IUP Crimson Hawks Announce 2017 Early Signing Class

By Greg Williams
Pennsylvania / West Virginia Director of Scouting

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/461395183/IUP_20Hawk_20Head.jpgThe IUP Crimson Hawks and first year head coach Anthony Rebyanski have announced the signing of six players to National Letters of Intent, all of which hail from Pennsylvania. The Crimson Hawks went 20-28 in 2016, including a 12-16 mark in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Rebyanski enters his first season at the helm of the Crimson Hawks after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant at California University of PA.


Jake CherryJake Cherry, C, Northern Bedford County HS 
PBR Notes: 
Versatile defender with projectable frame capable of playing a number of defensive positions in addition to catching. Hit .351 as a junior with eight of his twenty hits going for extra bases. Struck out just twice in 19 games while showing good plate discipline with seven walks for a .418 on base percentage. Opposing runners struggled to run on him as Cherry cut down nearly half of all attempted base stealers for a caught stealing percentage of .429.

Luke HeffnerLuke Heffner, RHP, Daniel Boone Area HS
PBR Notes:
 6-foot-1, 180-pound righty sits in the low 80s while also commanding an upper 60s curveball. Brother Zach is a junior right-handed pitcher currently on the IUP roster. Heffner shows solid command and a projectable frame. The Eastern PA product has seen his share of big game action participating with the Grand Slam Blue Rocks program.

Travis HolmanTravis Holman, RHP, Ambridge HS
PBR Notes: 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-hander played a large part in the success of the Ambridge program's 2016 season as a junior. Holman tossed a no-hitter, one hitter and two-hitter in April while recording double digit strikeouts on multiple occasions. Holman has shown command of a four pitch mix. His fastball sits in the mid-80s while his slider at 75 mph, 70 mph curveball and changeup at 74 mph gives him a trio of solid secondary offerings.

Austin MuellerAustin Mueller, C/3B, Parkland HS
PBR Rank: 56
PBR Notes: 2015 Preseason All-State Showcase (Feb. 15, 2015) 
Mueller is a switch-hitting sophomore with a projectable 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame. He ran a 7.61 60-yard dash and displayed pop times of 2.19-2.38 on throws of 68 mph. Mueller starts slightly open from the right side of the plate and strides to closed with a solid hip turn. His left-handed swing has a bit more length but produces some back spin and power potential with a bat exit velocity of 89 mph. Naturally a right-handed hitter, Mueller shows the athleticism to hit for average and power from both sides at the next level.

Anthony RotaAnthony Rota, C, Boyertown Area HS
PBR Rank: #191 in PA Class of 2017 rankings
PBR Notes: 2016 Preseason All-State Showcase (Feb 14, 2016)
5-foot-10, 180-pound right-handed hitter. Starts from a slightly open stance and initiates his swing with a short leg-lift stride. Displayed a flat barrel path, strong upper body and advanced barrel whip (93 mph bat exit velocity). Flashed pop times of 2.09-2.15 with 72 mph arm strength out of the crouch. 7.23 60-yard dash will present defensive options at the next level to get his bat into the lineup.

Colin WilliamsColin Williams, SS/2B, Cathedral Prep HS
PBR Notes:
5-foot-8, 165-pound middle infielder helped lead the Ramblers to a 19-4 finish as a junior. The right-handed hitter scored 14 runs while hitting .358 with 13 RBI. Williams showed the ability to get on base regularly with an on base percentage of .418 and struck out just three times all season.