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ETSU baseball caps off early period by signing two power hitting standouts

Thursday, December 15, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (December 15, 2011) – The ETSU baseball program capped off the early signing period by signing power hitting standouts Andrew Lasure (Stanford, Ky.) and Kevin Phillips (University City, Mo.) to national letters of intent to play for the Buccaneers in 2013, head coach Tony Skole announced recently.

“Due to the Major League Baseball Draft and graduation, we lost some power in our lineup from last season,” said Skole. “We have had great success in recent years from an offensive standpoint, as we led the nation in homeruns last season and over the last four years we have hit the second most homeruns of any program in Division I baseball. So it was important for us to bring in some offensive thunder in this recruiting class. We feel that we have done that with both Andrew and Kevin. Both of these young men come from great families and are definitely the type of young men we want in our program. These guys can really put a charge into the baseball.”

Lasure, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound catcher/infielder, will join the Buccaneer program from Danville High School, where he is a six-time letterwinner for head coach Paul Morse. During his high school career, Lasure has helped lead his team to six district and three region championships.

As a junior last year, Lasure hit .449 with six home runs and 41 RBIs at Danville, which went 27-9 and won the 45th District championship. He also walked 44 times — the second-highest single-season total in state history — and struck out only five times.

He participated in both the Power Showcase International High School Home Run Derby and the Under Armour Preseason All-America Tournament last winter in Arizona. A Kentucky East/West All-Star Game participant, Lasure is also a Louisville Slugger High School All-American candidate.

In his high school career, Lasure has compiled a .427 average with 17 home runs, 72 doubles and four triples.

“Andrew has some big time pop from the left side,” added Skole. “He has versatility in that he can catch and also play first base.  Andrew reminds our staff a lot of Brain McCann.  The ball really jumps off his bat and he has a very advanced approach to hitting.  Andrew is one of the top hitters in the state of Kentucky and it will be exciting to see the kind of numbers he will put up in his senior season.”

Phillips is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound versatile slugger that spent most of his time at catcher for University City High School, but could play a number of positions. He was named Third-Team Post Dispatch All-Metro after hitting .500 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs, while being named Suburban South Conference Player of the Year. Phillips led the conference in batting average, home runs, runs scored (35), slugging percentage (.845), on-base percentage (.611) and walks (21). He was named 2011 Underclass Honorable Mention by Perfect Game.

A starter since his freshman year, Phillips led the Lions with a .410 average, 25 hits, six doubles, three triples, two home runs, and 18 RBI in his freshman campaign.  The following year, he hit .359 with a .518 on-base percentage and 19 RBIs and was named 2010 Underclass Honorable Mention by Perfect Game.

“Kevin is a great looking athlete who is a very dynamic player,” said Skole. “He can catch and play both the corner infield spots as well as the corner outfield spots. Kevin carries some heavy artillery in the batter’s box. He has a unique ability in that he can handle the bat like a singles hitter, but when he gets the count in his favor he can approach different pitches in different ways and really do some damage. Kevin is going to be an exciting player to watch for many years to come.”

Lasure and Phillips join four other student-athletes that signed with the Buccaneers during the early period. That list includes infielder Kameron Miller (Crestview, Fla.), right-handed pitcher Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.), left-handed pitcher Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.) and outfielder Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.).

The Buccaneers will get their 2012 season underway on Friday, February 17 against Eastern Kentucky at home inside the brand new Thomas Stadium.

For more information on ETSU baseball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.