Lakeview HS, Brewer was a Nominee for the Under Armour All-American football game as well as being named District MVP on the baseball field and garnering an invitation to the NTBCA All-Star Game during his senior year.
Freshman Preston Hill comes to the Dutchmen with an equally impressive baseball pedigree. Chandler Gilbert CC has averaged over 33 wins per season over the past decade and has put many players in Major League Baseball, including Dodgers OF Andre Ethier. Before coming to the Coyotes, Hill lead the rotation at Chaparral HS, one of the premier schools in Arizona and eight-time State Champions. Pitching primarily out of the bullpen for Chandler Gilbert, Hill has notched four saves and one win in fourteen appearances. He's displayed impressive control, walking only four batters in 31+ innings pitched, while compiling a 4.26 ERA. The Scottsdale, Arizona native enjoyed an equal amount of success in High School, being selected First Team All-Region and twice being named 2nd team All-State.
Both pitchers will look to use their versatility and strong competitive history to fuel the Dutchmen pitching staff in 2011.
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