College baseball: Three former Bossier Parish stars among NSU signing class

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Jason Pugh, NSU Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations and Staff Reports

Three former standouts from Bossier Parish schools are among Northwestern State’s 2019 baseball signing class, which was announced Monday by head coach Bobby Barbier.

They are Airline’s Cameron Parikh and Benton’s Will Hine and Cole Horton.

Parikh was the MVP of the All-Parish team as a pitcher and shortstop his junior season and the co-MVP his senior season. He was also named the Pitcher of the Year on the All-District 1-5A team two years in a row.

After redshirting at Louisiana Tech, Parikh transferred to McLennan Community College.

“He’s an extremely toolsy shortstop, a rangy guy who can really pick it,” NSU assistant coach Taylor Dugas said. “One thing we really like about Cameron is how well he runs, which adds an element to our lineup. We’re excited about his athleticism and to see what he can do. He comes from winning programs and has a very good baseball background.”

Parikh will be a sophomore.

Hine, a 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher, was a four-year letterman at Benton. He went 10-1 with a 1.92 ERA as a senior, sharing co-MVP honors on the All-Parish team with Parikh. He was also a first-team Class 4A All-State and All-District 1-4A selection.

Hine played two seasons at BPCC. He struck out 55 in 48 1/3 innings as a sophomore, making 16 appearances (six starts). As a freshman, he struck out 16 in 59 2/3 innings.

Said NSU assistant Chris Bertrand: “Big, projectable left-hander. He comes to us with good collegiate experience in a very good league. He’s mid-80s, but the secondary stuff is really good because of how well he commands them. He commands two secondary pitches and has experience getting high-level junior college hitters out.”

Horton, a catcher, was a four-year letterman at Benton. He was a three-time first-team All-Parish selection. Horton was the co-MVP on the All-District 1-4A team as a sophomore and junior.

He helped Benton win the Class 4A title his junior season, the school’s first state baseball championship.

Horton was also a four-year letterman in football and three-time All-Parish selection at linebacker.

Said Bertrand: “Cole comes from an NSU family and really wants to be here. He’s a strong, left-handed hitting catcher, something that’s a rarity at that position. He’s a physical hitter and a great athlete, who is extremely tough and really gets after it. He’s someone we think can be a huge part of the future of our program. He won a state championship as a catcher at Benton and comes from a strong program at Louisiana Empire.”

The trio were among 19 who signed with the Demons.

“Bert (assistant coach Chris Bertrand), Taylor and (assistant coach) Spencer (Goodwin), here on campus, have done a great job putting this class together,” Barbier said. “I wish everyone could understand the sacrifices they make to go out and find players that fit what we are looking for in these student-athletes. I want to especially thank Lori Bertrand, Brae Dugas, and my wife, Kody, for their patience and understanding the demands of putting together a class like this.

“These 19 student-athletes are taking on the responsibility of carrying out the Demon tradition so many have worked to uphold. We think they fill many needs across the board, especially replacing a pitching staff that graduated seven seniors. These men will be an asset to our school and our community, and I can’t wait for our fans to get to meet them.”

Here is a look at the rest of the signing class.

DJ Alexander, LHP, 5-11, 185, L/L

Junior

Gretna, Louisiana · Thomas Jefferson HS (Jones County JC)

Prior to NSU: Pitched two seasons at Jones County Junior College … made eight appearances as a sophomore, striking out 10 in 8 2-3 innings … made 11 appearances as a freshman, striking out 25 in 21 1-3 innings … averaged 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings at Jones County … Dean’s List student graduated with a 3.4 grade point average … began his college career at Southeastern Louisiana.

High School: Four-year letterman for coach Kim Minor’s Jaguars … was named district Most Valuable Player as a senior, going 4-4 with a 1.80 ERA on the mound while batting .414 … struck out 102 batters in 57 innings as a senior … helped lead the Jaguars to a 62-32 mark in four seasons … graduated with a 3.7 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Alexander: “He comes to us from a really good program at Jones County. He had really good numbers as a freshman. DJ is a guy who can have a role out of our bullpen as a left-hander who can get guys out. He’s a strike thrower who can spin the ball and had a lot of success at Jones County. His role could expand down the road.”

