Nov. 17, 2009
Head Baseball Coach Joe Jordano announced on Monday that 11 student-athletes have signed Letters of Intent to continue their academic and baseball careers at the University of Pittsburgh. Nine of the 11 signees hail from the Keystone State and the signees are as follows: Luke Curtis (Philipsburg-Osceola HS; Philipsburg, Pa.), Michael Douglas (Great Valley HS; Malvern, Pa.), Austin Ehrat (First Assembly Christian School; Cordova, Tenn.), Joe Harvey (Kennedy Kenrick; Audobon, Pa.), Brad Johnson (W.C. Rustin HS; West Chester, Pa.), Ethan Mildren (Laurel Highlands HS; Hopwood, Pa.), Luke Novosel (Penn-Trafford HS; Irwin, Pa.), Blake Overmiller (Magruder HS; Rockville, Md.), Casey Roche (Downingtown East HS; Downingtown, Pa.), Derik Wilson (Hershey HS; Hershey, Pa.) and Matt Wotherspoon (Crestwood HS; Mountain Top, Pa.).
Coach Jordano on the 2010 Recruiting Class:
"I could not be more pleased with this recruiting class. Our coaching staff did an outstanding job this past recruiting cycle. Coach Lopaze deserves a lot of credit in making this happen. Each member of this class will play a critical role in our program. Over the past 13 years I feel our program has accomplished some great things. I believe we are poised to take it to another level. I am confident we are in position to achieve even more. This enthusiasm is fueled, not only by our current team, but by this recruiting class.
"Soon, we will christen our new baseball facility within the Petersen Sports Complex. Every day we are working extremely hard to prepare for an exciting campaign and beyond. This recruiting class, without question, positions us well to begin a new era of Pitt Baseball next fall. Not only are these guys great players, they are even better kids. Their talent; work ethic and desire to achieve will be a tremendous addition to our baseball program. I anxiously await their arrival on campus!"
Below is a detailed list of the class:
Luke Curtis is a right-handed pitcher from Philipsburg, Pa. He is rated as the #271 best 2010 prospect in the country by PGCrosschecker.com. At Philipsburg-Osceola, he plays for Coach Doug Sankey and has notched three career no-hitters and one being a perfect game. Over his varsity career he has an overall record of 10-3 with three saves earning a 3.2 ERA with 124 strikeouts through 107 innings pitched. He was named a two-time First Team All-Conference Pitcher and two time All-County Pitcher of the Year. This past summer Luke played for the Orioles Scout team as well as the Allegheny Pirates who he also plays with during the fall for Coach Fred Albert.
Jordano on Luke Curtis: "I am extremely excited about the future for Luke Curtis. I believe that he has the potential to be a legitimate power arm in our program that can compete at a very high level. His combination of sinking fastball, hard breaking ball and great feel for a change-up were among the best I've seen over the past few years. He comes from a great family, is a great student and is a tremendous competitor."
Michael Douglas is a right-handed hitting infielder/outfielder from Malvern, Pa. He was named to the 2009 First Team Ches-Mont and 2009 Top 15 Area Shortstops and Top Area Hitters by the Philly Inquirer. He was also named to the Chester County Carpenter Cup Team. As a junior at Great Valley High School, he hit .423 with four home runs, 10 doubles, one triple, 23 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. At Great Valley, he plays for Coach Matt Schultz and during the summer he plays for Coach Dan Gitzen with the Mid-Atlantic Mets.
Jordano on Michael Douglas: "Michael is an exciting player because he runs extremely well, hits for power and average and can play multiple positions on defense. Whether Michael is playing on the infield or in the outfield he will definitely be a critical piece to the puzzle. Michael is not only an outstanding baseball player, but he's also a tremendous student and we're anxious for his development at the University of Pittsburgh."
Austin Ehrat is a right-handed hitting catcher from Cordova, Tenn. He is a four-year letterman for First Assembly Christian High School where he played three years for Coach Robby Donaldson and will play this coming season for Coach Cory Concus. He was named All-Region during his sophomore and junior seasons. He hit .315 last season and carried a batting average of.460 in the postseason. He had a fielding percentage of .986 and has only allowed nine stolen bases in three years at FACHS. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. He is also been a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past three years. He played with the East Coast Grays this past summer for Coach Chris Snusz.
