The Tennessee baseball team added four junior college transfers to its 2013 signing class on Wednesday, including three right-handed pitchers and one of the nation’s top outfielders.
The Volunteers plucked a pair of pitchers off the West Coast in California junior college products Zac Grotz and Tei Vanderford out of the College of San Mateo and Glendale College, respectively, as well as Yavapai College (Arizona) right-hander Peter Lenstrohm.
Grotz will join the Vols after leading the Bulldogs to a 32-12 record, going 7-3 and posting a 2.24 ERA in the process. Vols head coach Dave Serrano is excited about what the right-hander will bring to his squad.
“Zac is coming off a good year at the College of San Mateo and has the ability to be either a starter or closer for our program as he has a great arm and a very good split-finger fastball,” Serrano said. “We hope and expect him to help add depth and quality to our pitching staff next season.”
Vanderford went 5-3 with a 1.65 ERA in 12 starts, helping lead the Vaqueros to their third consecutive Western State Conference championship.
“Tei comes from one of the top junior colleges in California which has had a lot of success recently,” Serrano said. “He is a strike thrower with a good arm and is a fierce competitor.
This past spring, Lenstrohm fired a team-high 79.1 innings for Yavapai, posting a 5-2 record and a 2.72 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 13 appearances on the mound.
“Peter is a very polished right-handed pitcher with a great arm from Arizona,” Serrano said. “He has a history of winning a lot of games throughout his career and is someone who could come in and quickly establish him as a weekend starter for our program.”
In addition to the three new arms, the Big Orange also signed Lexington, Kentucky native Jonathan Youngblood, an outfielder out of Meridian Community College (Mississippi). who has already been drafted twice in his career and entered the 2013 campaign ranked as one of the top-10 junior college prospects in the nation.
“Jonathan is an experienced, slick-fielding outfielder who will come in with a chance to immediately establish himself as a key contributor in our program,” Serrano said. “He will bring much-needed speed to our lineup and has great base-running instincts.”
The four new signees push the 2013 signing class to a total of 14 players who will all join the Tennessee program this fall.