Hempstead, NY - The Hofstra Baseball team announced the addition of 10 players in its early signing class of 2013. Coach John Russo, who is entering his second season, will welcome four junior college transfers and six incoming freshman for the 2014 season.
"Size and athleticism were a point of emphasis for the 2013 recruiting class and eight of our 10 signees are 6-3 or taller," said Russo. "We feel we have addressed all our areas of need with this recruiting class by signing dynamic athletes and versatile baseball players. We needed to sign a big class because we are graduating 15 players who are quality students, teammates and people, and who have raised the expectations for Hofstra Baseball. Moving forward, every recruiting class we bring in will be held to the standard set forth by this year's group of seniors. We feel that this 2013 recruiting class will meet our expectations, on and off the field."
Hofstra is coming off a 34-22 season in 2012. The Pride set numerous school records, including wins in a season, and also ranked as one of the top offensive teams in the nation.
Hofstra's 2013 signees are:
Luke Noone 6-3 RHP North Babylon, NY (North Babylon/Nassau
Eric Peterson 6-4 1B/OF Hackettstown, NJ (Blair Academy/St. John's/Morris CC)
Kevin Weissheier 6-4 LHP Valley Stream, NY (Chaminade/Fairfield/Catawba Valley CC)
Alec Eisenberg 6-4 RHP Scarsdale, NY (Ardsley/Westchester CC)
Joey Fusco 5-9 OF Westbury, NY
Kevin Hiss 6-4 RHP Merrick, NY (Sanford H. Calhoun)
Kieran Ryan 6-5 RHP Bellmore, NY (St. Dominic)
John Taurinsky 6-3 C/1B Wildomar, CA (Elsinore)
Matt Weissheier 6-5 RHP Valley Stream, NY (Kellenberg)
Brad Witkowski 5-11 SS Lindenhurst, NY (Lindenhurst)
Scarsdale, NY/Ardsley/Westchester CC
Is currently enrolled at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY.
High School: Played four years of baseball and one year of basketball, and ran track for one season at Ardsley (NY) High School...League and conference Pitcher of the Year in 2012 after compiling a 6-1 record, a 0.52 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched...Selected to the All-New York State team by the NYS Sports Writers Association...Team captain and Most Valuable Player as a senior...Earned all-league honors...Named to the All-Hudson Valley Team by MSG Varsity...Named to the Westchester/Putnam All-County Team by the Journal News...Batted .440 with 16 RBIs as a senior as well...Was 5-1 on the hill as a junior with a 1.79 ERA.
Personal: Son of Mitchell and Michele Eisenberg...Has one brother, Evan...Hobbies include all sports, music and video games...Lists Mike Lupica as his favorite author and sushi as his favorite food...Nicknamed "Ace".
Coach Russo on Eisenberg
"Alec will pitch for Westchester Community College this spring before enrolling at Hofstra in the fall of 2013. Alec stands 6-4, and could easily be one of the better pitchers we have signed. He just finished up his career at Ardsley High School where he played for Coach Brad Caldara. He was the conference Pitcher of the Year at Ardsley and has a devastating breaking ball. Alec will compete for weekend innings as soon as he walks on campus."
Westbury, NY/W.T. Clarke
High School: Plays baseball, soccer and basketball at W.T. Clarke High School in Westbury, NY...Helped his team to conference championships as a sophomore and junior, including a 16-0-1 record in 2012...Named to the All-New York State team by the NYS Sports Writers Association in 2012...Second team All-Long Island selection by Newsday as a junior...Named to All-Nassau County team as a junior...Conference Most Valuable Player Award recipient in 2012...Was a finalist for the 2012 Diamond Award, given to the top player in Nassau County...Batted .500 with three home runs, 29 RBIs, 24 runs, nine doubles and nine stolen bases in 2012...Also went 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA on the mound...Was a member of USA Baseball Team North Atlantic in 2010 and 2012...Named a Top 100 Player by Baseball Player Magazine and a Top 50 Prospect by Blue Chip Prospect in 2012...Honorable mention all-county selection in soccer after leading Clarke with six goals and one assist as a senior in 2012...Honor roll student.
Personal: Son of Giovanni Fusco and Maria DiCostanzo...Mom was an All-American field hockey player at C.W. Post in the 1980s...Names Joe DiMaggio, Allen Iverson and Aaron Rogers as his favorite athletes...Plans to major in education and pursue a career as a teacher and coach.