Jordano on Austin Ehrat: "Austin is a very exciting player and has the ability to contribute immediately. He has a very strong arm behind the plate throwing consistent 1.8 pop times to second base and he knows how to handle the bat. He was being heavily recruited by C-USA, SEC and Big East schools and we are thrilled he felt most comfortable with the University of Pittsburgh. He is a yes sir-no sir young man that fits the mold of what we look for in potential student-athletes and we will look for big things for Austin over the next few years."
Joe Harvey is a right-handed pitcher from Audobon, Pa. He was awarded as the KKCHS Outstanding Pitcher of the Year in 2009 as well as First Team All-Area, 3rd Team All-City and Honorable Mention All-Southeastern Pennsylvania. He was perfect in 2009 going 7-0 with a 1.49 ERA. He recorded 78 strikeouts through 46 innings of work including three shutouts. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect High Follow List for the class of 2010. At Kenndy Kenrick he plays for Tom Sergio and during the summer he plays for Dave Amaro with the Philly Bandits.
Jordano on Joe Harvey: "Joe is a solid right-handed arm that has good stuff and the makeup to pitch in a variety of roles because he's the kind of guy that wants the ball in any situation. His fastball has been clocked in the upper 80's and he throws a hard breaking ball and he has a good feel for his change-up. We were very impressed the more we saw Joe pitch this summer and how he carried himself on and off the field for Coach Amaro and the Philly Bandits. He's got the tools and makeup to become a very successful pitcher. Joe comes from a great family and we're excited to have him be a part our baseball family!
Brad Johnson is a right-handed hitting third baseman from West Chester, Pa. He is a three-year starter at WC Rustin High School where he played for Coach Brad Harkins. In 2009, he was named First-Team All Chesmont hitting .402 with eight home runs. This past summer he played for Mike Manning with All-Star Baseball Academy and hit .395 with five home runs against some of the top competition in the country. A heavily recruited player, he is on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010 and he attended the PGWWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., this past October.
Jordano on Brad Johnson: "Brad is a special player because he has the ability to change the outcome of a game with one swing of the bat. He's a power hitting third baseman that we were impressed with the very first time we saw him this past summer with Mike Manning's All-Star Baseball Academy. He has good hands in the field and moves well side to side which suits him well at 3rd base. Brad is a hard worker in the class room who comes from a great family and we're excited for his future at PITT!"
Ethan Mildren is a right-handed pitcher from Hopwood, Pa. After Ethan's junior season at Laurel Highlands where he plays for Coach Tom Landman, he was named to the Fayette County Coaches Association All-County Team as well as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette WPIAL 2-AAA All-Section Team. He was also the WPIAL 2-AAA Most Valuable Player and the Tribune-Review High School Baseball Player of the Year in 2009. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect High Follow List for the class of 2010. He is also a standout basketball player and one of the best in Western, Pa. Ethan has played the last two years with the Allegheny Pirates for Coach Fred Albert.
Jordano on Ethan Mildren: "Ethan might have the best control of any recruit that I have seen in the past few years. He has the ability to consistently command three pitches for strikes. At 6'4", he's got a very projectable body and he's already throwing in the mid to upper 80's range with his fastball and we feel confident that his velocity as well as his breaking ball and change-up will continue to get better and better through the development process at the University of Pittsburgh. Ethan is a great kid who doesn't try to over throw and competes every time he's on the mound. We're very excited Ethan is a Panther!"
Luke Novosel is a right-handed pitcher from Irwin, Pa. In his junior year he only threw in five games due to an injury and rain-shortened season going 2-2 with one no-decision. He finished the season with a 2.10 ERA. A two-year letterman, Novosel will co-captain this coming season's squad at Penn-Trafford High School. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. This past summer he played with the Independent Players in the Western Pennsylvania Elite Baseball League for Coach Jim Basilone and finished the season going 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA.
Jordano on Luke Novosel: "Luke is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher with a fastball in the upper 80's and I knew when I first saw him he was the kind of pitcher we were looking for. He has a lot of natural deception in his delivery that reminds me of Hall of Famer, Goose Gossage. He's very deliberate with all of his pitches and has a very loose arm. Luke is a solid student and comes from an outstanding family and I'm excited to watch Luke's progress over the next few years at the University of Pittsburgh.
