West Liberty Hilltoppers Announce 2016 Early Signing Class



By Greg Williams
PA/WV Director of Scouting

http://www.hilltoppersports.com/images/2013/8/6/rp_primary_WLU_BASEBALL.pngWest Liberty University head coach Eric Burkle has announced the signing of two players to National Letters of Intent during the recently concluded early signing period.  The Hilltoppers went 28-21 in 2015, including a 22-14 mark in the Mountain East Conference.


2016 EARLY COMMITS

Luke Cooper, IF, Massillon HS (OH)

According to Burkle: Cooper, a 6-4, 230-pounder, was a second-team West Virginia Class A all-state infielder after batting .483 for the Wildcats as a junior. The highlight of Cooper's season was a mammoth walk-off home run against Magnolia in the sectional championship game. A hard-throwing righthander, Cooper's future may be on the mound at the collegiate level.
   
"I think he may be the 'steal' of the Ohio Valley," Burkle said. "With his frame and velocity, Luke has a chance to be very good in the Mountain East Conference. We can't wait to start working with him."

Jonathan Newsome, IF, Paden City HS (WV)

According to Burkle: Newsome stands just 5-6 and weighs in at 145 but he packs a lot of punch into that small frame. Already a two-year All-Federal League selection who split time between second and third, he led his high school team in home runs and RBIs last spring while posting a .382 on-base percentage. He helped lead the Manchester A's Travel Team to a 117-13 record over the past two summers and now plays for the 18-under Brownlee Lookouts. He'll play his final high school season at Perry this spring for new head coach Rick Rembielak, who had more than 600 college wins as head coach at Akron, Kent State and Wake Forest.

"I don't care how big he is," Burkle said, "the kid swings the bat like he's 6-4, 220. Jon's a versatile guy who can play multiple positions. He'll fit in well with our infield group, which is already pretty strong, and we think he'll be able to more than hold his own at the plate."

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