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Baseball: Louisiana Announces 2020 Signing Class

Group of 16 provides for Louisiana’s immediate needs and future growth 

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Baseball head coach Tony Robichaux announced 16 players who have signed a National Letter of Intent during the most recent signing period.

Each student-athlete will enroll at Louisiana beginning in the 2019-20 academic year.
 
The 2020 signing class includes 10 high school seniors and six junior college transfers, the majority from the Louisiana-Texas region.
 
Among the high school products to sign with the Ragin' Cajuns were three highly-touted prospects from Louisiana: Dax Ford of John Curtis Christian, Zeph Hoffpauir of Berwick High and Peyton Lejeune of Teurlings Catholic.
 
The junior college group is highlighted by Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) and Brandon Talley (Louisiana Tech), who were Division I signees out of high school. Louisiana also added a true catcher in Nick Hagedorn of Jefferson College via the JUCO ranks.
 
"Our staff (Anthony Babineaux, Daniel Freeman, Jeremy Talbot and Jake Wells) did a great job on the recruiting trail," Robichaux said. "This class features a great mix of junior college student-athletes who will give us immediate impact with size, strength and age. The high school student-athletes are very talented and will build quality depth for continued growth.
 
"With our seniors departing and potential impacts from the Major League Baseball Draft, these signees will help us continue our program at the level we desire to perform."
 
Below is a breakdown of the signing class:
 
Conor Angel
RHP | Lachine, Quebec, Canada | Lakeside Academy (Northwest Florida State College)

  • Right-handed pitcher presently a sophomore at Northwest Florida State College. Prepped at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • Made 15 appearances, totaling 25-2/3 innings for NWFSC in 2018 season. Averaged 9.82 strikeouts per nine in collegiate debut campaign. Recorded multiple strikeouts in 11 of 15 outings.
  • Participated in the 2018 Florida JUCO All-Star Game
  • Canadian Junior National Team member (2015-18) and Russell Martin Trophy recipient for top prospect in Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League (2017).

Justin Barnes
RHP | Spring, Texas | Klein Oak HS
  • 33rd-ranked player in Prep Baseball Report's 2019 class in Texas. Played summer ball for Hunter Pence Baseball Academy.
  • Named to the 2017 Sunshine South Showcase Top Prospect List.
  • Two-time Perfect Game WWBA Nationals all-tournament selection.
 
Julian Brock
C | Fulshear, Texas | Fulshear HS
  • Played travel ball for Banditos Baseball Club.
  • As a junior, hit .408 and recorded a .491 on base percentage for Fulshear HS. Was named the District 27-5A Newcomer of the Year.
  • Recorded a 1.83 pop time at a Perfect Game Showcase.
  • First baseball student-athlete to sign an NLI in Fulshear High's history (new school which began playing baseball in 2018).

Jake Combs
RHP | Cypress, Texas | Cypress Ranch HS
  • Played summer ball for the Hunter Pence Baseball Academy.
  • Earned six all-tournament honors.
  • Posted a .597 OPS in 36 games during junior season. Fielded all but two of 57 chances cleanly and turned five double plays.
  • Named to the 2017 and 2018 Perfect Game Preseason Underclassmen All-American teams.
 
Joshua Cox
OF | Thornton, Colo. | Broomfield HS (Butler CC)
  • Delivered 15 extra base hits, posted 31 RBI and slugged .604 during freshman season at Butler Community College.
  • Named to the 2018 All-Jayhawk Conference Team.
  • Was the 2018 Home Run Derby champion of the Sunflower Baseball Summer League.
  • Three-time all-conference player at Broomfield (Colo.) High School and was an all-region selection in senior season.
  • Played travel ball for Thunder Academy in Broomfield, Colo.
 
Dax Ford
LHP | Luling, La. | John Curtis Christian HS
  • Delivered 30 hits on a .366 average and recorded a 0.62 ERA with two saves in seven appearances as a junior for John Curtis. Team made its way to the Top 10 of the national rankings and was named Boys Team of the Year on The New Orleans Advocate's Star of Stars.
  • Has notched 104 strikeouts and yielded only 27 hits in 62 career innings pitched.
  • Helped lead John Curtis to the semifinals of the National High School Invitational – tournament featuring the Top 16 prep teams in the country – by earning the save in the quarterfinal contest.
  • Plays summer ball for Louisiana Knights Baseball.
 
Justin Greene
OF/3B | Bakersville, N.C. | Mitchell HS (Arizona Western College)
  • Competed in 64 games in collegiate debut season at Arizona Western College. Hit .345 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI.
  • Four-year varsity starter, four-year all-conference player and two-time all-state selection for Mitchell (N.C.) High School. Posted a career .775 slugging percentage.
  • Mitchell HS Player of the Year in 2016.
  • Played for the Lenoir Oilers in the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League.
 
