Ball State baseball coach Rich Maloney announced the addition of nine high school standouts in his first recruiting class since returning to lead the Cardinals program.
The following players will join the Cardinals for the 2013-14 academic year:
B.J. Butler (Mattawan, Mich./Mattawan HS), Alex Call (River Falls, Wis./River Falls HS), David Current (Frankfort, Ky./ Franklin County HS), Matt Eppers (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central HS), Sean Kennedy (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro HS), Alex Maloney (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS), Zach Plesac (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point HS), Jarett Rindfleisch (Middletown, Ohio/Lakota East HS) and Caleb Stayton (Goshen, Ind./Elkhart Christian Academy).
"We are really excited about this class," Rich Maloney said. "I think the class has an abundance of talent with guys whose best days are in front of them. They are kids who have achieved both athletically and academically, and they are guys who dream to play at the highest level. They will be a big part of restoring the roar of Ball State Baseball."
BJ Butler, RHP, Mattawan, Mich. (Mattawan High School)
Butler will enter his senior season already holding the Mattawan records for career wins, most wins in a season and best ERA in a season. He logged a 0.91 ERA last spring with 88 strikeouts in fewer than 70 innings for coach Cory Degroote on his way to All-Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference, all-district and all-area honors.
Butler, who owns a 4.06 GPA, was also an academic all-state selection after helping Mattawan to a conference co-championship. He played over the summer for the Detroit Metro Stars. The son of Jeff and Wilma Butler, BJ has also been an all-conference football player and a member of the basketball team at Mattawan. He is planning to study entrepreneurship at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "BJ is an outstanding student-athlete who has an above average feel for pitching. He can throw four pitches for strikes, and he is one of a number of multi-sport high school athletes in this very athletic class."
Alex Call, OF, River Falls, Wis. (River Falls HS)
Call has been ranked as the top outfielder in the state of Wisconsin, playing for coaches Ryan Bishop and Mark Hallberg at River Falls. He was an all-state, all-district and All-Big Rivers Conference selection as a junior last year after hitting for a team-best .421 batting average. He also led the team in slugging percentage, runs scored and stolen bases. He has helped River Falls to a regional championship and two other regional finals appearances.
Selected to play for Team Wisconsin, Call competed over the summer in the Midwest Classic. He has played for the Minnesota Blizzard Elite travel team and is also an all-conference football and basketball player at River Falls. The son of Marv and Katy Call, he is ranked No. 1 in his high school class and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Alex is a gifted multi-sport athlete with speed, arm strength and bat potential. He is a tremendous student-athlete, and his best days are ahead of him."
David Current, RHP, Frankfort, Ky. (Franklin County High School)
Current logged a 6-1 record on the mound as a junior last spring. He helped Franklin County in Kentucky to a 28-10 overall record and a district runner-up finish. He will play his senior season in the spring for coach Kevin Goins.
Also a productive offensive player in high school, Current hit .337 as a junior with three home runs, 22 RBI and a.597 slugging percentage. He was an all-county selection as a sophomore after hitting .346 and posting a 2-0 record on the mound. The son of Tom and Carol Current, he is planning to study business at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "David is long and lean with a good fastball. He is very projectable, and his best days are ahead of him. David is a great kid and a solid student. We think he has a chance to become a difference maker."
Matt Eppers, OF, Elkhart, Ind. (Elkhart Central HS)
Eppers hit .328 and stole 16 bases as a junior last spring, helping Elkhart Central to a sectional title on his way to honorable mention All-Northern Indiana Conference honors. He also hit .328 as a sophomore on another sectional championship team for coach Steve Stutsman.
Eppers has also earned all-conference honors in both football and soccer, in addition to playing basketball. He holds the school record with a 50-yard field goal. The son of Matt and Marcia Eppers, he ranks in the top 10 of his high school class and is planning to study business at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Matt is an outstanding student-athlete. He has a long, wiry body with excellent projection. He fits our prototype and will blossom as he gets stronger. He is a solid outfielder who has potential with the bat."
Sean Kennedy, INF, Springboro, Ohio (Springboro High School)
Kennedy is an all-league shortstop in the Greater Western Ohio Conference who hit .370 with four home runs and 19 RBI as a junior at Springboro. An all-area selection, he was also a member of the all-area academic team last year for coach Mark Pelfrey.
