Stetson University head baseball coach Pete Dunn can now see the future of the Hatters baseball program a little more clearly.
With a 2012 roster jammed with seniors, the veteran Stetson coach and his staff set out to restock for coming seasons. The fall 2011 class does that, with the signing of 11 players.
“This is an exciting recruiting class that will be the cornerstone of Stetson Baseball's future,” Dunn said. “Graduating eleven seniors, and with a chance for a couple of key juniors to be drafted this spring, the 2012 recruiting class is very significant to our continued success.”
Five of the signees are primarily pitchers, and another is a two-way player who also plays in the infield. The others include a pair of infielders, a pair of catchers and one player who has played in the infield, outfield and at catcher.
The class includes 10 high school players and one from junior college. Six are from the state of Florida while five are from out of state, including one from Canada.
“It is a balanced class in regards to pitching, offense and defense with all of our recruits being very athletic,” Dunn said. “All of these young men will have an immediate impact on the program and the staff is excited to welcome them into the Stetson Hatter Baseball Family.”
Below are short capsules on each of the 11 Stetson baseball signees, in alphabetical order.
Garrison Banas – LHP
A 2011 graduate of the Hopkins Academy in Hadley, Mass., Banas is a 6-foot, 190-pound, left-hander who is doing a year of postgraduate work at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn. In addition to playing baseball, he was also a three-year letter-winner in soccer and basketball. On the diamond, he was named to the All-Western Massachusetts team four times while compiling 415 career strikeouts, leading the state for a season twice. He was named to the ESPN-Boston All-State team in 2011.
“Garrison is a left-hander who knows how to pitch,” Dunn said. He has a mid to high 80's fastball with very good life, a plus curveball that is a swing-and-miss pitch to both left-handed and right-handed hitters and very good feel for the change. He will have a chance to step right into the rotation as a freshman.”
Brandon Diaz – LHP
Diaz is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound pitcher and outfielder at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla. As a junior, he posted a 1-1 record with a 4.57 ERA in 14 appearances, mostly in relief. He recorded 42 strikeouts in 30.2 innings of work.
“Brandon is versatile left-hander with a very good delivery and an easy, loose arm action,” Dunn said. “He features a high 80's, touch 90, fastball with good tailing life. He has an excellent change-up and a slider that he commands well. He has the ability to start or pitch out of the bullpen and could do both as a freshman.”
Kevin Fagan – RHP/INF
Fagan is a 6-foot, 175-pound pitcher and infielder from North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Fla. During his junior season he hit .395 with three homers and 14 RBI while drawing 31 walks for a .555 on-base percentage. On the mound he appeared in 10 games, three as a starter, and recorded 27 strikeouts in 26 innings of work.
“Kevin is an athletic right-handed pitcher who can also swing the bat from the left side and play the infield,” Dunn said. “He has a high 80's, touch 90, fastball, a very sharp curveball along with a change-up. He will give us immediate depth on the mound while providing some offensive punch.”
Brett Lashley – INF
The younger brother of current Hatters infielder Ryan Lashley, Brett is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder who hits and throws from the right side. Lashley is primarily a second baseman at Park Vista High School in Lake Worth, Fla., but is athletic enough to play any of three infield positions. He hit .420 as a junior and earned a gold glove award while helping his team to a third appearance in the state Class 6A semifinals in the last four years.
“Brett has a very good glove, runs well and has some offensive punch,” Dunn said. “He will impact the middle infield right away and give us depth with his versatility.”
Konner Lutz – INF/C/OF
A versatile player from the Vauxhall Academy in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Lutz is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound utility player who hits from the left side and throws right-handed. Lutz primarily plays catcher, but can play virtually any position on the field. He was named All-Conference and Rookie of the Year in 2011 for the Medicine Hat Moose Monarchs.
“Konner has a smooth, classic, left-handed stroke that projects him as a potential middle of the order type hitter with very good power potential,” Dunn said. “He can play the corner infield positions, catch and play the corner outfield positions. He is another signee from north of the border that will make an immediate impact on the program.”
Patrick Mazeika – C/1B
A multi-sport star at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn., Mazeika is a star kicker on the football team and has also lettered for two years in basketball, in addition to his accomplishments on the diamond. A 6-foot-3, 190-pound left-handed hitter who throws right-handed Mazeika is another player who could play a number of positions for the Hatters.
