HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 22, 2012 - For the sixth time in the last seven years, the incoming group of freshmen for the James Madison baseball program has been identified by Collegiate Baseball newspaper as one of the top classes in the nation.
The newspaper ranked the top 40 classes and then listed 62 additional top classes to place the Dukes within the best 102 programs in the nation.
JMU's six listings in the last seven years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) matches the total for the rest of the Colonial Athletic Association combined over that stretch. Georgia State (2009, 2010) and UNCW (2011, 2012) have been listed twice each while VCU (2009) and Old Dominion (2010) have been honored once apiece.
"It's always good to be acknowledged for your recruiting efforts," McFarland noted on JMU's most recent honor. "I think for Coach White, our recruiting coordinator in his first year in that position, and Coach Cohen, who is just getting started in the business, it's always nice to be acknowledged. I think it's good for the players too to realize that somebody outside thinks they're pretty good ball players."
This year's incoming class includes five freshmen recruits, including a trio of right-handers in Michael Church (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock), Trey Jones (Salisbury, Md./James M. Bennett) and J.T. Root (Hagerstown, Md./ North Hagerstown). Joining the mix is outfielder Tyler Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton), the younger brother of shortstop Chad Carroll, and infielder/catcher Bobby San Martin (Fairfax, Va./Centreville.)
The incoming class also includes a pair of transfers in outfielder Tyler Gregory (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy/Wallace C.C.) and infielder Kyle Weston (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood/UNC Asheville), though Weston will sit out the 2013 season as a Division I transfer. The Dukes also have redshirt freshman catcher Chris Hanson (Fairfax, Va./Oakton) and redshirt sophomore pitcher Luke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey), who are each returning JMU students but will see their first action in 2013.
JMU is underway in Fall preparation for the 2013 season, which begins in mid-February with a three-day tournament at Coastal Carolina.