Kennedy played summer baseball for the Ohio Heat with fellow Ball State signee Jarrett Rindfleisch and was part of five tournament titles with the team. He managed 30 doubles, eight home runs and 91 RBI over the past two summers combined, while hitting better than .400. He is the son of Jeff and Lisa Kennedy.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Sean has a good bat, a good arm, and he is very athletic with a wiry body that projects well. He can play a variety of infield positions. Sean is also one of many guys in this class who is just as impressive in the classroom as he is on the field."
Alex Maloney, SS/RHP, Chelsea, Mich. (Chelsea High School)
Maloney was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection for Chelsea as both a sophomore and junior. Last spring, he helped Chelsea and coach Adam Taylor to district and regional championships, hitting .333 with four home runs. He has been the team's starting shortstop since his freshman season and has also served as its closer. In Chelsea's five-game run in the state playoffs last year, Maloney led his team with two wins and two saves in relief.
Maloney played summer baseball for the Detroit Metro Stars coached by Shawn Maloney, helping them to a state championship. The son of Ball State baseball coach Rich Maloney and Kelle Maloney, he has also played football and basketball at Chelsea. He led his football team in interceptions as a safety and was an all-conference selection this fall. Maloney is planning to study criminal justice at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Alex is a fierce competitor with a strong arm, a good bat and outstanding potential. He is a talented multi-sport athlete in high school who projects to be a left side infielder and a possible closer in college."
Zach Plesac, RHP, Crown Point, Ind. (Crown Point High School)
Plesac was an All-Duneland Athletic Conference selection and team MVP as a junior after logging an 8-2 record on the mound. He also finished his junior year with a 1.08 ERA, playing for coach Steve Strayer at Crown Point. He was invited to play with Team Indiana over the summer and represented the Chicago White Sox at the Area Code Games in California.
As a sophomore in 2011, Plesac helped Crown Point to sectional and regional championships. The son of Ron and Jeannine Plesac, Zach has also been a member of the football and basketball teams at Crown Point. This fall, Plesac caught more than 60 passes and eight touchdowns as a wide receiver. He is the nephew of former Major League Baseball pitcher Dan Plesac.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Zach is a great competitor and another multi-sport athlete who is very athletic. He has a very quick arm and projects to be a front-line pitcher for us."
Jarett Rindfleisch, C, Middletown, Ohio (Lakota East High School)
Rindfleisch missed his junior season because of injury but helped Lakota East to a state championship as a sophomore in 2011. He was a second-team all-conference selection that year after hitting .383 with a .533 slugging percentage. He also managed a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage behind the plate for coach Ray Hamilton.
Rindfleisch has played the past two summers for the Ohio Heat with fellow Ball State signee Sean Kennedy, helping the team to five tournament titles. He hit .327 with 20 doubles and 42 RBI last summer. The son of Rob and Sherri Rindfleisch, Jarett is planning to study education at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Jarett is a very physical kid who can catch and throw. He also has some power potential with the bat. He is a tough kid who showed very well this summer."
Caleb Stayton, 1B/C/RHP, Goshen, Ind. (Elkhart Christian Academy)
Stayton was Elkhart Christian's offensive and defensive player of the year as a junior, helping his team to a sectional runner-up finish. He led the area in batting average (.536), doubles (15) and RBI (43), while also posting an area-best 0.59 ERA on the mound. He hit five home runs, scored 34 runs and managed a 5-1 record as a pitcher for coach Chris Lemert.
Stayton has played summer baseball for the Indiana Chargers. The son of Fred and Cheryl Stayton, he has played five different sports throughout his high school career. He is a member of the high honor roll and is planning to study telecommunications at Ball State.
Quoting Coach Maloney: "Caleb is an outstanding student-athlete. He is a big, strong, physical kid with power potential. He projects as a first baseman, catcher and relief pitcher."
The nine members of the class will be able to compete for the first time at Ball State in the 2014 college baseball season.
"Scott French, our recruiting coordinator, and Todd Linklater, our pitching coach, did an outstanding job in securing this class," Rich Maloney said. "Their effort and time spent was phenomenal and will pay off big dividends for our baseball program. We are excited about the future of Ball State Baseball."