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Arkansas Baseball Announces 2014 Signing Class

The Razorback baseball team added 15 players during the early signing period


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas baseball team added 15 players during the early signing period, as announced on Thursday by head coach Dave Van Horn.



“I think this is one of the more well-rounded classes we’ve had here at the University of Arkansas in the last 10 years,” Coach Van Horn said. “There’s some outstanding pitchers, a good mix of right- and left-handed pitchers. If we can get them here, this is probably top to bottom the best offensive class we’ve brought in since I’ve been here. There’s a lot of guys in this class that can come in and contribute as young players.”



The Razorbacks signing class is currently ranked among the best in the country, coming in at No. 9 according to Perfect Game. The class includes 11 players ranked among the top 500 recruits and five players ranked among the top 200 recruits.



The 2014 signing class includes outfielder Jack Benninghoff of Overland Park, Kan., outfielder Luke Bonfield of Skillman, N.J., infielder Matt Campbell of Chesapeake, Va., catcher/outfielder Mark Clark of Fort Smith, Ark., left-handed pitcher Ryan Fant of Texarkana, Texas, infielder Keith Grieshaber of St. Louis, Mo., left-handed pitcher/first baseman Sam Hentges of Shoreview, Minn., left-handed pitcher/designated hitter Trenton Hill of Bentonville, Ark., infielder Max Hogan of Belton, Texas, right-handed pitcher/first baseman Keaton McKinney of Ankeny, Iowa, left-handed pitcher/outfielder Kyle Pate of Fayetteville, Ark., right-handed pitcher Jonah Patten of Ossian, Ind., catcher Nathan Rodriguez of Yorba Linda, Calif., catcher/infielder Chad Spanberger of Granite City, Ill., and infielder Blake Wiggins of Little Rock, Ark.



Jack Benninghoff

OF – 6-0 – 190 – Overland Park, Kan. (Rockhurst High School)



Rockhurst High School

Ranked as the 220th-best recruit nationally and the fourth-best recruit in the state of Kansas according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 third team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Earned honorable mention All-State honors after hitting .388 with two home runs and 22 RBI as a sophomore … Has a career batting average of .347 with eight homers and 54 RBI … Attended the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase … Coached by Jim DeGraw at Rockhurst High School … Plays his summer baseball with Building Champions, coached by Jeremy Jones … Also plays football in high school.



Personal

Son of Daniel and Janelle Benninghoff … Has two brothers, Thomas and Tyler, and one sister, Jessica.



Coach Van Horn on Benninghoff

“Jack is an outstanding athlete. He’s a quick outfielder with a plus arm. He plays extremely hard and has a bulldog mentality. He has a chance to come in and contribute right away.”



Luke Bonfield

OF – 6-2 – 190 – Skillman, N.J. (Immaculata High School/IMG Academy)



Immaculata High School/IMG Academy

Ranked as the 57th-best recruit nationally and the third-best recruit in the state of New Jersey according to Perfect Game … Named a 2012 and 2013 honorable mention preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Earned second team All-Area honors from The Courier News and was named first team All-Somerset County in 2013 … Finished his junior season with a .431 batting average, five home runs and 35 RBI … Selected to the All-Tournament Team at the 2013 WWBA Tournament in Jupiter, Fla. … Transferred to IMG Academy for his senior year … Coached by Pete Paciorek at IMG Academy … Plays his summer baseball with the Atlanta Blue Jays, coached by Anthony Dye.



Personal
Son of Dave and Susan Bonfield … Has one sister, Caroline.



Coach Van Horn on Bonfield

“Luke is one of the top high school hitters in this year’s class. He’s a tremendous player. He’s someone that will have a lot of pro interest. If we can get him to school, he has a chance to make a major impact as a freshman.”



Matt Campbell

INF – 6-0 – 170 – Chesapeake, Va. (Hickory High School/Univ. of North Carolina/McClennan CC



McClennan Community College

Transferred to McClennan Community College for the 2013-14 school year … Coached by Mitch Thompson at McClennan Community College.



University of North Carolina

Played in 17 games, including one start, and hit .231 with two RBI and five runs scored.



Hickory High School

Ranked among the top 500 recruits nationally in the class of 2012 by Perfect Game … Named a 2011 high honorable mention preseason high school underclassman All-American and a 2010 honorable mention preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Earned All-District honors as a junior and a senior … Coached by Hank Craft at Hickory High School.



