For Immediate Release: December 3, 2003
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

Baseball signs two players to NLIs, adds junior college pitcher for spring

Binghamton baseball coach Tim Sinicki has signed two high school standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2005 season, and has also bolstered his 2004 squad with a junior college recruit.

Signing during the early NLI period was infielder Ryan James (Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River HS) and left-handed pitcher Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ontario/Centennial Collegiate and Vocational Institute). In addition, right-hander Matt Hawkes (Scottsdale, Arizona/Desert Mountain HS/Chandler-Gilbert CC) will join the team for the upcoming spring season.

James, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound second/third baseman, was a third-team Class A all-state selection as a junior. He led Shoreham-Wading River in five offensive categories, including batting average (.420), runs (29) and RBI (18). An all-county gold glove recipient, James also was 10-for-10 in stolen bases.

"Ryan is a very talented offensive player with the capability to play either third base or second base," Sinicki said. "He plays the game the way we want the kids in our progam to play - hard all the time. Ryan is the type of player you hate to play against, but love to have on your side."

Diamond is a 6-foot, 175-pound lefty who has lofty credentials. He is currently rated as the 26th-best Canadian prospect for the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft by Slam Sports - a Canadian-based sports website. He also was rated as the 21st-best high school Canadian player by Baseball America. While with Team Ontario, Diamond posted a 3-2 record with a stellar 2.02 ERA, and recorded more than a strikeout per inning.

"Scott is a young man who can flat-out pitch," Sinicki said. "His fastball will reach the mid-80s with movement, and he also has terrific command of an outstanding curveball and change-up. His 'pitchability' will allow him to be a major contributor to our program immediately."

Hawkes is a 6-3, 190-pound submarine-style pitcher who will join Sinicki's staff in January, bumping that group up to 11 individuals. He attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College but red-shirted last spring, and will therefore enter Binghamton with freshman eligibility. He posted a 1.70 ERA as a senior as Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, striking out 25 batters in 24 2/3 innings en route to all-conference honors. Last summer, Hawkes pitched for the Henderson (Nevada) Mets in the highly-competitive Arizona-Nevada Desert Summer Collegiate League.

"I am very excited to have a pitcher with Matt's ability join our program mid-year," Sinicki said. "He's a young man with a live arm, tremendous command, and a submarine arm slot that you don't often see. Matt has the ability to be an outstanding pitcher for us and contribute immediately."

The Bearcats open their season on February 27 on the road against Liberty University.


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