Pittsburgh - Head Baseball Coach Joe Jordano announced on Friday that five additional student-athletes have signed Letters of Intent to continue their academic and baseball careers at the University of Pittsburgh.
The incoming freshmen, who will join the 10 signees who inked NLIs in November, are P.J. DeMeo (Sewickley, Pa.), Dan Furman (Brookhaven, Pa.), Frank Maldonado (Short Hills, N.J.), Nick Montefucsco (Medford, N.J.) and Nick Yarnall (Landisville, Pa.).
"We're very pleased with adding these young men to our program," said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano. "Not only are they outstanding baseball players but they're good people and that's an expectation that we have within our program. Their talents both on and off the field will make us a stronger program as we transition into the ACC."
The 2013 University of Pittsburgh Recruiting Class Additions:
Sewickley, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic
DeMeo is a right-handed hitting infielder from Sweickley, Pennsylvania…Rated the 57th best prospect in Pennsylvania by PrepBaseballReport.com…A three-year letter winner at Pittsburgh Central Catholic under head coach Frank LaCava…Has a career average of .400 and has led his team to the WPIAL semifinals…A 2013 team captain and National Italian American Pittsburgh Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year…Played for Fred Albert and the Allegheny Pirates in the fall and represented the state of Pennsylvania at the Midwest Classic.
Jordano on DeMeo: "P.J. DeMeo is a very versatile infielder. He has worked very hard in the offseason and is a clutch player. He has swung the bat well during his spring season and we anticipate P.J. coming in and doing a great job for us."
DeMeo on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose to attend the University of Pittsburgh to be able to continue my education at a prestigious University, as well as represent my hometown in the ACC. The facilities are off the charts and the coaching staff made me feel like I was a part of the Pitt tradition and family."
Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner
Furman is a right-handed pitcher from Brookhaven, Pa….4-0 with a 1.31 ERA for the No. 1 ranked team in the state according to prepbaseballreport.com…An Under Armor Preseason All-American and Perfect Game preseason All Mid-Atlantic honoree…No. 4 ranked pitcher in Southeastern Pa. by the Philadelphia Inquirer…Went 2-0 at the Perfect Game WWBA World Championships, including a no-hitter…Named to the WWBA World Championship All-Tournament team…Threw 11 shutout innings helping the Chester County Crawdads win the Triple Crown National Championship…Pitched in the Triple Crown U.S. All-Star Classic…Carpenter Cup Classic selection as a junior…Earned All-Catholic, All-City and All-Delaware County honors as a junior catcher.
Jordano on Furman: "Dan is a right-handed pitcher that we really like. I think that he is going to blossom under Coach Oakes' guidance and I really believe that he'll be a guy who will have an opportunity to help us."
Furman on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh because it offers a world class education where I will be challenged in the classroom. Pitt also offers a world class baseball program which will provide me with an opportunity to learn from great coaches and play against some of the best competition in the country."
Short Hills, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
Maldonado is an outfielder from Short Hills, N.J…. Selected to the Essex County NJ All-Star Baseball team…Competed with the New Jersey 9ers 17U prime team…A 2012 All-Tournament team selection for the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association 17U Championships in Marietta, Ga….Had the highest batting average (.739) at the Championships with 17 hits… A captain for both the Seton Hall Prep Varsity Baseball and Football teams…Named first team All-SEC conference for football on both offense and defense.
Jordano on Maldonado: "Frank is a very solid baseball player and we're very excited to have him become a Pittsburgh Panther. He's going got compete right away and he shows a tremendous amount of upside so we're thrilled to have him and look forward to getting him on campus."
Maldonado on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh for a variety of reasons. From my very first visit I knew it was a great fit for me. The education I will be receiving is top notch. The campus is very impressive, and the facilities are exceptional. I strongly believe in the coaching philosophies and feel really comfortable around all of the coaches and players. The move to the ACC is a great opportunity for the program to succeed in the national spotlight and I am looking forward to being an integral part of it. I am proud to call myself a Panther!"
Montefucsco is a right handed pitcher and outfielder from Medford, N.J..A four year varsity starter and two year captain for Coach Brian Anderson and Shawnee High School…All-Conference selection as a sophomore…Set his school's single season saves record as a freshman…Led his team in ERA as a freshman and sophomore…Plays travel ball for Bob Parks and Baseball Parks of American…A member of the National Honor Society and the Shawnee Leadership Academy.
Jordano on Montefucsco: "Nick is really a versatile guy. He's a bulldog on the mound. He loves to compete and, with his arm angle, we feel that he has something very early in his career that is going to be an asset to our staff."
