Along with Washington High pitcher-infielder Ryan Pansch, Shepherd baseball coach Wayne Riser has successfully recruited at least five other players for the 2013 season.
Two of the newest Rams are outfielders Kyle Porter from Catonsville Community College and outfielder-pitcher Darius Jones from Patuxent High in Baltimore County.
Porter is a 5-foot-8, 190-pound, left-handed hitting, left-handed thrower who will be a junior at Shepherd. He played before at Good Counsel High and in 2012 was a NJCAA Division II All-Region XX second-team selection.
Jones played on the 2012 state runner-up Patuxent High team that lost to Williamsport High in the small-school state championship game.
Woodbridge High first baseman-pitcher Tyler Thomas came recommended to Riser by his high school coach, Jason Ritenour, a Shepherd graduate who played for Riser.
Thomas is about 6-foot-2 and weighs about 230 pounds. He is a righthanded throwing and batting first baseman-pitcher. Thomas continued to play this summer for the Bethesda Big Train team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Summer League.
Thomas visited Shepherd during early December of 2011 and signed a binding letter of intent in April of 2012. After two consecutive high school seasons with his batting averages ranging from .445 to .415, Thomas batted about .350 in 2012.
One of the drawbacks concerning Thomas is his lack of running speed. He also is a one position-designated hitter player, but could be considered for Shepherd’s vacated first base position where All-America Nathan Minnich played for most of his four years.
Bloomsburg, Pa. High left-handed pitcher-first baseman Andrew Gottstein is about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. Gottstein also bats left-handed. The freshman-to-be has an average fastball (about 80 miles per hour) and will need to develop at least one more pitch to be effective at the college level.
An infielder Riser has recruited is shortstop T. J. Weisenburg from Potomac State College in Keyser. Weisenburg will be a junior at Shepherd after graduating from Martinsburg High in 2010.
He bats right and could fill a gaping hole the Rams had at shortstop this past season. Weisenburg is about 5-foot-11 and weighs about 165.
Riser said another recruit or two will probably join his team for the fall practices.
Shepherd had 2012 seniors in Minnich, infielder Travis Sluger, outfielder Nash Hutter, and pitchers Andrew Gallant and Justin Byrd.
With Minnich gone, Riser will try to develop a lineup that has more dangerous hitters and more run producers than it had last season.