FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent during the recent early signing period: catcher-infielder Jared Barkdoll of Greencastle, Pa., right-handed pitcher Mike Hlavacek of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and shortstop David Metts of St. George.
All three will attend FMU next fall and play for the Patriots in 2006. Barkdoll and Metts will be freshmen, while Hlavacek is transferring from Elgin (Ill.) Community College and will have two years of eligibility remaining. He comes from the same college as current FMU catcher Nick Richardson.
Barkdoll, 6-2 and 185 pounds, is a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School, where he plays under the direction of coach Chris Sellers. He becomes a second-generation Patriot as his dad Tod played one season for Francis Marion, batting .327 in 34 games during the 1980 season.
As a junior, he batted .357 with 21 runs scored, nine stolen bases, two home runs, and 14 runs batted in, while helping lead the Blue Devils to the Mid-Penn Conference Colonial Division title and a District 3-AA playoff berth. As a catcher, he is a two-time MPC All-Star and two-time first-team All-County selection. He was named to play on the Pennsylvania squad at this past fall’s Blue Gray Classic in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Barkdoll also earned All-Star recognition in 2003 and 2004 as a member of the Franklin County American Legion squad, and he played in the 2004 East-West All-Star Classic.
He twice earned first-team MPC All-Star status on the soccer field, where he tallied 65 career goals.
Hlavacek, 5-11 and 175 pounds, is a product of Conant High School, where he was a three-year letterman in both baseball and basketball.
This past year at Elgin, he compiled a 5-4 record with three saves and a 3.56 earned run average. He fanned 28 batters while walking only nine in 65.2 innings.
Metts, 5-11 and 170, is a senior at Dorchester Academy, where he plays for head coach Danny Jackson.
A switch-hitter, he batted .459 with 31 runs scored, nine doubles, three home runs, and 12 RBIs as a junior. On the mound, he recorded a 2-0 record with eight saves and a 3.23 ERA. He struck out 30 batters in only 23 innings and issued only six bases-on-balls.
For his accomplishments, he earned SCISAA All-State, Times & Democrat All-Region, and All-Conference honors. He was also a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee in 2004.
He was a starter on Dorchester Academy’s 2003 state championship squad, as well as on the Raiders’ 2001 state runner-up team. He also lettered in football and basketball.
At FMU, Metts will be reunited with former Dorchester Academy teammate Brandon McClure, currently a sophomore outfielder on the Patriots’ roster.
“These three signees will be key to our success in 2006,” said Inabinet. “Barkdoll is a very versatile player. He has a tremendous arm from behind the plate, and also runs well. He swings a good bat and could make an immediate impact. Hlavacek will add instant maturity to what will still be a young pitching staff. He throws in the mid to upper 80’s with a good change-up, and should be able to step into our starting rotation. Metts is a middle infielder who’s strength is his athleticism. He also has an above average arm.”
Francis Marion will open its 2005 season Feb. 3 with a road game at Coker College. The Patriots finished the 2004 campaign with a 29-17 record and a fifth-place finish in the Peach Belt Conference standings.