CORVALLIS, Ore. – Five players from the state of Oregon have signed National Letters of Intent (NLIs) to join the program for the 2015 season, Oregon State head coach Pat Casey announced Wednesday.
The group includes four position players: Cooper Brunner (Tualatin), Elliott Cary (Clackamas), Trace Loehr (Milwaukie) and Jackson Soto (Albany). The fifth is right-handed pitcher Sam Tweedt from Salem.
All five are ranked in the top seven prospects in the state by Baseball Northwest. Loehr is No. 1, followed by Cary at No. 3. Tweedt is fourth followed by Soto at No. 5 and Brunner at No. 7.
Loehr is rated the top high school player in the Northwest. Cary ranks fifth, Tweedt is 13th, Soto is 14th and Brunner is 26th.
Additionally, Brunner, Loehr, Soto and Tweedt all played for the Royals team at the prestigious Area Code Games in August.
“We are always looking for the best players we can get,” Casey said. “Finding these guys in our home state is outstanding. Each and every one of them has their own qualities. I’m impressed with their athleticism and what they can bring to the program. I’m just really impressed with their baseball abilities and am excited that they’re going to be a part of Oregon State baseball and continue the great tradition we have here.”
Brunner will come to Oregon State from Tualatin High School, where he has lettered for two seasons entering his senior year. A left-handed hitter standing at 6-foot-1, he stole 16 bases as a junior, a year after recording a school-record 21. He has been named all-league honorable mention during his tenure at Tualatin.
Cary, at 6-foot-3, will play for Clackamas High School in 2014 after three seasons at Niceville High School. The left-handed hitter batted .438 as a junior, collecting three home runs and 12 stolen bases en route to being named the Florida 6A Hitter of the Year. Cary has impressive bloodlines as his father, Chuck Cary, played in the Major Leagues for eight seasons.
Loehr is coming off a gold-medal winning summer with the USA Baseball 18U National Team. From Putnam High School in Milwaukie, the 5-foot-10 fielder was the Northwest Conference’s Player of the Year after his junior campaign. Loehr has been named all-state as a junior – first team – and as a freshman – second team. He batted .574 last season and .521 as a freshman.
Soto, a two-year letterwinner for West Albany High School, was a second-team all-state performer as a sophomore. He’s a two-time all-league honoree. Soto, who stands at 6-foot-1, batted .438 as a junior, collecting two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 19 RBI while striking out just three times in 64 at bats. He hit .500 as a sophomore, posting 13 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 33 RBI.
Tweedt is the lone pitcher from the state of Oregon. A right-hander at 6-foot-3, he’ll join the Beavers from South Salem High School. He’s a 2013 first-team all-league performer after going 4-5 with a 1.65 earned run average. He was second-team all-league after his sophomore year.
The five comprise part of Oregon State’s signing class, which will be released in full next week.
For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.