Coach Russo on Fusco
"Joey comes to us from nearby Clarke High School and Coach Tom Abruscato. He had an outstanding junior year in which he led Clark to an undefeated regular season and reached the number one ranking in the state of New York. We think Joey is a natural fit for our offensive style. He is absolutely relentless on the bases and has a motor that refuses to stop. We could not have hand-picked a better baseball player on the field, and person off the field, to fit the Hofstra Baseball mold."
Merrick, NY/Sanford H. Calhoun
High School: Lettered in baseball, soccer and basketball at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, NY...Helped Calhoun to a 21-3 record, Nassau County and Long Island championships and a third place New York State finish in 2012...All-conference selection in baseball after posting a 6-0 record on the hill...Honor roll student...Member of the National Honor Society.
Personal: Son of William and Jean Hiss...Father William was an All-American at Queens College and a third round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1975 MLB Draft and spent three seasons in the minor leagues...Hobbies include music, swimming, basketball and tennis...Lists Metallica as his favorite band and R.A. Dickey as his favorite athlete...Has been a volunteer for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Coach Russo on Hiss
"Kevin is a tremendous athlete. He plays three sports at Calhoun High School for Coach Joe Corea. He was an all-conference selection in baseball, helping Calhoun to a Nassau County championship and third place finish in the New York State playoffs. Kevin is 6-5, and we project him to be a dominant presence on the mound in college, much like he has done at Calhoun. He also comes from good baseball lineage as his father, William, was a third round selection by the Cleveland Indians in the 1975 MLB Draft."
North Babylon, NY/North Babylon/Nassau CC
Is currently a sophomore at Nassau Community College.
At Nassau CC: Is in his second year at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY...Member of Nassau's 2012 Region XV Championship team.
High School: Lettered in baseball and basketball at North Babylon (NY) High School...Was an All-Suffolk County and All-League III selection as a senior...Was named North Babylon's Pitching Most Valuable Player...Posted a 6-1 record as a senior with a school record 1.01 ERA...Compiled 58 strikeouts in just 41 2/3 innings of work...Had a 3-2 mark as a junior...Hit .372 as a senior with five home runs and 25 RBIS...Was North Babylon's Most Outstanding Athlete as a senior...Academic All-Suffolk County selection in basketball...Was also selected team Most Valuable Player after averaging seven points and 14 rebounds per game.
Personal: Son of Matthew and Lynda Noone...Has two sisters, Kayla and Brynn...Lists "The Sandlot" as his favorite movie...Plans to major in exercise science...Aspires to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Coach Russo on Noone
"Luke certainly fits into the mold of big and athletic. He has an enormous build at 6-3, 220, and is comfortably throwing in the upper 80's two years removed from North Babylon High School. Luke is currently playing at nearby Nassau Community College for long time coach Larry Minor."
Hackettstown, NJ/Blair Academy/St. John's/Morris CC
Is currently attending Morris (NJ) Community College...Attended St. John's University in 2011-12.
At St. John's: Played in 24 games as a freshman at St. John's, making 14 starts...Batted .208 with two doubles and eight RBIs.
High School: Lettered in baseball and basketball all four years at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ...First team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MPAL) selection as a junior and senior...Second team All-MAPL pick as a freshman.
Personal: Son of Arthur and Suzanne Peterson...Lists Alex Rodriguez as his favorite athlete ... Aspires to be play professional baseball.
Coach Russo on Peterson
"Eric will step on campus and give us an immediate offensive presence. He is 6-4, 205, and runs a 6.8 60. He is a dynamic, versatile athlete that can fill a lot of needs defensively. But more importantly, we project Eric to be an integral part in the middle of our line-up. Eric comes to us two years removed from high school in New Jersey (Blair Academy), and is currently playing at Morris Community College (NJ)."
Bellmore, NY/St. Dominic
High School: Lettered in baseball and basketball at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY...Served as team captain...Recipient of the Scholar-Athlete award.
Personal: Son of Terence and Tina Ryan...Has three sisters, Mikaela, Mairead and Shanna...Lists "To Kill a Mockingbird" as his favorite book and "Criminal Minds" as his favorite television show...Aspires to work on Wall Street.
