OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton men's baseball team has signed six players to national letter-of-intents during the early signing period, as announced today by head coach Ed Servais. Five of the six are high school kids, as Jake Peter (infield), Brandon Mikulka (first base/outfield), Tommy Clouthier (infield), Tommy Strunc (pitcher) and John Oltman (pitcher) will make Creighton their college home after graduation next May. Andrew Urban (pitcher) will join the Bluejay staff after two years at Hutchinson Community College.
An infielder from Mason City High School in Mason City, Iowa, Jake Peter has already set school record for doubles (38) and still has his senior season to play. The left handed batter led his team to the Iowa 4A State Tournament last season and was named a 2010 All-State player. Peter has proven his dedication to the sport, improving his batting average from .441 his sophomore season to .477 his junior season.
"Jake is a great competitor who will bring a strong offensive presence with him to Creighton," said Servais. "He is a very strong left handed hitter who will fit well into our system. Jake will bring many intangibles to the program and shows the potential for leadership as he progresses in his career."
First base/outfielder Brandon Mikulda joins the Bluejay roster from Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado. The lefty has been a three year starter for the Mustangs baseball program. He earned honorable mention Under Armour All-American and pre-season Perfect Game USA All-American merits for his work on the diamond.
"Brandon is a very athletic player with enough versatility to play both first base and the outfield. He possesses several tools as he runs well, can hit for power, and has an above average throwing arm from the outfield," said Servais.
Tommy Clouthier, a right hander from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is a four year letter winner for the Golden Eagles. He helped lead the team to a 5A State Runner-up finish in his freshman season, hitting .380 with six home runs. Clouthier was named First Team All-Conference in his sophomore season and finished his most recent junior season with a .336 batting average and 22 RBI's.
"Tommy is a versatile infielder who will be able to move around and give the program some different options," noted Servais. "He fits the Creighton style of aggressive, hard play and his approach to the game will allow him to be a successful player for us in the future."
Right handed Tommy Strunc will also join the Bluejay pitching staff from Mountain Vista High School. An honorable mention All-Continental League selection, Strunc was 6-1 witha 3.59 ERA in his junior season. He collected 56 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 41 successful innings during his junior campaign. Strunc was also selected to the Colorado Junior Sun Belt All-Star team and named a 2010 Academic All-State award winner.
"Tommy is a physical right hander with velocity potential. He has a good upside and will continue to develop as he gains feel for his secondary pitches," said Servais.
A left handed pitcher from Beatrice, Nebraska, John Oltman brings a 2010 American Legion honorable mention All-State performance to the Creighton staff. He had a 1.31 earned run average in the 2010 summer, sending 25 players back to the bench on strikeouts and just walking seven. Oltman is the cousin of former Creighton softball standout Tara Oltman, also from Beatrice.
"John is a projectable left hander whose fastball will sit in the mid 80's," said Servais. "He gets late run on his fastball and carries himself with good presence on the mound. We look forward to developing him as his best days are still ahead of him."
The final Bluejay recruit to sign in the early signing period was a standout pitcher at the junior college level, finishing 7th nationally in NJCAA save totals last season. Andrew Urban, originally from Lawrence, Kansas, helped the Blue Dragons to the Junior College World Series last season, finishing with 11 saves in 25 appearances, setting a single season record at HCC. The right hander had 32 innings pitched, gave up just 25 hits and recorded a 1.13 earned run average last season.
"Andrew will make an immediate impact for our pitching staff in 2012," said Servais. "He is an athletic, loose body right hander whose fastball will sit in the upper 80's. He has a good slider and also brings a fastball with exceptional movement."
The Creighton baseball team will open up the 2011 spring season on the road, traveling to Cary, NC for the opener in mid-February. A complete schedule will be posted later, be sure to check out www.gocreighton.com for all the latest information.