Wednesday, July 31, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (July 31, 2002) -- East Tennessee State head baseball coach Tony Skole announced Wednesday the signing of catcher/first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) to a national letter of intent to play for the Bucs beginning in the 2003 season. Church was a standout at Roswell High School, being named to the Fulton County All-Star Team by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following his senior season. Also, in 2002 Church was a member of the region 6AAAAA all-star team while leading his team to the AAAAA final four in Georgia, the highest classification in the state. Blake served as team captain last year, leading the team with a .390 batting average, 14 doubles and a .497 on-base percentage. His 40 hits rank third on the school's all-time single-season list. Blake batted .360 and again led the team in doubles during his junior season. He was a member of the region all-star team and was named honorable mention all-county and all-city by the Journal-Constitution. During his freshman season, Church was again honorable mention all-county after leading the team in batting average, home runs and on-base percentage. Church won Roswell High School's Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and earned Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. Blake was a member of the 2001 East Cobb Yankees team that won the 2001 Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, N.M. He batted .340 over the summer. In 2000 Church was on the East Cobb Astros club that won the silver medal at the AAU Junior Olympics in Orlando, Fla. Church batted .382 with five home runs while leading the team to a 90-11 record. The team won championships at the Super Seven Series in Atlanta, Ga. and at the Canadian Invitational. "We are very excited to sign a player of Blake's caliber," said Skole. "He comes to us from one of the best high school baseball programs in the state of Georgia and has also been a standout in the stellar East Cobb summer program. Blake was considered to be one of the top high school hitters in the state of Georgia. We anticipate him making an immediate offensive impact in our program."
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