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COLLEGE BASEBALL: Lovell signs with Vikings

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Augustana baseball coach Tim Huber announced the signing of three players for the 2014 season.

They include Ryan Hamilton, of Spearfish, S.D., Keller Knoll, of Excelsior, and Collin Lovell, of Windom., have all signed letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at Augustana.

Hamilton, a 6-foot, 180-pound pitcher is a senior at Spearfish High School, where he posted an 11-4 pitching record with 64 strikeouts as a junior. Last season, Hamilton tossed six complete games with an ERA of 2.23 while batting .376 with 57 RBI. As a sophomore, Hamilton batted .380 racking up 73 hits, including 20 doubles while driving in 58 runs.

Knoll, a 6-foot, 185-pound catcher, is in his senior year at Holy Family Catholic High School and plays for the defending MSHSL Class AA state championship team. As a junior, Knoll earned all-conference honors and was named to the all-state tournament team after batting .313 with two home runs and 23 RBI. During his sophomore campaign, Knoll batted .341 with two home runs and eight doubles while driving in 24 runs and was a member of a conference championship team that went 18-4 that season.

Lovell, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound pitcher, is in his senior year at Windom Area High School. During his junior season, Lovell struck out 60 batters in 50-plus innings of work, compiling an ERA of 4.45. Lovell was on the record for three wins, six losses and a save and was the member of the Section 3A runner-up team in 2012.

"Both Ryan and Collin have a lot of potential on the mound," Huber said. "While Ryan throws harder now, we think each of them will greatly benefit from our offseason program we do with our players. I expect both guys to see significant increases in velocity once they get to campus, fill out and mature.

"Ryan will also get a chance to show us his skills with a bat as he has had some success as a hitter. Keller was our main target at the catcher spot in this recruiting class. He has all the tools we would like in a catcher with his receiving ability, skills to call and control a game, and arm strength. He also provides a nice bonus as we think he will be a good offensive catcher as well."

Augustana compiled its third-straight 30-win season in 2012, finishing 32-21. The Vikings tied for fourth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with a record of 22-12.