Montefucsco on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh because of the academic quality and reputation. These are exciting times with the move to the ACC and it is a great opportunity to play on a highly rated team with great coaches. I look forward to the challenges, both on and off the field, to pursue my baseball and academic goals."
Yarnall is an outfielder from Landisville, Pa…Rawlings Preseason All-Region team selection…Second Team All-State and First Team All-League as a junior…Made East Coast Pro Showcase team for the Oakland A's.
Jordano on Yarnall: "Yarnall is one of the best bats in Pennsylvania. We couldn't be happier to have Nick be a part of our program. He's a force with the stick so we're looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish early in his career."
Yarnall on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh to further my academic and athletic career because of the great coaching staff, the great opportunities it brings to me after college and the opportunity to play in the ACC."
These five players join the following ten players, who signed their letter of intent to play for Pitt in November.
Clarence Center, N.Y./Clarence
Armstrong is a right-handed pitcher from Clarence Center, New York. He is rated as the #144th best 2013 prospect in the country by PerfectGame.org and rated the 4th best prospect in the state of New York. In the spring, Mark plays for Dave Smith at Clarence High School in Clarence Center, New York, and in the summer he plays for Dickie Woodrige with the Syracuse Sports Zone. Mark is a three-year letterman in both baseball and football and has posted a 13-1 overall record with a 0.46 ERA and a .086 opponent batting average. He received All Western New York and All New York State First Team honors as a junior where he had 87 strikeouts in 45 innings. He also threw a no hitter in his first game in 2012. Mark was chosen to participate on the 2012 NY Yankees Area Code Team which represented the northeast region in Long Beach, CA. The Area Code teams represented eight regions across the US and featured the top 232 high school baseball players across the country. Mark was also selected to compete in the East Coast Pro Showcase Team for the Philadelphia Phillies held in Syracuse, New York, with other top players from the northeast as well as the Red Sox/Yankees Summer Rivalry Classic held at Yankee Stadium at the end of this past summer.
Jordano on Armstrong: "Mark is one of the best players in the country and we are thrilled that he has made the decision to attend the University of Pittsburgh. He's a very athletic and tough right-handed pitcher with great stuff. He throws in the low 90's and can command his off-speed pitches for strikes. He also plays quarterback for his high school team and is a defenseman in hockey so his aptitude is off the charts. He's a quality young man and comes from an outstanding family. We look forward to his career in Navy and Vegas."
Armstrong on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh to continue my academic and athletic career's because of the great excellence and pride that the University offers. Pitt offers a great learning experience for all types of students and not many colleges can give you an education like the University of Pittsburgh. Also, I wish to continue my career on the ball field at Pittsburgh due to the great coaching staff they have. They have brought much success to the University and the program and are the top of the line coaches. They sincerely care about their players and they will also get the most out of their players. I hope and believe that I can help the team become more competitive than they already are. I am very glad and proud to call myself a future Panther."
Chandler, Ariz./South Mountain C.C.
Frabrasilio is a right-handed hitting third baseman from Chandler, Arizona. He plays for Todd Eastin at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Ariz. Jordan was a National Honor Society member at Hamilton High School where he was part of a 5A1 State Runner-Up in 2011. During Hamilton's run to the title game, Frabasilio hit seven home runs and was awarded the Most Improved Player Award as well as being named Fiesta All Region Honorable Mention and an ACBA All-Star Alternate. Jordan hit seven doubles, hit four triples, had one home run with 29 RBI at South Mountain as a freshman and hit .450 in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League this past summer.
Jordano on Frabasilio: "Jordan is a dynamic player with tremendous athletic ability. He has very smooth hands in the field with great range and a solid arm. He has a great presence in the box with plus bat speed. He has the capabilities to not only be an everyday player, but be one of the elite players in this region. Jordan will be a key component to our program as we transition to the ACC."
Frabasilio on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose Pitt because it became clear to me that this was an opportunity that I could not pass up. The facility, coaches and a chance to play in the ACC are all huge factors. Academically, is doesn't get much better than Pitt."
Plano, Texas/Paris J.C.
Johnson is a right-handed hitting shortstop from Plano, Texas. He plays for Deron Clark at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. Matt was a three-year letterman in both baseball and football at Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas, where he was named All-District in both sports. Matt was named the Fall World Series MVP at Paris Junior College and was also named to the Texas/New Mexico JC All-Star Game this past fall. He was also on the president's list as a freshman at PJC with a 4.0 GPA.
