ISLANDER BASEBALL SIGNS TRIO OF JUCO TRANSFERS
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head baseball coach Scott Malone and his staff added three more players to its 2009 recruiting class.
Two of the players Matt Holland and Andrew Toppert originally signed with Arkansas-Little Rock in the early period from a pair of community colleges in Iowa. They are joined by Jake Liedka of Wharton Junior College.
At 6'5" and 220 pounds, Holland has the potential to be a threat at the plate and on the mound. He was second on the team with a .363 average as a sophomore with 10 home runs, 44 runs batted and 21 doubles. He capped his JUCO career by being named to the Region XI second team Holland. He was 2-4 as a sophomore with a 5.72 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
As a freshman, Holland helped the team to the Region XI title. He batted .358 with four home runs, 24 RBI in 109 at bats. On the mound, he was 2-1 with a 2.36 earned run average. He was also named to region all-academic team.
"I hope Matt can come in and help us both on the mound and at the plate," said Malone. "He has the potential to be as talented as anyone on the roster and will be a big part of a successful 2009 campaign."
At Marion High School in Iowa, Holland was a two-time All-State first-team selection. As a senior, he led Marion to its first-ever state tournament berth by batting .466 with 13 homers, 17 doubles and 51 RBI. On the mound, Holland compiled a 7-3 record with a 1.04 earned run average and 78 strikeouts against 16 walks in 67.0 innings pitched.
Toppert, a 6'1", 215 pound pitcher was 2-2 with a 2.56 ERA in nine appearances as a second-year player at Kirkwood Community College. He limited opposing batters to a .185 with 37 strikeouts in 38 innings. As a freshman Toppert was 3-1 with a 5.41 ERA with 29 Ks in 42-2/3 innings. The righty is the third player to join the Islanders from Kirkwood in the program's history joining former TAMUCC players Adam Sadler and Michael Bruner.
In high school, Toppert was a three-time all-conference and all-Western Illinois player at Prophetstown High School in Illinois. He set single-season and career marks in strikeouts and home runs.
"We are expecting Andrew to come in and contribute right away on the mound," said the Islander coach. "He has been through the ups and downs of a college season and knows the mental toughness needed to be successful."
Liedka comes to the Island from Wharton County Junior College joining fellow recruit Brett Carnline. The lefty was 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA as a sophomore. He fanned 23 batters in 42 innings pitched. In high school, the lefty posted a 1.55 ERA with 85 strikeouts at Converse Judson High School and was named first-team all-district as a senior.
"We are counting on Jake to come and throw a lot of innings," said Malone. "Jake is a strike thrower who pitches in the upper 80's. We expect him to have a great deal of success at this level."