GILLETTE POST 42 AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: RIDERS COLLEGE/PROS
1994- Kirby Drube 39th Round Los Angeles Dodgers
2011- Ryan Hutchison 49th Round San Diego Padres
2012- Austin Cowen 35th Round Los Angeles Dodgers
2013- Ryan Hutchison- Lake Erie Crushers (Independent)
2014- Ryan Hutchison- Arizona Diamondbacks
RIDERS COLLEGE BASEBALL 2006-2017
Since 2006, the Riders Program has had 45 players go on to play college baseball.
RIDERS COLLEGE PLAYERS
Adam Necklason- University of Wyoming Club
Travis Belt- University of Wyoming Club
Drew Baier- Jamestown College
Nate Kolata- Doane College/MSU Billings
Ryan Iliff- Jamestown College
Sawley Wilde- Jamestown College
Zach Hamilton- Pierce College/Iowa Western CC
Garrett Jackson- Valley City State/Kirkwood CC
Ryan Hutchison- Iowa Western CC/Western Kentucky U
Austin Cowen- Miles City CC/Western Illinois University
Bubba Hamilton- Grossmont Community College
Seth Means- Dodge City CC/University of North Dakota
Jared Wass- Miles City Community College
Anthony Kramer- Hastings College
Kyle Rhoades-Doane College/U of Wyoming Club
Evan Cunningham- Otero Junior College
Nathan Barrett- Presentation College in Aberdeen SD
Dalton Cowen- Iowa Central CC/Univ of Nebraska Kearney
JT Zigray- Miles CC/Jamestown College
Tucker Young-Montana State University Billings/Miles CC/New Mexico Highlands/Midland University
Drake Kelley- Scottsdale Community College
Jon Fisher- University of Wyoming Club
Turner Lofing- Garden City Community College
Westin Hinkel-Treasure Valley CC/U of Arkansas PineBluff/University of Jamestown
Gavin Reimer- Bismarck State College/CSU Pueblo
Austin Tennant- Miles Community College/Dickinson St
Drew Adriaens- MSU Billings/Iowa Western CC
Andrew Youngs- Miles Community College
*Lucas Rissler- Williston State College
*Tanner Rogen- Williston State College
Wyatt Estabrook- Western Nebraska CC
Zach Donahoo- Williston State College
*Cody Eaton- Miles City CC
*Ian Durgin- Otero Junior College
*Jarran Arbach- Otero Junior College
*Mason Bonar- University of Jamestown
*Hunter Sylte- Montana State University Billings
*Josh Hughes- Montana State University Billings
*Drayson Hladky- Treasure Valley CC
*Kolter Langdon- Bismarck State College
*Kyler Stark- Dawson Community College
*Joseph Harris- University of Jamestown
*Josh Kuhbacher- Dakota Wesleyan University
*Austyn Hester- Williston State College
*Dillon Buckmeier- Minot State University
* Active Players
CURRENT RIDERS COLLEGE PLAYERS
Hester picks Williston State
Riders senior Austyn Hester has verbally agreed to play college baseball at Williston State College, in Williston, ND. Williston is a NJCAA Division II school that plays in the MonDak Conference. Williston has won back-to-back MonDak Conference Championships under head coach Shawn Cote. In Coach Cote's five years, he has never had a losing season and has been named the Region XIII Coach of the Year twice. Hester follows many recent Riders who have great careers at Williston State including Lucas Rissler, Tanner Rogen, and Zach Donahoo.
Williston State Assistant Coach Shane Schoeneberg on Hester: "We are very glad to have Austyn join the Teton Family. He is a versatile middle infielder that we expect to compete from day one. He is a very hard working young man that has impressed us from the first time we started talking to him. We are excited to bring another Rider into our program and have had nothing but respect for what Coach Perleberg does in Gillette."
Hester has played in the Riders program from 2012-2017. In 2014 and 2015, Hester was part of the Gillette Rustlers teams that finished 1st and 3rd at the State Tournament. Last season, he was a valuable piece of a Riders team that finished an outstanding 57-25 overall and won their 3rd consecutive Conference Championship. Hester served as the team's starting second baseman and led the team in many offensive categories. Hester led the Riders in Batting Average (.367), Hits (83), RBI (60), and On Base Percentage (.465). The slick-fielding middle infielder also posted a .900 fielding percentage and finished with 19 stolen bases. Those stats were good enough to recognize Hester as one of the state's best, as he was named to the First Team All-State Team in Wyoming Legion Baseball. Hester will enter the 2017 season as the Riders shortstop and will see more time on the mound this year as well.
