MARTIN, Tenn. – After losing 10 seniors off last year’s University of Tennessee at Martin baseball squad, head coach Bubba Cates has scoured the junior college ranks for his three latest signees – as Isaac Carrel, Jackson Zarubin and Taylor Douglas will play baseball for the Skyhawks beginning in the spring of 2014. All three players will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Carrel is a 6-3, 215-pound first baseman/outfielder out of Sheridan, Wyo. Carrel has spent the last two seasons playing under head coach Jon Olsen at McCook Community College in McCook, Neb. Carrel appeared in 93 games over two seasons, tallying 34 RBI’s while drawing 33 walks for the Indians. He capped off his MCC career by earning the school’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Before junior college, Carrel was a fist team all-state and first team all-conference player at Sheridan High School. He hit .418 with 11 homers and 78 RBI’s in his high school career.
“Isaac is a powerful, strong guy and is a right-handed hitter,” Cates said. “We have three left-handed hitters at first base for next year so he becomes a right-handed hitter in that mix. He also gives us some outfield depth since we lost so many guys out there. He runs well for a guy his size and I feel like is going to help us in a couple different ways.”
A 6-2, 190-pound right-handed pitcher out of Pleasanton, Calif., Zarubin joins the Skyhawks out of Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif. Playing for head coach Julian Russell, Zarubin was an innings-eater for the Renegades, logging 66.1 innings in 18 appearances over his two seasons. Last season, he made a team-high 10 starts and posted a 3-5 record with a 5.60 ERA. During his freshman season, he went 0-1 with a strong 2.31 ERA in six appearances (two starts) as Ohlone posted a 28-12 record on its way to a CCCAA Regional Championship.
Zarubin attended Foothill High School, where he was a Perfect Game USA honorable mention selection. His family has a strong athletic background, as his father David ran track at Fresno State while his mother Sandra ran track at Wheaton College.
“We’re excited about Jackson,” Cates said. “He’s pitched in a lot of innings in a very good league in California and anybody that has pitched in a competitive league like that is doing enough good things there that you feel he is going to help us out a lot.”
Douglas comes to UT Martin from nearby Jackson State Community College, where he played alongside fellow Skyhawk signee Alex Martin. A 5-10, 175-pound outfielder and right-handed pitcher out of Holladay, Tenn., Douglas took part in 89 games in the outfield in the past two seasons, tallying 42 RBI’s and 36 runs scored while helping the Generals to a 63-38 record. This past season under head coach Tyson Malik, he notched a team-high three saves to go along with a 1-1 record and 6.00 ERA in 11 appearances.
Before JSCC, Douglas was a standout player at Camden Central High School under head coach Rick Sturdivant. Douglas helped lead the Lions to a 20-9 overall record in 2011, capturing the 11AA district title and a runner-up finish in Region 6AA. The District 11AA MVP his senior season, he hit .494 with eight homers, 39 runs scored and 27 RBI’s for CCHS.
“Taylor is a hard-thrower and has good command of his breaking ball,” Cates said. “He throws strikes coming out of the bullpen right away and those are the things you want. He was a summer teammate of a couple of our players and he’s a local kid so it’s a good fit for us. We’re excited about him being here and he wanted to be here too – that’s always important.”
This trio joins Martin (RHP/Jackson State CC), Tyler Anderson (UTIL/Sikeston [Mo.] Senior HS), Max Balter (INF, Western [Fla.] HS) and Chase Young (OF, Dexter [Mo.] HS) in the Skyhawk signing class.