Personal

Son of David and Romana Campbell … Has one brother, Sean.



Coach Van Horn on Campbell

“Matt is an outstanding defensive shortstop. He’s a good athlete that continues to improve with the bat. He’ll come in and make an impact here in his first year.”



Mark Clark

C/OF – 6-5 – 200 – Fort Smith, Ark. (Southside High School)



Southside High School

Named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas baseball team as a junior … Earned 7A All-State honors and All-Conference honors following his junior season … Finished his junior season with a single-season school record 11 home runs and hit .414 with 33 RBI … Coached by Trey Holloway at Southside High School … Coached by Jim Wiley in summer baseball.



Personal

Son of Mark and Genia Clark … Has one sister, Mallie.



Coach Van Horn on Clark

“Mark is an outstanding athlete. He’s a big, strong catcher and outfielder that can really run. He isn’t your prototypical catcher type. He has a lot of power. He has tremendous tools and a big upside. We’re excited about getting him in the program. If he continues to develop, he has a chance to make an impact right away.”



Ryan Fant

LHP – 6-5 – 210 – Texarkana, Texas (Texas High School)



Texas High School

Ranked as the 284th-best recruit nationally and the 21st-best recruit in the state of Texas according to Perfect Game … Earned second team All-District 14A as a junior in 2013 … Selected as the District 13-4A Pitcher of the Year in 2012 and was named the District 13-4A Newcomer of the Year in 2011 … Selected to play for the Rangers in the 2013 Area Code Games … Coached by John McClure at Texas High School … Plays his summer baseball with DBAT, coached by Barry Rose.



Personal

Son of Burl and Sharon Fant … Has one brother, Randall, who played at Arkansas from 2010-13 and is currently in the Houston Astros organization.



Coach Van Horn on Fant

“Ryan is a left-handed pitcher that continues to get better. He’s throwing in the upper 80s, low 90s right now. I’ve seen him have some real good outings. He’s a definite impact pitcher for us right out of the blocks.”



Keith Grieshaber

INF – 6-2 – 182 – St. Louis, Mo. (Marquette High School)



Marquette High School

Ranked as the 196th-best recruit nationally and the fourth-best recruit in the state of Missouri according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 second team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Three-time All-State, All-Conference, All-Metro and All-District honoree … Has hit better than .400 each year of his high school career, hitting .441 as a freshman, .402 as a sophomore and .413 as a junior … Attended the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase … Coached by John Meyer at Marquette High School … Plays his summer baseball with Rawlings Prospects, coached by Jeff Reed … Also played soccer in high school, earning high school All-America honors and finishing his career with 114 goals and 26 assists.



Personal

Son of Dan and Cindy Grieshaber … Has one brother, Kyle.



Coach Van Horn on Grieshaber

“Keith is a really good athlete. He plays shortstop and second base for his high school and during summer baseball. He’s also an outstanding soccer player. He has a lot of speed and plays with a lot of energy. He has a chance to come in and battle to get into the lineup as a freshman.”



Sam Hentges

LHP/1B – 6-6 – 245 – Shoreview, Minn. (Mounds View High School)



Mounds View High School

Ranked as the 265th-best recruit nationally and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Minnesota according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 high honorable mention underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Played in the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field in August 2013 … Earned All-Conference honors in 2013 and helped his school to their first ever baseball state championship … Named to the state tournament All-Tournament team … Posted a 4-0 record on the mound and hit .420 with a single-season school record six home runs as a junior … Coached by Mark Downey at Mounds View High School … Plays his summer baseball with Tri-City Red, coached by Steve Grasley … Has also played football in high school.



Personal

Son of David and Mary Hentges … Has one brother, Jack, and one sister, Annie.



Coach Van Horn on Hentges

“Sam is a big, strong left-handed pitcher and first baseman. He’ll have the opportunity to swing the bat as well as pitch. As with most left-handed pitchers, he should come in and contribute right away. He throws a lot of strikes and has good mechanics. Right now, he pitches mainly in the upper 80s. He’s another player that we’ll have to see how it goes in the draft.”



