FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas baseball program has announced seven more signees in the early signing period. They will be able to compete for the Razorbacks in the 2017 season.
Arkansas has now signed the top-rated player in the states of Nebraska (Cole Stobbe) and Wisconsin (Ben Rortvedt), according to Perfect Game, an amateur baseball scouting service. In addition, Perfect Game also ranked Stobbe and Rortvedt among the nation’s top 20 players.
“The success of our program is a big reason we are getting all of these great players,” Arkansas baseball head coach Dave Van Horn said.
In 2015, the Razorbacks won 40 games and advanced to the College World Series for the fourth time in Van Horn’s 13-year tenure at Arkansas. Only one class of four-year players in Van Horn’s 18-year Division I head-coaching career have not played in Omaha.
The Razorbacks also inked three players from the Kansas City metro area, which has seen a resurgent interest in the game after the Kansas City Royals won back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series.
“We’ve had tremendous success in the Kansas City area, which is really becoming a great area for baseball,” Van Horn said.
Northwest Arkansas is also home to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
RAZORBACK BASEBALL SIGNEES
|Tyler Benninghoff||RHP||R/R||6-4||180||Overland Park, Kan.||Rockhurst HS|
|Sammy Blair||OF||R/R||5-9||165||Navasota, Texas||Navasota HS|
|Jacob Kostyshock||RHP||R/R||6-3||175||Dardenne Prairie, Mo.||Francis Howell HS|
|Lucas Krull||LHP||R/L||6-7||220||Shawnee, Kan.||Mill Valley HS|
|Blake Lillis||LHP||L/L||6-3||175||Overland Park, Kan.||St. Thomas Aquinas HS|
|Ben Rortvedt||C||L/R||5-10||190||Verona, Wis.||Verona HS|
|Cole Stobbe||INF||R/R||6-1||180||Omaha, Neb.||Millard West HS|
Tyler Benninghoff | RHP | R/R | 6-4 | 180 | Overland Park, Kan. | Rockhurst HS
Named the No. 25 overall player and No. 11 pitcher in the nation by Prep Baseball Report … Rated the second-best player in Kansas and the No. 1 right-handed pitcher in the state by Prep Baseball Report … Ranked No. 75 overall and the No. 23 right handed-pitcher in the nation by Perfect Game … Also ranked No. 4 overall and the No. 3 right-handed pitcher in the state of Kansas … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen First Team All-American … Earned all-tournament honors at the 2015 Perfect Game WWBA and 17U World Series … 2014 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … Participated in the 2015 Perfect Game National Showcase … Named to the 2015 Class 5 MHSBCA All-State Second Team … Earned 2015 all-metro team honors … Went 5-1 his junior season on the rubber with a 1.25 ERA in 39 innings pitched … Also batted .398, tallying nine extra-base hits, including two home runs … Has been clocked at 92 MPH … Played summer ball for the Evoshield Canes … Plays for head coach Jim DeGraw at Rockhurst High School.
Sammy Blair | OF | R/R | 5-9 | 165 | Navasota, Texas | Navasota HS
Ranked No. 393 overall and the 66th best outfielder in the nation by Perfect Game … Also ranked the No. 41 player in the state of Texas … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … Earned first team all-district 21-4A honors in 2015 … 2014 District 18-3A Baseball Newcomer of the Year … Played summer and fall ball for the Twelve Baseball … Runs a 6.3 60-yard dash and stole 28 bases as a sophomore … Also played football (wide receiver/defensive back) … Plays for head coach Cody Walker at Navasota High School.
Jacob Kostyshock | RHP | R/R | 6-5 | 175 | Dardenne Prairie, Mo. | Francis Howell HS
Garnered a top 500 overall ranking and No. 193 right-handed pitcher in the nation according to Perfect Game … Also ranked No. 9 overall and the second-best right-handed pitcher in the state of Missouri … Prep Baseball Report ranks him the No. 394 player overall and No. 147 right-handed pitcher in the nation … Named the No. 11 overall player and No. 4 right-handed pitcher in Missouri by Prep Baseball Report … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … Helped his team finish state runner-up in 2014 … Played summer and fall ball for the St. Louis Pirates Elite … Plays for head coach Tony Perkins at Francis Howell High School.
