Baseball signs seven; two are eligible this spring

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    Nov. 26, 2007

    By Jeff Honza

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University head coach Dan Callahan revealed a group of seven signees earlier today. Two are eligible to suit up for the Dawgs this spring, while the other five will join the team for the 2009 season.

    "I really like this recruiting class. Each guy has the ability to come in and make an immediate and substantial contribution," said Callahan. "They have all experienced success at the high school and/or junior college level and we see no reason why that can't carry over to SIU."

    Jimmy Cornell (LHP, Poplar Bluff, Mo.) and Owen Mackedon (SS, Fallon, Nev.) are the two who will play for SIU this spring.

    Cornell has three years of eligibility after playing one season at Three Rivers Community College. Meanwhile, Mackedon has only one year left following two seasons at Feather River College and one at the University of Nevada-Reno.

    Everyone else, including Andrew Bever (RHP, Lafayette, Ind.), Nathan Forer (RHP, Brampton, Ontario, Canada), Cyle Rasmus (SS, Phenix City, Ala.), Chris Serritella (1B, Glenview, Ill.) and Jordan Sivertsen (OF/RHP, Richmond, Ill.) comes to Carbondale next fall.

    "I'd also like to convey how much of a team effort our recruiting has been this fall," said Callahan. "Not only did our baseball staff do a great job, but everyone from Kristina Therriault (Assistant Athletic Director/Student Services) to Eric Klein (Head Strength Coach) to Mario Moccia (Director of Athletics) was involved in the recruitment of these young men."

    Biographical Sketches

    Jimmy Cornell, LHP, 6-1, 175, So., Poplar Bluff, Mo., Twin Rivers H.S./Three Rivers CC
    Joins the Salukis this spring and has three years of eligibility left...Played one year at Three Rivers CC, where he recorded a 5-3 record and ranked second on the team in strikeouts with 54 Ks in 48.1 innings...Was among national leaders in strikeouts per inning...Two-time first-team all-state pitcher at Twin Rivers High School...Went a combined 19-3 over his junior and senior seasons. Callahan on Cornell: "We saw Jimmy play twice this summer and liked his abilities and the way he competed. He touched 90 mph with his fastball and we feel he will make an immediate contribution to our pitching staff during the upcoming season." Cornell on SIU: "I wanted to play in a Division I conference like the Missouri Valley. SIU was one of the first schools to talk to me and the coaches showed a lot of interest. I want to help the Salukis any way I can."



    Owen Mackedon, SS, 6-1, 185, Sr., Fallon, Nev., Churchill County H.S./Feather River College/Nevada-Reno
    Is eligible to play this spring and has one year of eligibility remaining...Played two seasons at Feather River College and one at Nevada-Reno...Hit .341 with 14 doubles, 12 stolen bases and 20 RBI at FRC...Two-time All-Golden Valley Conference shortstop...Hit over .300 in each of his four prep seasons at Churchill County High School...Also had eight home runs and 98 RBI in his high school career...Garnered all-conference, all-region and academic all-state honors in his last three prep campaigns. Callahan on Mackedon: "Coach Dixon coached Owen in junior college. He is an excellent defender who has a great work ethic and plays the game with the utmost intensity." Feather River College Assistant Coach Jason Gay: "Owen is one of the hardest workers and best young men I've had a chance to coach. He'll bring quality play to the Saluki program. He is solid defensively and is a good hitter." Mackedon on SIU: "What sold me on SIU was the fact that it's a good program with good coaches. I am thankful for the opportunity to come to Carbondale and look forward to contributing. I played for two years under Coach Dixon and I love the way he handles things. He's fun to play for."

