November 29 - Lyle Miller-Green and Tyler Rulapaugh are among the five players inked by George Mason during the NCAA’s early signing period this month, and the Patriots could still add a player or two to their 2019 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Miller-Green, the headliner in the class, is coming off a monster junior season at Lake Braddock and will have the opportunity to both play first base and pitch once he arrives on campus next fall. He hit .416 with five home runs and 29 RBI and recorded a 1.68 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 25 innings en route to second-team Class 6 all-state honors last spring. Fully healthy after an injury limited his innings in the spring, the 2017 Patriot District Pitcher of the Year had his fastball reach 89 MPH while on the showcase circuit with his Marucci Stars travel team.
“I found a school that thinks really highly of me and values me as a hitter and not just as a pitcher,” Miller-Green said when he committed to the Patriots in July. “I really like the coaching staff, and they’re a winning ballclub right now.”
Rulapaugh is part of a talented pitching staff at West Potomac, and is eyeing a big senior campaign after an injury slowed the 6-foot, 165-pound right-hander last spring. The two local players are joined in the recruiting class by Miller School’s Matt Sykes, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander who has a fastball that has reached 87 MPH, and two Virginia Beach-area infielders in Kellam’s Corey Leadenham and Cox’s South Trimble.
“George Mason is a great fit for me because of how the coaches care about you and developing you as a player,’ Sykes told Charlottesville’s Daily Progress after making his commitment in August. “I like the baseball program because of the winning culture it has established over the past couple of years.”
Sykes, who plays for former Major League pitcher Billy Wagner, commands a slider and splitter and comes with tremendous upside and potential. He was used primarily in relief last season - compiling a 3.50 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 21.2 inning as Miller School repeated as VISAA Division II state champions - but is expected to take on a larger role as a senior this spring. At George Mason, he’ll become teammates once again with 6-foot-6 right-hander Stuart Barrett, who tossed a two-hit shutout in the state final last spring against Steward.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Leadenham, who also pitches, will graduate as a four-year letterman and has earned all-league honors in each of the past two seasons. Trimble, an athletic 5-foot-11, 170-pound middle infielder who has run a 6.90 in the 60-yard dash, was teammates with current Patriots pitcher Austin Cabone when Cox reached the Class 6 state final in 2017.
George Mason is coming off a 29-27 season in which it advanced to the Atlantic-10 Conference championship game, and is seeking its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014. The Fairfax school has made seven NCAA appearances in coach Bill Brown’s 37 seasons at the helm.
The Patriots have 32 players currently listed on their roster, nearly half of whom are newcomers. They have nine incoming freshmen and four transfers, a group that includes catcher Devon Adams, a Paul VI Catholic grad who joins the team after two years at Old Dominion, and right-hander James Beasley, a Battlefield grad who transferred from Frederick (MD) Community College after previously spending one year at Hofstra.
George Mason will graduate nine seniors and could also lose two juniors - right-hander Jared DiCesare (Chantilly) and all-conference catcher Logan Driscoll (Lake Braddock) - who could be selected in next June’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Photos of Matt Sykes, Lyle Miller-Green Tyler Rulapaugh, Corey Leadenham and South Trimble courtesy