Hempstead, NY - Hofstra University Head Baseball Coach Patrick Anderson and his staff (Assistant Coaches John Russo, James Lally and Kelly Haynes) today announced their 2009-10 recruiting class. The eight-member class, consisting of Logan Davis (Cave Creek, AZ), Angelo Gargano (Hainesville, IL), Bobby Gazzola (Coram, NY), Kenny Jackson (Ronkonkoma, NY), Everett Keller (Port Washington, NY), Nick Kozlowski (Huntington Station, NY), Matt Reistetter (Hauppauge, NY) and Bryan Verbitsky (Levittown, NY) signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period last week. The eight will begin their academic and athletic careers at Hofstra in the fall 2010.
"Our goals from a recruiting standpoint were to keep as many of the best and talented Long Island student-athletes home as we can and bring in the best young players that can handle the workload that our program will entail," said Anderson. "With the help of John Russo, my recruiting coordinator, we have done just that. Long Island baseball and the community as a whole have embraced us and have shown tremendous enthusiasm in recruiting the local players from all parts of Long Island. We were able to branch out to Chicago and Arizona with our contacts to add two quality impact players as well to round out our 2010 early signees. With last year's recruiting class and this year's class we strongly feel that we have set a quality foundation to build around as we move forward with the process to turn this program around. The next step is the experience of playing games in the always tough Colonial Athletic Association."
Davis, an infielder, will join the Pride from Cactus Shadows High School where he was an honorable mention all-region selection after batting .352 with 15 stolen bases. Davis has been stellar offensively during his high school career, compiling a .495 average as a sophomore and a .500 mark as a freshman. Logan is the son of 1989 National League Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis.
Coach Anderson on Logan Davis: "Logan brings excitement to the field every day. His size, athleticism and his knowledge of the game from being around such a high level of baseball with his dad's career will allow him to make an immediate impact on our program. When recruiting Logan we saw such a competitive edge to him that he will not be fazed when playing at such a high level that we play at."
Gargano is a first baseman from Grayslake (IL) Central High School who batted .391 with seven home runs and 52 RBIs as a junior. He earned all-area, All-Lake Shore and All-Fox Valley Conference honors in 2009 after helping his Rams team to a third place finish in the state tournament. Gargano was also a standout lineman on the Grayslake football team.
Coach Anderson on Angelo Gargano: "Angelo has a lot of power potential with his size alone. He is such a bright young man with an outstanding work ethic that he brings to the ballpark every day. Coach Russo has worked closely with Angelo's head coach, Troy Whalen, who has prepared Angelo well for Division I baseball. With Angelo's maturity, he will have a chance to help us in his early years."
Gazzola, an infielder, is a standout on the Longwood High School team and is coming off a junior season that saw him compile a .340 average, seven doubles, three triples, three home runs and 25 RBIs. As a sophomore in 2008, Gazzola hit .330 with eight doubles and 26 RBIs.
Coach Anderson on Bobby Gazzola: "In recruiting Bobby we immediately knew that his overall game would allow him to produce rather quickly at the Division I level. We were convinced within two games of seeing Bobby play that he can handle any infield position and he has the bat potential to be a middle of the line-up type of hitter as he gets acclimated to the CAA."
Jackson, an outfielder, is a star on the Connetquot High School baseball and volleyball teams. He is a two-time all-league selection in baseball and also earned All-Suffolk County accolades as a junior. In 2009 Jackson hit .455 with 25 RBIs for the Thunderbirds and helped the team to a second consecutive league championship. In addition to his baseball honors, Jackson has also been a three-time all-county volleyball selection.
Coach Anderson on Kenny Jackson: "Kenny has tremendous upside with his size and his mental aptitude to be an impact player within our program. When recruiting him this summer, we watched Kenny mature as a hitter and as an overall baseball player. We are very fortunate to have such a player coming from a renowned program like Connetquot. I've known Coach Ambrosini for many years. He has produced many players year after year who know the game and are winners. We are very happy that we have a player in Kenny Jackson who has learned under such a quality coach as Bob Ambrosini."
Keller, a pitcher out of Schreiber High School, has been part of two conference championship squads with the Vikings. As a junior he compiled an 8-1 record with 73 strikeouts in 54 innings, and batted .417 en route to All-Nassau County honors. During his sophomore campaign Keller was 5-0 with 51 strikeouts in 38 innings of work.
Coach Anderson on Everett Keller: "Everett has the mental aptitude and the physical presence to produce in the early stages of his college career. His discipline and work ethic are impeccable. Everett is as polished a pitcher, both strength wise and mentally, as I have seen in a while. His mindset, work ethic and how he approaches his skill of pitching reminds me of what I saw with Zack Greinke, when I watched him during his minor league career."
Kozlowski is a right-handed pitcher from Walt Whitman High School who earned all-league honors as a junior after posting a 4-2 record, a 2.00 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched. In his most impressive start of the season, he pitched a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts in a win over Central Islip.
Coach Anderson on Nick Kozlowski: "Watching Nick from last year pitching for Vincent Punzone at Walt Whitman and as we followed him through the summer, we saw him develop as a quality pitcher. Nick has such a huge ceiling due to the fact of his size and that he's only pitched for a few years. He has made unbelievable strides from being a former catcher and he has been clocked as high as 90 MPH on the mound. We are ecstatic about "Koz" being a big part of our program next year."
Reistetter, a catcher from Hauppauge High School, earned first team All-New York State and All-Long Island, as well as league Most Valuable Player, all-league and All-Suffolk County accolades as a junior. He batted .578 with three home runs and 25 RBIs, setting a school-record with 49 hits during the 2009 season. Reistetter, who started on varsity as an eighth grader, was also the league MVP and an all-county selection as a sophomore. An excellent defensive catcher, he was a Suffolk County Gold Glove Award recipient in 2009.
Coach Anderson on Matt Reistetter: "In my nine years of coaching minor league catchers I have only seen a handful of players that can catch and throw like Matt has shown that he can do. Matt has the potential to play baseball beyond the college level, with the tutelage of our staff and the help from the experienced catchers we have in our program right now. Watching Matt play under Head Coach Kevin Giachetti and with his summer ball team, we were able to really get a full picture of what he can do for our program and we are very excited to have him in uniform next year."
Verbitsky, an outfielder from Island Trees High School, was the 2009 Diamond Award winner as the top position player in Nassau County. He batted .467 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs and 35 runs scored. He was also Island Trees' top pitcher, going 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 63 innings.
Coach Anderson on Bryan Verbitsky: "The first showcase we went to shortly after coming to Hofstra is where we saw Brian. As soon as Brian hit and threw off the mound he instantly became a big priority for us to sign. Brian's bat speed and arm strength alone will impact our program immediately. We followed Brian's progress from the early spring at Island Trees playing under Head Coach Joe D'Auria and through the summer with his travel team. We were also able to get information on Brian from one of our alumni, Tom Caputo, who works in the Long Island Ducks Organization and has a lot of ties to Long Island baseball. From all that we saw Brian's potential of being a big impact two-way player for us in the outfield and on the mound."
Coach Anderson concluded his thoughts on his early signing class by stating, "Our first two recruiting classes have come together quite well. The make-up of each young man and the talent level has matched up to our philosophy of recruiting the student-athlete that is relentless with everything they do. If they have the characteristic of being relentless then they will be successful not only on the baseball field and in the classroom, but when they graduate from Hofstra and join the work force."