HOUSTON - The Rice baseball program has signed ten new standouts in the early period who will join the team for the 2017 season, head coach Wayne Graham announced on Tuesday (Nov. 24).
The list of newest Owls includes Brandt Belk, Matt Canterino, Garrett Gayle, Brad Gneiting, Addison Moss, Mackenzie Mueller, Sean Reynolds, Chace Sarchet, Nick Silber, and Zach Wright.
The group consists of four multi-position players -- three of which are versatile enough to contribute as both a pitcher and position player/hitter, and one is an infielder/outfielder. Four are pitchers (only) and there are two outfielders. Nine are from the high school ranks. Eight are from Texas and four are from the greater Houston area.
Now in his 25th season at the helm of the Owl program, coach Graham has long had an eye for athleticism, quality arms and long-term potential. The head coach also specifically acknowledged the work of his assistant coaches, Patrick Hallmark and Clay Van Hook, for their roles in what could prove to be one of the nation's top recruiting classes.
Brandt Belk is a left-handed hitting Houston native from local prep power Westside High School. The versatile 6-foot-2 shortstop/outfielder/pitcher hit .415 with 28 RBI and 14 stolen bases to earn first team All-District 20-6A honors. His stellar junior season also included a 2.05 ERA on the mound, which helped the Wolves win the regular season district title, advance to the Area round of the Region III state playoffs, and post a final record of 25-9-2.
Right-handed pitcher Matt Canterino earned Honorable Mention All-State accolades from the Texas Sports Writers Association after helping lead Southlake Carroll to a 27-9 overall record. He was named First Team All-District 7-6A and an All-Area selection by the Dallas Morning News as the Dragons reached the Region I semifinals of the 6A state tournament. Canterino is also a National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction who is ranked tenth in his class of 635.
Garrett Gayle is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher from Cy Woods High School in Cypress, Texas. He was named a 2015 Honorable Mention All American by Perfect Game, which also ranked him as one of the top 500 prep players in the country. Last season Gayle was selected to participate in the Houston Area Baseball Coaches All Star game. He was a 2015 District 17-6A All-Academic honoree. In addition two years as a varsity letterman for the Wildcats and pitcher for Team Rawlings PBF in Tomball, Texas, Gayle plays wide receiver for the Cy Woods football team.
North Richland Hills, Texas, standout Bradley Gneiting is a 2015 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and one of the organization's nationally-ranked outfielders. He was selected to the South Top-Prospect Team and played in the USA Baseball 17U National Team Identification Series. Entering his fourth varsity year at Keller High School, Gneiting is a two-time First Team District 5-6A honoree (recently ranked as the fourth-toughest baseball district in the nation by MaxPreps). In 83 career high school games, Gneiting owns a composite .347 average with a .901 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). A year ago he hit .400 in Keller's 13-game playoff run to lead the squad to the 6A Regional I Final. Academically Gneiting is ranked in the Top 5 percent of his class with a 4.0 grade point average.
Versatile P/OF/Inf. Addison Moss helped lead Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas, to a 29-4 overall record and undefeated mark in District 16-6A. Moss was named to the Greater Houston Junior All-Star squad. On the mound the 6-foot-1 right-hander maintained a 2.05 ERA and averaged 11.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings with a 0.80 WHIP. He also contributed 16 RBI in 24 games on the offensive side as the War Eagles advanced all the way to the quarterfinals of the state 6A tournament.
Mackenzie Mueller is 6-foot-3, 205-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder/left-handed pitcher from Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas. A year ago Mueller was named the District 6-4A Most Valuable Player after leading the Bulldogs to a 28-6 record and No. 3 ranking in the state. The district pitcher of the year as a sophomore, Mueller was also a member of Team America that played in the Dominican Republic in 2014. As a youth Mueller played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
California native Sean Reynolds is a 6-foot-7, 205-pound, right-handed pitcher who also serves as a left-handed hitting first baseman. Reynolds made five pitching appearances and hit .292 at Redondo Union High School to help the Sea Hawks finish with a 29-7 record and Top 15 ranking in the state. He's twice earned Union's Academic Letter and is a two-time Scholar-Athlete honoree.
The lone transfer in the class is Chace Sarchet, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound, veteran outfielder at Weatherford College. A year ago Sarchet set the Weatherford single season RBI record (68) on the way to NTJCAA second team all-Conference honors. A prep standout originally from Lubbock, Sarchet was named a Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America and First Team Texas All-Region honoree in 2014.
Nick Silber is a 6-4, 195-pound, right-handed pitcher from the Lawrenceville School of New Jersey who Perfect Game ranked as the No. 8 player in the state and the No. 406 prospect in the nation. A National Showcase invitee, Silber's Team Citius travel squad is the No. 7 team in the country according to Perfect Game. He led the staff with a 4-0 record, a 0.00 ERA, two saves and 39 strikeouts in 24.0 innings. At Lawrenceville Silber is a member of the Dean's List, a High Honors recipient and a member of the student government.
Local right-hander Zach Wright is a three-year varsity player at Alvin High School who was named to the Houston 5A all-tournament team as a junior. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound, right-hander helped the Yellow Jackets go 22-6 last season. He earned Alvin's award for Academic Excellence while taking dual credit classes.
2015 Rice Baseball Signing Class (to enroll in the Fall of 2016 for 2017 season)
|Name||Pos.||B/T||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (Previous School)||Brandt Belk||Inf./OF||L/R||6-2||160||Houston, Texas (Westside HS)||Matt Canterino||P||R/R||6-2||205||Southlake, Texas (Carrol HS)||Garrett Gayle||P||R/R||6-1||180||Cypress, Texas (Cy Woods HS)||Brad Gneiting||OF||L/R||6-0||175||North Richland Hills, Texas (Keller HS)||Addison Moss||P/OF/Inf||R/R||6-1||170||Conroe, Texas (Oak Ridge HS)||Mackenzie Mueller||OF/P||R/L||6-3||205||Abilene, Texas (Wylie HS)||Sean Reynolds||P/Inf.||L/R||6-7||205||Redondo, Calif. (Union HS)||Chace Sarchet||OF||L/R||6-3||210||Lubbock, Texas (Weatherford College)||Nick Silber||P||R/R||6-4||195||New York, NY (The Lawrenceville School)||Zach Wright||P||R/R||6-3||180||Alvin, Texas (Alvin HS)|