Baseball adds two signees

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- University of Alabama head baseball coach Jim Wells announced that infielder Nathan Meiners and right-hand pitcher Seth Johnson has signed with the Crimson Tide and will join the baseball program this fall.

Meiners (1B, 6-0, 200) played the last two seasons at Delgado Community College in New Orleans for legendary skipper Joe Schuermann. In two seasons at Delgado, Meiners started 89 games and batted .383 (106-for-277) with five home runs and 62 RBI. In addition, he added 71 runs scored, 24 doubles, three triples, 51 walks, 11 sacrifice flies and eight stolen bases.

As a sophomore, Meiners was the second-leading hitter with a .394 average (67-for-170) with four home runs and 41 RBI. He fell one hit shy of the .400 mark in his final season at Delgado.

A 54-game starter, Meiners added 46 runs scored, 14 doubles, one triple, 32 walks, eight sacrifice flies and four stolen bases. He was a third-team selection to NJCAA Division I All-America squad. In addition, Meiners led the Dolphins (43-11) to the 2002 Miss-Lou Conference championship and the No. 1 seed in the Region XXIII tournament played at Meridian, Miss. He was also a first-team Miss.-Lou All-Conference selection.

As a freshman, Meiners started 35 games and led the team with a .364 (39-for-107) average with one home run and 21 RBI. He also added 25 runs, 10 doubles, two triples, 19 walks, three sac flies and three stolen bases as Delgado posted a 27-11 overall record. Meiners was also named to the Miss.-Lou All-Conference team as a freshman.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Meiners prepped at University High School, where he was a two-time all-state selection for coach Burke Broussard, a former LSU second baseman. At University High, Meiners was a four-time batting champion and a earned all district honors four years in a row (1996-99). He also played football and soccer and was a member of the student council and choral department.

Following his senior season, Meiners was a member of the Bill Hood All-Stars that won the 1999 NABF national championship. He was a first-team All-America selection at the national tournament. Meiners signed with LSU out of high school, but transferred to Delgado following a redshirt season in 2000.

His parents, Vaughn and Valerie Meiners, are both LSU graduates, and his father was a two-year baseball letterman for the Tigers under coach Jim Smith. He was an first-team All-SEC outfielder on the Tigers 1975 SEC Championship team.

Johnson (RHP, 6-1, 205) was a two-year starter at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah under coach Mike Littlewood. In two years at Dixie State College, Johnson appeared in 32 games, making 18 starts, and compiled a 18-3 (.857) record and 2.16 ERA.

A member of two Scenic West Athletic Conference championship teams, Johnson also added eight complete games, four shutouts and five saves. Johnson logged 125 career innings and allowed 96 hits, 45 runs, 30 earned runs, 36 walks and 138 strikeouts.

His junior college career was spread out over four years (1999-2002) as he served a two-year Morman mission (2000-01) in The Netherlands between his freshman and sophomore years. Johnson speaks fluent English and Dutch.

As a sophomore (2002), Johnson was the ace of the staff, compiling an 11-3 (.786) record and 1.49 ERA for the Scenic West Athletic Conference champions. Johnson worked 84.2 innings and allowed 63 hits, 25 runs, 14 earned runs, 20 walks and 94 strikeouts. In addition, he added six complete games, four shutouts and one save.

Johnson was first in the SWAC in shutouts (4) and ranked second in wins (11), fourth in strikeouts (94), fourth in ERA (1.49) and fifth in innings pitched (84.2) en route to being named a first team All-Region XVIII and first team All-SWAC selection.

Dixie State College wrapped the 2002 season with 46-10 overall record (33-7 in SWAC play) and was ranked No. 1 in the final Division I NJCAA regular season poll. Johnson also anchored the best pitching staff in the conference, as Dixie State posted a 1.78 staff ERA and added 388 strikeouts in 404.2 innings.

As a freshman (1999), the right-hander posted a 7-0 record and 3.57 ERA for Dixie State College. In 16 appearances (4 starts), Johnson worked 40.1 innings and allowed 33 hits, 20 runs, 16 earned runs, 16 walks and 54 strikeouts. He added two complete games and four saves.

A second team All-Region XVIII and All-SWAC selection, Johnson led his club to a 50-7 (.877) overall record and a 33-2 (.943) SWAC mark. He was first in the SWAC with in winning percentage (1.000) and third in ERA (3.57). The top three ERA marks in the SWAC during the 1999 season were held by Dixie State College hurlers.

A native of Sandy City, Utah, Johnson was a three-year letterman at Alta High School for coach Mike McNarry. In his three-year career, he fashioned a 64-7 (.901) record on the mound in high school and American Legion play. Including his JuCo mark, Johnson has compiled an 82-10 (.841) record on the mound in 92 career decisions. He was a member of two American Legion state championship teams (1996-97) and pitched in the American Legion World Series as a 15-year old in 1996.

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