MOBILE, Ala—The University of Mobile baseball program has announced the signing of four players for the 2012 season and beyond.
The class includes three JUCO products and one prep product. Keith Shirah and Jared Brannon come to Mobile after playing most recently at Faulkner State, Shane Ikner comes from Jefferson Davis CC and Braxton Hamil will begin his college career with the Rams after prepping at Davidson HS.
Shira, a catcher/DH who prepped at Satsuma ended the year at Faulkner State hitting in the three-hole and should fill a need for the Rams. He led Faulkner State with a .390 average this season and posted a .440 on base percentage.
“Keith does a really good job,” Rams’ Head Coach Mike Jacobs said. “He’ll replace Sam Mahoney.”
Brannon, a center field/second base prospect who prepped at Satsuma, brings speed and versatility to Mobile. He swiped 31 bases in 2011, while hitting .333 with 46 runs scored and a .417 on base percentage.
“He reminds me of Jeffrey White, who played here 2001-03,” Jacobs said. “Everything about him is like Jeff, who was a great player here. He can hit leadoff or second and he brings a lot of versatility.”
White is sixth on the career hits list at Mobile and 11th all-time in runs scored.
Ikner, a right-handed pitcher, played two years ago at Jefferson Davis and spent the last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2010, Ikner struck out 58 batters in 59 innings of work and went the distance four out of eight starts.
“Shane is a pretty hard thrower,” Jacobs said. “He seems to have command of three pitches and we envision him being able to close or start for us.”
Rounding out the group is Hamil, a left-handed hitting first baseman.
“He really swings the bat well,” Jacobs said. “I talked to another high school coach, who said that he could be the best hitter in the city.”