WAYNE – With the Spring of 2022 season just right around the corner, a handful of recruits will be joining the Wayne State baseball program during the 2022-23 season.
According to a release from Wayne State Athletics, the Wildcat baseball roster will add Nathan Cunningham of Omaha, Emerson Dolph from Lincoln, Corbin Murphy of Ogallala, Luke Ruhl from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Blake Stanley of Elkhorn, Noah Strizek of Lincoln and Carter Thomas from Mason City, Iowa after the seven recruits have signed their national letters of intent.
Alex Koch is in his eighth season as the head baseball coach at WSC. Wayne State College went 12-22 (11-19 NSIC) last spring.
Nathan Cunningham is a 6-2, 190 pound middle infielder from Elkhorn North High School. He is a three year starter in baseball and two year starter in basketball. Last season as a junior, Cunningham posted a .328 average with a team-high four home runs while also leading the team in doubles, triples and runs scored. He earned Class B All-State and All-Conference honorable mention and was an Academic All-State selection.
“Nathan is a great overall athlete with a lot of leadership qualities,” remarked Coach Koch. “He’s a tall, lanky middle infielder but has the ability to play just about anywhere on the field.”
Emerson Dolph is a 6-4, 215 pound right handed pitcher from Lincoln Pius X High School where he started last season. On the mound, he was 1-0 with one save in five appearances while batting .324 with 12 hits and five runs scored.
“Emerson will be very interesting for us as he has the ability to throw from multiple arm angles,” said Koch. “He can throw upper 80’s from over the top to submarine in the low 80’s. Emerson will add a lot of diversity to our pitching staff.”
Corbin Murphy, a 5-10, 190 pound right handed pitcher from Ogallala, is a three year starter in basketball while also starting in football and golf along with baseball. He is a two-time All-Southwest Conference selection in basketball and also earned All-Conference honors in golf last spring playing on Ogallala’s Class B state qualifying team that finished 10th overall.
“Corbin is a solid right-handed pitcher that throws in the mid 80’s with a lot of room to grow,” boasted Coach Koch. “A small town player that has a high ceiling. He has the ability to play some infield but will focus on the mound to start.”
Luke Ruhl is a 5-11, 175 pound middle infielder from Lee’s Summit High School in Missouri where he is a three year starter in baseball and two in soccer. Last summer, Ruhl posted a .394 batting average and helped his team to the district finals. On the soccer field, scored 24 goals in just 14 games in 2018 to set single season goals records.
“Luke is a solid all-around athlete that comes from a good baseball family,” said Coach Koch. “He is primarily a middle infielder with the ability to play outfield as well. His ability to run and versatility in the field will help him compete for a spot early on at WSC.”
Blake Stanley is a 6-2, 210 pound first baseman/utility player from Elkhorn High School where he is a three year starter in baseball. Last spring as a junior, he earned All-Eastern Midlands Conference honorable mention with 24 hits and 20 RBI while helping Elkhorn High to the Class B state tournament with a 20-12 record. Stanley also excels in the classroom with Academic All-Conference honors.
“Blake was a solid player on Elkhorn’s state tournament team,” stated Coach Koch. “He is a middle of the order left handed bat which was a need for us in this recruiting class. Blake’s leadership and ability to hit for power to all fields will be a great addition to our roster.”
Noah Strizek is a 5-9, 170 pound outfielder from Lincoln Pius X High School, lettering two years in baseball. He helped Lincoln Pius to the Class A District 2 championship game last spring and played on the 2019 Nebraska American Legion Reserve state championship team.
“Noah really had a strong fall playing for the Nebraska Prospects,” commented Koch. “Hitting from the left side he really started to figure out his swing last summer and fall. We only expect him to get better at Wayne State.”
Carter Thomas is a 6-0, 175 pound outfielder/left handed pitcher from Mason City High School in Iowa where he is a four year starter in baseball and basketball and a three year starter in football. Last summer in baseball, Carter hit .412 at the plate with 54 hits, 32 RBI, nine doubles and six triples while posting a 5-3 record on the mound with three saves and a 3.23 ERA, notching 61 strikeouts in just 43.1 innings of work. He was named First Team Class 4A All-State and has been named First Team All-District and All-Conference as a sophomore and junior. On the football field, he was First Team All-District as a sophomore, junior and senior and hauled in 28 catches for 453 yards and four TD’s last fall as a senior.
“Carter is a multi-sport athlete from a tradition-rich baseball program in Iowa,” remarked Coach Koch. “Focusing on just baseball will only make him better in the future. He has the ability to run and cover ground in the outfield and steals bases as well as another left-handed bat in the lineup.”
The 2022 Spring season for Wildcat baseball will begin Friday, February 18 – Sunday, February 20 in Pittsburg, Kansas against Pitt State during a three-game series.