OSU inks 11, including highly-ranked quartet

CORVALLIS — Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey inked 11 players to letters of intent last week during the early signing period.

The heralded class includes four who are ranked among Baseball America's top 100 high school players.

They are B.J. Hermsen, a right-handed pitcher from Masonville, Iowa, who is ranked 28th; infielder Niko Vasquez of Las Vegas (No. 49) and outfielders Brent Warren of Robins, Iowa, (73rd) and Ryan Gorton of Tigard (93rd).

Also signing were infielder Carter Bell (Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada), infielder/outfielder Kyle Beverley (Midvale, Utah), first baseman Michael Wesner (Lake Oswego) and outfielder Doug Kincaid (Portland).

Three junior college players also signed: outfielder Logan Lotti from Sierra College, pitcher James Nygren, who is with Western Nevada and is from Klamath Falls, and outfielder Devin Shepherd, who will join the Beavers from Southern Nevada.

"Everybody likes their recruiting class because they recruited them," Casey said. "Everyone looks for certain things, and we felt like we were going to look more at the offensive end of it. I believe we have gotten some kids who could have gone and played at any place. We have some great balance in this class."

Hermsen issued just 10 walks in 662/3 innings his junior season, which ties him for eighth-best in Iowa state history. He was named first-team all-state as a junior, going 8-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

"B.J. was the only right-handed high school pitcher that we recruited," Casey said. "He's ranked as one of the top pitching prospects in the country. He has great size and it a tremendous athlete. He plays basketball and football. We're really excited about him."

Vasquez was first-team all-state as a junior after batting .464 with six home runs and 33 RBI.

"Niko is an offensive player that can play anywhere in the infield," Casey said. "He has played at a very high level in many showcases and has played very well. He's a very good player."

Gorton batted .545 his junior season at Tigard and is the No. 1-ranked player in Oregon by BaseballNorthwest.com.

"Ryan is off the chart," Casey said. "It's going to be fun and exciting to try and figure out where he's going to play. I think he's going to be a really good college player."

Right-handed pitcher Nygren starred at Henley High School. He was a 4A second-team all-state choice in 2007.

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