Coach Perleberg on Hester: "First of all, Williston State is getting a very talented baseball player, who I think will have a chance to be an impact player for them right away. He is a very skilled player, who has tremendous eye-hand coordination and athleticism. He had a special year last year offensively, leading us in many categories and coming through with so many big hits in big situations. Defensively he is silky smooth and often times makes the game look easy. Austyn has always been one of the more talented guys on the field, but what really stands out to me in the last couple of years is his maturity. That has been evident this offseason with the work that he has put into fine-tuning his skills and working with many younger players in our program to improve daily. I'm really proud of not only the player he is becoming, but more importantly of the man he is becoming. We are looking forward to another big year out of Austyn this year. The Riders family is very proud of you and thanks you for your years of hard work and dedication to Riders Baseball."
Hester is currently as senior at Campbell County High School and will graduate this May. He is the son of Greg Hester and Colette Komara.
HLADKY CHOOSES NWAC POWERHOUSE TREASURE VALLEY
Riders senior Drayson Hladky has verbally agreed to play college baseball at Treasure Valley Community College. Treasure Valley Community College is located in Ontario, Oregon, along the Snake River, about 50 miles west of Boise, Idaho. Treasure Valley is well known as a powerhouse in the NWAC conference, winning the East Region each of the last three seasons under head coach Aaron Sutton. They have been to the Regional 12 out of the last 13 years and made five trips to the NWAC Championships. The East Region of the NWAAC is known as arguably one of the toughest conferences in nation. Hladky will follow former Rider player and now assistant coach Westin Hinkel who had a great career at Treasure Valley during the 2013/2014 seasons.
Treasure Valley Coach Aaron Sutton on Hladky: "Drayson really fits the Treasure Valley mold as a ball player. He's a blue collar, dirtbag type of a player. He comes from a great program and knows how to compete and win. His versatility as a catcher and outfielder should give him the opportunity to be an impact player right away. We are very excited to make him and his family a part of the Chukar family."
Hladky has played in the Riders program from 2012-2016. He has been a Varsity starter since his freshman season at catcher and outfield. In 2014, Hladky's bat and leadership behind the plate helped lead the Riders to their 2nd ever Wyoming State Championship. In 2015, Hladky again was a vital piece in the Riders success, a year in which they went 64-23 overall and finished at NW Regional Runners Up. Last season, Hladky hit .335 in 81 games played. He led the team with an incredible .457 On Base % which included a team leading 43 walks and 19 hit by pitches. He also scored 67 runs and drove in 57 runs as the team's 2-hole hitter. Hladky finished second on the team with 31 stolen bases and 16 doubles.
Coach Perleberg on Hladky: "It is rare to have a player with the drive, decidation, and competitive fire that is found inside of Drayson. Watching him work day in and day out is a privilege. He is a special young man, who has worked extremelly hard for everything that he's accomplished. He takes no short-cuts and is as unselfish of a player as you will find. With the emphasis that our team puts on pitching, it is crucial to have an outstanding catcher to lead the way. It's no secret that a great deal of our success on the mound over the past two years is directly linked to Drayson's leadership behind the plate. Drayson has such a unique skill set with his athleticism and ability to handle a pitching staff. He is the perfect fit for a Coach Sutton and what he looks for in student athletes. The Riders family is very proud of you and thanks you for your years of hard work and sacrifice in our program."
Drayson currently has a 3.8 GPA at Campbell County High School and will graduate this May. He is the son of Patrick and Jean Hladky.
DILLON BUCKMEIER SIGNS AT MINOT STATE UNIVERSITY
Riders senior Dillon Buckmeier has verbally agreed to play college baseball at Minot State University, in Minot, ND. Minot is a NCAA Division II school, which competes in the Northern Sun Conference. This season they finished 29-22 overall under first year head coach Scott Eul. The 29 wins for Minot this year was a school record. Coach Eul has turned the Minot State program into a contender in just one year, which has Buckmeier even more excited about his signing. Buckmeier becomes the 45th Riders player to sign to play college baseball during Coach Perleberg's tenure.
