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Four Buster Baseball Players Ink

Four Buster Baseball Players Ink

The 2014 NCAA early signing period for baseball officially opened last Wednesday November 12. The Garden City Community College baseball program had four players sign with NCAA programs. The four early signees mark the largest early signing class in Chris Finnegan's ten year tenure. "We are extremely excited for these four individuals to be signing with 4-year programs. They are all excellent examples of student athletes that have worked hard in the classroom and within our program to achieve their goals for continuing their baseball careers," Finnegan said.

 Dalton Shalberg signed a National Letter of Intent with New Mexico State University. The 6-5 right hander chose New Mexico State over several other Division 1 and Division 2 offers. "I feel like I can make an impact on the program and improve as a player and person at New Mexico State. With the connection to the new coaching staff and the energy in the program, I felt like it was a great fit," Shalberg said.
Shalberg is a native of Lakin, Kansas and competed for Lakin High School in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. As a freshman, Shalberg worked into the Busters rotation down the stretch and notched big wins over Dodge City and Seward County. He logged 54.1 innings as a Freshman and ranked 3rd on the team in strikeouts while notching a 4-4 record. Shalberg emerged in the summer of 2014 while pitching for the Junction City Brigade. He was named a Mid-Plains Collegiate League All-Star, and was also named the Mid-Plains League Pitcher of the Year.   
Tyler Tucker signed a National Letter of Intent with Dayton University. Tucker was the first of the Broncbuster players to make his choice. After a strong showing at the annual Jayhawk Conference Showcase, Dayton emerged as the top option for Tucker. "Dayton was a place where I knew I would fit in athletically as well as academically. It is a place where you get the big school feeling, but at the same time felt like a place where I could go be a major contributor," Tucker said. Former Buster, Cale Dineen is also a member of the Dayton Baseball program.

Tucker made the Busters offense go in 2014. The first team all-conference outfielder hit .338 and scored 60 runs. He led the Busters in stolen bases with 32. Tucker ranked second in all of NJCAA division 1 with 14 triples. He also hit five home runs and six doubles. For his efforts he was named the Garden City Community College Baseball Team MVP in 2014.

Tony Yacovetta signed a National Letter of Intent with New Mexico State University. He will join teammate Dalton Shalberg in Las Cruces, NM. Yacovetta also made the decision to attend New Mexico State over several other D1 opportunities. "I chose New Mexico State because I immediately felt comfortable with the coaching staff and I am confident that they know how to build a championship baseball program and develop their players. It is a great situation to walk into so I can continue to grow and learn," Yacovetta said.

Yacovetta entered Garden City in the fall of 2012. He would redshirt the 2013 season due to injury and return in 2014 to be a major piece of the Busters Bullpen. Yacovetta logged 23.1 innings in 2014 with a 2.70 ERA. He struck out 20 and walked just seven.

JJ Benes signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Central Missouri. The right hander from Omaha, NE was highly sought after following a freshman season in which he went 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA. Central Missouri is the winningest NCAA baseball program since 2000 and has captured 24 MIAA championships and two National Championships. "Central Missouri has an excellent winning tradition, and the coaching staff there now will continue to add to it. I knew almost instantly it was where I wanted to be," Benes said.

Benes paced the Busters on the mound last season. As the #1 starter Benes managed to notch the lowest ERA on the team at 2.69. He also struck out 74 batters while walking just 29. His best performance came in a 1-0 victory over Coffeyville in the opening round of the Region 6 tournament. Benes threw a complete game shutout to lead the Busters into round two.