Mazeika, a long-time friend of fellow signee Garrison Banas, will be reunited at Stetson with his former coach at Salisbury, Hatters assistant coach Mark Leavitt.
“It was a great feeling to make it official,” Mazeika said at high signing. “I verbally committed at the first of August and I’ve been waiting to get it out of the way. It’s a great feeling to have it official and be a Stetson Hatter.”
Mazeika, who attended the Perfect Game National Showcase in Florida, and Banas played on the Bay State Bombers with each other.
“I’m glad we can go to the same school together,” Banas said. “He’s a catcher and I’m a pitcher so it should work out well. He’s a good baseball player and a good student. He gets a lot of good grades.”
In addition to his work behind the plate, Mazeika, who hit .586 during his junior season and was named the WNEPBL Player of the Year, could also see time at first base or at a corner outfield spot for the Hatters. He spent the summer played for the East Cobb Braves, the top-ranked 18-under summer team in the nation.
“Patrick is a very offensive catcher with a very good left-handed swing,” Dunn said. “He has a chance to be a very special bat with good power potential and will impact our line up right away while strengthening us behind the plate and on the corners.”
Chris "Buck" McCarthy – C
A third member of the Hatters’ New England connection, McCarthy is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound catcher from Everett High School in Everett, Mass. Like Mazeika, McCarthy is a football star as well as a baseball standout who hit better than .600 during his junior year with five homers. He played for the Northeast team in the prestigious Area Code games over the summer.
“Buck is a very strong and athletic catcher that can really swing the bat,” Dunn said. “He has excellent power potential and will impact the middle of our order as a freshman. He is also a very good receiver with arm strength who blocks very well behind the plate. Buck also runs well and could play another position if needed.”
Matt Pisciottano – RHP
A 6-foot-2, 190-pound pitcher from Kings Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla., Pisciottano has posted a 12-4 record with a 2.53 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 96 innings of work in high school.
“Matt is an extremely athletic right-handed pitcher who has a very good arm,” Dunn said. “He has topped out at 91 and pitches in the high 80's with his fastball. His slider is sharp with late movement and he throws a good change up too. He has a very high ceiling and we look for him to contribute on the mound right away in a various rolls.”
Adam Schaly – LHP
Another strong-armed left-hander, Schaly is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound hurler from Ashland (OH) High School. He comes from a baseball family. His father, John Schaly, is the head baseball coach at Ashland University and his grandfather was Hall of Fame coach Don Schaly from Marietta College in Ohio.
Schaly was the Ohio Cardinal Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and was an honorable mention Louisville Slugger All-American. During his junior season he posted a 7-1 record with 106 strikeouts in 51 innings of work with a 1.10 ERA. His performance included a 19-strikeout performance in a no-hitter.
“Adam is an outstanding left-handed pitcher with a very high ceiling,” Dunn said. “He features a mid to high 80's fastball, a very good curve ball and has feel for a change up. We think Adam will contribute right away either as a starter or a reliever and add needed depth to our staff.”
K'shawn Smith – SS
Smith signed with the Hatters out of Indian River State College where he will play as a sophomore this spring. The 5-foo-11, 175-pound infielder is a native of Plant City, Fla., where he attended Plant City High School. A shortstop by trade, Smith hit .284 at Indian River last year but is known most for his glove work. He was a 19th round selection by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 draft.
“K'shawn is an amazing defender and will have a huge impact on our middle infield right away,” Dunn said. “K'shawn was voted as the Florida Junior College Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman and has a top of the order type of bat. He will bring experience and leadership right away as a junior college transfer.”
Josh Thorne – RHP
Thorne is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound pitcher from Martin County High School in Stuart, Fla. He is ranked as the No. 33 prospect in the state by maxpreps.com, and with good reason. He posted a 5-1 mark as a junior with a 2.22 ERA in 35 innings of work with 43 strikeouts. He also added nine saves during the year.
“Josh has a very good arm with huge upside,” Dunn said. “He is an athletic right-handed pitcher that has topped out at 92 and throws in the high 80's consistently. He throws two types of breaking balls and a change up. Josh profiles as a starter, but also can come out of the bullpen. We envision him seeing the mound quite a bit as a freshman.”
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