Cloud County Baseball Has Five Sign NCAA Division I Letters of Intent

Cloud County Baseball Has Five Sign NCAA Division I Letters of Intent

Cloud County Community College head baseball coach Eric Gilliland has announced that five T-Bird players have signed their National Letters of Intent to move on to NCAA Division I Universities for the 2022-2023 school year.

Letters of Intent were signed during the early signing period by Ian Riley (Dallas Baptist University), Aaron Hayes (Missouri State University), Christian Womble (Jackson State University), Ty Wevers (Canisius College), and Brady Kobitowich (Niagara University).

"We want all of the players we recruit on our team to come here with the ambition to play at the highest level possible after Cloud and then work hard to make it a reality" said head coach Eric Gilliland when asked about the five signees. "These guys have all developed and earned Division I scholarships and we are proud of them." "Several more will sign with schools over the next six to eight months as we continue to develop the players we have in our program."

Riley enters his second season with the T-Birds after finishing as the only player on the CCCC roster last year to appear in and start all 52 games for Cloud County while recording a .305 hitting average at the plate. A versatile outfielder, Riley had 24 extra-base hits last year and 53 runs batted in while drawing a team-best 37 walks and getting hit by a pitch 11 times while striking out only 44 times. The Austin, Texas native will be joining a Patriot squad that has a rich history at the NCAA Division I level which includes an appearance in the NCAA Super Regional Round in 2021 while posting a 41-18 overall record.

"Ian has improved so rapidly and it's largely because of his makeup and work ethic" said Gilliland. "He is a tireless worker and a great person that loves to compete." "As a player, he is a physical left-handed hitter that can really run and can play center field at a high level." "He will get a shot to play in his home state and at one of the top programs in the country in Dallas Baptist."

The other position player for Cloud County to sign during the early signing period is Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada native Ty Wevers who is entering his sophomore campaign with the T-Birds and looking to take on a more prominent role at catcher for CCCC. Appearing in 16 games and making 11 starts in 2021, Wevers would hit .257 at the plate with two extra-base hits and one run batted in. Posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, Wevers would record 112 putouts and three assists in his freshman year. Members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Canisius College is in Buffalo, New York, and has won three MAAC Championships since 2013 while producing 14 Major League Baseball draft picks in the past 25 years.

"Ty is a great person and leader for us" said Gilliland. "He brings a presence behind the plate and is a guy that pitchers love to throw to." "He can really receive the baseball and has some power in the bat to go with it."

An honorable-mention All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference West Division selection in 2021, Womble will look to take on a more prominent role in the Cloud County starting rotation before heading off to Jackson, Mississippi to join the Tigers. Last year for CCCC, Womble would appear in nine games and make six starts while going 2-1 overall with a 3.96 earned run average. Striking out 37 batters, Womble would hold opposing hitters to just a .211 batting average and would go a season-long seven innings in a win over KJCCC West Division Champion Hutchinson on April 18th. Jackson State is coming off a record-setting 2021 which saw the Tigers post a 38-9 overall record and a perfect 24-0 mark in the Southwestern Athletic Conference while finishing as SWAC Tournament Runners-Up.

"We are proud of how far Christian has come" said Gilliland. "He has developed on and off the field and is a great teammate." "On the mound, he competes and has front line stuff with a fastball up to 94 mph and a mid-80's slider."

Hayes is the second player for Cloud County to take his talents to the Missouri Valley Conference come 2022 as the Weatherford, Texas native looks to build off a freshman year that saw him appear in 13 games on the mound while making two starts. Throwing a total of 16.1 innings, Hayes struck out 20 batters and allowed just two extra-base hits all year. Another perennial power in the MVC, the Bears are looking to bounce back from a 2021 season where they went 21-23 overall. MSU last made the NCAA Tournament in 2018 when they were a national seed and hosted the Springfield, Missouri Regional.

"Aaron has some of the most electric stuff we have had come through here in my time as head coach" said Gilliland. "He has a low 90's fastball but also one of the best breaking balls in the country." "Aaron also had a really good fall, and his best baseball is ahead of him for sure."

The final early signee for the T-Birds is Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native Kobitowich who will look to have another strong year before heading off to play for the Purple Eagles. Making 10 appearances in relief and throwing a total of 12 innings in 2021, Kobitowich recorded the Cloud County's third-best ERA on the team last year and struck out 11 batters compared to just six walks. Niagara competes in the MAAC alongside Canisius College and is coming off a 17-17 overall season last year while playing a conference-only schedule due to COVID restrictions. Kobitowich becomes the second player for Cloud County in the past two years to sign with the Purple Eagles, joining former T-Bird Evan Wilde who signed for this upcoming 2021-22 season.

"Brady had a little velocity jump this fall and started to touch 90 miles per hour" said Gilliland. "He has always been a high-pitch ability guy with quality off-speed and now has a fastball that plays as well." "Brady is also a great competitor and teammate as well."