Moving On: 14 T-Birds sign with NCAA schools

Cloud County Athletics
Matt Kinney, Sports Information Director

CONCORDIA – Cloud County Community College head baseball coach Eric Gilliland has announced that 14 T-Birds from the 2020 roster have signed letters of intent and are moving on to NCAA Division I and II schools next fall.

In addition to Connor Laux (New Mexico State), Josh Laukkanen (New Mexico State), Clayton Loranger (Stephen F. Austin), and Bradan Pierce (Oral Roberts) who signed during the early signing period in the fall, 10 more join the list with signed letters of intent including Tyler Jans (Louisiana-Monroe), Joe Karrall (Southeast Missouri State), Ed Scott (Fort Hays State), Alex Rice (Missouri Western), Trey Asher (Missouri Western), Ty Nelson (Pittsburg State), Kyler Charchun (Southwest Baptist University) Cole Jackson (Southwest Baptist University), Griffin Larsen (Southwestern Oklahoma State), and Davis Pratt (University of Central Oklahoma).

“This was one of the best classes of student-athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching” said Gilliland. “Each of them finished their Cloud careers with a 3.0 GPA or higher and they contributed to a 48-28 record in the last two years at Cloud.

“We are extremely proud of them and their accomplishments and excited to follow their careers and lives moving forward.”

Jans and Karrall give Cloud County a total of six NCAA Division I signees from the roster as the duo will take their talents to the Sun Belt and Ohio Valley Conferences. Jans had a strong start to the 2020 campaign before seeing the season abruptly end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making four appearances and three starts with a 3-1 overall record in 17.1 innings pitched. The sophomore would strikeout 18 and allow just 20 total hits while tying for the team lead in wins with Evan Wilde. Jans finished his career as a T-Bird with 13 total appearances and 11 starts, throwing a total of 53.1 innings and 51 strikeouts.

Karrall will give Southeast Missouri State a versatile right-handed arm to work with as the St. Albert, Alberta native made five appearances for Cloud County in 2020 which included three starts and two wins in 19.1 innings pitched. Karrall would strike out 20 while allowing just seven walks and was averaging 9.31 strikeouts per nine innings. During his two years with Cloud County, Karrall made 19 appearances and had eight starts while throwing 57.2 innings and striking out 55.

A product of Manhattan, Kan., Scott will stay in-state to play at Fort Hays State where he will look to build off a productive 2020 season which saw the redshirt sophomore appear in 18 games and record 19 hits in 53 at-bats for a .358 average. Scott would record seven extra-base hits including three home runs and finish with a .604 slugging percentage and .446 on-base percentage. Driving in 20 total runs, Scott would finish second on the team in RBI and home runs.

The first of two signees for Missouri Western, Rice will provide some infield depth for the Griffons after finishing the year with CCCC by making 17 starts and collecting 19 hits in 47 at-bats for a .404 batting average. The Shawnee, Kansas native also drew 13 walks and would steal four bases while batting primarily at the top of the lineup. Rice was on pace to surpass the 2019 numbers that saw him hit .314 in 48 games while collecting 11 extra-base hits and 27 RBI.

Left-handed bullpen help for the Griffons will come courtesy of Asher as the Hastings, Nebraska native was the most-used pitcher by CCCC this past season with eight appearances. Asher would pick up two wins and throw a total of 11.1 innings, striking out 14 and allowing just three earned runs to finish the year with a 2.38 ERA. For his career as a T-Bird, Asher would throw a total of 37.2 innings and strike out 27 while earning six victories and finishing with a 2.87 ERA.

The last of the 14 signees to keep his talents in-state for next fall will be Pittsburg State signee Nelson. Starting in 14 games for CCCC, Nelson had 15 hits in 46 at-bats with 11 of the 15 hits going for extra-bases. Recording a .326 batting average and .652 slugging percentage, Nelson would also be sure-handed defensively by recording just one error in 74 chances for a .959 fielding percentage while helping the T-Birds turn seven double plays.

Charchun and Jackson will both move on to Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri where they will look to make an immediate impact for the Bearcats who compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Charchun would be a two-year player for the T-Birds, making a total of 37 appearances including eight in 2020 and had a career .255 batting average and .494 on-base percentage for CCCC. Jackson made five appearances for Cloud County this past year and a total of 22 over the last two years while recording three hits and drawing four walks in his time while proving to be a wall behind the plate defensively by recording a .989 fielding percentage in 87 total chances and throwing out four runners trying to steal.

Larsen will head to Southwestern Oklahoma State University after a two-year career at CCCC that saw Overland Park, Kan., native appear in 64 games and record 48 hits which included 20 extra-base hits. During the 2020 campaign, Larsen was batting .362 with 15 RBI and eight extra-base hits while also being named Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference offensive player of the week on February 18th.

Pratt rounds out the signing class following a 2020 season that saw him make 15 starts and record 13 hits in 44 at-bats while also drawing six walks. In his two years for CCCC, Pratt, appeared in 69 games and recorded 17 extra-base hits while driving in 36 runs and finishing with a .301 batting average and .440 on-base percentage.

Those looking for information on the four who signed during the fall early signing period (Laux, Laukkanen, Loranger, Pierce) can read more about them at the following link: Four T-Bird Baseball Players Sign With NCAA Division I Programs

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