Wednesday two Seward County Baseball players continued a long standing tradition of signing at major Division 1 programs as shortstop Kelby Tomlinson and pitcher Hayden Holub signed their national letters of intent to play for Head Coach Dan Spencer and the Texas Tech Red Raiders next season. In a teleconference phone call with coach Spencer, the Red Raider skipper raved about the Seward County program and the type of players that Head Coach Galen McSpadden puts out. “We hope to continue this relationship with Seward County because they always put out quality young men and solid baseball players that are ready to play at this level when we get them” Spencer said. The Red Raiders coach then went on to talk about what he felt like he was getting with the two and said of Holub, “with Hayden we are getting a kid who has a plus breaking ball in his slider and is developing a cutter that can be very tough on both right and left-handed hitters. He is going to have a chance to come in here and pitch late in games for us and give us a look that we haven’t had in the past couple of years.” He then went on to talk about what caught his eye about Tomlinson in his visits to Liberal this fall. “I came up one day and watched batting practice, then in and out, and then 23 innings of a scrimmage and I don’t think I ever saw Kelby drop a ball or make a throw anywhere but right on line. He is exactly what we are looking for in a shortstop being a guy that is defense first and then gives you some other tools like his speed and ability to put the ball in play to help your team win ballgames” he said.
Tomlinson played in 40 games as a freshman for the Saints last season hitting .274 and driving in 15 runs. He finished the season making just 8 errors defensively and showed good plate discipline as one of only two Seward players to finish the season with more walks than strikeouts on the campaign. Holub threw in 13 ballgames for the Saints in 09 recording a 2-0 record in 17 innings of work. He struck out 16 hitters in those 17 innings and allowed just 18 hits. “Both of these guys are extremely hard workers and are going to do whatever it takes to get better” Seward County Head Coach Galen McSpadden said. “Kelby has improved quite a bit at the plate from last season and has a chance to be one of the better defensive shortstops that we have ever had here at Seward County before all is said and done” he continued. “Hayden has turned the corner on his development and should really help us out on the mound this season. His fastball command is a work in progress and improving on a daily basis and his slider continues to be a pro baseball quality pitch right now” McSpadden said about his right-hander.
Both players said that the small-town feel of Lubbock and the praise of the Texas Tech baseball program and school from former Saint and current Texas Tech pitcher Bobby Doran swayed their decision towards the Red Raiders. Holub said when asked what was the biggest thing that pushed him to deciding on Tech, “it just felt like the right place for me to be. Their workout programs, their baseball program, the school, everything just pointed me to being a Red Raider.” He chose Tech over Saint Louis University and the University of Dayton. Tomlinson said “growing up in the Midwest all see on TV and all you hear about is the Big 12. To have a chance to play in one of the best baseball conferences in the country for a team that I have grown up watching is really fulfilling for me.” The Saints shortstop decided on Texas Tech over fellow Big 12 school Kansas State.
Tomlinson and Holub will lead their Saints onto the field less than 3 months from now when they host Northeastern JC at Brent Gould Field on opening weekend February 13-14 for a four game set with the Plainsmen.