BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb baseball has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.
The Diamond 'Dogs welcome Cameron Bare (Charlotte, N.C./Providence HS), Noah Davis (Dawsonville, Ga./Dawson County HS), Jordan Hampton (Kathleen, Ga./The Westfield School), Trent Jones (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch HS), Ben LaSpaluto (Apex, N.C./Panther Creek HS), JP McGuire (Peachtree Corners, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), Taber Mongero (Gainesville, Ga./North Hall HS), and Brooks Veal (Gray, Ga./Jones County HS).
"Our coaching staff is extremely excited about the quality of this year's early signing class," stated Gardner-Webb head coach Rusty Stroupe. "Our assistant coaches, Ross Steedley and Conner Scarborough, did an outstanding job of identifying these young men as fits for our program, not only for their outstanding athletic abilities, but also for their exceptional personal qualities. With us losing several key players at the end of this year, we expect this class to come in next year and make an immediate impact on the field. We've enjoyed getting to know them and their families and look forward to them being full-time members of the Runnin' Bulldog baseball family next year."
Bare (5-11, 190) is a key member of the nationally-ranked Providence High School baseball team that was the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A State Champions in 2015. Bare was named to the Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention team in both 2015 and 2016.
Davis (6-8, 205) earned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region 7-AAA All-Region First Team honors following this past season on the mound for Dawson County High School, where he is also a standout on the basketball team. Davis also earned 2014 and 2015 Perfect Game All-Tournament team honors.
Hampton (6-7, 185), a 2016 and 2016 Under Armour Preseason All-American, is ranked as one of the top-500 players in the nation by Perfect Game and is the 16th ranked right-handed pitcher in Georgia. Hampton was a member of the GHSA AAAAA State Championship team at Houston County High School in 2016, and was also a member of the 2011 Warner Robbins, Ga. Little League team that won the Southeast Regional and played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Jones (6-2, 190) is ranked #73 overall and #12 for outfielders in the state of Virginia by Prep Baseball Report and was named to the 2015 and 2016 Perfect Game WWBA All-Tournament teams. His older brother, Garrett, is a member of the baseball team at Navy, and his father, Les, is an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men's basketball official.
LaSpaluto (5-8, 160) is ranked #53 overall and #7 for shortstops in North Carolina by Prep Baseball Report and also earned 2016 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention honors. LaSpaluto also participated in the 2016 NC State Games for Region 3 in Cary, N.C.
McGuire (5-11, 190) is one of the top-rated catchers in the state of Georgia and was a key member of the 2016 Greater Atlanta Christian team that advanced to the GHSA AA semifinals. McGuire is the younger brother of current Gardner-Webb right-handed pitcher Peyton McGuire.
Mongero (5-9, 142) was ranked as one of the top-20 juniors in Georgia by Georgia Dugout Club and was selected as a member of Team Georgia for the Sunbelt Classic Baseball Series this past summer. Mongero also led North Hall High School in hits, batting average, on-base percentage, and doubles this past season, earning 2016 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention honors.
Veal (5-10, 170) was a Second-Team All-Middle Georgia selection last season, also earning 2016 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention honors. Veal helped lead Jones County High School to the GHSA AAAAA semifinals during his sophomore season, and is also a standout football player at Jones County, excelling on both offense and defense.
Gardner-Webb will open the 2017 season at home on Friday, February 17th, hosting Canisius. Opening pitch is set for 4:00 pm. The Diamond 'Dogs will play 20 of their first 26 games this season at John Henry Moss Stadium / Bill Masters Field.
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