OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University head baseball coach Eric Madsen announced Friday the signing of eight future Wolverines.
Outfielder Craig Brinkerhoff, infielder Zac Fuller, utility man Jackson Kunz, pitcher Nick Lemoncelli, catcher Jake Marvos, pitcher Jake Mayer, infielder Zac Slesk, and outfielder Nate Sylvester will join UVU for the 2014 season — just in time for the Wolverines’ debut into the Western Athletic Conference.
“This is a signing class that has some pieces that can come in a help us right away,” Madsen said. “Brinkerhoff had a tremendous freshman season at CEU and has the ability to be an elite player for us; a middle-of-the-order impact bat. All around we're pleased that these are guys that have chosen to be Wolverines and be a part of what we want to continue to build.”
Brinkerhoff will arrive at UVU upon his return from his two-year LDS mission. He played his freshman season at USU Eastern, earning a unanimous selection as the Most Valuable Player for NJCAA Region 18 and for the Scenic West Athletic Conference. A native of Kanab, Brinkerhoff led the SWAC in home runs (17), slugging percentage and total bases. He also compiled a .411 batting average in conference games as a freshman.
A native of Kaysville, Fuller is in the midst of his senior year at Davis High School. While at DHS, Fuller has helped his team to region championships in each of his three seasons. He has earned All-Region and Second Team All-State recognition as an infielder, batting .423 a season ago. Fuller also won the home run derby at the Utah high school all-star game.
Kunz will join the Wolverines from Burley High School in Burley, Idaho. Playing both infield and outfield, Kunz has earned First Team All-Conference honors every year of his prep career, helping his team to district and state titles, as well as a runner-up finish in the American Legion Regionals last year. Kunz is also an accomplished football player, picking up All-Conference honors as a running back and linebacker.
Pitcher Nick Lemoncelli is finishing up a two-year stint at Lower Columbia College this season. As a freshman, the Auburn, Wash., native appeared in nine games, getting one start. Lemoncelli threw 11.0 innings for the Red Devils, finishing with 13 stikeouts, just two walks and a 4.09 ERA.
Also arriving from LCC will be Zac Slesk, an infielder from Bellingham, Wash. Slesk appeared in 46 games for the Red Devils, batting .331 with 53 hits, 29 RBIs, 16 doubles and three home runs. He also finished theseason with a .935 fielding percentage. He is the cousin of former UVU shortstop Eli Slesk.
Marvos will arrive at UVU following the completion of his senior year at Cottonwood High School in Murray. Playing catcher and third base, Marvos earned All-Regional honors his sophomore and junior years and was named team captain his junior season. He also helped lead his team to a semifinal appearance in the state playoffs last season.
A pitcher at Westlake High School, Mayer is a four-year varsity starter who earned Westlake’s Pitcher of the Year Award last season. With a 6-3 record and 2.20 ERA, Mayer helped WHS to the state playoffs was awarded First Team All-Region honors.
Sylvester rounds out the recruiting class, coming to Orem from Lakewood, Colo. Playing both pitcher and outfielder, Sylvester led D’Evelyn High School to the Elite Eight of the Colorado high school playoffs last season, picking up First Team All-Conference honors along the way. He batted .352 for the year and put together a 3.26 ERA on the mound. Sylvester was also a First Team All-Conference performer his sophomore season.
UVU baseball gets its 2013 season underway on Feb. 15, as it faces the Bulldogs of Gonzaga in Palm Springs, Fla.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.