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INA, Ill. (Dec. 3, 2012) – Five members of Rend Lake College’s baseball team recently inked agreements to continue their careers at four-year programs in Tennessee, Ohio, and Illinois.
Sophomores Nick Andros (Goreville), Cory Farrow (Elizabethtown, Ky.), Tirey Burch (Santa Claus, Ind.), Brandon George (DuQuoin) and Jason O’Brien (Emden) all took advantage of the early signing period and inked scholarships to the universities they liked. Andros and Farrow will play at Lipscomb University, an NCAA DI program in Nashville, Tenn. Burch is headed to Ohio University, a NCAA DI program in Athens, Ohio. George will play at NCAA DI Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, and O’Brien will go to Quincy University, an NCAA DII program in Illinois.
They were joined by their coach at RLC, Tony Etnier, at their signing engagement on campus. Etnier talked about his players making their commitments early.
“It means they are ready to make a decision,” he said. “They liked the places they visited and liked the fit. It usually means they were heavily recruited as well and found a place that they liked.”
Farrow is the son of Tony and Debbi Farrow. He is a right-handed pitcher from Elizabethtown High School who wants to pursue a career teaching high school math. He likes Lipscomb’s baseball program, as well as the chance at a good, private education. He also likes the location and said the campus is beautiful. Etnier said Farrow will be a good fit at Lipscomb
“His velocity sits at 86-90 with good movement, and his slider and change up complement the movement on his fastball,” said Etnier. “Cory has been a hard worker since he stepped foot on campus and will be a solid pitcher at the DI level.”
Andros, the son of Luke and Tina Andros, also likes Lipscomb’s campus, baseball program and overall atmosphere at the university. He said he is excited about playing DI baseball. “I felt like I couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” Andros said. The left-handed pitching product of Goreville High School said he wants to major in physical therapy.
“Nick had a good spring for us last year, going 6-4 with a 2.40 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched,” said Etnier. “As a returning All-Conference selection, Nick will help anchor a deep staff for us this spring. His fastball is excellent for a lefty, sitting in the 85-89 range. He was heavily recruited this fall and Lipscomb University will be getting a really big, tough, lefty to add to their staff.”
Burch is the son of Jay and Angie Burch. He is a graduate of Heritage Hills High School in Santa Claus, Ind., and is majoring in business. The RLC short stop said, “I’m looking forward to continuing my baseball career at Ohio U next year after Rend Lake. It is a dream come true.”
“Tirey had a great fall for us,” said Etnier. “He is a very steady player and is capable of playing short stop, second base and third base at the next level. Tirey’s bat has really come along since last year and should be big for us this spring. Ohio University is getting a nice player with him.”
George is a right-handed pitcher and criminal justice major at Rend Lake. The son of Ray and Janet George of DuQuoin said he is excited about his future at SIUE. “It is the perfect fit for me and makes me feel at home. I like everything about the program,” he said. Last spring as a freshman, George went 8-2 with a 3.12 ERA on 55 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched.
“Brandon competed every time out last year,” said Etnier. “His record speaks for itself. With a very good slider and an 86-91 mph fastball, Brandon will undoubtedly help lead our staff this spring and compete well for the Cougars at SIUE.”
O’Brien is the son of Mike and Tammy O’Brien. A product of Hartsburg-Emden High School, the southpaw pitcher finished his freshman season with the Warriors last spring at 2-1 with a save and 20 strikeouts in 27.1 innings for a 2.63 ERA. O’Brien said he is excited to play for Quincy next fall and get his degree in finance.
“Jason is another lefty that did really well for us last spring,” said Etnier. “He has shown improved velocity this year, living at 84-86 with good movement and a sharp curve ball. Jason should add depth to our rotation this spring and will be a great fit at Quincy University.
“Everybody who comes to RLC has a goal to move on to the next level,” Etnier added. “It’s always nice when a good number of guys sign early with quality programs. It says a lot about their talent level and character. We’ve got a lot of other good players too. They’ve gotten quite a bit of interest from four-year schools, but they are waiting until the spring to make their decisions.”
For all things athletic at The Lake, visit RLC online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.