JSU Baseball Adds Eight During Signing Period

JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville State baseball and head coach Jim Case announced Friday that eight student-athletes will be joining the Gamecock baseball program for the 2023 season. 

Five of eight newcomers will arrive from the high school ranks in the state of Alabama, while three are coming from just across the state line in Georgia.

Case, along with assistant coaches Evan Bush and Mike Murphree, bolstered the future roster by adding high school signees. The JSU staff concentrated on in-state talent and others within the region.  The Gamecocks concentrated on position players with two pitchers in the signing class.

Kenskey Thomas (Canton, Ga./Sequoyah HS), Eli Zielinski (Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS), Drake Siebert (Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS), Caleb Johnson (Phenix City, Ala./Central HS), Will Fincher (Powder Springs, Ga./Kennesaw Mountain HS), JD Wilkins (Pelham, Ala./Pelham HS), Hank Smith (Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville HS) and William Burgreen (Madison, Ala./Madison Academy) all returned official paperwork back to JSU during the NCAA signing period that began on Wednesday.


Kenskey Thomas, OF, 5-11, 195, Canton, Ga., Sequoyah HS
Preps at Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia…coached by Scott Barber at SHS…named to 2021 Cherokee All-County Baseball Team as a first team outfielder…ranked by Rivals.com as one of the top outfielders in the state of Georgia for the class of 2022…voted to the 2021 Region 7-6A All-Region Team after leading the Chiefs to an appearance in the GHSA Class 6A playoffs…a 2020 and 2021Preseason Underclass All American according to Perfect Game…a member of the East Cobb Astros…led the East Cobb Astros 17U  to the 2021 PG 17U Battle of the Southeast, WWBA Championship…tabbed to 14 different Perfect Game All-Tournament Teams.


Eli Zielinski, LHP, 6-0, 190, Daphne, Ala., Daphne HS
Attends Daphne High School in Daphne, Alabama…one of two signees from DHS, joining Drake Seibert…coached by Brent Boyd at DHS…guided the Trojans to the AHSAA 7A Area 2 Championship in 2021 and reached the Elite 8 of the state playoffs…named to the 2021 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Team for Class 7A as a utility player…turned in a no-hitter against Alma Bryant (April, 2021) in a 4-0 win for DHS…posted struck out 15 in seven innings and collected30 strikeouts combined in two consecutive starts…twice tabbed as a Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All American (2020, 2021)…listed in PG’s Top 500 National Ranking…made nine different All-Tournament teams through PG.


Drake Seibert, SS, 6-1, 190, Daphne, Ala., Daphne HS
Attends Daphne High School in Daphne, Alabama…one of two signees from DHS, joining Eli Zielinski…coached by Brent Boyd at DHS…led the Trojans to the AHSAA 7A Area 2 Championship in 2021 and reached the Elite 8 of the state playoffs…listed in PG’s Top 500 National Ranking…made five different All-Tournament teams through PG…his brother, Von Seibert, plays baseball at Mississippi State.


Caleb Johnson, SS, 6-2, 170, Phenix City, Ala., Central HS
Preps at Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama…coached by Bobby Howard…a switch-hitting infielder at CHS and has also pitched on the prep level…helped the Red Devils to the AHSAA Class 7A Area 4 title in 2021 and reached the semifinals of the AHSAA Class 7A state playoffs…listed on the Perfect Game Top 500 National Rank…hit over .400 as a sophomore in 2000…a standout on the football field as well at the wide receiver position…has helped the Red Devils to a perfect 11-0 record heading into the second round of the AHSAA Class 7A playoffs…has collected 11 receptions for 165 yards as a senior in 2021 along with a pair of touchdowns…active on special teams with over 200 yards on kick returns, including a touchdown on a return.


Will Fincher, OF, 6-3, 210, Powder Springs, Ga., Kennesaw Mountain HS
Attends Kennesaw Mountain High School…coached by George Hansen…named runner up for Player of the year in GHSAA Class 6A Region 6 after leading the Mustangs to the postseason…tabbed as one of the top outfield prospects in the state of Georgia by Prep Baseball Report…a two-sport athlete at KMHS, playing hoops for the Mustangs…the KMHS 2021 Basketball Defensive Player of the Year…a 2020 and 2021 Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All American…also tabbed to the PG 2021 Preseason Underclass All-Region Team…listed on PG’s Top 500 List.


JD Wilkins, RHP/3B, 6-3,195, Pelham, Ala., Pelham HS
Preps at Pelham High School in Pelham, Alabama…coached by Sean Anderson at PHS…a two-time selection to the Shelby County All County Team…tossed a complete game shutout over McAdory (April 16) with 16 strikeouts, allowing two hits and issued two walks…also had a pair of singles and two RBI at the plate…earned Perfect Game Preseason Underclassman All American status twice in 2020 and 2021…participated on the summer circuit with the Excel Blue Wave.


Hank Smith, C, 5-9,170, Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville HS
Preps at Cartersville High School in Cartersville, Georgia…coached by Brian Adams at CHS…heled the Purple Hurricanes to a 22-8 mark in 2021 and a 12-3 mark in the Class 5A Region 7…finished his junior season hitting .282 with 10 extra base hits…had an on-base mark of .861 and a fielding percentage of .981…scored 28 runs and delivered 19 RBI along with 28 runs scored…ranked as one of the top catchers in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com…earned honorable mention status for the 2021 and 2020 Perfect Game Preseason Underclassmen All American Team.


William Burgreen, UT, 5-11, 175, Madison, Ala., Madison Academy
Out of the talent-rich Huntsville, Alabama area…attends Madison Academy and coached by David Pressley…helped the Mustangs claim the Class 5A Area 16 crown and advancing to the final four of the AHSAA Class 5A State Playoffs…MA reached the semifinals in 2019…named to the 2020 Gulf Coast Prospect Showcase Top Prospect List compiled by Perfect Game…a 2021 PG Preseason Underclassmen All American…helped the East Coast Sox Scout 17U club to 2020 PG 17U Deep South Fall Classic Championship…tabbed to the 2018 WWBA 2022 Grads or 14U National Championship All-Tournament Team as a member of the Dulin’s Dodgers-Dowell…member of the 2019 WWBA 2022 Grads or 15U National Championship All-Tournament Team with East Coast Sox 15U Prime…a two-sport athlete at MA as a member of the Mustangs football program…led MA to a 10-win season through the opening round of the AHSAA Class 5A football postseason and claiming the 2021 AHSAA Class 5A Region 7 title.

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