Oilers sign backstop from pitching-rich Rice
The Oilers have signed catcher Matt Cunningham of Rice University. The freshman from Northridge, Calif., is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. Last year, Cunningham was named Cal ProSports-All State and to both the All-Valley and All-CIF first teams. Cunningham is majoring in sports management.
He will be joining a Rice team that is considered by many as having one of the top college pitching staffs ever. The staff includes former Oilers Jeff Nichols (senior, 1997/1999 Oilers), Kenny Baugh (senior, 1998 Oilers), Jon Skaggs (senior, 1999 Oilers) and Philip Tribe (junior, 2000 Oilers).
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association recently named Baugh to the 2001 preseason all-America team. Nichols will be returning to the Owls after missing most of the 2000 season due to arm surgery and will be aiming at becoming the all-time record holder for games won by a college pitcher. Baugh, Nichols and Skaggs are all potential first-round draft picks in the upcoming 2001 draft. Skaggs was a fourth-round pick by the Baltimore Orioles and Baugh a fifth-rounder by the Oakland A's in the 2000 draft.
For more information on Oilers baseball, stop by the office on the corner of Cook and Main streets in Kenai or call 283-7133.
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