Josh Banes, RHP, 5-9, 185, R/R

Junior

Learned, Mississippi · Central Hinds Academy (Hinds CC)

Prior to NSU: Two-year letterman at Hinds Community College where his pitching coach was former NSU assistant Nick Ammirati … named team’s top pitcher as a sophomore, pitching to a 2.90 ERA and helping Hinds to a playoff appearance … helped pitch Hinds to the regionals as a freshman, posting a 3.50 ERA … graduated with a 3.7 grade point average and earned the Eagle Award for character … started his career at Louisiana Tech, redshirting his one season there.

High School: Six-year letterman for coaches Doug Shanks and Brandon Benton at Central Hinds … named to the Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen and was an all-state and all-conference selection as a senior … named conference MVP and top pitcher as a senior, posting a 0.84 ERA … batted .452 as a senior … all-state selection as a junior, hitting .420 and pitching to a 1.20 ERA, also earning conference MVP honors … all-conference selection as a sophomore (.389 batting average) and as a freshman (.430 average, 1.70 ERA) … helped lead Central Hinds to four conference championships and top-six finishes at state all four years, including a runner-up finish as a senior … six-year basketball letterman earned three all-conference honors … averaged double figures in scoring in his final three seasons … member of the National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta honor society … graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Banes: “He’s an upper-80s, sinker, slider combination. Josh has very high pitchability. He has pitched in big games for Hinds Community College, a quality program where he pitched for former Demons assistant Nick Ammirati, in the MACJC Championships and the junior college regionals.”

Micah Berens, RHP, 6-4, 245, R/R

Freshman

Fort Worth, Texas · Timber Creek HS

High School: Four-year letterman for coach Derek Watson’s Falcons … second-team all-district selection as a senior, pitching to a 3.10 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 48 1-3 innings … graduate with a 4.0 grade point average.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Berens: “Micah comes to us from a great program in the North Texas Dirtbags. He’s a big frame, upper-80s arm with command that is really good for an incoming freshman. He has a very athletic bloodline with his father having played college baseball and his mom playing Division I college volleyball. She is a coach now, so he has that coach’s kid mentality. Micah is someone we are excited to watch develop throughout his career.”

Cal Carver, LHP, 6-3, 185, L/L

Sophomore

San Antonio, Texas · Reagan HS (Wichita State)

Summer 2019: Played for the Upper Valley Nighthawks in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the El Dorado Broncos in the Sunflower Collegiate League and the TPU Titans in the Centex Collegiate Baseball League.

Prior to NSU: Pitched one season at Wichita State … went 3-1 with 18 strikeouts in 24 1-3 innings for the Shockers … named to the All-American Conference Academic Team … had a 3.3 grade point average.

High School: Three-year letterman for coach Chans Chapman’s Rattlers … owns the school record for wins (28) and ranks third in career strikeouts (227) and fourth in career ERA (1.84) … tied for second in single-season wins (13, junior year) and his 12 wins as a senior are tied for third in school single-season history … went 12-1 with a 1.03 ERA and 109 strikeouts as a senior, earning first-team all-state honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association, first-team elite all-state honors from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association and was named first-team All-District 26-6A, first-team Class 6A State Tournament All-Tournament Team, and was the San Antonio Area Player of the Year … was ranked as the No. 24 senior by Texas High School Baseball Magazine and was part of the San Antonio Express News’ top 40 high school athletes … named preseason All-American by Perfect Game and Baseball Factory … helped lead the Rattlers to the state title game as a senior … went 13-3 with a 2.10 ERA and 103 strikeouts as a junior … earned first-team All-District 26-6A honors and was a first-team all-state pick by the Texas Sports Writers Association … second-team all-state selection by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association … named to the Express News Super Team after helping lead Reagan to the state title game … was a preseason Perfect Game All-American … went 3-1 with a 1.12 ERA as a sophomore … prep teammate of current Demons infielder Hilton Brown … graduated with a 3.3 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Carver: “We’re really excited to get Cal. He’s a 6-3 lefty who will be an upper 80s to 90 guy. He has a four-pitch mix and throws a ton of strikes. He really competes on the mound. He got valuable innings as a freshman at Wichita State. He pitched in a good league, and we feel like he’s someone who will really help our team.”

