UC and new Head Coach Ty Neal Aggressively Pursuing 'Big' Prospects

By Chris Valentine
PBR Ohio Scouting Director

Since being named as the new head coach of the University of Cincinnati at the beginning of June, Ty Neal has been aggressive on the recruiting trail.

Neal quickly retained recruiting coordinator J.D. Heilmann and later added Adam Bourassa, who was previously a scout with the San Diego Padres, to handle hitting and fill the role of a second full-time assistant. 

In the Indiana recruiting circles, Neal, who served as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach at Indiana University, is well known for pursuing and developing big, projectable prospects. 

His most notable project, Aaron Slegers, was on display on the national stage during the College Baseball World Series last year. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound prospect went from a preferred walk-on to weekend starter for the Hoosier staff.

Looking to replicate his success at IU, Neal recently collected commitments from three Ohio prospects after the Fall Unsigned Senior Games.

The first pickup came in the form of 6-foot-3, 160-pound right-handed pitcher Kyle Koppenhoefer from nearby Elder HS. Koppenhoefer sat in the mid 80's with a sharp breaking ball. He has reportedly touched into the upper 80's this fall.
Not long afterwards, Ottawa-Glandorf right-handed pitcher Tanner Schimmoeller visited and quickly issued a pledge to the Bearcats. Prior to his commitment, we interviewed the 6-foot-6, 205-pound prospect, who was one of the most intriguing prospects at the Fall Unsigned Senior Games with easy arm action and a repeatable delivery to go along with a low to mid 80's fastball and hard breaking ball. Within days of the article, Schimmoeller gave his verbal pledge.

After picking up two right-handed pitchers, Coach Neal and Coach Heilmann turned their attention to a big lefty, JT Perez (pictured right). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound two-way prospect from Orrville HS updated PBR on his recruitment last Wednesday. The big southpaw sat in the low to mid 80's at the Fall Unsigned Senior Games. In addition to his potential on the mound, Perez provides a left-handed power bat at the plate. On Friday, Perez became the third commitment in the last week for the UC staff.