LEBANON — After signing four newcomers during the November early signing period, McKendree University baseball coach Jim Boehne and his staff have added 10 more players who will join the Bearcats' roster for the spring 2014 season.
Half of the newest Bearcat baseball players are local products. Metro-east standouts who have signed to play for McKendree include Justin Becker, of Breese Central High School; Brad Henry, of Alton High School, Mitchell Langenhorst, of Mater Dei High School; and Mason Christ, a hometown product from Lebanon High School. Jacob Renfrow, of Hancock High School in St. Louis, rounds out the list of local signees for the Bearcats.
The local quintet is joined by four high school recruits from across the state of Illinois -- Nate Micklautz of North Clay High School, Jay Roberts of Plainfield North High School, Austin Schwarm of South Central High School and Austin Starkweather of Herrin High School.
The lone transfer who has been added to the Bearcats' roster during the current signing period is Steven Todoschuk, a native of Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada who spent last season at King University in Bristol, Tenn. Todoschuk played two seasons of junior college baseball at nearby Kaskaskia College.
"We're excited to add some outstanding baseball players to our program," said McKendree baseball coach Jim Boehne. "We have a big class of recruits, but it's definitely a quality class. Not only did we add a lot of key components to our program, but they are players who we feel can step in and make an immediate impact. We believe we have a very good recruiting class and we can't wait to get started."
The 10 newcomers join four other players who have already signed with McKendree for the 2014 season: Tyson Boehne (Carlyle), Kyle Jackson (Hoffman), Brad Groleau (Peru) and Dylan Salsman (St. Charles, Mo.).
The McKendree University baseball team posted an overall record of 23-23 in 2013. The Bearcats went 17-19 in their first season of competition in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Here's a look at the local signees:
Justin Becker, of Bartelso, is an infielder. He batted .410 with a team-high 20 runs scored as a senior at Breese Central. He led the Cougars with 21 stolen bases and struck out just twice in 89 plate appearances. He earned All-Conference honors in the rugged Mississippi Division of the Cahokia Conference. He was an honorable mention All-Area honoree. Becker also was a starter on Breese Central's 2011-12 IHSA Class 2A basketball state championship squad.
Mason Christ, of Lebanon, is a first baseman. He starred at Lebanon for former Bearcat Dave Causey. Christ batted .371 with 16 RBI and a team-best six doubles as a senior for the Greyhounds. He was 1-1 on the mound with a 1.95 ERA and a team-high two saves in 14 1/3 innings of work. He paced Lebanon to a regional championship as a senior. Christ earned first-team All-Conference honors following senior season and also grabbed honorable mention All-Area honors. He helped Lebanon to a third-place finish at the IHSA Class A state championship as a freshman in 2010.
Brad Henry, of Godfrey, is a left-handed pitcher. He registered a 7-1 record with a 2.57 earned-run average as a senior at Alton and tied for team lead in both victories and strikeouts (58). He added two complete games and helped lead the Redbirds to an IHSA Class 4A regional title as a senior. He was a third team All-Conference selection and earned honorable mention All-Area honors as a senior.
Mitchell Langenhorst, of Germantown, is a left-handed pitcher. He posted a 5-2 record with a 2.23 earned-run average as a senior at Mater Dei. He led the Knights in victories and also had a team-high 59 strikeouts in 50 innings of work. He collected second-team All-Area honors as a junior and senior. He won eight games as a junior in 2012.