Jan. 11, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University head baseball coach Mark Machtolf announced the addition of eight players to wear the Gonzaga uniform for the 2008 season. Signing National Letters of Intent are Jake Adkins, Kyle Adkins, Jason Chatwood, Grant Kveder, Kyle Lotzkar, Cody Martin, Brett Nicholas and Chris Sturdivant.
"Overall I think this is one of the strongest early recruiting classes we have had. They definitely fit our profile as Zag type guys in the classroom and on the field," said Gary Van Tol, the GU baseball recruiting coordinator. "This class represents all different regions of the West Coast, which I think reflects the national attention that our program receives. This class will make our program more versatile, faster, better on the mound, stronger up the middle and will give us some depth and options from both sides of the plate. This group will also make our program better because of their toughness, work ethic and commitment in the classroom. But more importantly, these young men are quality people."
Jake and Kyle Adkins, twin brothers, join the Bulldogs as left handed pitchers from Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek, Calif. Kyle was a 2006 All-Tri Valley Athletic League first baseman who also posted a 2.10 earned run average with 40 strikeouts over 40.0 innings of work. Jake earned a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings with 38 strikeouts and held opponents to a .207 batting average. Both Jake and Kyle have earned North Coast Section scholar-athlete accolades.
"Both Adkins brothers have the ability to make an immediate impact," commented Van Tol. They can both start or come out of the bullpen and give us some quality depth on the left side of the mound."Chatwood will transfer to Gonzaga from Colby Community College in 2008. He was a second-team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference selection in 2006. Chatwood hit .408 with a school-record 89 hits, seven home runs and 18 doubles.
"Chatwood is a scrappy, spark plug type of player who has the capability to play three infield positions; second, short and third," said Van Tol. "With his junior college experience, he should be able to step in right away and add depth to the middle infield. He is solid defensively and is expected to bat at the top of the batting order."
Kveder, will join GU as a transfer from the College of Southern Idaho. In his first year at Southern Idaho, Kveder maintained a .301 batting average with 32 runs scored and 46 hits. In high school, Kveder led the Southern Alberta 4A League with a .600 average as well as leading the conference in homeruns, doubles, triples and stolen bases. Kveder was also a member of the bronze medal team at the 2003 Canada Cup and the 2005 Canada Summer Games.
"Grant will give us some options because of his athleticism," added Van Tol. "He can run, hit, play the infield, outfield and catch. His versatility, toughness and leadership should make an immediate impact. Along with Chatwood, we expect his experience from junior college to help us right away."
Lotzkar, a right handed pitcher, will join the Bulldogs from South Delta Secondary School in Delta, British Columbia. Recently, Lotzkar was a Canadian Junior National Team Invitee after playing for the Langley Blaze in the British Columbia Premiere Baseball League. In 2006, Lotzkar earned a 2-1 record with one save and a 2.13 ERA in 23 innings, while striking out 25 for the Blaze.
"Kyle has a chance to be a weekend starter right away for us," said Van Tol. "He is a power pitcher and could very well be the best professional prospect in this recruiting class. He comes to Gonzaga as one of the best young arms in Canada."
Martin comes to Gonzaga by way of Dos Palos High in Dos Palos, Calif. Martin, a pitcher, is a member of the 2006 USA Baseball Junior Olympic National Champions as well as 2006 North Sequoia League first team selection. As a junior the right hander posted an 11-4 record with six saves, while earning a 1.94 ERA with 149 strikeouts in 103.1 innings.
"Cody is a two-way guy, whose priority will be as a right handed pitcher," Van Tol said. "His ability to throw four pitches for strikes will help him contribute immediately. Cody will also get a chance to swing the bat and give us some depth from the right side of the plate."
Nicholas will join the Bulldogs as an infielder following his senior season at Pinnacle High in Phoenix. As a junior, Nicholas hit at a .467 clip while setting school records with 32 runs batted in, eight home runs and a .893 slugging percentage. In 2006, he was earned first-team All-Desert Sky Region accolades and was named to the 4A All-State First Team by the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association.
"Brett's strength is his bat from the left side," stated Van Tol. "We were looking to recruit a lefty who could bat in the middle of the order and we are really excited for Brett to fill that slot. He is a corner position type guy that can hit with power and has quality make up. He is projected to be one of the best left handed bats to come of the state of Arizona this year."
Sturdivant, a center fielder, will come to Spokane from Redmond High School. As a junior, Sturdivant boasted a .436 average and a .597 on-base percentage with 24 hits, 17 runs and 18 stolen bases. For his performance, he was named to the 4A All-KingCo First Team and was the recipient of the Amos Brown Award for being the top varsity baseball player at Redmond High. Sturdivant was rated as the top player in the SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) rankings at the 2006 Pacific Northwest Championships.
"Sturdivant's biggest assets are his speed and athleticism," said Van Tol. "As one of the fastest guys in the state of Washington, he is going to be a huge addition to our squad. His speed gives him the ability to change the outcome of a game on the bases and in the outfield."