Gabe Colaianni, OF, 5-10, 188, L/L

Freshman

Missouri City, Texas · Ridge Point HS

High School: Four-year letterman for Clinton Welch’s Panthers … named first-team all-district as a senior, helping lead Ridge Point to the Class 6A state championship game … participated in the Houston Senior All-Star Game … first-team all-district selection as a junior and was named Ridge Point’s Outstanding Hitter .. started every game as a sophomore … Ridge Point advanced to the state playoffs in each of his four seasons … earned the academic excellence award as a freshman … graduated with a 3.5 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Colaianni: “Gabe had really good junior and senior seasons. They lost in the Texas 6A state championship his senior year, so he has played in a lot of big games. He comes to us from good programs in Ridge Point and the Houston Athletics organization, which does a great job developing players. He’s strong, can run and has bat speed. He’s a left-handed hitting outfielder and a tough kid who we’re really excited to have.”

Levi David, RHP, 6-5, 220, R/R

Sophomore

Waxahachie, Texas · Waxahachie HS (McLennan CC)

Summer 2019: Played for the Arlington A’s in the DBAT Collegiate League.

Prior to NSU: Spent two seasons at McLennan Community College … lettered one season, appearing in 11 games and recording 25 strikeouts in 21 1-3 innings in 2018 … two-time Academic All-American graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.

High School: Two-year letterman for coach Tracy Wood’s Indians … named a Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star and the District 10-5A MVP as a senior, hitting .410 with 27 RBIs while going 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA on the mound … helped Waxahachie win the district and area championships … helped the Indians advance to the second round of the state playoffs as a junior … four-year swimming letterman for Tamara Pruitt, capturing the state championship in the 50 meter freestyle as a senior … state finalist, regional and district champion in the 100 meter freestyle as a senior … state runner-up and district and regional championship in the 50 free as a junior … 100 free district and regional champion and state finalist as a junior … district champion swimmer as a sophomore … member of the National Honor Society graduated with a 3.875 grade point average (5.242 weighted) … two-time Academic All-State selection … earned Academic All-American honors as a senior.

Coach Taylor Dugas on David: “Levi has a ton of upside. He’s a big-frame guy with a heavy fastball that has a lot of tilt and a hammer slider that has a lot of depth. He’s someone we’re really high on. Levi has a unique background, having been a high school state championship swimmer in Texas.”

Kendall Foster, OF, 5-9, 175, L/L

Sophomore

Prosper, Texas · Prosper HS (McLennan CC)

Prior to NSU: Played one season at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas.

High School: Four-year letterman for coach Rick Carpenter’s … first-team all-district selection as a senior, second-team all-district pick as a junior and as a sophomore … part of Prosper’s 2015 state title team … academic all-district selection graduated with a 3.0 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Foster: “Kendall is a left-handed hitting center fielder who can really run and drive the ball. He’s a really talented player. I’m excited about his upside. He has a high ceiling and a guy we think can hit at the top of the lineup. He’s a good defender in the outfield. He can run, throw and has some pop. We feel he can be an impactful player for us.”

Jonathan Harmon, RHP, 6-5, 190, R/R

Freshman

Hornbeck, Louisiana · Leesville HS

High School: Four-year letterman for coaches Kyle Walters and Dustin Smith … two-time honorable mention All-State selection was named to the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Region Team as a senior … four-time All-CENLA, All-Vernon Parish and all-district selection … twice named first-team all-district pitcher and earned first-team all-district honors at second base as a sophomore … second-team all-district third baseman as a freshman … Principal’s List student gradated with a 3.56 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Harmon: “Jonathan comes to us from Leesville High School and Louisiana Empire. He’s a long, lean, athletic pitcher for being so big. He throws a ton of strikes and has a good feel for his offspeed stuff. He will come right at you and attack the zone. He’s a hard worker who we’re very high on as he moves along in his career.”

Logan Hofmann, RHP, 5-10, 185, L/R

Junior

Muenster, Saskatchewan · Muenster School (Colby CC)

MLB Draft: Was the 35th-round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Summer 2019: Named a Cape Cod League All-Star while pitching for the Falmouth Commodores … went 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA and one save for Falmouth, striking out 27 in 20 1-3 innings … threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game.

