Illinois Baseball Signs Three to Letters of Intent
Nov. 13, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing of three student-athletes to letters of intent for the signing class of 2014 on Wednesday, the first day of the National Letter of Intent early signing period. At this point, the class is composed of middle infielder Zach Barnhart (Springfield, Ill./Springfield HS), IF/RHP Quinten Sefcik (Wauconda, Ill./Carmel Catholic HS), and C/OF Mark Skonieczny (Algonquin, Ill./Huntley HS).
"We are very pleased with the three members of our 2014 signing class," Hartleb said. "(Associate head) coach (Eric) Snider and (assistant) coach (Drew) Dickinson identified a group of athletic players and built relationships to fill out this class. We were able to bring in quality students and individuals, as well as outstanding baseball players to fill spots for the future. All three players are excited to represent their state and to have an opportunity to play at a championship level while at the University of Illinois. This group will be a great addition to our Illini baseball family and will be assets for our program once they step on campus."
Zach Barnhart, MIF
Notes: Ranked the No. 39 player in the Class of 2014 in the state of Illinois by Prep Baseball Report ... Hit .333 with 38 stolen bases as a sophomore and hit .409 with 41 stolen bases as a junior for Springfield High School ... Led the Central State 8 (CS8) in stolen bases as a sophomore and a junior ... Broke the Springfield High School career stolen base record as a junior with 89 total ... Selected to the CS8 All-Conference Team as a sophomore and junior ... Selected to the 2013 Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association 3A All-Star Team ... Played on the Springfield Statesmen team that finished runner-up in the Pastime 17U World Series ... Nephew of Brian Barnhart, the "Voice of the Illini" on the Fighting Illini Sports Network.
Associate head coach Eric Snider on Barnhart: "Zach is an athletic infielder with advanced defensive actions. He has quick hands and quick feet. His top asset is his speed and awareness on the base paths. He is a contact hitter who rarely strikes out and then can steal bases. He has a good baseball IQ and is a competitor. We are excited for Zach to join the Illini."
6-1 / 190 / L/R / Fr. / Wauconda, Ill. / Carmel Catholic HS
Notes: Ranked the No. 53 player in the Class of 2014 in the state of Illinois by Prep Baseball Report ... Named an honorable mention All-American by Perfect Game from 2010-13 ... Played for Chicago Scouts Association, which finished eighth overall in WWBA Jupiter Tournament ... Named preseason All-Area by the Chicago Sun Times ... Picked as an All-Area pitcher by the Daily Herald ... Earned a baseball varsity letter every year ... Father, Jeff, played baseball at Coastal Carolina ... Coached by Dann Giesey at Carmel Catholic HS.
Coach Snider on Sefcik: "Quinten has an athletic, strong and physical presence. He has all the tools to be a solid player for us as a left-handed hitting infielder. He has a plus arm and has hit 89 mph on the radar gun. He comes from a baseball family and has tremendous upside. With development and time, he will be an impact player and has a bright future at Illinois."
5-11 / 190 / R/R / Fr. / Algonquin, Ill. / Huntley HS
Notes: 2013 Baseball Player of the Year by the Daily Herald and Elgin Courier ... All-Area and All-Conference selection as a catcher in 2013 by the Northwest Herald, Daily Herald and Elgin Courier ... Also an All-Area selection by the Illinois High School Coaches Association in 2013 ... Selected as athlete of the week in the Northwest Herald after hitting three home runs in one game with eight RBI ... Batted .445 as a junior with eight home runs and 37 RBI ... Hit .350 as a sophomore with four home runs and 30 RBI ... Led team to summer state tournament, hitting .666 with three triples, four doubles and a home run ... Currently holds the Illinois State Powerlifting records in the 182 weight class in the bench press, squat, dead lift, and total weight lifted in three lifts (1,026 pounds) ... Played for the Reds Scout Team, which finished third in the WWBA Jupiter Tournament.
Coach Snider on Skonieczny: "Mark has a versatile skill set with the arm strength to hit 90 mph on the radar gun. He has a strong lower half and broad shoulders with a fast-twitch build. He is very athletic for a catcher and can also play outfield. He has quick feet and the ability to steal bases along with a solid gap-to-gap approach and a flat bat path. He is very projectable with great work habits and toughness. He will be a great fit for Illinois baseball."