July 14, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois head baseball coach Dan Callahan announced Wednesday that the Salukis have added five players to their roster for the 2011 season.
Pitchers Cameron Maldonado and Brad Drust along with utility player Derek Trovillion come in after stints at junior colleges, while infielder Dakota Holcomb and first baseman/outfielder Derek Rallo are straight out of high school.
The 6-1, left-handed Drust is a local product out of Carterville, Ill. (Carterville High School). He spent the 2010 season as a reliever at John A. Logan College and will have three years of eligibility with the Salukis. In 12 appearances and one start at John A. Logan, Drust had a 3-1 record. He struck out 43 batters in 31.0 innings of work for the Vols and had 13 walks. Opposing hitters hit .281 off Drust.
"It's nice to keep a local athlete with Brad's ability at home," Callahan said. "We feel he can come in and be a major contributor, and even emerge as a weekend starter. Brad has good arm strength from the left side and with his abilities, there is no reason he shouldn't have a great deal of success here at SIU."
Maldonado (Canon City, Colo.) is a 6-3, right-handed pitcher who spent the 2010 season at Seward County Junior College in Liberal, Kan. He was named to the All-Jayhawk League second team in 2010 after he compiled an 8-4 overall record and 7-1 mark in league play. He posted a 3.11 ERA as a sophomore with the Saints while tossing 47.2 innings with 37 strikeouts and eight walks.
Before attending Seward County, Maldonado was a two-time all-state pitcher for Canon City High School. He spent his freshman season at Wichita State University, where he appeared in eight games and made six starts. He threw 17.2 innings with a 1-1 record and 5.60 ERA for the Shockers and had 19 strikeouts and nine walks in 2009. Maldonado will have two years of eligibility with the Salukis.
Holcomb batted well above .300 in the three seasons he spent on the varsity squad at Fort Collins [Colo.] High School, and was named all-conference all three years. He batted .391 as a junior with three home runs and 15 RBIs, and hit .474 as a senior with seven home runs and 23 RBIs.
"Dakota is a talented middle infielder who comes out of a good baseball area," said Callahan. "He is very athletic and has followed up a good spring with a great summer and should be prepared to be an impact guy as a freshman. He will play hard and work hard, and we feel he will be a fun guy to watch."
Rallo (St. Louis, Mo.) comes to SIU after leading Christian Brothers College High School to its first-ever state baseball championship with a 26-7 record in 2010. Rallo hit .375 as a senior with the Cadets where he belted three home runs and had 33 RBIs.
"Derek is another kid who comes from a very successful high school program, having helped lead CBC High School to a Missouri state championship this spring," Callahan said. "He is a strong left-handed hitter with a great deal of versatility, and will push for playing time in the outfield and at first base. We feel in time, he can be a middle of the order type hitter."
Trovillion, a 6-1 product of Vienna, Ill., played at Rend Lake College in 2009 and at John A. Logan College in 2010. In 52 games he hit .302 with a team-leading nine home runs and 48 RBIs at John A. Logan. In 2009 Trovillion had a team-leading five home runs at Rend Lake.
"Derek is another local product out of John A. Logan," Callahan said. "He too possesses some versatility having played outfield and both corner infield spots. He is a strong right-handed hitter who could potentially add some power to the middle of the lineup."
These five join OF Kollin Dowdy, LHP Tyler Dray, IF Donny Duschinsky, RHP Todd Eaton, C Dustin Huff, RHP/OF Brian Monette, RHP Matt Murphy, RHP Peter Slavonic, RHP Bryan Waldrop and IF Jake Welch as part of the 2010 recruiting class.