Prior to NSU: Pitched two seasons at Colby Community College where former Demon Josh Oller was his pitching coach … set the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference career strikeout record with 230 … finished fourth in the NJCAA in strikeouts with 128 as a sophomore to notch third-team All-American honors … went 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA as a sophomore, tossing 89 2-3 innings, earning first-team All-KJCCC West and Region VI acclaim … named the KJCCC West Pitcher of the Year … as a freshman was picked first-team All-KJCCC and Region VI … posted an 8-3 record with three saves and 102 strikeouts in 85 2-3 innings … graduated with a 3.8 grade point average and was named to the President’s and Vice President’s Honor Roll. 

High School: Played hockey, baseball and track and field … only track and field was affiliated with the Muenster School … helped lead the Muenster Red Sox to 100 wins in three seasons, claiming the Saskatchewan provincial championship and a third-place national finish as a junior … three-time member of Team Saskatchewan and a two-time Canada Cup national champion … two-way player batted .338 as a senior while posting a 5-1 pitching record with an 0.53 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 52 innings … struck out 78 in 45 1-3 innings as a junior, going 6-1 with a 1.69 ERA … batted .315 and struck out 45 in 38 2-3 innings as a sophomore, pitching to a 1.99 ERA with a 3-1 record … struck out 226 against 43 walks as a secondary schooler.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Hofmann: “Logan is someone we’re very high on. He had a great summer on the Cape, being named an all-star. Logan has low-to-mid-90s velocity, a wipeout slider and really competes. He has a bulldog mentality on the mound, which is something we hope will spread throughout our staff. We brought him in to be an impact guy on the weekend.”

Seth Kerstetter, INF, 5-9, 185, L/R

Freshman

Lafayette, Louisiana · Ascension Episcopal HS

High School: Five-year letterman for Lonny Landry’s Blue Gators … all-state and all-district selection as a senior … named first-team all-state as a junior, hitting .463, while also earning first-team all-district honors … first-team all-district pick as a sophomore and earned second-team all-district honors as a sophomore … four-year football letterman for coach Mike Desormeaux, earning All-Acadiana honors as a senior … three-time first-team all-district football player also lettered one year in track and field … part of the Boys to Men Club … honor roll student graduated with a 3.8 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Kerstetter: “We’ve seen Seth for a few years now. He played for my former high school coach, Lonny Landry. He’s another left-handed hitter. Seth was a slot receiver in football, so the athleticism is there. He’s someone who hasn’t really focused on baseball with how much football he’s played in the past. We’re excited to see what he can do simply focusing on baseball.”

Austin Kirkpatrick, C, 6-0, 180, R/R

Junior

Parks, Louisiana · Teurlings Catholic (LSU-Eunice)

Summer 2019: Played for the Lakewood Legends in the Tidewater Summer League.

Prior to NSU: Lettered two seasons at LSU-Eunice, helping lead the Bengals to the 2018 national championship … named a 2019 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner in his sophomore season … batted .253 with 14 extra-base hits, including three home runs, and 30 RBIs as a sophomore … threw out 15 of 24 attempted base stealers, a caught stealing percentage of 62.5 … graduated with a 3.2 grade point average.

High School: Played four seasons for Mike Thibodeaux’s Rebels, helping lead Teurlings to a state championship as a senior and a state runner-up finish as a junior … earned first-team all-state honors in both his junior and senior seasons … batted .340 as a senior.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Kirkpatrick: “An elite defender and a really good catch-and-throw guy who comes from two quality programs (Teurlings Catholic and LSU-Eunice). They won the national championship at Eunice in his freshman year and reached the regional finals this year. He’s a winner, who brings a lot of experience with him and is someone who has the ability to lead a pitching staff. He has a presence back there.”

Dillon Morris, RHP, 6-2, 245, R/R

Junior

Carthage, Texas · Carthage HS (Ranger College)

Summer 2019: Pitched for D-Bat CL Bacsik in the Metro Scout Collegiate League.

