Head Coach Joe Wilkins and the Tiffin Dragons have added seven players to its 2018 recruiting class during the early signing period. Wilkins stated, "Adding depth to the lineup and dynamic arms on the mound" were two of the main focuses in recruiting. The highly decorated group will be coming to Tiffin with the vision of building upon the team's historic 2017 season. The seven men making up this class are bringing with them a national championship, state championship, multiple regional finalist, and multiple conference championships.
Coach Wilkins had this to say about the early signing period and his 2018 class thus far:
"Our vision for the 2018 Class is to bring in 4-5 immediate impact arms as well as a few development guys. We needed a couple of power-potential bats and a utility infielder. We brought in an athletic catcher who can run well enough to play a couple of positions. We feel we have addressed the specific issues we needed from a positional standpoint, but the best thing about the guys we are bringing in is that they are winners - on and off the field. They come from great baseball families who are 'all in' on what we are trying to do and what we are about."
By the Numbers: Breakdown of the 2018 Recruiting Class
RHP – 3 C – 1 INF – 2 OF - 1
Ohio – 4 Pennsylvania – 2 Illinois – 1
High School – 6 JUCO – 1
Alan Meadows – Bloom Carroll HS – RHP
This 6'3", 205-pound righty caught the attention of the Dragon baseball staff early in the summer at a tournament in Westfield, Indiana. Alan runs his fastball up to the plate in the mid-80's and locates his breaking ball well. He knows his way around the mound as he has racked up a career record of 8-1 and a 1.30 ERA at Bloom Carroll High School. Those numbers over the past two seasons have allowed Alan to earn 1st Team All Mid-State League, 2nd Team All District, and 2017 Perfect Game Preseason Honorable Mention All-American honors. Not only has Meadows excelled on the baseball diamond, he has earned All-Mid State League Honorable Mention on the basketball court.
Hunter Cassidy – Amherst Steele HS – C
Hunter makes the 60-mile journey to Tiffin from northeast Ohio after making a lasting impression at PBR's Top Prospect Games in Mason, OH early in the summer. The 6'1", 175-pounder brings a lot of athleticism and versatility to the Dragons. The Lake Erie Warhawks product brings speed, a 6.9 60-yard dash, to a position that is traditionally known for its base cloggers. The Comet catcher earned Honorable Mention All-SWC honors last season while handling one of the best high school pitching staffs in northeast Ohio. In addition to his baseball success, Cassidy recently earned Honorable Mention All-Lorain County honors while playing defensive back on the gridiron.
Jacob Keene – Butler Area HS – 3B
Keene comes to Tiffin from Butler Area High School in western PA. This 6'0", 215-pound Keystone State product brings a power bat to the hot corner for the Dragons. Jacob first caught the eye of the Tiffin coaching staff at the WPIAL (Western PA Interscholastic Athletic League) Showcase in early June. He spent his summer playing for Team All-American and participating in the Team USA National Trials for the Ohio Valley Region team. In addition to competing for a roster spot on Team USA, Keene was also named to the Perfect Game All-Tournament Team twice. He will have an opportunity to have success early in his playing days as his simple swing allows him to put the barrel on the ball consistently.
Gunnar Boehm – Riverside HS – RHP
Gunnar, another western Pennsylvania product, comes to Tiffin after being recommended to participate in the Dragons' Top Prospect Day in early August. The 6'2", 170-pound Boehm was able to display his arm strength and abilities on the mound that helped him achieve a 6-0 record with a 2.03 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 31 innings pitched last spring. He earned 1st Team All-Section honors for his efforts as a catcher as well. His dual efforts landed him his team's MVP award and a spot on the Beaver County Times Top 25 list. Even more impressively, Gunnar helped his team to back-to-back WPIAL Championships over the past two seasons.
Hunter Havekost – Medina HS – OF/1B
Hunter comes to Tiffin from Medina High School by way of PBR and his summer coach, Chris Check. The 1st Team All-Greater Cleveland Conference selection helped his team make an incredible run in the OHSAA Division 1 playoffs before getting knocked out in the regional finals by State Runner-Up Strongsville. The 6'1", 210-pound left-handed hitter set a school record for most runs scored in a season at 49. A strong high school season in conjunction with a tough, competitive summer schedule with Team Ohio Pro Select has prepared Havekost for baseball at the next level. His approach at the plate, ability to get his barrel to the baseball, and willingness to play multiple positions gives the Dragons some needed flexibility when it comes to the lineup.
Squire Chapman – Mentor HS – RHP
The 6'0", 170-pound righty out of Mentor, Ohio worked his way into the Tiffin recruiting mix with his performance at PBR's Unsigned Senior Games at Kent State University late in the summer. Chapman runs it up to the plate in the mid-80's and has been up to 88 MPH. Squire, a 1st Team All-Lake County and Honorable Mention News Herald selection, helped the Mentor squad to an appearance in the OHSAA Division 1 Regional Finals. The Cardinals fell to eventual state champion, Massillon Jackson. Chapman's high school success spilled over to the summer as he pitched for Diamond Hit Club, as well as Bergen Beach in the CABA World Series.
Colin BeDell – Kankakee Community College – INF
BeDell will transfer to Tiffin University after the completion of his sophomore year at Kankakee Community College in Illinois. Colin will add depth to the Dragons' infield as he showcased his ability to play either position on the left side of the infield. He looks to be the starting shortstop at Kankakee this season after starting at 3B last season. Last year, BeDell hit .272 in 66 games while driving in 39 RBI's and scoring 58 runs. In addition to starting at 3B, Colin helped lead the Cavaliers to 54 wins and an NJCAA Division II National Championship. BeDell will bring stability and experience to the Dragon infield.