Nov. 15, 2012
The Rice baseball program has signed six in the early period who will join the team for the 2014 season, head coach Wayne Graham announced on Thursday (Nov. 15).
The Owls' latest signing class includes Jon Duplantier of Seven Lakes High School (rhp), Nick Orewiler of Ball HS (rhp), transfers John Clay Reeves of Navarro College (c) and Trevor Teykl of San Jacinto College (rhp), Charlie Warren of The Woodlands HS (of/rhp), and Dayne Wunderlich of Brenham HS (of).
Coach Graham had high praise for the group that blends experience with youth. After 21 seasons at the helm of the Owl program, Graham has long had an eye for athleticism and quality arms.
"We've added some junior college players who we think are capable of coming in and having an immediate impact, and some high school players who are very projectable in our program," Coach Graham said. "Teykl and Reeves will join us from junior college. They're quality players with experience. The outfielders, Warren and Wunderlich, have outstanding credentials and tools to have success at this level. The two high school pitchers we're bringing in (Duplantier and Orewiler) have good size and good arms that could very well be even further along when they get to Rice than they are right now.
"I am very pleased with this class," Graham added. "The class looks a little heavy on pitching, but I'm a proponent of the adage that when you think you have just enough pitching, then go out and get some more," he quipped.
Two members of the signing class already have a Rice family-connection. San Jacinto College's Trevor Teykl is the older brother of current Owl true freshman infielder Connor Teykl. Trevor was a 2010 major league draft pick by the Texas Rangers after a standout prep career at Kempner High School in Sugar Land. The 6-foot-6 right-hander signed with the University of Texas out of high school and he spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with Longhorns. Trevor played in two career games while at Texas in the 2012 before transferring to San Jacinto. In the summer of 2011 Baseball America named him as one of the Top 20 prospects of the Northwoods Collegiate League.
Nick Orewiler is also the younger brother of a current Owl player, sophomore pitcher Austin Orewiler. Nick is a right-handed pitcher who has earned first team All-District 24-4A honors in each of the last two seasons at Ball High School in Galveston. He has been an All-Galveston County selection in each of the previous two years, including first team honors as a junior in 2012. Last season Orewiler went 4-3 with a save while maintaining a 2.81 ERA in 32.1 innings of mound work. At the plate he hit .329 with 23 RBI and 21 runs scored in 35 games to help the Tors reach the bi-district playoffs.
Wunderlich was named a 2012 Honorable Mention Louisville Slugger High School All-American outfielder after helping lead Brenham High School to a 25-11 record and to the final four of the 4A state tournament as the Region III champions. He was a second team All-Greater Houston and All-Brazos Valley honoree, as well as a first team All-District 17-4A outfielder who hit .365 and maintained a .667 slugging percentage with 33 runs scored and 23 RBI in 33 games played.
Warren is a versatile left-handed hitting outfielder and right-handed pitcher who earned second team All-District 14-5A honors at The Woodlands High School. He helped lead the Highlanders to the Region II quarterfinals of the state tournament and to the 14-5A regular season championship.
Reeves is a catcher from Navarro who Owls fans may remember was a member of the 2012 Arkansas Razorbacks squad that played in the NCAA Regional at Reckling Park before advancing to the College World Series. Originally from Monroe, La., Reeves batted .281 at Arkansas while working his way into 19 starts behind the plate. He hit .353 in SEC league games and was a member of the SEC Honor Roll.
Jon Duplantier is a 6-foot-2, 195-lb right-handed pitcher and infielder from Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Tex. As a junior last spring, he pitched 22 innings with an ERA of 2.26 and earned second team all-District 19-5A honors as a left-handed hitting first baseman. At the plate he hit .316 with a .419 on-base percentage. Duplantier also received District 19-5A All-Academic Awards in both football and baseball. As a senior he was named by his teammates as one of two captains for the upcoming 2013 prep season.
Under the direction of coach Graham the Rice baseball program has won 17-straight conference championships including either a league's regular season or tournament title (or both in the same year). The Owls have made 18-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and hosted NCAA Regional games at Reckling Park ten times in the last 12 years. The Blue & Gray made seven trips to the College World Series in the past 16 years.
Rice opens the 2013 baseball season at home on Feb. 15 against national power Stanford in a three-game weekend series at Reckling Park. The roster-style list of the 2012 signees is as follows:
2012 Rice Baseball Signing Class (to enroll in the Fall of 2013)