CONCORDIA, Kansas — Just a few months away from the start of the 2019-2020 school year, the Cloud County Community College baseball program has put the finishing touches on its historic 2019 season by announcing 13 players from last season's roster will be moving on to four-year institutions.
It's the second highest placement amount in program history, just behind the record-setting 19 players Cloud County sent on to four-year schools following the 2017-18 season.
"This was a special group of guys that helped change our program for the better over the last two years," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. The T-Birds finished 34-34 overall this past spring, which were the most wins for the program since 1989. "We are eager to follow their careers moving forward."
Of the 13 T-Birds with new homes for next season, three players will be going the NCAA Division I route as redshirt freshman Ed Scott inked with perennial power Texas Christian University, sophomore closer Corben Peters signed with Grambling State University, and redshirt freshman infielder Ramon Vingochea is set to head off to the University of Central Arkansas.
Eight former Cloud County players are signed to play at NCAA Division II programs. The trio of Grant Schmidt, Jace Armstrong and Kade Wallace set to team up again at Fort Hays State University while Jackson Dietel, a two-way star for the T-Birds last season, and right-hander Jordan Alexander will share a dugout next year as well at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Right-handed starting Austen Seidel committed to Tarleton State University late in the spring, third baseman Blake Manuel is signed at Northwestern Oklahoma State, and sidearm specialist Jack Theilen will return to his home state of Texas to pitch for the University of Texas at Tyler to round out the T-Birds heading the NCAA Division II route.
Cloud County also placed the relief pitching duo of left-hander Connor Peterson and right-hander Jackson Thaemert at Bethany College, a local NAIA program out of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).
Cloud County 2018-19 four-year transfers
Ed Scott- Texas Christian University (NCAA Division I)
Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland: "Ed is getting the opportunity to go play for one of the best programs in the nation. He combines a high level skill set with one of the best mental makeups I have ever coached. His work ethic and attitude are unmatched. He is having a big summer in Junction City and we hope he carries it over into TCU with 3 years to play still after missing this year with injury."
Corben Peters- Grambling State University (NCAA DI)
Gilliland: "Corben has a live arm and can dominate when he is on. He grew up a lot in his time here at Cloud and found a great fit in Grambling."
Ramon Vingochea- University of Central Arkansas (NCAA DI)
Gilliland: "Ramon is so dependable in all phases of the game. He can hit and knows what he is doing at the plate. He can play both middle infield spots well and is just an overall tough kid who is dependable day in and day out. UCA is a great program in the Southland and a perfect fit for Ramon."
Austen Seidel- Tarleton State University (NCAA II)
Gilliland: "With the coaching changes at Wichita State, Austen chose to go a different route and ultimately chose Tarleton State. Austen has huge upside on the mound and we are excited to follow his career."
Grant Schmidt- Fort Hays State (NCAA DII)
Gilliland: "Grant's best baseball is ahead of him. He finished strong this spring and is continuing on a tear this summer. His power should really play in the ballpark out at Fort Hays."
Kade Wallace- Fort Hays State (NCAA DII)
Gilliland: "Kade is one of the better pure hitters we have had. He is also one of the best natural leaders we have had. He led us in hitting and will be a great leader for any team he plays for. He has great feel for the game."
Jackson Dietel- Southwestern Oklahoma State (DII)
Gilliland: "Jackson is the ultimate competitor. He plays with a toughness and competitiveness that not many people possess. As a two-way player, he put together an incredible season and career for us."
Jordan Alexander- Southwestern Oklahoma State (DII)
Gilliland: "Unfortunately, Jordan missed this year with an arm injury. Had he been healthy he would have been a big piece of our pitching staff. We wish him the best in his recovery and look forward to watching him at SWOSU."
Blake Manuel- Northwestern Oklahoma State (DII)
Gilliland: "Blake exemplifies Cloud County baseball. His buy-in and toughness here over the last three years have been a big part of the success we have had. He has the ability to hit and has some power in his bat. Going to a great place in NWOSU."
Jace Armstrong- Fort Hays State (DII)
Gilliland: "Jace has improved more than anybody in our program. He has legit power in his bat and is a physical athlete. Combine that with his character and makeup and he will help anybody build a successful culture, just as he did here."
Jack Theilen- University of Texas at Tyler (DII)
Gilliland: "JT spent 2 ½ years here and made changes in his delivery to become a sidearmer and ultimately save his career. He has nasty stuff from down there and was a big piece of our bullpen. His upside is huge and is going to a big-time program back home in Texas."
Connor Peterson- Bethany College (NAIA)
Gilliland: "Connor is a Left-handed strikethrower that has a great attitude and has improved continuously. He did not allow an earned run in 5 appearances for us this spring. If he continues that growth, he will be a big weapon for Bethany."
Jackson Thaemert- Bethany College (NAIA)
Gilliland: "Jackson has had a rough last couple of years with an arm injury he sustained in High School and is just now getting completely healthy. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see what he can do on the mound for us but he was up to 88 mph late in the spring and starting to really come into his own again. He has huge upside and is a good get for Bethany."