OMAHA, Neb. – Head coach Evan Porter announced Monday that Brett Bonar, Matt Bondarchuk, Caden Cornett, Breyden Eckhout and Richie Holetz have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Omaha baseball program in 2019.
“Not only are all five signees very talented, they’re also high-character guys and great students, which is what our program prides itself on,” Porter said. “They all come from winning programs, and they will provide a big step in the right direction for our program.”
C, 6-1, 210, L/R, Rose Hill, Kan. (Rose Hill/Barton CC)
Bonar comes to Omaha after two years at Barton County Community College. Through the regular season of his sophomore campaign, he is hitting .407 with 20 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 47 runs scored and 58 RBI.
Bonar was previously a four-year letterwinner for Coach Scott Carr at Rose Hill High School, where he was part of three straight league championship teams. Bonar was a two-time all-state selection, earning second-team honors in his junior and senior seasons, as well as a two-time all-league pick. In both seasons, the Rockets finished third at the state tournament.
Bonar also lettered two years in football and three years in basketball.
“Brett is one of the better offensive junior college catchers in the country right now,” Porter said. “He also has a great defensive ability. The way he handles his staff at Barton is extraordinary. He’s a plus defender with some serious power at the plate. Brett will be a great addition for our program.”
OF, 5-11, 185, L/R, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (St. Francis Xavier/Cloud County CC)
Bondarchuk will join the Mavericks from Cloud County Community College. As a freshman, he hit .384 and set a single-season record with 84 hits, scored a team-leading 51 runs and drove in 33 more alongside 24 stolen bases. In his sophomore year, Bondarchuk hit .351 with nine doubles, three triples, a home run, a team-high 60 runs scored, 27 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
Bondarchuk played for Coach Sheen Bromley at St. Francis Xavier High School, as well as Coach Taylor Burns of the Seeba Cardinals program. He hit .418, helping his club team to a record of 49-12 and a provincial championship.
“Matt is a speedy outfielder out of Canada,” Porter said. “He’s a plus baserunner that will provide a spark in our offense and will score a lot of runs. We found him through our connection with the Swift Current summer program, and we look forward to seeing him in the lineup.”
LHP, 6-4, 210, L/L, Anacortes, Wash. (Anacortes)
Cornett has been a four-year letterwinner for Coach Pat Swapp at Anacortes High School, where he earned first-team all-state, first-team all-county and first-team All-NWCA honors as a junior. His county’s baseball athlete of the year, Cornett helped his team to a record of 15-7 and a third-place finish at the state tournament in the 2A division. As a freshman, he was part of the Seahawks’ district championship squad.
Cornett also has played for Coach Guy Keller of the Seattle Stars 18U Premier program.
“Caden is a left-handed pitcher from Kitsap, Wash.,” Porter said. “He was a player of the year in his county, which is a really tough conference. He throws three pitches for strikes and is very mature on the mound for his age. He is very athletic and will contribute right away.”
INF/RHP, 5-11, 190, R/R, Amherst, Neb. (Amherst/Iowa Western CC)
Eckhout joins the Mavericks after spending the last two years at Iowa Western Community College. Through the regular season of his sophomore year, Eckhout is 2-0 with a save over 10 mound appearances and boasts a 0.79 ERA. He has batted .370 with 25 runs scored and 15 RBI.
Eckhout lettered four years in football, basketball and track & field at Amherst High School. He played American Legion ball for Brad Archer of the Kearney Runza program.
“Breyden is a two-way player and was one of the most athletic players coming out of his high school,” Porter said. “He has really honed his skills at Iowa Western. He’s coming from a perennial powerhouse program and will contribute in both ways here at Omaha.”
RHP, 6-5, 205, R/R, Edina, Minn. (Edina)
Holetz has been a two-year letterwinner for Coach Carter Freeman at Edina High School. As a junior, he threw 36.2 innings with a 1.53 ERA over 16 appearances, earning All-Lake Conference and All-Section 2AAAA honors. In American Legion ball, Holetz went 4-0 on the mound with a 0.48 ERA over 29 innings, holding opponents to a .128 average. In his sophomore season, his American Legion squad qualified for the state tournament.
Holetz also has played for the Minnesota Starters for Coach Andy Judkins and the Cangelosi Sparks for Coach Tyler Thompson. Holetz was named to the 2017 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship All-Tournament Team and was a 2018 Rawlings All-America Honorable Mention.
“Richie is a 6-5 right-handed pitcher who throws three pitches for strikes,” Porter said. “He has a great downward plane. He’s exactly what we’re looking for on the mound to command three pitches in the lower half of the strike zone and work with a good tempo. We’re looking forward to having Richie in the program and seeing him contribute right away.”