Jordano on Johnson: "Matt epitomizes what we look for in potential student athletes. He's an outstanding student who also excels on the field. He has great hands and makes the routine plays and also makes the tough plays look easy. Matt is a hard-nosed kid that plays the game the right way with a hard focus on doing whatever it takes to win. He will fill an immediate need in our middle-infield next year and is a great addition to our program at the University of Pittsburgh."
Johnson on the decision to become a Panther: "Right when I stepped on campus, I could tell Pitt was a great fit; everything from the city itself to the facilities made my decision that much easier. The coaches and players were exceptional and made me feel right at home. Pitt offers a great opportunity to get a top notch education while having the chance to compete at one of the highest levels in college baseball in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I can't wait to be part of this program. Hail to Pitt!"
McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour
Mersing is a right-handed pitcher from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. He is rated the 19th best prospect according to PrepBaseballReport.com Pennsylvania and ranked in the Top 1000 in the country by PerfectGame.org. In the spring, Sam plays for Glenn Vietmeier at Montour High School in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and in the fall he plays for Fred Albert with the Allegheny Pirates. Sam is a three-year letterman at Montour going 13-3 with a 1.43 career ERA. He was a three-time All-Section pitcher and a two-time WPIAL Pitcher of the Year nominee. He also threw a perfect game his sophomore year at Montour.
Jordano on Mersing: "Sam is the proto-typical student athlete that we look for. He's a straight A student in the classroom and he's a winner on the ball field. He's a solid three-pitch mix guy with a fastball in the upper 80's, a plus change and a solid breaking ball and he's not afraid to throw any pitch in any count no matter the situation. He's a very polished young man from a great family and we're excited to see Sam on campus next fall."
Mersing on the decision to become a Panther: "The University of Pittsburgh has given me the opportunity to represent my city, playing the game I love. I'm very lucky to be a part of a winning program that's going to make a name for itself in the ACC. I'm ready and willing to put in the work that will get us to the top."
Webster, Texas/Hill College
Miller is a right-handed hitting shortstop from Webster, Texas. He plays for Chris Rateike at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. Keaton was selected to the Sophomore Texas Team his sophomore year in high school and went onto receive a First-Team All-District nod his junior year in high school. During his senior year in high school he was selected to the Houston 5A Baseball All Star Game. During his freshman year at Hill College he hit .280 with 16 RBI, scoring 25 runs, four doubles, one home run with nine stolen bases. Defensively, Keaton fielded .962 and led the team in assists with 155. He assisted in taking Hill College to the regional round of the Texas JC playoffs in 2012.
Jordano on Miller: "Keaton is a hard-nosed ball player who has the ability to make an immediate impact in our middle infield. He comes from a very tough Junior College program that has a track record of producing talented, tough and smart baseball players who are even better people. We are thrilled that Keaton has made the decision to become a part of our baseball program and university."
Miller on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose the University of Pittsburgh because it was a great opportunity for me to not only extend my baseball career, but to better myself by furthering my education at a prestigious university."
Mitchell is a left-handed pitcher from Ridgway, Pennsylvania. In the spring Josh plays for Mark Morelli at Ridgway High School in Ridgway and in the fall he plays for Fred Albert with the Allegheny Pirates. Josh was selected to the First Team All-District in both his sophomore and junior years at Ridgway and to the American Legion Region 8 All-Tournament Team in 2012. He was also ranked as the number one pitcher by the Tri-County Sunday in 2012 with an ERA of 1.98 recording 100 strikeouts. Josh also handled the bat well batting .530 with six home runs and 50 RBI. For his efforts he was also named to the First Team All-District as an outfielder along with his First Team pitching nod.
Jordano on Mitchell: "Josh is a very tough left-handed pitcher who can also swing the bat. He's one of the best left-handed pitchers in the state of Pennsylvania; his fastball ranges from 86-88 mph with good movement and he can throw his breaking ball to both sides of the plate and has a good change-up that he can go to on a consistent basis. He competes on the mound and wants to win as much as anybody. We welcome Josh and his family into our baseball family at the University of Pittsburgh."
Mitchell on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose Pitt because they have a great coaching staff that will take care of their players and they have the same passion for winning that I do. Pitt joining the ACC next year and the quality education were other reasons why I chose Pitt."
