Omaha, Neb. — Building upon the Top-40 recruiting class in 2021, Creighton Baseball head coach Ed Servais and his staff announced a group of ten additions for the 2022 season. The Bluejays will bring in six position players and four pitchers. Almost entirely from the Midwest, the group features three Nebraskans, two from Illinois and Kansas, and one player from Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
“Over the last few years we’ve placed an emphasis on recruiting athleticism, while still balancing the important academic standards of our university,” said Servais. “This class has met that aggressive goal, which will allow our program to compete for BIG EAST championships. This class is a testament to the high-level of commitment put in by our staff day in and day out.”
The first addition for 2022 is an infielder/outfielder from Homewood, Illinois, Gallien Coupet is the fourth ranked shortstop in the state by Prep Baseball Report (PBR). At 5-9, the right-handed hitter posted a .333 average for the Midwest Canes travel team. Mentored throughout his career by eight-year MLB veteran, Lou Collier. Considered wiry and athletic, Coupet also has above average speed on the base paths. Coupet was a participant in PBR’s 2019 Futures Game.
Coming to Omaha from Overland Park, Kansas, Tate Gillen is considered one of the top-20 players in the state by PBR. An All-Eastern Kansas League selection for Blue Valley HS in 2019, Gillen also played for Building Champions Baseball Academy. Gillen’s performance in 2019 earned him an invite to PBR’s Missouri Underclassman Games that summer. The outfielder stands 6-1 and is a dual sport athlete, playing football from Blue Valley HS
Cole Hebel is Creighton’s lone recruit outside the Midwest, coming to Omaha from Frisco, Texas. Rated as the No. 29 LHP in Texas by PBR, Hebel plays for Reedy HS and club ball for Canes Southwest-Clementz. Over the summer of 2020, Hebel tossed 23.1 innings, recording 25 strikeouts and just seven walks. Standing 6-1, Hebel collected three spots on Perfect Game All-Tournament Teams during the summer of 2019 (twice) and once in 2020.
A strong armed catcher from Elkhorn South HS, Hogan Helligso will be denying base runners in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The 5-11 backstop threw out 59% of potential thefts, stopping 10-of-17 over 55.1 innings last summer with the Nebraska Prospects 2021 club team. The top rated catcher in Nebraska by PBR, Helligson also shined at the plate with a .393 average, a .983 OPS as well as a .571 slugging percentage.
Easton Johnson comes to Omaha from Gilbert, Iowa. The brother of former Bluejay, Evan Johnson, Easton is a lanky 6-4 RHP with a combined mark of 13-2 over his last two seasons for Gilbert HS. Over three seasons Johnson has tossed 146.2 innings, with 148 Ks and just 35 walks. Ranked as the No. 7 overall player in Iowa by PBR, Johnson is rated as the No. 3 RHP. Johnson enters his senior season with a fastball that touches the low 90s and a four-pitch arsenal. Johnson played club ball for the Iowa Sticks.
The sixth addition, Ben North, comes from Woodbury, Minnesota. A 6-0 infielder, North led East Ridge HS to the Minnesota’s Class 4A title in 2019 and smashed eight home runs for the Great Lakes Lumberjacks this summer. A starter for East Ridge HS since he was a freshman, North is a three-sport athlete (Baseball, Basketball and Footbal) and is considered one of the top athletes in Minnesota. The 6-2 recruit is a running back, point guard and middle infielder.
Jack Rodi is the second recruit from Illinois (Hinsdale, Ill.) to find his way to Omaha. The 6-3 hurler plays high school ball for Benet Academy and pitch at the club level with Longshots Baseball. During the 2019 HS season, Rodi tossed 37 innings with a 3.50 ERA (HS, spring 2019) and16 innings with a 0.40 ERA (Perfect Game (PG) events). He is rated as the No. 13 RHP in Illinois by PG and the No. 45 prospect in the state (PG).
Two of the final three signees mentioned are local products, beginning with Nolan Sailors of Ralston. A 6-0 infielder, Sailors was a 2020 Rawlings Perfect Game Pre Season All American and (Honorable Mention) pick, a First Team ITG All-Area selection in 2019 and on the 2019 Perfect Game All Tournament Team – WWBA Kernels Championship. He hit over .400 in Legion ball for Ralston in 2018 & 2020, posting a .463 mark for Ralston HS in 2019. Sailors plays club ball for Nebraska Prospects and is rated as a top-10 player in Nebraska by PBR.
Malakai Vetock is the third Nebraska native in this decapod of Bluejay newcomers. Hailing from Elkhorn, Vetock plays for Elkhorn HS as well as Nebraska Prospects baseball. The 6-2 right-handed pitcher offers a high pitch-ability projecting a three pitch mix for the college level. Over the summer he recorded 65 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. Vetock is the fourth rated pitcher in the state by PBR and a top-10 overall player.
The lone member of the signing class not to come directly from high school is Kansas native, Ivan Witt. Choosing to skip his senior year at Fort Scott HS, Witt went to Neosho County Community College this fall. A 6-0 catcher from Fort Scott, Kansas, Witt played club ball for Building Champions. During the fall of 2020, Witt hit .369 with 27 RBI and 13 extra-base knocks (eight 2B, one 3b and four HR).