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Go Utes!
Utah Baseball Signs Eight to NLI's

Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg has signed eight players for the 2011 campaign.

Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg has signed eight players for the 2011 campaign.

Nov. 13, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg announced the signing of eight student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Five high school players and three junior college transfers will join the Utes next season. Coming from high school are Trey Nielsen (3B, Skyline HS, Utah), Cory Hunt (2B, Jordan HS, Utah), Ben Mordini (RHP, Cherry Creek HS, Colo.), Luke West (RHP, Juan Diego Catholic HS, Utah), Josh Alexander (OF, Mountain Pointe HS, Arizona) while James Brooks (SS/Utility, Cochise College, Arizona), Derek Christensen (RHP, SLCC, Utah) and Dustin Hobbs (RHP/Yavapai College) are the junior college transfers.

"This is the third year in a row we have brought in a strong freshmen class," Kinneberg said. "These five freshmen, combined with the freshmen classes that came before them, have made our future really bright. We hope our junior college transfers will help with our immediate needs and give us some experience. Also returning to the team next year from an LDS mission is Cody Guyman, who brings another solid hitter into our lineup."

"Assistant coaches Mike Crawford and Bryan Kinneberg have done a great job evaluating talent and played a big role in bringing a strong signing class to Utah."

Below is a look at the signing class:

Trey Nielsen
Skyline High School, Utah

Kinneberg on Nielsen: Trey comes from a baseball family and knows how to play the game. He is going to be a really good third baseman for us in the future.

Deseret News first-team 5A all-state in 2009, hitting .485 with seven home runs and 31 RBI's ... Salt Lake Tribune second-team 5A all-state ... hit two home runs in the 2009 Marshall Gates Foundation/Deseret News all-star game ... also pitches and plays first base ... played with the Mountain West Baseball Academy ... 2009 Cincinnati Reds Area Code team ... father Scott Nielsen pitched at Brigham Young and played four years in Major League Baseball.



Cory Hunt
Jordan High School, Utah

Kinneberg on Hunt: Corey is a good athlete and is going to bring a good work ethic and a gritty style of play to the team. He can probably play any position, infield or outfield, and has good speed.

Deseret News second-team all-state in 2009 ... Jordan HS finished first in the region and fifth in the state in 2009 ... ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the state by the Utah High School Baseball Coaches Association ... an all-state player in football at wide receiver and was the 2008 all-region return specialist ... also played basketball.

Ben Mordini
Cherry Creek High School, Colo.

Kinneberg on Mordini: Ben has a chance to be an outstanding pitcher. He has a great breaking ball and a good frame. He may see significant innings as a freshman.

Participated in 2009 USA Baseball National Teams Identification Series on the U17 Mountain West team ... Cherry Creek spent time in national top 25 in 2009.

Luke West
Juan Diego Catholic High School, Utah

Kinneberg on West: Luke came on the scene late but his potential is off the charts. He has a great, athletic frame. He is another pitcher who may see significant innings as a freshman.

Helped lead Juan Diego to the 2009 3A state championship, throwing a five-hit, eight-strikeout complete game in the title game ... Juan Diego went 25-2 ... had a 3-0 record with a 2.30 ERA in 2009

Josh Alexander
Mountain Pointe High School, Arizona

Kinneberg on Alexander: Josh has a chance to come in and fit into the outfield right away. He is a very good athlete. His is just growing into his body and his best years are ahead of him.

First-team All-Central Region ... hit .438 with 27 runs, 36 RBI's, seven doubles and seven home runs and an on base percentage of .519 ... 2009 Cincinnati Reds Area Code team ... led the Arizona Junior Sunbelt Team to a bronze medal in 2009 ... played on the Arizona Dodgers scout team from 2007-09 ... MVP of junior varsity team in 2007, leading the team in every offensive category.

James Brooks
Cochise College, Arizona
Victoria, Australia

Kinneberg on Brooks: James brings a lot of athletic ability to us. He can play a lot of positions, but is primarily a shortstop. He established himself as one of the better players in the ACCAC last year as a freshman.

Was second in the ACCAC in 2009 with 25 stolen bases and was tied for fourth with seven home runs ... played for the Victorian Institute of Sport baseball team in Australia ... also played with the Blackburn Orioles of Baseball Victoria, hitting .441 with 41 hits and 27 runs and earning Grand Finale MVP honors ... spent time in the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program.

Derek Christensen
Salt Lake CC

Kinneberg on Christensen: Derek is SLCC's best pitcher. He can come in and be a starter for us next year.

Went 6-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 66.2 innings in 2009 at SLCC ... only allowed two home runs all year and opponents hit .218 against him ... threw two shutouts and pitched four complete games in 13 starts ... 66 strikeouts ... played at West Jordan High School.

Dustin Hobbs
Yavapai College, Arizona
Las Vegas, Nev.

Kinneberg on Hobbs: Dustin will bring a lot of experience to our staff, having played at both Kansas State and in junior college. He is a hard-throwing, quality pitcher, and has a lot of potential.

Played at Kansas State in 2009 before transferring to Yavapai for 2010 ... was 1-0 in 12 appearances at KSU with 22 strikeouts ... played two years at Shadow Ridge HS ... was named the Mustangs' team MVP in 2008 with a 2.10 ERA in 54 innings with 92 strikeouts ... named all-conference and was selected to the Nevada Coaches Senior All-Star Team in 2008 ... also played two years at Arbor View HS ... recorded a 1.68 ERA in 58 innings with 86 strikeouts in 2007 ... led team a third-place finish in the 2007 state tournament... named all-state, a Perfect Game Top Prospect, awarded the team's ace pitcher award and was selected to the Kelly Junior All Star Team in 2007... hit the first home run in Arbor View history... lettered two seasons in football... named the squad's defensive player of the year in 2006 and offensive player of the year in 2007.

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