Morrison is a left-handed hitting outfielder from Bristow, Virginia. He is rated as the 500th best 2013 prospect in the country PerfectGame.org and the 15th best prospect in the state of Virginia. In the spring Josh plays for Sammy Serrano at Patriot High School in Nokesville, Virginia, and in the summer and fall he plays for Mike Chroniger with the Mid-Atlantic Rookies. Josh was named a Northern Virginia All Area First Team and a member of the Virginia Commonwealth Games playing for Mike Covington and the North Team in 2011. Josh was named a High Honorable Mention Perfect Game All American and played for the Commonwealth of Virginia Team in the South Atlantic Border Battle in 2012. Josh was recently named a 2013 Under Armour Pre-Season All American.
Jordano on Morrison: "Josh is an extremely talented young man who we are very excited about. He's got some great tools; he defends well, runs well, throws well, hits well and has shown flashes of good power. He's a solid teammate who puts his team before himself and those are the types of players that we want in this program. Josh comes from an outstanding family and is a great overall fit for our program and the University of Pittsburgh."
Morrison on the decision to become a Panther: "It is the perfect fit when considering everything, such as being one of the top rated academic institutions in the country, great coaching staff, top notch facilities and a very competitive team that will only get better. Being a part of Pitt's first recruiting class that will compete in the ACC is also very exciting."
Pazos is a right-handed hitting catcher/third baseman from Miami, Florida. He is rated as the 500th best 2013 prospect in the country PerfectGame.org and the 87th best prospect in the state of Florida. In the spring Manny plays for Tom Duffin at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Florida, and during the summer Manny plays for the Miami Suns. Pazos also participates in Selective Recruiting program operated by Laz Llanes.
Jordano on Pazos: "I am very excited to have Manny become a part of our program. He is a dynamic player with a great skill set. He is versatile as well. He is an accomplished catcher but is capable of playing other positions as well. I believe he will be an impact player for us very early in his career."
Pazos on the decision to become a Panther: "The University of Pittsburgh is one of the best Universities in the country. To be a part of the Pitt family is one of the best things to happen to me."
Aberdeen, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy
Pidich is a right-handed pitcher from Aberdeen, New Jersey. He is rated as the 500th best 2013 prospect in the country by PerfectGame.org and the 15th best prospect in the state of New Jersey. In the spring, Matt plays for Marty Kenny at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey, and in the summer he plays for the New Jersey 9ers. A three-year varsity letter winner at CBA, Matt was recognized as a member of the 2012 ESPNHS Pre-Season All-State Team in New Jersey. This past summer Matt was selected to Perfect Game's WWBA 17U All-Tournament Team as well as Perfect Game's 2012 Underclassmen Honorable Mention Team. Matt was chosen to participate on the 2012 NY Yankees Area Code Team which represented the northeast region in Long Beach, Calif. The Area Code teams represented eight regions across the US and featured the top 232 high school baseball players across the country. Matt was also selected to compete in the East Coast Pro Showcase Team for the Philadelphia Phillies held in Syracuse, New York, with other top players from the northeast.
Jordano on Pidich: "Matt is one of the most polished pitchers that we have ever recruited at the University of Pittsburgh; he's a great student and a great player. He throws three solid pitches consistently for strikes and he's the kind of kid who wants the ball in his hands against the best teams. He has the ability to make an immediate impact in our program and we can't wait for Matt to get on campus next year!"
Pidich on the decision to become a Panther: "I chose to attend the University of Pittsburgh because of the University's prestigious academic reputation and because I wanted to play college baseball in an elite program with a coaching staff to further develop my full potential, both on and off the field."
Zeuch is a right-handed pitcher from Mason, Ohio. He is rated as the 500th best 2013 prospect in the country by PerfectGame.org and the 7th best prospect in the state of Ohio. TJ is also rated the 7th best prospect in the state of Ohio according to PrepBaseballReport.com. In the spring, TJ pitches for Ken Gray at Mason High School and during the summer he plays for Brian Phelps with the Cincy Flames. TJ was a two-time All-District selection and threw one no-hitter and three one-hitters last season at Mason.
Jordano on Zeuch: "TJ is an extremely talented young man with a very bright future and we're ecstatic that future will begin at the University of Pittsburgh. Standing at 6'7", he's a very imposing figure on mound and he's been clocked at 88-92 mph with a hard breaking ball. He has a very high ceiling and on top of everything, TJ is a great competitor who flat out wants to beat his opponent. He is the kind of kid we want in this program as we transition to the ACC."
Zeuch on the decision to become a Panther: "The University of Pittsburgh is a great academic school with top flight facilities and coaching staff. The move to the ACC would assure that I would be able to pitch against the best players in the country and close enough to home so my parents could watch me play. It's a place where I have a strong connection and belief in the coaching staff."