Nick Hagedorn
C | Sedalia, Mo. | Smith-Cotton HS (Jefferson College)
  • A catcher by trade, who can also play outfield, Hagedorn hit .366 to go along with 51 RBI last season with St.-Louis based Jefferson College.
  • Helped guide Jefferson College to the Region XVI Championship, South Central District Championship and an appearance in the JUCO World Series.
  • Multi-year honoree on the all-conference and all-district squads for Smith-Cotton High. After freshman season, was named team captain.
  • Played travel ball with the Midwest Nationals and Southern California Bombers.
 
Zeph Hoffpauir
1B | Berwick, La. | Berwick HS
  • Helped lead Berwick High School to the 2018 Class 3A state championship.
  • Named to the LBCA All-Region 8 Team, Hoffpauir hit .349 with eight doubles and six home runs during his junior campaign. Also had 39 RBI, seven stolen bases and scored 39 runs.
  • Also a first team All-District 8-3A and a Class 3A all-state selection last season.
  • Won the Perfect Game 16U Home Run Derby in Fort Myers, Fla. Also participated in the Southeast Showcase Series.
 
Peyton Holt
SS/2B | Fort Smith, Ark. | Greenwood HS
  • Delivered a strong season at the plate as a junior at Greenwood High School, collecting 60 base hits and 38 RBI on a .531 average. Generated 34 extra base hits.
  • Owns a career .473 average through 243 plate appearances. Has hit above .400 in both varsity seasons competed in.
  • Has had hand in 23 double plays and posted 150 fielding assists.
  • 2016-18 Arkansas all-state and Class 6A all-conference selection. Perfect Game top-ranked middle infielder in Class of 2019 for Arkansas.
  • A switch-hitting infielder, Holt plays travel ball for Sticks Baseball Academy.
 
Carson Jones
SS/2B | West Monroe, La. | West Monroe HS
  • No. 9-ranked player overall in Louisiana by Prep Baseball.
  • Represented West Monroe on the All-District 2-5A First Team in 2018. Second consecutive all-district honor (second team in 2017).
  • Named to the 2017 and 2018 Perfect Game Preseason Underclassmen All-American teams.
  • Also played quarterback and safety for the WMHS football squad.
 
Connor Kimple
OF | Whitefish Bay, Wisc. | Marquette University High School (South Mountain CC)
  • Signed with Oklahoma State out of high school before attending South Mountain CC. Named to the 2016 Pre-Draft Showcase Top Prospect List.
  • Hit a .342, to go along with five home runs, 43 RBI, and 14 stolen bases as a freshman at South Mountain CC in 2018.
  • Posted a .414 average with two home runs, 38 RBI and 32 stolen bases as a prep senior.
  • Earned all-state honors as a senior and sophomore. Was a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and All-Central Region Second Team choice.
 
Peyton Lejeune
UTL/RHP | Lafayette, La. | Teurlings Catholic HS
  • Named 2018 Louisiana Class 4A Most Valuable Player.
  • Pitched and hit for Teurlings Catholic. Finished with a .346 average and 26 RBI at the plate, while turning in an 11-3 mark with a 2.10 ERA and 99 strikeouts on the mound as a junior.
  • Also received offers from Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana.
  • Plays travel ball for the Louisiana Knights.
 
Oscar Moralez
RHP | Baytown, Texas | Goose Creek Memorial HS
  • Hit .300-plus as a freshman and sophomore at Goose Creek Memorial High School.
  • Also saw time on the mound, recording 46 strikeouts over 28-2/3 innings.
  • Played travel ball for Banditos Scout Team.
  • Ranked in the Perfect Game Top 500 National ranking.
 
Jason Nelson
RHP | Phoenix, Ariz. | Pinnacle HS (Central Arizona College)
  • Appeared in 15 games (12 starts) in collegiate debut season at Central Arizona College. Posted a 5-2 mark over 65 innings pitched and led the conference in strikeouts per nine.
  • Recorded 98 strikeouts and limited foes to 45 hits and a .189 batting average.
  • Participated in the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game during senior season at Pinnacle High School. Also named to the Class 6A All-Conference team by azcentral.com.
  • Recorded a 1.65 ERA and notched 65 strikeouts over 50 innings pitched during high school senior season.
 
Brandon Talley
1B/OF | Princeton, Texas | Princeton HS (Grayson CC)
 
  • Originally signed with Louisiana Tech out of high school before transferring to Grayson CC.
  • The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Talley hit .364, to go along with 16 home runs, and 69 RBI at Grayson CC in 2018. Was selected to the 2018 NTJCAC All-Conference First Team.
  • Four-year starter as both an infielder and left-handed pitcher for Princeton HS. Earned the Offensive Player of the Year honor as sophomore and named MVP and Pitcher of the Year as junior.
  • Listed on Texas High School Baseball's Top 40 players to watch as a sophomore.

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