Minot State Head Coach Scott Eul on Buckmeier: "Dillon brings the high end athleticism we are looking for in this class. Has a ton of tools and will be able to apply constant pressure offensively. The program Dillon comes from is a hard working, get after it kind of program and that's exactly why we are bringing Dillon in. We couldn't be more excited to have Dillon joining the Beaver Baseball program"
Buckmeier has been a main stay in the Riders program from 2012-2017. He has experienced a lot of individual and team success in the program during his time. In 2014 as a freshman, he was a part of the Rustlers JV that won their first ever State Championship. From 2015-2017 he has been a 3-year starter for the Riders. In 2015, Buckmeier was a starter on the Riders team that finished 2nd in the NW Regional Tournament. In 2016 as a junior, Buckmeier hit .327, with 72 runs scored and 40 stolen bases and helped lead the Riders to a 57-25 overall record. He was named to the 2016 Wyoming All-State Team. This season, Buckmeier is off a great start leading the Riders in most offensive categories including batting average (.471), hits (33), doubles (7), on-base percentage (.606), slugging percentage (.600), runs scored (28), and walks (16). He is also one of the best defensive centerfielders you will find.
Coach Perleberg on Buckmeier "I'm not sure that I've coached too many guys that are as special as Bucky. First of all, he is the ultimate team-guy, as selfless of an individual as you will find. I always say that if your best players aren't your best teammates, then you have problems and we are fortunate to have the type of leader/teammate we do in Bucky. His positive attitude and drive to be the best he can be is contagious to those around him. He really defines what being a Rider is all about with his efforts on and off the field. He is a very special young man to me and to our program. As a player, he is a dream to coach because he is never satisfied. With his athleticism and speed he can really change a game. Offensively this year he is just a different player due to his hard work in the cage and weight room this offseason. He has no doubt been our most consistent player offensively this year. He has all the tools to be an outstanding college player and is the right type of player for what Coach Eul is building at Minot State. "The Riders family is very proud of you and thanks you for your years of hard work and dedication to Riders Baseball."
Buckmeier is currently as senior at Campbell County High School and will graduate this Sunday. He is the son of David and Patti Buckmeier.
Hunter Sylte signs at Montana State University Billings
Riders senior Hunter Sylte has signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Montana State University Billings. Hunter signed his letter on Nov. 11th in front of family and friends. MSU Billings has turned into a conference contender the last five years under head coach Rob Bishop. MSU Billings competes at the Division II level in the GNAC Conference. Last season MSUB went 27-23 overall and won the GNAC Conference for the first time in their program's existence. MSUB started their college baseball program in 2005. Sylte marks the second Rider to sign collegiately already this year for the Riders and the 37th in their program since 2006.
MSU Billings Coach Rob Bishop on Sylte: "Hunter is a great fit on the mound for our program. He is projectable and already has a good feel for his breaking ball. We believe his best baseball is ahead of him. We are looking forward to watching him develop as a Yellowjacket."
Sylte has played in the Riders program from 2012-2016. The right handed pitcher has played Varsity for the Riders since his freshman season and has been a integral part of the Riders pitching staff over the last three summers. In 2015, Sylte had an excellent season, going 9-3 on the mound with a stellar 1.93 ERA. He also recorded 3 saves in 3 opportunities last season. Last summer, the hard-throwing righty had the highest stikeout-to-innings pitched ratio on the RIders pitching staff. Sylte also hit .218 as a position player and played in 43 games in right field. Sylte was an key piece in the Riders late season run at the NW Regional Tournament.
Coach Perleberg on Sylte: "I'm really excited to see how the next 4 years transpire for Hunter under the tutelage of Coach Bishop. I think this is a great fit for him and MSU Billings is getting a fine pitcher and an even better young man. Hunter is a very talented pitcher and has so many tools that you can't teach. He has a live arm action, long levers, and a great frame. Along with his great physical tools, Hunter has a great work ethic, drive, and unselfishness that will prepare him for all avenues of baseball and life. He has a chance to be great not only for us next summer, but at the college level over the next few years. He has a very high upside as a pitcher and it will be exciting to watch him develop in their system. The Riders family would like to congratulate Hunter on this great accomplishment. We are very proud of you and thank you for your years of dedication to the Riders program.
Hunter will graduate from Campbell County High School this May. He is the son of Tom and Melanie Sylte. His younger brother Hayden (13) plays in the Riders program as well.