Lucas Krull | LHP | R/L | 6-7 | 220 | Shawnee, Kan. | Mill Valley HS
Rated the No. 29 left-handed pitcher in the country and the No. 1 southpaw in the state of Kansas by Perfect Game … Prep Baseball Report ranks him the No. 81 overall player and No. 14 pitcher in the nation … Ranked the No. 5 player and No. 1 left-handed pitcher in Kansas by Prep Baseball Report … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … Played for the White Sox in the 2015 Area Code Games … Has touched as high as 92 MPH with his fastball … Played summer ball for the Mill Valley Jaguars … Plays for head coach Jeff Strickland at Mill Valley High School.
Blake Lillis | LHP | L/L | 6-3 | 175 | Overland Park, Kan. | St. Thomas Aquinas HS
Ranked in the top 500 nationally and the No. 116 left-handed pitcher in the nation according to Perfect Game … Also ranked No. 13 and the No. 2 left-handed pitcher in the state of Kansas … Prep Baseball Report rates him the No. 260 overall player and No. 42 left-handed pitcher in the country … Also ranked the No. 11 player and No. 2 left-handed pitcher in Kansas by Prep Baseball Report … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … 2015 All-Eastern Kansas League First Team … Helped St. Thomas Aquinas post a 19-3 record in 2015 … Posted a 6-0 record with a 0.86 ERA as a junior … Struck out 40 batters in 32.2 innings pitched … Helped his team capture the 2014 5A State Championship … 2014 All-Eastern Kansas League Honorable Mention … Pitched 21.1 innings with a 3.61 ERA as a sophomore … Plays for head coach Lorne Parks at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
Ben Rortvedt | C | L/R | 5-10 | 190 | Verona, Wis. | Verona HS
Named the ninth-best player and second-best catcher in the nation by Prep Baseball Report … Ranked No. 20 overall and the No. 2 catcher in the nation by Perfect Game … Also the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Wisconsin by both Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen First Team All-American … Mashed a 450-foot home run in batting practice at the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic … Went 8-for-16 with three doubles and a triple in the 2015 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars … Selected to the 2015 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials roster … Earned First Team Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-State honors … Hit .468 as a junior en route to helping his team to a 17-11 record and fourth-place finish in the Big Eight Conference … Named second team all-conference his sophomore and freshman year … Hit .338 (24-for-71) with seven doubles, one home run and 13 RBIs as a sophomore … Also tapped the dish 13 times and had a .489 on-base percentage … Played summer ball for the Rawlings Hitters … Played travel ball for the Hitters Baseball Racine … Plays for head coach Brad D’Orazio at Verona Area High School.
Cole Stobbe | INF | R/R | 6-1 | 180 | Omaha, Neb. | Millard West HS
Ranked No. 19 overall and the No. 4 shortstop in the nation by Perfect Game … Also the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Nebraska … 2015 Perfect Game Underclassmen First Team All-American … Only the second Perfect Game All-American from the state of Nebraska … 2015 Louisville Slugger High School First Team All-American … 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska … Helped the Under-18 USA baseball team capture its third straight World Cup championship … Raked at a team-high .426 clip as a junior … Also led his team in RBIs (44), runs (43), doubles (19), triples (5) and home runs (4) … Helped Millward West High School reach Class A state tournament final four … Named to the 2015 All-Nebraska First Team, All-Class A Team and All-Metro Conference Team … Turned in an impressive performance in the 2015 Perfect Game National Showcase … Earned the Zepp Labs Heart & Hustle Award at the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic … Selected to the 2015 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials roster … 2014 Perfect Game Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American … Earned Second Team All-Nebraska honors and hit .317 with 36 runs and five homers as a sophomore … Played travel ball with the Marucci Elite … Plays for Millard West High School head coach Steve Frey.
The #OmaHogs will begin their 2016 season on Feb. 19 at Baum Stadium against Central Michigan. Season tickets for the 2016 baseball season are now on sale. Please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or call 1-800-982-HOGS for more details.
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