    2009 Signees

    Andrew Bever, RHP, 6-3, 195, Jr., Lafayette, Ind., McCutcheon H.S./Kankakee CC
    Will come to SIU after playing two seasons at Kankakee Community College...Went 5-1 on the mound for the Cavaliers in 2007...Attended McCutcheon High School, where he was an all-conference and all-area pick as a senior. Callahan on Bever: "Andrew is a three-pitch pitcher who continues to develop. He has had success at the junior college level and we feel he will be a consistent contributor here." Kankakee CC Coach Todd Post on Bever: "Andrew is an extremely hard worker who is dedicated to being the best pitcher he can be. He wants the ball in the big games. We are expecting him to have another strong year here and we're glad he signed to play at the Division I level." Bever on SIU: "The way that SIU develops its pitchers really attracted me. I enjoyed my visit and loved the coaching staff. I also realized how a lot of players in the SIU program work hard and I want to be a part of that."

    Nathan Forer, RHP, 6-1, 170, Jr., Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Mayfield Secondary School/Kaskaskia College
    Went 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA and ranked fourth on the team with 33 strikeouts at Kaskaskia last season...Began his junior college stint by going 4-0 with 38 strikeouts and a 2.75 ERA...Hails from Canada, where he attended Mayfield Secondary School...He was a two-time Most Valuable Player at Mayfield. Kaskaskia College Coach Brad Tuttle on Forer: "Nathan has been a breath of fresh air. He is a workhorse in the off-season. It's nice to see him stay in Illinois and go to SIU." Callahan on Forer: "Nathan possesses the ability to be a Friday or Saturday starter. He is the number one pitcher on a frontline team in a frontline conference." Forer on SIU: "It just felt right when I came on my visit. Everything I heard about the coaching staff was good and everything pointed in the right direction."

    Cyle Rasmus, SS, 5-10, 170, Fr., Phenix City, Ala., Russell County H.S.
    Hit .379 with 72 hits, 71 runs scored, 18 doubles, 10 home runs and 37 stolen bases on a Russell County High School team that went 44-11 as the state runner-up in 2007...Helped lead his team to a 38-1 record and No. 1 national ranking as a freshman...Birmingham News All-State selection...His two brothers, Colby (St. Louis Cardinals) and Cory (Atlanta Braves) were first-round draft picks. Callahan on Rasmus: "Cyle is a top of the lineup kind of player who makes things happen. He can run and is very strong on defense. He can also hit for some power." Rasmus on SIU: "I like Coach Callahan. He's the type of coach I want to play for. All the pieces sort of just fell into place. I liked my visit and everything seemed like a good fit."

    Chris Serritella, 1B, 6-3, 185, Fr., Glenview, Ill., Loyola Academy H.S.
    Hit .472 with 10 home runs, 10 doubles and 30 RBI at Loyola Academy a year ago...Was named all-conference and all-area...Fell one home run shy of a school record. Callahan on Serritella: Chris has shown plus power as a high school hitter, as evidenced by his 10 homers as a junior. We feel he will become a middle of the lineup type hitter for us with the ability to be a solid RBI guy." Serritella on SIU: "SIU made me a great offer. I talked to a lot of coaches and scouts and they said Coach Callahan and his staff are excellent to play for. Everything about SIU really caught my eye."

    Jordan Sivertsen, OF/RHP, 6-2, Fr., 185, Richmond, Ill., Carmel Catholic H.S.
    Hit .420 with nine home runs, 50 RBI and 19 extra base hits at Carmel Catholic High School last season...His team finished the 2007 campaign at 31-6 overall...Two-time all-conference, all-area and all-state pick...Prep Baseball Report ranks him as the seventh-best player in the state. Carmel High School Coach Chuck Gandolfi on Sivertsen: "Jordan is the type of kid that wants to be in a successful program. He wants to win and is very goal-oriented. He has a lot of the skills it takes to play at the Division I level. Callahan on Sivertsen: "Jordan might be the best two-way guy in Illinois this year. He has hit 19 home runs the past two years and he was touching 90 mph some over the summer. He is an impact player on the mound and as a hitter." Sivertsen on SIU: "I felt really comfortable with the players, coaches and program in general. Getting an opportunity to play right away was also huge for me."

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