Baseball Announces Six National Letter of Intent Signings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Belmont and compete on the Bruins' baseball team beginning in the fall of 2011, as announced by head coach Dave Jarvis on Thursday.  Scott Moses (Englewood, Tenn.), Jamie Ritchie (Buford, Ga.), Neil Hickman (Hermitage, Tenn.), Matt Beaty (Dresden, Tenn.), Dan Ludwig (Naperville, Ill.), and Jessie Snodgrass (Lebanon, Tenn.) will be joining the Belmont squad next season.

"This recruiting class addresses some very specific needs and we expect this group to make an immediate impact on next year's team" said Jarvis. "We targeted the state of Tennessee very hard and got four of the best players in the state. We also went out of the state to get one of the best pitchers in the state of Illinois and a very good catching prospect out of one of baseball's richest areas of Georgia, Gwinett County. We are very pleased with the quality young men we are bringing in, both on and off the field. They are a very talented group athletically as well as academically. Coach Barnett and Coach Hall have done a great job of finding players that are both an academic fit as well as an athletic fit for our program."

Moses is a 6'0", 165lb two-way player from McMinn Central High School in Englewood, Tenn., where he played for Coach Travis Hart. A three time All-District 5-AA member, Moses was named as a member of the All-Region Three team during his sophomore and junior years. Posting a record of 8-1 with a 1.40 earned run average in 60 innings pitched, Moses tallied 92 strike outs with only 18 walks. He was also named as the pitcher of the year in District 7AA as a junior, and led his team in hitting with a .393 average while playing short stop. Moses also hit four home runs and stole 38 bases during his junior campaign. In addition, Moses was named to the TBCA Team Tennessee Sunbelt team that finished runner-up in the Oklahoma Sunbelt Classic this past summer. He plays for a very successful summer program, the Tennessee Twisters, coached by Chuck Marsh. Moses is also a two year member of the Fall Kansas City Royals Scout team that is coached by Sean Gibbs and Jared England.    

"Scott is a very versatile player that we believe can come in and play at any of the infield positions, as well as anywhere in the outfield," Jarvis said.  "Also we expect Scott to develop on the mound into a reliable part of our pitching staff. Scott is a very instinctive kind of player and has been very successful at a variety of different positions on the field.  To add such a player is a great improvement to our team." 

Ritchie is a 6'2", 175lb catcher from Buford High School in Buford, Georgia, where he played for Coach Tony Wolfe. Jamie was named to the All-Gwinett County Second Team after his junior campaign. During that year, Ritchie hit .380 while throwing out over 50% of opponents that attempted to steal against him behind the plate. A member of the highly prestigious East Cobb Baseball Program, Ritchie played for the East Cobb Astros this fall and will do so next summer under Coach Russ Dickerson. 

"Jamie has a very good frame and we feel he will develop into a very solid catcher in the Atlantic Sun Conference," said Jarvis.  "He plays on a high school team where he catches some very good Division I type arms and does so in the summer and fall as well. We feel that Jamie will adjust to the Division I Level in a timely fashion and make a quick impact on our team. Jamie is also the type of hitter that will hit for some power before his career is over at Belmont."

Hickman is a 6'3", 200lb catcher and outfielder from Donelson Christian Academy in Nashville, Tenn., where he plays for Coach John Berti. As a junoir Hickman was named to the TBCA All-State Second Team.  During that season Hickman hit .491 with 10 home runs and was named All-Region as well. Hickman was also named to the TBCA Super Sophomore Team after the 2009 season. He will be joining fellow signee, Beaty, as one of only four representatives from the state of Tennessee at the Fifth Annual International Power Showcase home run derby at Chase Field (Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) in December. Neil plays with the highly successful Hit After Hit Summer baseball program Coached by Lem Pilkington. 

"Neil has a very coveted combination of speed, strength, and versatility to play a number of positions on the field," Jarvis said. "Neil has real potential to add some power to our line-up and with his speed can play behind the plate as well as in the outfield. He is a hardnosed player with a great attitude and I am very excited about the impact Neil will have on our team."

Beaty is 6'1", 200lb and can play catcher, infield or outfield. He comes to Belmont from Dresden High School in Dresden, Tenn., where he plays for Coach Scott Killebrew. Beaty, a two-time TBCA All-State selection, hit .611 as a junior and recorded 19 home runs and recorded 36 walks as he was named the District 13A Player of the Year. He has also been a very steady performer this fall, hitting in the middle of the order for the Kansas City Scout Team Coached by Sean Gibbs and Jared England.

"Matt is a difference making kind of left handed hitter that we feel can make an impact in the middle of our order very quickly in his career at Belmont," said Jarvis.  "Matt has something that many young power hitters don't have, and that is a discipline at the plate that will allow him to adjust to the Division I level very quickly. Matt's performance this fall with the Royals scout team, against some very good competition, has been very solid and we expect that to carry over to his play next fall."  

Ludwig is a 6'1", 200lb left handed pitcher from Naperville High School in Naperville, Ill., where he is coached by Coach Bill Seiple. As a member of the Naperville 2010 state championship team, he recorded a record of 9-0.  Ludwig compiled an ERA of 1.74, while striking out 92 and walking just eight batters in 76 and one third innings. In perhaps his biggest start of the year, Ludwig picked up a win in the state championship semifinals, pitching a complete game. He is also a member of the highly successful summer baseball program, the Illinois Longshots, who are coached by Matt Rosenberg. 

"Dan is the type of left-handed pitcher that can be very successful in the Atlantic Sun," said Jarvis.  "He is a strike thrower that can throw three pitches for strikes in any count. Dan has been a winner at the highest level in Illinois, winning a state championship, and has been successful with a highly touted summer program. We expect Dan to make an immediate impact on our pitching staff."

Snodgrass is a 6'1", 190lb right handed pitcher from Volunteer State Community College, where he is coached be Mike Crossland. Snodgrass was a workhorse for Volunteer State CC his freshman season, being second on the staff in appearances in his first season as a submarine pitcher. As a high school senior he was named to the All District 9AAA team when he was a leader at Wilson Central High School playing for Coach Anthony Ford. 

"Jessie is a submarine right handed pitcher that we feel has his best baseball in front of him," Jarvis said.  "Jessie just recently converted to an underneath pitching style after having arm surgery. He has really good stuff and has put together a very good summer and fall. We expect Jessie to make an immediate impact in our bullpen. He gives us something that we don't have in an underneath guy.  An effective guy like Jessie can be very important for a pitching staff."