Towson's Helmick, Stifler sign with Orioles

Towson University players Gary Helmick and Jason Stifler recently signed with the Orioles, and both joined affiliates in the team's minor league system.

"We're very pleased that Gary and Jason are getting a chance to play professionally," Towson University coach Mike Gottlieb said in a statement. "This is a great opportunity for them and we know they will represent our university and our baseball program very well."Helmick, an infielder who went to Northeast High in Anne Arundel County, was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Conference selection as a senior in the spring. He is set to join the rookie-level Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League when their season begins next week.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound infielder led the CAA with a .430 batting average. Helmick, who was selected as a third-team All-American by Louisville Slugger, set school records for base hits (98), triples (nine) and runs scored (72) in 2009.

Helmick also collected 12 doubles, and he led the team with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs this season. He hit for the cycle in a victory over Yale in March, becoming the fourth player in school history to accomplish the feat.

Stifler graduated from North Harford High, and he begins his professional career with the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds in the New York-Penn League.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound catcher, who was the starter for the past two seasons, was named to the All-CAA third team as a junior in 2008. Stifler batted .266 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs this season for the Tigers.

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