Pair of arms Knoxville bound

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The first signing period for baseball arrives on Nov. 14 and Tennessee coach Dave Serrano added a pair of names to the mix as future Volunteers — pitchers Rafael Ramirez and Bret Marks.

Ramirez compiled a 9-2 record at El Camino (Calif.) Community College in 2012. In 97 1/2 innings, he piled up 79 strikeouts against 87 hits and 35 walks. He started each of his 14 appearances.

The top outing of the season for Ramirez came against Cerritos in which he twirled a nine-inning, complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and fanning nine. That's the same Cerritos College where Serrano played and enjoyed a decorated career as a junior college All-American.

Marks is coming off a dominant freshman season at Wallace State (Ala.) Community College. He led the Alabama Community College Conference in wins (11), saves (seven), strikeouts (90) and earned run average (1.74). That earned him All-Northern Divison honors. He walked just 19 in 79 innings. The 6-foot-1 right-hander played at the same Blessed Trinity (Ga.) Catholic School as fellow verbal commit Nathan Maggio.

Wallace State is the school that produced Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who is a 2012 National League Cy Young candidate after striking out 116 and saving 42 games in 62 2/3 frames.

Other players verbal committed to Tennessee include Maggio, Andrew Plunkett (Memphis University School), Jordan Rodgers (MUS), Kyle Serrano (Farragut), Cameron Strickland (Farragut) and Lane Thomas (Bearden).

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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