Baseball Signs One More Student-Athlete

Baseball has added one more prospect to there signing class bringing the grand total to 16 players. However, a few of those prospects were drafted in the MLB draft and they are expected to bypass college. So, Coach McMahon is compensating for those expected losses by signing more players. <b>Matthew Graziano </b> is the most recent addition.

2001-02 FLORIDA BASEBALL SIGNEES

(as of July 2, 2002)

Signee

Pos.

HT

WT

B/T

CL

Hometown/Previous School

Bryan Ball

RHP

6-3

190

R/R

FR

Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte H.S.

Derek Bell

RHP

5-11

175

R/R

FR

Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter

J.P. Castro

OF

5-10

190

R/R

JR

Key West, Fla./Polk C.C./Key West H.S.

Brett Dowdy

INF

6-2

185

R/R

JR

Bradenton, Fla./Manatee C.C./Manatee H.S.

Matthew Graziano

INF

5-11

N/A

R/R

JR

Gainesville, Fla./Delgado C.C./P.K. Yonge H.S.

Justin Hoyman

RHP

6-4

160

R/R

SO

Cocoa, Fla./Brevard C.C./Cocoa

Jimmy Kubek

RHP

6-3

200

R/R

FR

St. Petersburg, Fla./Seminole H.S.

Christian Madson

RHP

6-8

230

R/R

FR

Valrico, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.

Craig Pearson

LHP

6-5

200

L/L

FR

Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown H.S.

Andy Putnel

RHP

6-2

190

R/R

FR

Lake Alfred, Fla./Auburndale H.S.

Alan Rick

C

6-3

205

L/R

FR

Palatka, Fla./Palatka H.S.

Lee Roberson

1B/LHP

6-1

180

L/L

JR

Fayetteville, Ga./Tallahassee C.C./Fayette County H.S.

Adam Sanabria

LHP

5-11

175

L/L

SO

Longwood, Fla./Tallahassee C.C./Lake Mary H.S.

Denard Span

OF

6-0

185

L/L

FR

Tampa, Fla./Catholic H.S.

Justin Stiver

RHP

6-2

175

R/R

FR

Englewood, Fla./Charlotte H.S.

Justin Tordi

INF

6-2

185

R/R

FR

Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips H.S.

*Class refers to each student-athletes' year when they arrive in Fall, 2002

The following is the release…

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida baseball program and head coach Pat McMahon announced the signing of Matthew Graziano (Gainesville, Fla./Delgado C.C./P.K. Yonge H.S.) to a National Letter of Intent this week. April 10 marked the first day of the official spring signing period for NCAA Division I baseball.

"We are extremely excited to have Matthew join our program," Florida head coach Pat McMahon said. "Matthew is a fantastic young man. He comes from an outstanding high school program with a great tradition under the tutelage of Bob Hawkins and Todd Gray."

A five-foot-11 infielder, Graziano helped lead P.K. Yonge to two consecutive district championships in both 1999 and 2000. He played his last two seasons (2001 and 2002) at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, La. for head coach Joe Sheuermann and was named all conference and selected team captain in 2002 after hitting .379 with 22 RBI and seven steals. He led the team to a 46-11 record and Mississippi-Louisiana conference title last year and earned Honor roll status.

As a senior at Gainesville's P.K. Yonge High School, Graziano was named First Team All State 2A, First Team All Area and team MVP as a shortstop. As a senior, he led the team in batting average (.549), home runs (nine) and RBI (43) and stole 18 bases while leading the team to the district championship and Sweet 16 Round, 27-8 record as a senior. A four-year letterwinner who was coached by both Bob Hawkins (1997-98) and Todd Gray (1999-00), he earned the team's coaches award, hit .352 with 24 RBI and led P.K. Yonge to the district title and Elite Eight state finish as a junior. In addition, Graziano played American Legion baseball from 1998-2001, batted .483 and led his squad to a third place finish at the All American Wood Bat series. He played at both P.K. Yonge and Degado C.C. with current UF catcher Joe Mercadante.

"Matthew is an overachiever and a great effort type of guy," Florida assistant coach John Cohen said. "He played last season on a great club- probably the best Delgado has ever had. He's an outstanding defender and competitor. He has excellent defensive skills and we're excited about him joining the program."

Graziano is the son of Mike and Lynn Graziano of Gainesville.

"It has always been my dream to play baseball for the University of Florida," Graziano said. "Through dedication and hard work, that dream has become reality. I look forward to the challenge to help this Gator baseball team and its coaching staff reach their goals."

In addition to Graziano, Florida signed six other student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent during the spring singing period- Justin Stiver (Englewood, Fla./Charlotte H.S.), Adam Sanabria (Longwood, Fla./Tallahassee C.C./Lake Mary H.S.), Justin Hoyman (Cocoa, Fla./Brevard C.C.), Derek Bell (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter H.S.), Denard Span (Tampa, Fla./Catholic H.S.) and John Paul Castro (Key West, Fla./Polk C.C./Key West H.S.). The Florida baseball program has now signed 15 total student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent. The Gators signed nine student-athletes this fall including Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte H.S.), Brett Dowdy (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee C.C./Manatee H.S.), Jimmy Kubek (St. Petersburg, Fla./Seminole H.S.), Christian Madson (Valrico, Fla./Bloomingdale HS.), Craig Pearson (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown), Andy Putnel (Lake Alfred, Fla./Auburndale), Alan Rick (Palatka, Fla./Palatka), Lee Roberson (Fayetteville, Ga./Tallahassee C.C./Fayette County H.S.) and Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips H.S.).

2001 FLORIDA BASEBALL SIGNEE BIOS

MATTHEW GRAZIANO

INF · 5-11 · R/R · Gainesville, Fla./Delgado C.C./P.K. Yonge H.S.

Infielder who helped lead P.K. Yonge to two district championships in 1999 and 2000…Played two seasons (2001 and 2002) at Delgado Community College for head coach Joe Sheuermann…Named all conference and selected team captain in 2002 after hitting .379 with 22 RBI and seven steals…Led team to 46-11 record and Mississippi-Louisiana conference title in 2002…Honor roll student…Named First Team All State 2A, First Team All Area and team MVP as a senior at P.K. Yonge High School in 2000…Led team in batting average (.549), home runs (nine) and RBI (43) and stole 18 bases while leading team to district championship and Sweet 16 Round, 27-8 record as a senior…Coached by both Bob Hawkins (1997-98) and Todd Gray (1999-00) at P.K. Yonge where he lettered four years in baseball…Earned team coaches award, hit .352 with 24 RBI, lead team to district title and Elite Eight state finish as a junior…Played American Legion baseball 1998-2000…Batted .483, helped lead squad to a third place finish at the All American Wood Bat series…Played with current UF catcher Joe Mercadante at both P.K. Yonge and Delgado C.C.


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