Nov. 24, 2001


Eight hard-throwing pitchers highlight one of the most talented and deepest recruiting classes of Coach Keith Madison’s 24-year tenure at the University of Kentucky. Madison announced Wednesday that 10 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent and will play baseball for the Wildcats beginning in the 2003 season.

“Going into this recruiting year, we felt our biggest need was pitching,” Madison said. “Quality left-handed pitchers always seem to be hard to find and our staff was able to go out and locate some really outstanding left-handed pitchers, some guys that we feel can come in and contribute immediately. I feel this is the highest quality and deepest recruiting class of pitchers since I’ve been at Kentucky.”

One of the nation’s most respected collegiate recruiting publications,, features three members of the 2003 class in its Top-200 list – right-handed pitcher/outfielder Kalen Gibson (Slaughters, Ky./Webster County), left-handed pitcher Brian Holliday (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) and left-handed pitcher West Harris (Paducah, Ky./Lone Oak). The class also includes one of the top-five rated prospects in Canada, right-handed pitcher Robert Bland (North Bay, Ontario/Widdifield). Rounding out the 2003 signees are catcher Aaron Edwards (Benton, Ky./John A. Logan College, Ill.), left-handed pitcher Tyler Pittman (Wickliffe, Ky./Ballard Memorial), right-handed pitcher Jimmy Rose (Centerville, Ohio/Alter), catcher Justin Scutchfield (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead), right-handed pitcher Seth Stanley (Henderson, Ky./Southern Union JC, Ala.) and left-handed pitcher Aaron Tennyson (Milan, Mich./Milan).

“With (Bryan) Felkel being a senior and four other juniors that could be selected in the draft next year, we felt strongly that our main priority would be to go out and replenish our pitching staff,” Madison said. “We also have two senior catchers in Caleb Brock and Spencer Preston, so we felt like that was another major necessity for us. I’m pleased that we were able to satisfy both needs with this group.”

Bland, the first Canadian signee at UK, is touted by many recruiting services as one of the top amateur hurlers in Canada as well as the United States. Currently a member of the prestigious Team Ontario, Bland will bring an excellent command of a fastball and curveball to the Bluegrass.

Edwards will make his return to the Commonwealth after starting his collegiate career at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill. The Benton, Ky. native is a two-time draft pick of the New York Yankees.

Gibson, a 4.0 student at Webster County High School, led his team to the state final four as a junior as he batted .509, ripped nine homeruns and drove in 56 runs. The Slaughters, Ky. native also finished the 2001 campaign with a 7-2 record on the mound, striking out 70 batters in 50 innings pitched.

Harris, one of the top pitchers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky the past two seasons, was selected to the 2001 East Coast Professional Showcase and led his Paducah Legion team to the American Legion World Series this past summer.

Holliday went 10-2 as a junior while pitching his high school to the Pennsylvania State Championship in 2001. Voted first-team All-Pittsburgh Area and All-Western Pennsylvania, Holliday struck out an impressive 105 batters and only allowed 42 hits in 62 innings pitched.

Pittman posted a 5-1 mark with a 1.31 earned run average in 48 innings of work last season. Selected to play in the Team One Midwest Showcase, he sat down 88 batters, walked 15, hit .446 and slapped nine doubles and six homers for Ballard Memorial High School.

Rose led Archbishop Alter on the hill, going 5-3 with a 2.72 ERA, while striking out 54 and only walking 19 in 27 appearances for the Knights.

Scutchfield is a two-time NABF All-American and a Chicago White Sox All-Area Code selection. The right-handed batting catcher hit .400 with eight doubles and two triples as a junior at Homestead High School. He chose UK over perennial powers Southern California, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Illinois.

Stanley pitched the Colonels of Henderson County to the Kentucky High School state championship in 2000. Upon graduation, the 6-foot-4 hard-throwing right-hander began his collegiate ball at Southern Union State in Wadley, Ala., where he is 4.0 student.

Tennyson is a big, athletic left-hander, and is rated by many recruiting services as one of the top left-handed pitchers in Michigan. The Milan, Mich. native is a serious pro prospect and could be drafted out of high school next season.

“In my 24 years at Kentucky, this stacks up as one of the top three recruiting classes I’ve ever had and certainly one of the top three in terms of recruiting pitchers,” Madison said. “We are pleased that we were able to fulfill our needs and proud that these young men have chosen the University of Kentucky to further their careers.”

The early signing period ended on Nov. 21.

Kentucky Baseball Signees for 2003 Baseball Season

Robert BlandRHPR/R6-2195North Bay, Ontario (Widdifield)Kalen GibsonRHP/OFR/R6-3190Slaughters, Ky. (Webster County)Aaron Edwards C R/R 6-3 205 Benton, Ky. (John A. Logan College)West HarrisLHPL/L6-3180Paducah, Ky. (Lone Oak)Brian HollidayLHPL/L6-2180Moon Township, Pa. (Moon)Tyler PittmanLHP/OFL/L6-1185Wickliffe, Ky. (Ballard Memorial)Jimmy RoseRHPR/R6-3205Centerville, Ohio (Alter)Justin ScutchfieldCR/R5-11180Fort Wayne, Ind. (Homestead)Seth StanleyRHPR/R6-4215Henderson, Ky. (Southern Union JC)Aaron TennysonLHPL/L6-4180Milan, Mich. (Milan)

– UK –

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