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Pitcher, catcher commit to Bemidji State baseball team

The Bemidji State University baseball team announced Tuesday the signing of Zach Braun and Aaron Young to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

Braun and Young are the first two players Tim Bellew has inked during the early period in his five years as the BSU manager. Braun and Young will begin their careers at BSU in 2010-11.

All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

"Our 2010 recruiting class is off to a great start with adding two quality student athletes like Zach and Aaron," said assistant coach P.J. McIntee. "Both have been on our recruiting radar for awhile now and we are extremely excited they will be joining our program."

Braun was an all-conference player his junior season as a catcher/first baseman at Lakeville North High School, guiding the Panthers to a Lake Conference championship. He hit .427 last season to lead the team in hits (32), doubles (12) and triples (2). Braun led the team in all hitting categories, except slugging percentage and home runs (2). He is also a member of the Lakeville North football squad that was section champions in 2007 and 2009.

"Zach's offensive numbers speak for themselves," McIntee said. "He is a big strong kid who will add some pop to our lineup. He has a very smooth and simple swing that will help him in the transition from high school to college. He is a player that we saw from day one as someone who could hit in the middle of our lineup."

Young is a two-time all-conference player for the Urbandale, Iowa J-Hawks as a pitcher/outfielder.

He threw four complete games, two shutouts and had 47 strikeouts in 51 innings, posting a 3.44 earned run average and a .276 batting average his junior season. In his sophomore campaign, Young pitched 61 innings, fanning 46 batters for a 2.18 ERA.

He has been on the varsity squad since sophomore year. Other than with the high school team, Young has played for Team Iowa in Kofu, Japan (August 2009), was selected to play for the Iowa Select wood bat traveling team, played in Ft. Myers, Fla. in the World Wood Bat Association Underclass Tournament (October 2008) and was named Iowa AAU Baseball Athlete of the Year (2005).

"Aaron is a great addition to our program," McIntee said. "He is a polished left-hander with tremendous upside. Aaron has good command of three pitches and will get a chance to pitch for us very early in his collegiate career. Aaron's competitiveness and desire to win really stood out throughout the recruiting process and we are excited to have him become a Beaver."