Tigers Add Another Bluechip Baseball Commitment

Auburn baseball coach Tom Slater is hot on the recruiting trail and has added another talented prospect to the commitment list for the 2005-2006 signee class.

Fairfax, Va.--The Auburn baseball Tigers picked up another key commitment for the class of 2005-2006 as Mike Bianucci, a 6-2, 183-pound shortstop and pitcher from Fairfax, Va., picked the Tigers over a host of other colleges.

"The facilities down there are just spectacular," Bianucci tells Inside The Auburn Tigers about what drew him to Auburn. "No other schools really compare to what it is down there as far as the facilities go. Also, the weather down there is a big plus, too, and being ranked the top facility in the country there is really no place better to be. You really can't find something better."

The W.T. Woodson High standout also notes that head coach Tom Slater had a lot to do with his decision. "He is a really young coach," Bianucci says of Slater. "He is really energetic. You can see that he has got a lot of fire in his eyes. He is just the kind of guy that will do anything he can do to win. He is a real intense coach.

"We know him because we are friends with a high school coach up here, who coaches at Madison High School here, and I guess some of his kids played for Tommy at VMI," he continues. "We talked to some of their kids who played for him and they had nothing bad to say about him at all."

Bianucci says he was in the long process of checking out all his options before Auburn jumped out at him. "I was going to take visits to Texas A&M or Long Beach State, but I had visited UVA," he explains. "I had visited ECU. I had visited Clemson and Auburn was my last visit."

At both shortstop and on the mound the Tigers' newest commitment put up some impressive numbers as a junior in the AAA classification, which is the highest level of high school baseball in Virginia. Last year he hit .547 with eight home runs and 37 runs batted in. On the mound he finished with a 9-1 record and a 2.60 earned run average.

Even with his big numbers, the senior says his W.T. Woodson team did not have their best season last spring. "We were second in our district," he says. "We didn't make state last year, but we were ranked eighth in our region."

Despite the disappointing season, the shortstop says he did have quite an adventurous summer schedule. "I played for the Barnstormers in the summer and then I went up to Johnson Missouri for the Team USA thing," Bianucci notes. "Then, my team went to the world series in Jackson, Mississippi, but I couldn't go because I had a pulled hamstring."

The Team USA thing Bianucci is talking about were the tryouts for the USA Junior National Team. He was one of only 150 players invited to take part in the team's tryouts, unfortunately he was not able to finish the tryout process due to pulling his hamstring in the second game.

The three-year starter says that when he gets to the Plains following his senior year, he will play wherever Coach Slater needs him the most. "He said he is recruiting me for everything," Bianucci says. "Tommy said he recruits all shortstops, so he said I can play in the outfield, infield or wherever he needs me."

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