BYU baseball: Baker's dozen commit to BYU baseball team

By Ralph R. Zobell

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28 2012 4:54 p.m. MST

Seven pitchers and six transfers highlight a group of 13 players that have committed to play for new coach Mike Littlewood at BYU.

The six transfers are outfielder Bryan Heward, right-handed pitcher Rhett Nelson, left-handed pitcher Rhett Parkinson and right-handed pitcher Michael Springer from Salt Lake Community College, outfielder Eric Urry from Chandler Gilbert Community College in Arizona, and infielder/outfielder Dallen Reber from the University of Kentucky.

Additionally, Utah prepsters Riley Gates, a portside pitcher from Santa Clara; Bronson Larson, a catcher from Fruit Heights; Brennon Lund, an outfielder from South Jordan; and Arik Mack, a lefty pitcher from Springville, join out-of-state signees Jerrel Latham, an outfielder from Las Vegas; Hayden Rogers, a left-handed pitcher from Mesa, Ariz.; and Jordan Wood, a right-handed pitcher from Friendswood, Texas.

Riley Gates, LHP, 5-11, 186, Snow Canyon HS, Santa Clara, Utah Had a 7-1 record last season, was 3A all-tournament team, first team all-state, and third team All-American honors voted on by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Littlewood on Gates: “Riley comes to us as one of the highest touted players in the state. Fresh off a 3A State Championship at Snow Canyon High School, he brings the winning mentality we recruit. We are glad Riley chose to come to BYU as he had several offers all over the country.”

Bryan Heward, Outfielder, 6-2, 215, Salt Lake Community College/Bonneville High, Ogden, Utah Batted .311, with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 3 homers last season.

Littlewood on Heward: “Bryan is a big, strong, athletic outfielder whom we expect to be a middle-of-the-lineup type guy. The ball comes off his bat different than most kids; he has a chance to hit for big power here. He plays for former Cougar standout DG Nelson at Salt Lake Community College.

Bronson Larson, Catcher, 5-11, 181, Davis High, Fruit Heights, Utah Second team all-state, played for the Utah Bucks.

Littlewood on Larson: “Bronson is one of the top high school catchers in the country. He has a ton of raw talent, pure power and a chance to be a premier defender at this level and beyond.”

Jerrel Latham, Outfield, 6-1, 185, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas, Nevada Batted .475 with nine doubles and 11 stolen bases, hitting the highest of any outfielder in the state last season. He played for the Cincinnati Reds scout team. Father is Chris Latham, who played in the Major League for the Twins, Blue Jays, Yankees and for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Littlewood on Latham: “Jerrel is a rare five tool player that has incredible upside. His dad, Chris, had a five-year major league career and if Jerell keeps getting better, he has the ability to follow that same path. We are extremely fortunate to land a player with Jerell’s abilities. Jerrel plays at one of the best high school baseball programs in the country at Bishop Gorman High School where he is coached by former Cougar Nick Day.”

Brennon Lund, Outfield, 5-10, 180, Bingham High, So. Jordan, Utah Second team all-state, all-region, 5A all-tournament team and MVP of the state all-star game. Batted .530 last season and played in the Area code Games with the Cincinnati Reds team, for the Utah Marshalls and the 5A state champions.

Littlewood on Lund: “Brennon is a dynamic player with all the baseball tools necessary to play at the highest level. As one of the highest recruited players in the country, Brennon had many options when it came to playing college baseball and I consider it an honor Brennon chose to be a Cougar. He plays for one of the best high school coaches in the country at Bingham High School in Joey Sato.”

Arik Mack, LHP, 6-2, 185, Maple Mountain High, Springville, Utah First team all-state with a 10-0 record, a 1.15 ERA and one save and 109 strikeouts last season.

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