Trenton Hill

LHP/DH – 6-3 – 200 – Bentonville, Ark. (Bentonville High School/Maple Woods Community College)



Maple Woods Community College

Ranked fourth on the team with a .315 batting average and had two home runs and 27 RBI as a freshman … Posted a .422 on-base percentage, which was second on the team … On the mound, started three games and had a 0-1 record with a 7.24 ERA … Averaged more than a strikeout an inning, fanning 16 in 13.2 innings … Helped his team to a regional championship … Coached by Marty Kilgore at Maple Woods Community College.



Bentonville High School

Earned All-State honors as a senior, compiling a 7-1 record, and helped his team to the state semifinals … Named All-District as a junior and a senior … Finished his junior season with a .500 batting average … Coached by Todd Abbott at Bentonville High School.



Personal

Son of Troy and Nancy Hill … Has one brother, Kyle Hudson, and one sister, Tiffany Kent.



Coach Van Horn on Hill

“Trenton is a two-way player. He’s a left-handed pitcher and also plays first base. He’s originally from Bentonville and went to Maple Woods Community College and has really developed his game. He’s a player that came on late in high school and has continued to develop. On the mound, you can use him as a starter or a reliever. There’s a lot of pro interest in him for both his pitching and his bat.”



Max Hogan

INF – 5-11 – 195 – Belton, Texas (Belton High School/Dallas Baptist Univ./McLennan Community College



McClennan Community College

Transferred to McClennan Community College for the 2013-14 school year … Coached by Mitch Thompson at McClennan Community College.



Dallas Baptist University

Played in eight games, including six starts, and hit .125 with two RBI … Was a perfect 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts.



Belton High School

Earned All-State, All-Area and All-District honors as a junior and a senior … Named the Central Texas MVP after hitting .380 with eight home runs and 50 RBI as a senior … Finished his junior season with a .467 batting average, six home runs and 56 RBI … Coached by Eddie Cornblum at Belton High School.



Personal

Son of George and Penny Hogan … Has one brother, Joey.



Coach Van Horn on Hogan

“Max can play several different positions. He can play second base, third base and outfield. He’s a left handed hitter and throws right handed. He’s probably the top hitter at McClennan Community College and has a chance to come in and hit in the middle of our lineup right away. He’s got an outstanding eye at the plate and is a polished hitter.”



Keaton McKinney

RHP/1B – 6-5 – 225 – Ankeny, Iowa (Ankeny Centennial High School)



Ankeny Centennial High School

Ranked as the 37th-best recruit nationally and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Iowa according to Perfect Game … Ranked as the 43rd-best prospect nationally for the 2014 MLB Draft by Baseball America … Named a 2013 first team preseason high school underclassmen All-American and a 2012 second team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Helped the USA Baseball 18U National Team to the IBAF 18U World Cup championship in August 2013, hitting .308 with six RBI and going 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA on the mound … Played in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park in August, 2013 … Earned Pitcher of the Year honors and was named first team All-State as a junior after going 8-0 with a 0.59 ERA and hitting .388 with eight home runs and 38 RBI … Coached by Mark Hey at Ankeny Centennial High School … Plays his summer baseball with Marucci Elite, coached by Chad Raley.



Personal

Son of Todd and Shelly McKinney … Has one brother, Kalvin Johnson, and one sister, Kara Johnson Waldorf.



Coach Van Horn on McKinney

“Keaton is a two-way player. He’s a hard throwing right hander that played with the 18 and under USA national team this summer. We recruited him to give him the opportunity to do both, to pitch and play either third or first. He has a chance to be a major impact player when he gets here. He’s a player that will have significant pro interest.”



Kyle Pate

LHP/OF – 6-1 – 190 – Fayetteville, Ark. (Fayetteville High School)



Fayetteville High School

Ranked as the 482nd-best recruit nationally and the fourth-best recruit in the state of Arkansas according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 high honorable mention preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Named to the USA Today All-Arkansas team and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas team … Earned 7A All-State honors as a junior and was the 7A state tournament’s Most Outstanding Player … Selected as the All-Big 7 Player of the Year by NWA Media … Finished his junior season with a 7-0 record, two saves and a 0.54 ERA and hit .421 at the plate … Coached by Vance Arnold at Fayetteville High School … Plays his summer baseball with the Atlanta Blue Jays, coached by pitching coach Steve Loureiro.



Personal

Son of Vernon and Moranda Pate … Has two brothers, James Devin and Michael, and one sister, Brandy Foshe.



