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UA baseball team signs 4 of Arizona's best

By Chris Jackson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 23, 1999
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The Arizona baseball team received letters of intent from 11 high school and two junior college players last week for the 2001 season.

The announcement came shortly after Arizona State released its list of signees, a list which included head coach Pat Murphy's claim that his team had signed the best pitcher in Tucson in Canyon del Oro High School's Jason Schroyer and the best player in Palo Verde's Will Smith.

"ASU cleaned up in the state of Arizona," the Sun Devils' release said.

UA head coach Jerry Stitt said in UA's release that the Wildcats signed "the top pitching prospect in Tucson" in CDO's Brian Anderson and that Sunnyside High's Moises Duran "is beyond question the best player in Tucson."

But Stitt maintains his claim was not a response to Murphy's.

"We're not speaking in terms of rivalry here with them," Stitt said. "I don't react to what they say and what they do. From our program's viewpoint, I can't criticize the guys they got, but we did get the best pitcher in Tucson and one of the best players in the country in Moises Duran. He's highly regarded by everybody. We've got what scouts say is the best player in Arizona in Stephen Hunt. We've got the best pitcher in the state in Sean Rierson. These guys are great for our program."

Duran, who plays shortstop and second base, is the likely heir to current Wildcat junior Keoni DeRenne (.361 average, 54 runs, 54 RBI in 1999) at shortstop for the Wildcats.

UA also went out of state to pick up highly-regarded outfielder Jake Whitesides of Columbia, Mo.

"He's a center fielder with terrific speed and power, a left-handed hitter," Stitt said. "(A) really tough, hard-nosed kid, really an all-around good player."

The Wildcats' two junior college signees are expected to help right away as well.

"Britt Echols is really a terrific pitcher," Stitt said. "He was 9-2 at Pima last year, real good stuff. David Brockman is a hard-throwing right-hander and just a real good pitcher."

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