HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University baseball head coach Todd Asalon announced Thursday the following individuals have signed national letters of intent to play for the Norse beginning in 2008. They are:

•Eric Braeckel, a right-handed pitcher from Allen County Community College. Braeckel, a native of Joplin, Mo., posted a 1.84 earned run average in 26 innings pitched last season at Allen County and limited opposing hitters to a .210 batting average.

•Brian Erie, a catcher from Louisville St. Xavier High School. Erie was named to the 7th Region all-star team last year while helping the Tigers advance to the state semifinals.

•Chad Geier, a shortstop from Sinclair Community College. Geier graduated from Coldwater (Ohio) High School in 2005 and batted .554 with three home runs, six doubles and six triples as a senior. He also stole 22 bases in 24 games and scored 40 runs while earning All-Midwest Athletic Conference honors.

•Andy Heston, a right-handed pitcher from West Jessamine High School. Heston struck out 48 batters in 30 innings on the mound with a 2.97 ERA. He posted a 3-1 record for the Colts.

•David Middendorf, a left-handed pitcher from LaSalle High School in Cincinnati. Middendorf was 5-3 with a 1.70 ERA last year and earned second team All-Greater Catholic League honors. He also struck out 47 batters in 45 1/3 innings on the mound.

•Jimmy Ryan, a left-handed pitcher from Holy Cross High School. Ryan posted a 7-2 record with a 2.26 ERA as a junior and was named All-Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference. Ryan hurled two shutouts and struck out 58 batters in 53 innings pitched. He is the son of current NKU assistant basketball coach Pat Ryan, who also played baseball for the Norse during the 1970s.

•Michael Sobol, a left-handed pitcher from Clay High School in South Bend, Ind. Sobol was named All-Northern Indiana Conference as a junior after posting a 1.94 ERA and striking out 97 batters in 79 innings pitched. He also batted .313 with five home runs.

NKU posted a 42-20-1 record last season and captured the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship for the third time in five years. The Norse also advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament.