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  1. Good summary of the current 2018 class by Bryan Matthews. Anyone else excited about the future of this program??!! Butch Thompson and his staff took another big step forward in rebuilding Auburn’s baseball program Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Auburn, which signed and enrolled the nation’s No. 4 2017 class according to D1 Baseball, has added 14 players to the 2018 class including a top junior college pitcher and five talented left-handed pitchers. The standouts of the class are right-handed pitcher Blake Rivera from Wallace-Hanceville Community College and left-handed pitcher Garrett Wade from Hartselle (Ala.) High. Thompson has signed in another talented class in 2018. Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics Rivera, who won a Class 7A state championship at Smiths Station, was 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 55.2 innings as a freshman at Wallace. He was drafted in the 32nd round by the San Francisco Giants earlier this year. Wade had a 2.24 ERA and averaged eight strikeouts per game as a junior. He throws a fastball in the low 90’s with a late breaking slider. The other southpaws joining the class include Carson Skipper from Hewitt-Trussville in Trussville, Ala., Brooks Fuller from Auburn (Ala.) High, Dawson Sweatt from Starrs Mill in Fayetteville, Ga., and Bailey Horn from McClennan (Texas) College. Skipper threw a complete game shutout to help Hewitt to the 2016 7A state championship, earning tournament MVP honors. He was 8-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 91 strikeouts as a junior. Fuller, who is also the starting quarterback for the football team, has led Auburn to back-to-back state championship game appearances. The son of former Auburn pitcher and assistant coach Mark Fuller was 8-1 with 2.70 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 49.1 innings as a junior. Stats weren’t available for Sweatt but Horn was 7-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 77.0 innings as a freshman. Right-handed pitcher Richard Fitts from Helena (Ala.) High, who missed his junior season with an arm injury, is also part of Auburn’s 2018 class. The Tigers also added seven position players including shortstop Ryan Bliss from Troup County in LaGrange, Ga., infielder/outfielder Jarret Eaton from St. Paul’s in Mobile, Ala., and third baseman Devin Warner from Cartersville (Ga.) High. Bliss hit .420 with 32 runs scored and 30 RBI as a junior. Eaton, who is also a standout receiver for the football team, was hitting 418 with 30 runs scored 26 games into his junior season. Warner is a switch hitter. Outfielder Kason Howell from Liberty Christian in Lantana, Texas, shortstop Ed Johnson from Hewitt-Trussville, shortstop Brody Moore from Oneonta (Ala.) High and catcher/first baseman Troy Beardon round out the class. Howell, who lived in Auburn for several years before moving to Texas when he was 11 years old, hit .466 with six home runs, 36 RBI and 27 stolen bases as a junior. He turned down offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, TCU to sign with the Tigers. Moore is the son of former Auburn All-SEC shortstop Brandon Moore. Beardon batted .378 with six doubles, three home runs and 29 RBI as a junior. Auburn’s class includes nine players from Alabama, three from Georgia and two from Texas. It includes seven pitchers and seven position players. Auburn had 10 commitments when assistant Brad Bohannon was hired as head coach at Alabama June 1. Karl Nonemaker, who was hired by Thompson 11 days later, was instrumental in keeping the class together and adding several top players including Rivera, Horn and Howell. The Tigers wrap up fall practice this weekend with the Orange vs. Blue World Series with games Thursday at 5:15 p.m. CT, Friday at 3 and Sunday at 4.