Coach Russo on Ryan
"Kieran is another pitcher we are bringing in that exemplifies size and potential. At 6-5 Kieran is already throwing 87 with three pitches in play. He is a very dedicated athlete and an exceptional student. Kieran flat out competes and understands what it will take to be successful at the Division I level. We feel like he can be as good as he wants to be. Kieran plays for Coach Rick Garrett at St. Dominic High School, where he also has been a four-year star on the basketball court."
High School: Has played three years of baseball and one year of football at Elsinore High School in Wildomar, CA...Was a first team All-California Interscholastic Federation, All-Valley and all-league selection in 2012 after batting .500 with four home runs, 10 doubles and 33 RBIs...Was a second team all-league pick as a freshman.
Personal: Son of Michael and Barbara Taurinsky...Nicknamed "JT"...Lists Jarrod Saltalamacchia as his favorite athlete and Gerard Butler as his favorite actor...Names Imagine Dragons as his favorite band...Plans to pursue a career in business.
Coach Russo on Taurinsky
"John is keeping alive our California to New York pipeline. He will come to us from Elsinore High School in Wildomar, CA, where he is coached by Chris Jones. John has tremendous size at 6-3, 225 pounds and will bring power from the left side of the plate. We feel John will be a major contributor in our lineup for four years. John will come to Hofstra as a catcher/first baseman."
Valley Stream, NY/Chaminade/Fairfield/Catawba Valley CC
Is currently attending Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina...Attended Fairfield University in 2011-12.
At Fairfield: Made two appearances for the Stags...Was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 1 2/3 innings...Struck out two batters...Was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll.
High School: Played baseball and football at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY...2011 graduate...Helped team to a 21-5 record and the CHSAA championship as a senior...Posted a 4-1 record and a 1.30 ERA...Was the winning pitcher in CHSAA title game...Honor roll student and member of the Dean's List.
Personal: Son of Russell and Kim Weissheier...Has two brothers, Matt, a Hofstra signee as well, and Robert...Played in the Hampton's Collegiate Baseball League in the summer 2012...Lists Andy Pettitte, Mason Plumlee and Justin Tuck as his favorite athletes...Plans to major in pre-med/biology at Hofstra...Aspires to go to veterinarian school and work as a large animal specialist in a zoo.
Coach Russo on Kevin Weissheier
"Kevin is a fantastic fit for us. He is a great student and will come to Hofstra with two years of college experience, most recently at Catawba Valley Community College and Coach Frank Pait. He is a few years removed from a Long Island Catholic League championship at Chaminade High School, where he was the Flyers' number one starter."
Valley Stream, NY/Kellenberg
High School: Plays baseball, throws the shot put and was a member of the football team for two years at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY...Helped Kellenberg to the 2012 CHSAA semifinals...Posted a 2-1 record...Earned all-league accolades in both baseball and the shot put.
Personal: Son of Russell and Kim Weissheier...Has two brothers, Kevin, who is also a Hofstra signee, and Robert...Names Mike Mussina as his favorite athlete and Adam Sandler as his favorite actor.
Coach Russo on Matt Weissheier
"Already an outstanding competitor, Matt's tools project a very high ceiling. At 6-5, 260, he has a monster frame and has three pitches in play, with great fastball command. We were fortunate to have seen Matt pitch early, and knew his upside was something we could not pass on. Matt attends Kellenberg High School where he plays for Coach Chris Afalla."
High School: Has lettered in baseball and football at Lindenhurst (NY) High School...All-league selection in baseball as a junior...Named varsity Rookie of the Year as a sophomore...Starting quarterback on the Bulldogs football team...Football Offensive Most Valuable Player as a junior...Earned second team all-division honors as well.
Personal: Son of Thomas and Margaret Witkowski...Has two sisters, Brittany and Brooke, and one brother, Brian...Brooke was an All-American women's lacrosse player at Dowling...Brian was an all-conference baseball player at Stony Brook...Uncle, John, was a sixth round NFL draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 1984 and also played for the Houston Oilers...Hobbies include boating and fishing.
Coach Russo on Witkowski
"Brad is a player we expect to see the field immediately. We have three senior infielders on this year's team, so we needed a player that could walk on campus and compete immediately. Brad is exactly that type of player. He can pick it as good as anybody we have had here at Hofstra, and he projects to be a major contributor offensively as well. He was an all-league player as a junior and has done great things in his career at Lindenhurst High School for Coach Mike Canobbio."