Prior to NSU: Pitched two seasons at Ranger College … had three saves and 30 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings with a 2.49 ERA as a sophomore … part of a combined no-hitter against Weatherford College … earned Player of the Week honors once at Ranger … graduated with a 3.6 grade point average and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

High School: Played for coach John Goodwin’s Bulldogs … member of the Future Farmers of America and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes … graduated with a 3.8 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Morris: “Dillon is a big, physical pitcher who really attacks the zone. He’s a bulldog-type mound presence. He can be a back-end guy for us, a stopper who can shut the game down. He pitched in relief at Ranger and had a ton of strikeouts. We lost quite a few pitchers from last year, so Dillon has a chance to make a quick impact on this year’s team.”

Cam Sibley, INF, 6-1, 170, L/R

Junior

Baton Rouge, Louisiana · Dutchtown HS (Panola College)

Prior to NSU: Played two seasons at Panola College … batted .333 with 13 doubles, three home runs and 28 RBIs as a sophomore … posted a .411 on-base percentage, drawing more walks than strikeouts, and stole 11 bases in 13 attempts … batted .306 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 28 RBIs as a freshman … swiped 15 bases in 18 tries.

High School: Three-year letterman at Dutchtown High School for coach Chris Shexnaydre’s Griffins … named first-team all-district as a senior and second-team all-district as a junior.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Sibley: “Cam gives us a left-handed hitting middle infielder, who can play either spot (second base or shortstop). He also gives us a true leadoff hitter option. Defensively, he has the ability to be a really good defender. One thing that stood out was his ability to hit the ball to all fields and make a lot of contact.”

Drake Smith, RHP/INF, 6-0, 175, R/R

Freshman

Katy, Texas · Katy HS

High School: Two-year letterman for Tom McPherson’s Tigers … led Katy in batting average, home runs and RBIs as a senor as Katy finished second in the district … his RBI double gave Katy a 7-6 win against Sugar Land Dulles to give McPherson his 800th career victory … helped lead Katy to the district championship and a third-round playoff appearance as a junior … honor graduate finished with a 3.56 grade point average.

Coach Taylor Dugas on Smith: “Drake is a two-way guy for us, an athletic middle infielder who can play anywhere. He’s a rangy, explosive player. On the mound, he’s a back-end-of-the-game type of pitcher. He’s an extremely well-rounded baseball player. I can’t stress the athleticism on the mound enough. He has a loose arm and room to really add velocity as he gains weight and strength.”

Daunte Stuart, INF, 6-0, 180, R/R

Freshman

The Woodlands, Texas · The Woodlands HS

High School: Two-year letterman for Ronald Eastman’s Highlanders … batted .325 as a senior, helping lead The Woodlands to the regional semifinals … named an honorable mention Perfect Game Preseason All-American and to the Preseason All-Houston Area Team prior to his senior year … helped push the Highlanders to the state tournament as a junior … earned an academic letter and graduated with a 3.55 grade point average.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Stuart: “Daunte is a really athletic infielder who we feel his best baseball is ahead of him. He has all the physical skills and tools to succeed and his baseball acumen is coming along. He just needs experience in our program and at this level. When his skills and athleticism take over, we feel we’ve found ourselves a really good player. He comes from The Woodlands and the Hunter Pence Baseball Academy, which does a great job preparing their guys for college baseball.”

Ryan Zimmerman

OF · 6-2 · 205 · Jr.-TR · L-R

Mandeville, Louisiana · Fontainebleau HS (Copiah-Lincoln CC)

Summer 2019: Played for the Florida Pokers in the South Florida Collegiate Baseball League.

Prior to NSU: Played two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College … second-team All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges pick as a sophomore, hitting .297 with 19 extra-base hits and 16 stolen bases … second-team All-MACJC as a freshman, batting .413 with 14 extra-base hits and 21 stolen bases … MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State pick as a sophomore and Academic All-State awardee as a freshman … second-team All-Academic NJCAA selection as a sophomore and third-team honoree as a freshman.

High School: Two-year letterman for coach Mike Woods’ Bulldogs.

Coach Chris Bertrand on Zimmerman: “Ryan is someone who increases the overall athleticism of our ball club and gives us another left-handed bat. He can really run and steal some bases. He gives us that option after losing (Caleb) Ricca and Sam (Taylor). His versatility is a strength, allowing him to play any outfield spot and potentially either corner infield position. His dad won a national championship under Skip Bertman at LSU, so he has good bloodlines.”