Four San Jacinto College baseball players sign National Letters of Intent

01.14.2015 | By Rob Vanya

From left, San Jacinto College baseball players who recently signed letters of intent include Erik Nouis (Lamar University), Joshua Palacios (Auburn University), Riley Smith (Louisiana State University), and Aaron Ford (Auburn University). Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.


Four San Jacinto College sophomore baseball players recently signed National Letters of Intent to transfer to four-year universities.

Josh Palacios, outfielder from Brooklyn, N.Y. (Telecommunications High School / Stony Brook University), will transfer to Auburn University. Palacios was a team captain and a key contributor for San Jacinto College during the 2014 season, with a .372 batting average and solid defensive play. “Josh is the ultimate team player,” commented volunteer assistant coach Kory Koehler. “He has one of the sweetest swings in all of collegiate baseball, with the ability to hit to all areas of the field.” Palacios was named to the All-Region XIV South All-Star team. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds (31st Round) in 2014 Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Riley Smith, starting pitcher from Lufkin (Hudson High School), will transfer to Louisiana State University. With a mid-90s fastball, Smith went 6-2 in 2014 and pitched 70 innings, with 54 strikeouts (6.91 strikeouts per start). Smith was named to the All-Region XIV South All-Star team, was selected for the 2014 JUCO All-Star National Team, and played in the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas in August.

Aaron Ford, pitcher from Houston (Klein High School), will transfer to Auburn University. Ford began 2014 as a reliever, but worked his way into the starting rotation due to his ability to effectively use four pitches. Ford ranked 31st nationally with a 2.0 earned run average, and 61st nationally with 74 strikeouts. He was named to the All-Region XIV South All-Star team.

Erik Nouis, pitcher from Las Vegas, Nevada (Bishop Goreman High School/College of Southern Idaho), will transfer to Lamar University. As a transfer from another college, Nouis’ rapid improvements impressed the coaching staff during fall scrimmages. “His curveball developed more depth, and his fastball has improved to a consistent 87-89 mph,” commented Koehler. “Erik has the ability to dominate hitters every outing. His aptitude for development and his willingness to get better has been remarkable. He should fill a significant role, be it as a starter or as a huge asset out of the pen.”

San Jacinto College baseball games are played at the North Campus John Ray Harrison Field, 5800 Uvalde Road. The home opener for the 2015 season will be on Feb. 6, 2015 at 7 p.m. against New Mexico Junior College, which is also the Legends Game during which former students with MLB experience will be honored. For more information, please visit

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.