FGCU Baseball Welcomes 19 Newcomers
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University baseball coach Dave Tollett announced Thursday that 19 student-athletes have joined the Eagles program for the 2005-06 academic year. The newcomers include six junior college transfers, three transfers from other four-year institutions, and 10 high school products.
“We are excited about this group of players joining our program”, said Tollett, who enters his fourth year at the helm of the Eagles program. “Our staff tried to put an emphasis on bringing in quality pitching and recruit players who can in make an immediate impact. Our position players are also going to be solid college baseball players who we think will make us better both offensively and defensively.”
Four of the six junior college transfers will compete for innings on the mound this spring. Junior right-handers Matt Laliberte (Hillsborough C.C. /New Port Richey, Fla.) and Dale Moeller (Laredo, Texas C.C./Woodbridge, VA) and junior left-hander John Wren (Manatee C.C./Bradenton, Fla.) join a staff that posted a 3.81 team ERA a year ago. Righty Robbie Rotunno (St. John’s River C.C./Sanford, Fla.) will split time between third base and the mound. Two outfielders, Kevin Morris (Daytona Beach C.C./Jacksonville, Fla.) and Geoff Rottmyer (Pasco-Hernando C.C./Clearwater, Fla.) are the other junior college transfers.
The other transfers include junior second baseman Jeff Germano (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and senior first baseman Ray Horal (Apopka, Fla.) from Saint Leo University and right-handed pitcher Kyle Beard (Miramar, Fla.) from Felician College in New York.
The high school signees include three Southwest Floridians. Outfielder Josh Upchurch and pitcher Casey Coleman played at Cape Coral Mariner while right hander John Shoemaker attended Golden Gate High in Naples. Freshman infielders include Patrick Garrido (Royal Palm Beach H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.), Pete Donfrancesco (Pope John Paul H.S./Boca Raton, Fla.), and Matt Cummins (Timber Creek H.S./Orlando). One catcher, Don Branca of Tampa Newsome High, joins the roster. Three pitchers, including left-handers Richard Bleier (South Plantation H.S./Davie, Fla.) and Jordan Fischer (Plantation H.S./Davie, Fla.), and right-hander Jim Richter (Palm Harbor H.S./Palm Harbor, Fla.) complete this year’s recruiting class.
FGCU loses only three players off last year’s 37-18 squad that finished seventh in the NCAA Division II South Region finals rankings.