LipscombSports.com
Bisons bolster pitching with four right-handers

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The early signing period has been a productive one for the Lipscomb Bisons baseball program.

Four players, Tyler Newhart, a right-handed pitcher from John A. Logan Community College; Connor Sinclair, a right-handed pitcher from Butler Community College; Hunter Brothers, a right-handed pitcher from Shelbyville (Tenn.) Central High School and Chris Orphanos, a right-handed pitcher from Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale High School.

Newhart, a sophomore, is 6-2, 200 pounds. He is from West Branch High School in Alliance, Ohio. He played his freshman season for Wright State, posting a 1-1 record and a 7.29 earned run average. He was both a mid-season all-star and a first team all-league player in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.

“The velocity and experience is there with Tyler,” said Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand. “He is going to come in with a resume ready to earn one of those conference rotation starter spots.

“Hopefully, he will have another good junior college year. He has great velocity with his pitches.”

Sinclair, 6-1, 190, from Goddard High School in Wichita, Kan., was 9-3 last season at Butler with a 6.31 earned run average. He made 15 appearances, including 13 starts. He struck out 50 batters in 61.1 innings.

He will serve as team captain at Butler this season.

“Conner is excited to be a Bison,” said Forehand. “He chose us over three other schools that we thought were all in the running for him.

“He had a great fall in junior college and won several awards from his teammates. On top of being a good pitcher, he is going to be the hardest worker on the team too.”

Hunter, 6-1, 200, is the younger brother of Rex Brothers, the former Lipscomb pitcher who was picked 34th in the first round of the Major League Draft by the Colorado Rockies. Hunter has been a dual-sports star at Central where he was an All-Region performer at linebacker in football.

“We know Hunter comes from a good bloodline of pitchers,” said Forehand. “We are expecting him to come in here and chew up some innings early on the mound. We are glad the Brothers family is back in the mix at Lipscomb.”

Rex has often said that Hunter was developing quicker than he did as a high school player. Forehand doesn’t want to put any additional pressure on Hunter because of Rex’s success.

“Hunter has the same work ethic as Rex,” said Forehand. “He is going to continue to press and press to be the best pitcher he can be. I think Hunter has a great chance to develop into a good pitcher.”

Orphanos, 5-8, 170 pounds, was an All-District selection as a junior. He was 6-2 with a 2.19 ERA as a sophomore and 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA as a junior.

He plays for the Franklin Outlaws in the summer, a team coach by Lipscomb assistant coach Brian Ryman.

“We have watched Chris for two or three years,” said Forehand. “He is not 6-5 and long and lanky. But he is the guy who can come in and consistently get outs.

“He throws a lot of strikes. He has good action on his pitches. We think he can come in and be ready to get on the mound for us soon. He competes against good competition and gets those guys out. We hope he can come in and be another Brandon McClurg for us.”

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Media Relations Director