Santa Clara Baseball Announces 2008 Recruiting Class

Nov. 16, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara baseball head coach Mark O'Brien revealed his 2008 recruiting class Friday as he announced the signing of seven student-athletes to national letters of intent. The seven ballplayers will attend Santa Clara University in the fall of 2008.

"This is one of the strongest recruiting classes we've put together here at Santa Clara," said O'Brien. "We have a great mix of two way players and athletes who have succeeded in specialized areas. They are all great players with great backgrounds and we are excited for them to help us attain our program goals. I have to give credit to Mike Zirelli, our Recruiting Coordinator, and the rest of my coaching staff. They have done a phenomenal job helping to put this recruiting class together."

2008 Santa Clara Recruiting Class

PlayerPos.Ht.Wt.B/THometown (High School)
Andrew BiancardiINF6-0190R/RAptos, Calif. (Aptos HS)
Kevin EichhornRHP/SS6-1170R/RAptos, Calif. (Aptos HS)
J.R. GrahamSS/RHP6-0170R/RLivermore, Calif. (Livermore HS)
Lucas HerbstOF/LHP6-0165L/LMonterey, Calif. (Monterey HS)
Jon HughesRHP/3B6-3200L/RMorgan Hill, Calif. (Valley Christian HS)
Adam PrangeRHP6-7215R/RTempe, Ariz. (South Mountain CC)
Ryan Rieger1B6-1190L/LRoseville, Calif. (Woodcreek HS)

Andrew Biancardi
Aptos, Calif. (Aptos HS)
INF - 6-0 - 190 - R/R

Coach O'Brien on Biancardi: "Andrew is a proven hitter and a versatile infielder who will make an immediate impact for us."

Biancardi is a two-time all-league selection and last season was an all-county honoree as he led Aptos High to the CCS Championship game. He hit .434 as a junior, recording four home runs, 32 RBIs and five stolen bases. A Santa Cruz Sentinel finalist for Athlete of the year, he participated in the Bay Area World Series in the summers of 2006 and 2007. Biancardi is also ranked the 963rd Best 2008 Prospect by Perfect Game Cross Checker and played for Nor Cal Baseball last summer.

Kevin Eichhorn
Aptos, Calif. (Aptos HS)
RHP/SS - 6-1 - 170 - R/R

Coach O'Brien on Eichhorn: "Kevin is one of the best two way players in the nation. He is talented on the mound and in the infield, and he will do both here. We expect him to make a major impact in this program."

Eichhorn is ranked as the 98th Best 2008 Prospect in the nation by Perfect Game Cross Checker. He was also named the 165th Best Prospect by Baseball America. Last season, Eichhorn posted a 7-2 record on the mound and a 1.05 ERA, while tallying 89 strikeouts and a no-hitter in 67 innings. At bat, his average was .452, and he registered six home runs, 49 RBIs and 13 doubles. An all-league, all-county, All-CCS, second team all-state and All-State Underclassmen First Team selection, Eichhorn was selected to play in the Area Code Games, Perfect Game Nationals and Bay Area World Series. In 2007, he received all-tournament team honors at the BAWS and in 2006 was named BAWS's Most Outstanding Player. Adding to his list of accolades, Eichhorn was named the California State Junior of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports and the San Jose Mercury News.

J.R. Graham
Livermore, Calif. (Livermore HS)
SS/RHP - 6-0, 170 - R/R

Coach O'Brien on Graham: "We feel J.R. and Kevin are very similar players. J.R. is a tremendous middle infielder with a very live arm. He is a hard-nosed player who loves the game and is a great competitor."

In 2006, Graham led Livermore to its first East Bay Athletic League Championship in 29 years and set three school records: hitting streak (16), runs scored (31) and closed out league games pitching (15). Graham is a first team all-league honoree and was selected to the All-East Bay second team in 2007. Last season he hit .418 and had an on-base percentage of .465. He tallied seven stolen bases, 31 runs 20 RBIs and five home runs. On the mound, he went 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA. He pitched 31 innings and had 29 strikeouts. He's ranked as the 123rd Best 2008 Prospect in the nation by Perfect Game Cross Checker and the 200th by Baseball America. He was also selected to play in the Area Code Games, Perfect Game Nationals and the Bay Area World Series this past summer.

Lucas Herbst
Monterey, Calif. (Monterey HS)
OF/LHP - 6-0 - 165 - L/L

Coach O'Brien on Herbst: "Lucas is one of the fastest players that has been brought into this program. He is a terrific defensive outfielder and will be able to help us on the mound as well."

Herbst led the league in wins posting a 9-3 record. He posted an ERA of 3.60 in 61 innings pitched and tallied 58 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit .478 and recorded six home runs, 32 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. Herbst was the league's co-MVP, Pitcher of the Year and a first team selection. He's led Monterey High School to three Monterey Bay League championships and one CCS championship. Herbst has been selected to play in the All-California High School All-Star Championship, the Bay Area World Series and the Perfect Game Nationals. He received all-tournament team honors at the Bay Area World Series and is ranked the 251st Best 2008 Prospect in the nation by Perfect Game Cross Checker. He was named to the All-Monterey County team by the Monterey Bay Herald and Salinas Californian, and was voted MVP and Offensive Player of the Year by his teammates.

Jon Hughes
Morgan Hill, Calif. (Valley Christian HS)
RHP/3B - 6-3 - 200 - L/R

Coach O'Brien on Hughes: "Jon is a very physical player. Not only does he have a huge upside as a pitcher, but he can also swing the bat."

Hughes led Valley Christian to the WCAL and DI CCS championship in 2007, and received first team all-league and All-CCS honors. He hit .367 and registered three home runs and 23 RBIs. On the mound, he posted a 10-2 record, tallied six saves with a 0.97 ERA. Hughes also had 77 strikeouts in 87 innings. He was named to All-Star teams by both the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. He participated in the California North-South All-Star Game and the Bay Area World Series, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player. A second team all-state and first team All-State Underclassman, Hughes is ranked as the 321st Best 2008 Prospect in the nation by Perfect Game Cross Checker and received the VCS Ultimate Warrior Award.

Adam Prange
Tempe, Ariz. (South Mountain Community College)
RHP - 6-7 - 215 - R/R

Coach O'Brien on Prange: "Adam is just scratching the surface of his athletic ability. He has a great work ethic and attitude, and we believe he will come into his own next season."

Prange is the lone non-Californian in the recruiting class. A transfer from South Mountain Community College, Prange was selected to play in the 2007 ACCAC Maricopa County Sophomore All-Star Game this fall. While at Marcos De Niza High School he pitched for the Detroit Tigers scout team. Prange saw limited action last season and during his senior campaign due to injury.

Ryan Rieger
Roseville, Calif. (Woodcreek HS)
1B - 6-1 - 190 - L/L

Coach O'Brien on Rieger: "Ryan is one of the best hitters in California and the nation. He is powerful at the plate and is going to be a great addition to our roster."

At the plate last season, Rieger hit .363 and had an on-base percentage of .470. He also tallied 14 stolen bases. Rieger led Woodcreek High School last season in those three offensive categories, along with slugging percentage. He was named the team's Offensive Player of the Year and was a first team All-Sierra Foothill league honoree. In the summer, Rieger participated in the California North-South All-Star Game and the Area Codes Games. This fall, he played for the Colorado Rockies scout team and is ranked as the 50th Best 2008 Prospect in the nation by Baseball America.

The Broncos open their 2008 season on Friday, Feb. 22 against Utah Valley. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.