Harris commits to the University of Jamestown
Riders senior Joseph Harris has verbally agreed to play college baseball at the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota. Jamestown is an NAIA school that belongs to the NSAA conference. Jamestown is well known for their successful baseball program under long-time head coach Tom Hager. Last season, Jamestown had their best record in program history going 52-11 and qualifying for the NAIA National Tournament. The Jimmies have won 9 conference titles under Hager, including 8 National Tournament appearances, 3 Regional Championships, and 2 World Series appearances. Harris will now look to follow in the footsteps of many former Riders who have had successful careers at Jamestown.
UJ Coach Tom Hager on Harris: "We are excited to sign a blue-collar, hard working student-athlete like Joseph. He comes from a great program and has a ton of potential. We look forward to seeing him in a Jimmie uniform."
Harris has played in the Riders program from 2013-2017. Harris was a key part of the Rustlers team that won their first ever State "B" Championship in 2014. In 2015, he was a 1st team All-State member of the Gillette Rustlers team that finished 3rd in the "A" State Tournament. That finish is also the program's highest for the "A" division. Last season in his junior campaign, Harris was a part of a Riders team that finished an outstanding 57-25 overall and won their 3rd consecutive Conference Championship. He helped lead a very good Riders pitching staff by starting a team-leading 15 games on the mound, compiling a solid 7-6 record. He struck out 51 batters in 78 innings pitched. Harris also hit .248 with 25 RBI and 19 runs scored in 59 games played. He will be a key contributor in 2017 for the Riders both on the mound and in the field.
Coach Perleberg on Harris "Joseph brings a blue-collar type work ethic to the yard each and every day. You know what you are going to get with him and that is consistency and dependability each and every day. His work-ethic shows up not only on the field, but in the classroom as indicated by his 4.0 GPA. Another thing that stood out to me last season about Joseph was his unselfishness. We had a dire need for catchers early on the season and he took it upon himself to not only learn a new position, but to excel at it. I see Jamestown being a great fit for both parties involved, because of Joseph's drive and desire. Joseph is not only a great baseball player, but a great overall person and we are lucky to have him as part of our program. The Riders family is very proud of you and thanks you for your years of hard work and sacrifice in our program."
Joseph currently has a 4.0 GPA at Campbell County High School and will graduate this May. He is the son of Brad and Delight Harris.
HUGHES VERBALLY COMMITS WITH MSU BILLINGS
Riders senior Josh Hughes has verbally agreed to play college baseball at Montana State University Billings. Josh has been very meticulous throughout this selection process, and finally narrowed down his search last week to MSUB after many months of college visits and tours. MSU Billings has turned into a conference contender the last five years under head coach Rob Bishop. MSU Billings competes at the Division II level in the GNAC Conference. Last season MSUB went 27-23 overall and won the GNAC Conference for the first time in their program's existence. They were recently picked to finish second in the GNAC this year in the pre-season polls.
MSU Billings Coach Rob Bishop on Hughes: "Josh is a great kid and is exactly the type of person we want in our program. He will be a terrific college player with his speed and athleticism. We are looking forward to him being a Yellowjacket"
Hughes has played in the Riders program from 2012-2016. He has played Varsity for the Riders since his sophomore season. Hughes has been an everyday starter for the Riders during that time. In 2014, Hughes hit .371 in 70 games and helped lead the Riders to a Wyoming State Championship. Last year, Hughes had another stellar season hitting .333 in 80 games played. He led the team in runs scored with 82 and stolen bases with 49. Hughes' Riders finished 64-23 last season, ending the year as NW Regional Runners Up, tied for the highest overall finish of any legion baseball team in Wyoming history.
Coach Perleberg on Hughes: "Josh exemplies everything that is Riders baseball is about. He's smart, tough, hard-working, dedicated, and wonderful role-model for our program. His leadership and character traits are second to none. Overall, I'd say he's as dependable as any player that I've coached. He has a very special skill set with his speed and athleticism that will give him a chance to contribute right away at the college level. Josh has a knack for coming through in the clutch. The bigger the game, the better he seems to be. He's only skimmed the surface of the type of player that he can become. The Riders family would like to congratulate Josh on this great accomplishment. We are very proud of you and thank you for your years of dedication to the Riders program."
Josh will graduate from Campbell County High School this May as a class Salutatorian. He is the son of Dave and Wendi Hughes.
