North Central Missouri College baseball coach Donnie Hillerman, after back-to-back losses in last week's Region 16 tournament in Joplin, has announced a flurry of signings to his Pirate program.
The Pirates have inked South Callaway High School senior pitcher Smith Kemper, a four-year letterman for SCHS in baseball. During his sophomore season, Kemper was a key cog in South Callaway's run to a Class 2 state championship.
Knob Noster High School senior Matt Miles signed with NCMC. Miles is a 6 foot-3 inch right handed pitcher and outfielder who figures to be a prominent piece of the Pirate pitching staff for the 2015 team. Last week, he threw a no-hitter for the Panthers against Crest Ridge High School.
Another in-state product signing with North Central is Orchard Farm High School (St. Charles, MO) senior Cody Arella. He is a catcher with "athleticism and versatility to play elsewhere". Coach Hillerman envisions Arella at first or third base, or a corner outfield (LF, RF) spot when not behind the dish. In his senior season at OFHS, Arella has a .433 average, 6 homers, and 20 RBI's. He has six doubles, an on-base percentage of .506 and a slugging percentage of .806.
Going closer to its home base, the Pirates signed Northwest (Hughesville) High School senior infielder Cortlen Austin. He is described as somebody who can "play multiple positions and hit well". A "versatile player who will have a bat capable of getting him into the lineup". Austin was a first-team all-state infielder as a junior.
The final Missouri product to sign with North Central Missouri College this week is Lebanon High School senior David Johnson, a 6-foot-4 pitcher and outfielder. Coach Hillerman says that Johnson "has a nice downward tilt on his pitches with a good fastball. With additional polish to his secondary pitches, he can be a key contributor on our pitching staff in 2015".