Blake Overmiller is a right-handed hitting catcher from Rockville, Md. He was the team MVP in 2009 hitting .580 with 14 home runs, slugging percentage of 1.189 and had 13 back picks from the catching position. Over his high school career he has a career batting average of .505 with 22 home runs, slugging .905 and he's thrown out 23 of 25 would be base stealers. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. In the summer he plays with the Mid-Atlantic Rookies coached by Mike Chroniger.
Jordano on Blake Overmiller: "Blake was brought to our attention from Mike Chroniger of the Mid Atlantic Rookies and he is a special player that possesses a rare combination of power at the plate and solid catching skills. It's hard to find a solid defensive catcher with the ability to consistently hit the ball out of the ball park. He has the ability to drive the gaps offensively and blocks the baseball as good as anyone we saw all summer behind the plate. He controls the running game with his footwork and strong arm. Blake has two very supportive parents and we're excited to add him to our baseball family!"
Casey Roche is a right-handed hitting outfielder/pitcher from Downingtown, Pa. Casey was heavily recruited and in 2008 was named the 10th-best prospect in the Perfect Game Northeast Sunshine Showcase. He has twice been named All-Area and All-League at Downingtown East High School for Coach Jim Freeman. In 2009, the Philadelphia Inquirer named him as one of the top 20 outfielders in Southeastern, Pa. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect High Follow List for the class of 2010. He plays for Coach Mike Manning with All-Star Baseball Academy during the summer and fall seasons.
Jordano on Casey Roche: "Casey has the ability to be a legitimate two-way player. He's as good as any pitcher we saw all summer with a sinking fastball in the upper 80's and a tight slider that keeps hitters off balance. He's also a threat every time he comes up to the plate or gets on the bases. He runs very well and does a great job of taking what the opposition gives him on the base paths. Casey understands where he's supposed to be in the outfield on every play and keeps the rest of his teammates in the game at all times. I'm extremely excited to have a player like Casey's caliber in our recruiting class and even more excited to start working with him next fall!"
Derik Wilson is a right-handed hitting shortstop from Hershey, Pa. He is a three-year letterman as the starting shortstop at Hershey High School and was named a 2009 Mid-Penn All-Star in 2009 hitting .382 with five homeruns. He led Hershey to the Keystone Division Title in 2007 & 2009 and took care of business in the classroom earning a three year Distinguished Honor Roll every semester. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. At Hershey High School Derik plays for Al Fricke and during the summer he's a member of Elite Baseball of Lancaster coached by Matt Knox and Matt Wertz.
Jordano on Derik Wilson: "Derik was brought to our attention as a definite player to follow by Matt Wertz of Elite Baseball. We soon found out that Derik was exactly what we were looking for this past summer after seeing him play. He has a great feel for the game and keeps his teammates focused on every single play. He competes every single pitch of every at bat which is what we preach to our hitters. Derik has the ability to come in right away and be an immediate contributor. He is an outstanding student who comes from a great family and is a perfect fit at the University of Pittsburgh."
Matt Wotherspoon is a right-handed pitcher from Mountain Top, Pa. He was selected to the Wyoming Valley Conference All-Star Team in 2009 after going 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA. He was selected to play in the Pocono Region Keystone Team in the Keystone Games for the past two years. He is also on the PGCrosschecker.com Top Prospect Follow List for the class of 2010. At Crestwood High School he plays for Coach Mark Modrovsky and during the summer Matt plays with Mountain Post in American Legion for Coach Chris Sweeney.
Jordano on Matt Wotherspoon: "Matt is a special pitcher who we believe has the ability to come in and contribute right away. He's very athletic and throws in the upper 80's to low 90's and has a sharp breaking ball with solid change-up. He's very mature for his age and his feel for his off-speed is some of the best I've ever seen. He competes with every pitch he throws and he will bring a great attitude to our pitching staff. Matt is a solid student who comes from an outstanding family and fits the perfect mold of what we look for in potential PITT Panthers!
The 2010 University of Pittsburgh Recruiting Class:
First Assembly Christian School
West Chester, PA
Mountain Top, PA