PHILADELPHIA W. Joseph Blood Head Coach of Baseball at the University of Pennsylvania, John Cole announced his eight-player recruiting class of 2012 this week. The 2007 Ivy League Gehrig Division champions will add eight men from six different states to their lineup in the 2009 season. Included in the class are six pitchers and two position players who can play multiple positions.
Patrick Brennan is a right-handed pitcher from Corona Del Mar, Calif. and plays his high school baseball at Newport Harbor High School for coach Evan Chalmers. He is an AP Scholar and honor roll student who represented the United States in a series against Australian high school teams in 2007. He possesses a mid-80s fastball with excellent command of the strike zone.
“Patrick has great movement on his pitches and a true feel for pitching,” Cole said. “He projects as a solid contributor to our rotation for the years to come.”
Matt Holtshouser will join the Quakers after finishing his high school career at St. Louis University High and coach Steve Nicollerat. The St. Louis, Mo. native, a left-handed pitcher, has worked as both a starter and reliever in his career. He was named honorable mention All-Metro Catholic Conference in 2007 for his team that won the District championship. He has achieved first honors every semester and is a National Honor Society member.
“Matt is a disciplined worker with tremendous mound presence,” Cole said. “He should compete for innings very early in his career.”
Also joining the Red and Blue’s pitching corps in the class of 2012 will be Trey Jennings, a right-handed pitcher from Austin, Texas. He plays his high school baseball at St. Stephen’s Episcopal for coach John Keller.
“Trey has a very good fastball that he compliments with an ability to throw his off-speed pitches for strikes,” Cole said. “He is a great competitor who should have an immediate impact for us.”
Another southpaw will join Penn next season as Chris McNulty makes the transition from playing high school ball at St. Peter’s Prep and head coach Joe Urbanovich. The Bayonne, N.J. product was named All-County his junior season and enters his second season as captain at St. Peter’s. He is a National Honor Society member.
“Chris really knows how to pitch,” said Cole. “He has good command and mixes his pitches well.”
James Mraz, a 6’3 infielder/outfielder from Kennett Square, Pa., is a versatile player with the ability to slot in at many positions. An All-Conference shortstop last season for coach Billy Cannon, he projects as a corner infielder and outfielder for the Quakers. He hit safely in 42-straight high school games and stole 24 bases while only being thrown out once. He is a three-sport athlete at the Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Del., quarterbacking the football team and playing basketball in addition to his baseball duties.
“James is a tremendous athlete for his size,” Cole said. “He will add power to the middle of our lineup in addition to a little speed.”
Joining Mraz in the lineup will be Derek Vigoa. He is a native of Miami, Fla. and plays his high school baseball at Christopher Columbus High School for coach Joe Weber. A four-year letterwinner and captain of his team, Vigoa was named honorable mention All-Dade County as a junior. Last season, he started games at six different positions. He has been on the honor roll every year.
“Derek can play any position on the field,” said Cole. “He is a speedy, adaptable athlete who can do many things. He will compete for time in the infield and behind the plate early in his career.”
Vince Voiro is another right-handed pitcher who has decided to attend Penn. A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., he attends Cherry Hill West High School and plays his high school baseball for Gary Sarno. He has been on the varsity for three seasons and is a National Honor Society member.
“Vince really came on strong this fall,” Cole said. “He added a high 80s fastball to go with his good breaking pitches.”
The final member of the class of 2012 is Mike Zuppee. He resides in Freehold, N.J., and pitches for Christian Brothers Academy and head coach Marty Kenney. The righty was injured for his junior season, but impressed in the fall. In addition to his skills on the diamond,Zuppee is a prolific hockey player, with a selection as New Jersey Star Ledger Player of the Year to his credit. He has achieved first honors every semester at CBA and is a National Honor Society member.
“Mike is an all-around good athlete,” Cole said. “He will be a valuable member of our pitching staff and his competitive nature will push everyone around him.”