INDIANAPOLIS - After finishing a 23-win season, the Butler baseball program has added three standout players who will join the team in the fall of 2011. Pitchers Derek Higgins and Kevin Lenkman and infielder Andy Gehr will suit up for the Bulldogs for the 2012 season.
Butler's four newest players will join the four-man group that signed with Butler during the fall period. In addition to Higgins, Lenkman and Gehr. Butler will be adding pitchers Kyle Allen and Eric Stout and infielders Michael Fries and Austin Miller.
Higgins, a native of New Palestine, Ind., is a right-handed pitcher who played the 2011 season at Olney Central College in Illinois. He was 7-2 with a 3.19 ERA this season in 12 appearances with 58 strikeouts and 19 walks. Higgins helped Olney Central to a 43-17-1 record. During his high school days at New Palestine, the righty was 2010 Hancock County Player of the Year and led his team to 99 wins, four conference championships and three sectional titles. He was twice named all-county and was on the Indianapolis Star All-East Team.
"We had our eye on Derek when he pitched locally at New Palestine," Farley said. "He is a hard worker with good velocity on his fastball and good command of an above-average breaking ball. He pitched well this spring in a very good junior college program at Olney. We are excited to have him at Butler."
Lenkman, a native of St. Peters, Mo., joins the Bulldogs after two seasons at John Wood Community College. The 6-5 lefty was John Wood's ace in 2011, striking out a school-record 92 over 77.2 innings. He had a 3.36 ERA in 14 appearances this season, but didn't get much support in posting a 4-7 record. He won nine games during his two seasons at John Wood. Lenkman played high school ball at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, pitching in the team's starting rotation as a junior.
"Kevin figures to step in and make an immediate impact on our pitching staff. He features a solid fastball and slider and an improving change up," Farley said. "Like all of our signees, he is a good student and comes from a great family."
Gehr is another local standout, having played high school baseball at Westfield High School just north of Butler. He was a high school teammate of current Bulldog pitcher Kyle Kramp, and the duo helped Westfield to the state final in 2009. Gehr, a shortstop, batted .333 as a senior and holds the school record for doubles. He was an all-county performer at Westfield.
"Andy has been a consistent hitter at the high school level and he is a scrappy player with good actions in the infield. As a recruited walk-on, he will have a good opportunity to show us what he can do when our fall season begins in September."
Butler Baseball Incoming Recruits - 2011
|Kyle Allen||RHP||Katy, Texas|
|Michael Fries||IF||Powell, Ohio|
|Andy Gehr||IF||Westfield, Ind.|
|Derek Higgins||RHP||New Palestine, Ind.|
|Kevin Lenkman||LHP||St. Peters, Mo.|
|Austin Miller||IF||Grayslake, Ill.|
|Eric Stout||LHP||Wheaton, Ill.|