Tiny Tusculum Yields Second Redbird

Catcher Christian Rosa joins pitcher Brandon Dickson as former Tusculum College players in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.

Tusculum College is a Division II school located in Greeneville, Tennessee affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Though the school has just 2,600 students, two of them have become professional baseball players in the St. Louis Cardinals system.

In fact, for the second time in three years, a Pioneer signed a minor league contract with the Redbirds. The latest is former Tusculum catcher Christian Rosa. The 21-year-old will be reporting to the Batavia Muckdogs of the short-season Class-A New York-Penn League.

The 5-foot-9, 190 pound Rosa actually began his professional career last week with the Rockford (IL) RiverHawks of the independent Frontier League. There, he played in three contests, going 1-for-11 before signing with the Cardinals.

The Toa Boa, Puerto Rico native had played both behind the plate and in the outfield for the Pioneers in 2008. He batted .390 with 15 doubles, seven triples and a team-best 12 home runs. His 21 career long balls are tied for fifth all-time at Tusculum. Rosa threw out 10 of 35 baserunners trying to steal.

Rosa is a two-time All-American, having been named to the 2008 Daktronics All-America Second Team, selected by the Division II College Sports Information Directors of America. He also received honorable mention for the 2007 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America team.

Rosa was also a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference First Team member and was All-Region according to Daktronics, NCBWA and the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Prior to attending Tusculum for his junior and senior seasons, Rosa played for Frank Phillips College in Barger, Texas, where he was All-Conference and an All-Star. He graduated from Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School.

The other Cardinals player from Tusculum is right-handed pitcher Brandon Dickson, who signed as a free agent in August, 2006 after playing in a wooden bat league that summer. He has since progressed to the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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