Baseball Signs Several Local Products
Friday, June 6, 2008

SHREVEPORT – After its most successful season in 16 years, the Centenary baseball team has signed nine student-athletes for 2009, which includes six from the Shreveport area. Head coach Ed McCann will welcome Morgan Brian (Shreveport), Allen Degges (Shreveport), Jacob Harrell (Benton, La.), Derek Harwell (Ozark, Mo.), Seth Lugo (Bossier City), Reed Moore (Benton, La.), Tell Ross (Troup, Texas), Cliff Shepard  (Anthem, Ariz.) and Charlie Yokem (Shreveport).


Brian was an infielder for Loyola College Prep, and was named all-city by the Shreveport Times after leading his team to a 21-15 record. Hr belted a team-high nine home runs and also hit .380, with 12 doubles and 46 RBIs in 2008.


“Mogan is a solid hitter with very good glove and because of that he has a chance to start of third base for us next season,” said associate head coach Mike Diaz. “I look for him to be an outstanding student-athlete.”


Degges played centerfield and catcher of CE Byrd High School and helped lead them to the Bi-District playoffs in 2008. Off the field, he was a member of the Key Club, Latin Club, Beta Club and National Honor Society.


“Allen has the tools to be a very good collegiate ball player,” Diaz stated. “He has a plus arm and is a very good contact hitter and he is just simply a baseball player that is going to have a very good career.”


Harrell was a member of the state runner-up team as a sophomore at Benton High School in 2006. In 2008 the Tigers reached the Bi-District playoffs, but fell to Zachary, 8-1. Harrell and his Tiger teammates finished the season 20-13 and had an 11-2 victory over Live Oaks in April, which punched their ticket into the state playoffs.


“Jacob is a kid that wanted to stay close to home and be able to play baseball. I like what he has to offer, but he is going to have to work this fall and get himself even better for the spring,” said Diaz.


Harwell is from Ozark, Mo., and is tall and lanky, standing 6-foot and weighing 180 pounds. He played third baseball and was pitcher for the Tigers, where he earned all-state honors as a junior.     


“Derek is a good kid and was very a successful high school athlete and we look him to continue that here,” said Diaz. “We also see a very strong work ethic in him and we look for him to contribute some next season.”


Lugo was named first team all-district helped and he his team to the district championship for the first time since 1998. He also led the Panthers to a 19-14 record and their 11 consecutive trip to the Louisiana State Playoffs.


“Seth can pitch and he is tall, but we are going to have to work on some other pitches for him. As he matures I think we are going to have a very good pitcher on our hands,” Diaz said.


Like his high school teammate, Reed Moore was a member of the state runner-up team for Benton two seasons ago. Moore was also a big part of a Tigers’ team that advanced into the state playoffs this past season.


“I like Reed’s attitude, he is a very good kid with a lot of upside,” Diaz stated. “Again like a couple of his freshman teammate, once his body matures he could become a very good collegiate baseball athlete.”


Ross a graduate of Lon Morris Community College is one of two junior college athletes to sign with Centenary this spring. He hit just above .300, had five home runs and over 40 RBIs during the 2008 season.


“Tell is going to be a middle of the order guy for us, he may hit in the three, four or five hole for us. He should produce a lot of runs for us and make Shehee Stadium a smaller ball park,” said Diaz.


Shepard batted .316 as a sophomore in 46 games and also had 13 extra base hits with 19 RBIs. As a freshman he helped his team to the NJCAA World Series and this past spring his squad won 38 games and reached the finals of their conference tournament.


“He is one of the best leadoff hitters in the NJCAA and we like his left handed bat,” Diaz said. “He is one of those guys that could change the pace of the game very quickly with his speed.”


Yokem is a graduate of Loyola College Prep and spent most of his time on the bump.
In 2008, he was 2-0 with a 4.85 ERA in 21.2 innings and he also held opponents to a .214 batting average.


“Charlie has a great arm with pitch speeds that reach the upper 80’s and he has a lot of upside. He has a lot of command of his fast ball and we look for him to pitch a lot as a freshman,”


“This class a lot of local talent, and I think that speaks volumes of how we’ve done the past couple of seasons,” Diaz continued to say. “I think the local kids are now proud and they want to be a part of Centenary baseball.”