Coach Van Horn on Pate

“Kyle is one of the top players in the state of Arkansas. He’s a two-way player as a left-handed pitcher and an outfielder. He helped Fayetteville High to the state championship last year with his bat and his pitching. He went out and had a tremendous summer. He really elevated his game. After seeing him this summer, there’s no doubt he’s going to come in and contribute a lot as a true freshman.”



Jonah Patten

RHP – 6-3 – 200 – Ossian, Ind. (Norwell High School)



Norwell High School

Ranked as the 129th-best recruit nationally and the second-best recruit in the state of Indiana according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 first team preseason high school underclassmen All-American and a 2012 second team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Earned All-State and All-Conference honors as a junior after compiling a 4-0 record with a 2.07 ERA and hitting .373 with three home runs and 26 RBI … Selected to play for the White Sox in the 2013 Area Code Games … Coached by Andy McClain at Norwell High School … Plays his summer baseball with the Indiana Bulls, coached by Quinn Moore … Has also played basketball and football in high school.



Personal

Son of Jim and Carla Patten … Has one brother, Noah.



Coach Van Horn on Patten

“Jonah is one of our top right handed pitching recruits. He throws in the upper 80s, lower 90s. He has a chance to come in and really contribute right away. He’s a hard throwing right hander with good stuff and a lot of pitchability right away.”



Nathan Rodriguez

C – 5-11 – 190 – Yorba Linda, Calif. (El Dorado High School)



El Dorado High School

Ranked as the 382nd-best recruit nationally and the 53rd-best recruit in the state of California according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 third team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Played with the Houston Banditos in the 2013 PG WWBA World Championship and helped his team to the final 16 … Played for the Team USA 17U National Development Team in the summer of 2012 … Finished his sophomore season with a .392 batting average and seven RBI … Missed most of his junior season due to injury … Coached by Matt Lucas at El Dorado High School … Plays his summer baseball with the Placentia Mustangs, coached by Wes Etheridge.



Personal

Son of Lazaro “Larry” and Paulina Guerin Rodriguez … Has one brother, Sebastian.



Coach Van Horn on Rodriguez

“Nathan is a catcher and can also play some outfield. He’s a very talented player. He’s a good hitter, good receiver. He’s got a very tough mentality. He’s another player that has a chance to come and in and make an impact his first season here.”



Chad Spanberger

C/INF – 6-3 – 210 – Granite City, Ill. (Granite City Senior High School)



Granite City Senior High School

Ranked as the 375th-best recruit nationally and the 10th-best recruit in the state of Illinois according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 third team preseason high school underclassmen All-American and a 2012 high honorable mention preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro third team after finishing his junior year with a .398 batting average, five home runs and 27 RBI … Earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore and a junior … Coached by John Moad at Granite City Senior High School … Plays his summer baseball with the St. Louis Pirates, coached by Rick Strickland … Has also played football in high school.



Personal

Son of Joe and Christina Spanberger … Has one brother, Cody, who currently plays baseball at Southeast Missouri State University.



Coach Van Horn on Spanberger

“Chad is a big, strong left-handed hitting catcher, first baseman and outfielder. We’re very excited about him. He had a tremendous summer and saw his stock jump. We feel like if we can get him to school he has a chance to get in the lineup very quickly.”



Blake Wiggins

INF – 6-1 – 195 – Little Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Academy)



Pulaski Academy

Ranked as the 179th-best recruit nationally and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Arkansas according to Perfect Game … Named a 2013 first team preseason high school underclassmen All-American and a 2012 second team preseason high school underclassmen All-American by Perfect Game … Selected to the 5A All-State Tournament team in 2013 after helping his team to a state championship … Earned 4A All-State honors in 2012 … Named All-Conference as a freshman, sophomore and a junior … Selected to play for the Yankees in the 2013 Area Code Games and attended the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase … Coached by Billy Adams at Pulaski Academy … Plays his summer baseball with the East Coast Grays, coached by Joe Caruso.



Personal

Son of Joey and Leslie Wiggins … Has one sister, Brooke.



Coach Van Horn on Wiggins

“Blake is one of the top hitters in the country and is probably the top hitter coming out of high school in the state of Arkansas. He has tremendous power. He has a chance to hit in the middle of the lineup as a true freshman. He can play both corner infield positions.”



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