Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Decision time for baseball's Rivers, recruit

Charlotte 49ers first baseman Ryan Rivers and potential incoming freshman Tyler Barnette -- both taken in this week's Major League Baseball draft -- have decisions to make.

Rivers, a junior who who hit .356 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs last season, was taken in the 35th round by the Los Angeles Angels. Charlotte coach Loren Hibbs said Rivers is well on his way to a degree in engineering and hopes he stays in school.

"Ryan has really developed as a hitter," said Hibbs. "He can improve this summer and that can carry over into next season."

Barnette, a right-handed pitcher from Hickory High who commited to the 49ers last year, was selected in the ninth round by the Boston Red Sox. Hibbs said he has spoken with Barnette's father who said he didn't know yet whether Barnette would sign with Boston or go to Charlotte.

"We knew when we signed him that he would be drafted by somebody," said Hibbs. "Our intent was for him to come to school. We think he'll be better if he goes into the pros coming out of college."

Barnette, who will graduate Friday, also played football at Hickory and was the Red Tornadoes' quarterback.

"We took a calculated risk knowing he'd play football," said Hibbs. "And it paid off. He only broke one bone -- his left collarbone. At least it wasn't his right one."


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on signing Ryan. Good luck. - Mark