Kuhbacher commits to Dakota Wesleyan University
Riders senior Josh Kuhbacher has verbally agreed to play college baseball at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. Dakota Wesleyan is an NAIA school that competes in the GPAC Conference. DWU head coach John Greicar is entering his 3rd year as head coach of the Tigers and has the program right in the thick of things in the strong GPAC conference. In 2015, they won the conference tournament, advancing to the NAIA Opening Round in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Last year, he guided the Tigers to a 25-27 overall record and looks to build on that success with strong senior class this year.
DWU Coach Greicar on Kuhbacher: "We are extremely excited to add Josh to our pitching staff. He will add depth and provide leadership to our program both on and off the field. He comes from a great program and we are excited to have him continue his baseball and academic careers at Dakota Wesleyan University."
Kuhbacher has played in the Riders program from 2012-2017. He was a key part of the Rustlers team that won their first ever State "B" Championship in 2014. In 2015, he was also an integral part of the Gillette Rustlers team that finished 3rd in the "A" State Tournament. Last season as a junior, Kuhbacher was a part of a Riders team that finished an outstanding 57-25 overall and won their 3rd consecutive Conference Championship. Josh was a big piece of that puzzle with his consistency and effectiveness as a top reliever and spot starter. Josh was called upon to pitch more than any other Rider in 2016, compiling a team-leading 27 appearances on the mound. He was tied for the team lead in wins with a 7-1 record and also converted 3 saves in 3 opportunities. Josh had a one of the team's lowest ERA's as well at 3.26.
Coach Perleberg on Kuhbacher "There are so many things that make Josh a truly special individual. First of all, he is a fierce competitor. He does not shy away from big moments and hates to lose. He is very emotional and compassionate about competiting for our ballclub and that is something that you just can't teach. Second, he is an extremely hard worker. He does not take shortcuts or make excuses, which is evident from his success both on the diamond and in the classroom. Finally, Josh is very intelligent and uses that in the way he pitches and leads. He does not try to be something he's not, but simply pitches to his strengths. He picks up on things very quickly at practice and is great about passing on information to younger players. Josh is truly the definition of what Riders Baseball is all about. The Riders family is very proud of you and thanks you for your years of hard work and dedication to Riders Baseball.
Josh currently has a 4.0 GPA at Campbell County High School and will graduate this May. He is on pace to be a Valedictorian at CCHS. He is the son of Mark and Shereen Kuhbacher.
Lucas Rissler/Williston State/Dickinson State University
2015/2016 Williston State
Tanner Rogen/Scottsdale CC/Oral Roberts University
Former Rider Tanner Rogen inks with Division 1 Oral Roberts
Former Rider player and coach Tanner Rogen is headed to Division 1 Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma after he is finished with 2017 season at Scottsdale CC in Arizona. Rogen signed his National Letter of Intent on Tuesday morning with the powerhouse from the Summit Conference. ORU has won an amazing 17 conference championships in the last 19 years! Last year they went 38-21 overall, including 22-8 in the Summit. They also posted impressive wins over many big name schools such as Auburn, Mississippi St, Oklahoma, Kansas St, and Oklahoma St. They advanced last year to the NCAA Regional (final 64 teams) before losing to TCU who ended up in the CWS in Omaha NE.
Rogen of course helped lead the Riders to their 2nd ever State Championsip in 2014. He was named MVP of the tournament. He went on to Williston State College, where his freshman season he tore his UCL and had to have Tommy John surgery. He spent the entire 2015-2016 year in Gillette attending Gillette college, rehabbing and coaching for the Riders. Last year he helped the Gillette Rustlers to their 2nd ever State B Championship. Rogen is now back and stronger than ever, consistently throwing 89-92 mph in his starts this fall in Arizona. Rogen will become just one of a few Riders to ever play NCAA Division 1 baseball.
"We are so proud of Tanner and this wonderful accomplishment, said Riders head coach Nate Perleberg. He is a true testament of where hard work, dedication, and resilency will take you. He is obviously a very talented young man, but his competitiveness and willingness to be coachable always separated him from the rest. Most guys would have thrown in the towel after his injury in 2015, but not Tanner. I watched him go through so much to get to this point, so it makes it that much sweeter. I'm just so proud of not only the type of player he is, but the type of role model and person that is. He is a very special young man to me and he has a very bright future ahead of him."