Baseball

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Signs Five Players For The 2012 Season

The five includes South Caldwell High School standout Blake Johnson

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team signed five student-athletes for the 2012 season:  Blake Johnson, Landon Elks, Mike Mastroberti, Travis McQueen and Luke Baynham.The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team signed five student-athletes for the 2012 season: Blake Johnson, Landon Elks, Mike Mastroberti, Travis McQueen and Luke Baynham.

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne University Baseball Team signed five student-athletes for the 2012 season, Head Coach Paul Knight announced today.

The five recruits are Blake Johnson (Lenoir, N.C.), Landon Elks (Shelby, N.C.), Travis McQueen (Midlothian, Va.), Luke Baynham (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Mike Mastroberti (Ramsey, N.J.).

"I would personally like to thank L-R Assistant Coaches Mark Johnson, Luke Dombrowsky and Billy Hernandez for their hard work," said Knight. "As a result, we have signed five great young men to our program. Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball has taken a significant step forward with these additions and this is a great start to our new recruiting class."

Johnson plays high school baseball at South Caldwell where he has earned all-Caldwell County and All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference honors while playing for Head Coach Jeff Parham, a Lenoir-Rhyne graduate.

Johnson (5-10, 190, LHP/OF) also played for the 2010 PowerAde North Carolina State Games and hit .421 with four home runs and a .790 slugging percentage as a junior.

"Blake (Johnson) is an outstanding player and should make an immediate impact in the outfield," said Knight. "He's one of the best hitters in the area and we can't wait to see him in a Bears' uniform."

Elks, who plays at Crest High School, earned Big South 3A honors last year after hitting .415 in league play. Elks (6-3, 195, SS/3B) also played in the 2009 PowerAde North Carolina State Games and won the "Team Before Self" award. Elks is also a member of the Beta Club and the National Honors Society.

"Landon (Elks) is a great player and will succeed offensively and defensively," said Knight. "He has a big upside and is a good athlete."

McQueen (6-1, 160, RHP) plays at Cosby High School, which advanced to the Virginia 3A Final Four.

"Travis (McQueen) has great potential on the mound," said Knight. "He has a smooth arm, is a great competitor and should make an impact to our staff right away."

Baynham (5-9, 180, C) is a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter behind the plate at Palm Beach Gardens High School. Baynham is a member of the National Honors Society and FBLA as well.

"Luke (Baynham) is a very good defensive catcher and possesses a strong arm," said Knight. "He comes from a great baseball program and will make us better behind the plate right away."

Mastroberti (5-10, 160, INF) batted .600 last year as a junior at Saint Joseph's Regional High School. Mastroberti is also a member of the National Honor Society and was given the Most Outstanding in Theology award.

"Mike (Mastroberti) is a smooth-fielding middle infielder with a strong bat," said Knight. "He is a good athlete and will be a great addition to our program."

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the2011 season on Tuesday, February 1, when the Bears host Pfeiffer beginning at 3 p.m.

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