Cleveland State Community College baseball coach Mike Policastro announced the signing of seven players for the 2007-2008 year.
The class is highlighted with five pitchers (four right handed, one left handed), one infielder and one outfielder.
Assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator Aaron Bryant commented, "We are really excited about the direction we are headed with these players. We feel that we filled some anticipated needs within our pitching staff with quality arms as well as position needs in the infield and outfield."
The pitchers signed for Cleveland State come from all over and include Jay Bolen, Drew Housewright, Tyler Joyce, Stephen Pryor and Phillip Mariani.
Cleveland State got a local commitment from Jay Bolen, right handed pitcher/firstbasemen, from Cleveland High School. During Bolen's junior season he batted .391 with 8 HR and also posted a 1.73 ERA in 56.2 innings with 43 strikeouts. Bolen will look to compete both on the mound and at the plate for playing time in 2008.
Drew Housewright is the lone lefty of the group and he hails from Knoxville Gibbs High School. In his career at Gibbs, Housewright has compiled a career ERA of 2.80 in 147 innings pitched, with 166 strikeouts, while being named All-District 2005 and 2006, and All-Region in 2005.
Tyler Joyce is from nationally ranked Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport. In Tyler's junior season he was 9-2 with a 0.94 ERA in 67 innings pitched with 95 strikeouts. Tyler also compiled 9 complete games with 5 shutouts and earned All Northeast Tennessee, Johnson City Press Super 22 Team, All Conference Team, and eight-time player of the game.
Stephen Pryor comes to Cleveland State from Friendship Christian in Nashville. Stephen was 3-0 during his shortened junior season. Pryor only saw 19 innings worth of work but had 33 strikeouts in those innings. Stephen was named to the 2006 TBCA All Region team.
Rounding out the pitchers is Phillip Mariani, one of three players from Deltona High School in Deltona, Fla. Mariani posted a 5-2 record with a 1.20 ERA in 64 innings. Mariani had 58 strikeouts with only 8 walks. At the plate Mariani batted .370 with 32 RBI, 7 2B, 2 3B, and 3 HR. Phillip was named Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All County, and Athlete of the Week for Volusia and Orlando area.
Chris Anselmo is the infielder of the group and he also hails from Deltona High School in Deltona, Fla. Anselmo is expected to come in and immediately battle for the starting shortstop or third base positions. In his junior season, he batted .327 with 12 RBI and 7 SB.
Outfield play will be much needed in 2008 and Brett Blevins looks to compete for an open spot. Blevins, also from Deltona High School with Anselmo and Mariani, batted .386 with four doubles and four triples. Blevins received the 2006 Golden Glove award for his defensive play and also played on the American Legion State Champions with DeLand Post 6.
Coach Policastro said, "With the early recruit class that we have been able to bring in, it gives an opportunity to fill needs and be able to be focused on certain positions this spring that we need to fill."