NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Niagara baseball head coach Rob McCoy has announced the 12 new Purple Eagles that make up the 2013 recruiting class.
"I first want to thank Coach Spatafora for all the hard work he put into assembling this class," McCoy said. "I believe it is one of our best, and he deserves a lot of the credit. We have added a range of very talented young men that not only have significant talent but will also represent this team and this university well in the classroom and off the field. They are high character individuals that bought into what it means to be a Niagara University baseball player."
Joel Brophy | 5-11 | 180 | C | Burlington, Ont. | Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School
Brophy joins the Purple and White after four seasons at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School. The majority of Joel's development came with the Ontario Terriers under the guidance of Scott Vandevalk, Rick Johnston, and Dan Thompson. At Notre Dame Catholic, he was named Athlete of the Year in both of his junior and senior seasons, after being named Junior Male Athlete of the Year for the city of Burlington as a freshman. A three-sport athlete, he was captain of the baseball, hockey
, and volleyball teams. Out from behind the plate, Brophy finished his secondary school career strong, landing on the honor roll for Grade 12.
"Joel comes from a great developmental program," said McCoy. "We are thrilled to add a catcher with the defensive skills that he possesses. We look for him to compete for the starting job early in his career."
Michael Bucci | 6-2 | 200 | LHP | Toronto, Ont. | Bishop Allen Academy
Bucci comes to Monteagle Ridge by way of Toronto and the Bishop Allen Academy. The lefty had a very successful career throughout high school and was named the team's MVP in his senior season. He represented Ontario and helped them win the gold medal in the 2012 Canada Cup. As well, Michael participated with Canadian Jr. National Team's fall program. Outside of school he excelled for the East York Bulldogs under the guidance of Mark Ireland.
"We are excited to add a quality lefthander like Michael," McCoy said. "He has excelled at every level. We expect him to have a significant impact with our team moving forward."
Mac Curran | 6-5 | 253 | LHP | Lakeville, Mass. | Coyle and Cassidy High School
Curran comes to the program from Coyle and Cassidy High School where he finished with a 23-5 record, a 0.68 ERA, and found success at the plate with a .396 batting average. The Taunton Gazette named him to its All-Scholastic Conference All-Star Team in his final three seasons. As a junior he also made the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team. As a senior, Mac was named to the ESPN All-State team and both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic teams. During his summers, he played for both the Rhode Island Gators and the Southcoast Shamrocks. Off of the diamond he made the honor roll at Coyle and Cassidy in his junior and senior years.
"We are really excited to have Mac," said McCoy. "He's got size and strength and tons of potential. He has an uncanny ability to get the job done on the mound. I am looking forward to see him develop."
Cody Eckerson | 5-7 | 145 | LHP | Palmyra, N.Y. | Palmyra-Macedon High School
Eckerson attended Palmyra-Macedon High School where he enjoyed a very successful baseball career, especially in his senior year. That season he was named team MVP, Finger Lakes Region Player of the Year, Daily Messenger Player of the Year, and Section V Baseball Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-State Second Team and to the All-Greater Rochester team. As a junior he was named to the All-League First Team. His success carried over into the classroom graduating 24th in his class and being named onto the honor roll each year of high school.
"Cody is an outstanding person and ball player," McCoy said. "He was little known around the area, and we are fortunate to have him. I can't wait to see what he can accomplish here."
Anthony Firenzi | 6-3 | 185 | OF | Corte Madera, Ca. | College of Marin
Firenzi comes to Monteagle Ridge from the West Coast where he attended the College of Marin in Kentfield, Ca. He was a two-sport standout for four years at Marin Catholic High School. He won the St. Sebastian Award for baseball in his freshman and the Leadership Award as a senior. On the football field he was named to the All-League First Team as well as earning another St. Sebastian Award. In the summers of 2012 and 2013 he took the diamond for the California Warriors of the Far West Baseball League. This last summer he was named the team/league MVP and made the All-League First Team.
"Anthony is a very athletic addition to our squad," McCoy said. "We set out to upgrade our outfield speed and Anthony fits that bill. We look for him to be a major contributor for us this season."
Kevin Lucas | 6-4 | 210 | RHP | Mississauga, Ont. | St. Joseph's Secondary School
Lucas joins the Purple Eagles from St. Joseph's Secondary School. He was his team's MVP as a senior at St. Joseph's a year after being named MDP. With the instruction and guidance of Paul Quantrill, Greg Coughlin, and Dan Thompson of the Ontario Terriers, Kevin realized most of his success during his senior summer throwing two no-hitters. In the classroom, Lucas was an Ontario Scholar and earned Honor Roll recognition from 2009-13.
"Kevin is the sleeper of this class," said McCoy. "He has exciting stuff on the mound and has a good head about him."
Trevor McCauley | 6-3 | 190 | OF/1B | Urbandale, Iowa | Johnston High School
McCauley comes to Monteagle Ridge via Johnston High School. McCauley, whose older brother Ryan was very successful in the Purple and White from 2010-13, was a two-sport athlete in high school. On the baseball diamond he earned a varsity letter in both his junior and senior seasons, the latter he served as team captain. Trevor was also named to the First Team All-Conference and All-District this past season when Johnston won the Iowa State Championship. Off of the field he was a member of the National Honor Society and was on the honor roll at Johnston.
"Trevor has good bloodlines and comes from a great family," McCoy said. "His potential was attractive to us, and we are looking forward to helping him to develop into a great player."
Austin Miller | 5-11 | 180 | LHP/OF | Granite Falls, N.C. | South Caldwell High School
Miller joins Niagara after a decorated multi-sport career at South Caldwell High School. As a senior, Austin was named to the All-County and All-Conference teams for his performance on the diamond as well as the All-Conference and All-County teams for soccer. His success carried on into is academics where he was named to the A and B Honor Roll.
"Austin brings a two-way dimension to our team," said McCoy. "He can pitch, as well as, handle the bat which makes him a very valuable asset."
Geoff Seto | 5-8 | 145 | INF | Richmond Hill, Ont. | Bill Crothers Secondary School
Seto graduated from the Bill Crothers Secondary School and is one of three Ontario Terrier alums (Joel Brophy & Kevin Lucas) to join the Purple Eagles. The infielder comes to Niagara with several awards for excellence in athletics and academics. He was named to the Team Canada Sunbelt Sophomore Team in 2011 and OFSAA High School Silver Medalist in the same season. He played a major role in his final three years of High School when his team was the YRAA High School Baseball Champs in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Academically, Geoff was named on the Honor Roll all four years of high school and was a High School Ontario Scholar.
"Geoff brings to Niagara a great combination of skill and leadership," McCoy said. "We expect big things out of him on and off the field over the next four years."
Liam Stroud | 6-4 | 205 | RHP | Maple Ridge, B.C. | Westview Secondary School
Stroud joins Niagara University after a multi-sport career at Westview Secondary. In addition to baseball, Stroud played basketball, volleyball and soccer. He was a two-time Male Athlete of the Year at Westview. Stroud's development in baseball came from his participation with the Langley Blaze, one of the premier club teams in Canada, under Coach Doug Mathieson. As well, Liam represented British Columbia as a player on Team B.C. in the 2012 Canada Cup. His success transitioned into the classroom, where he was an Honor Roll student from 2008-2013 and won his school's Top All-Around Student Award as a senior in 2013.
"Liam comes to us with a ton of talent and a ton of experience against great competition," McCoy said. "We will look for him to compete for a spot in our weekend rotation as a freshman."
Steven van Vooght | 6-3 | 190 | RHP | Delta, B.C. | Sands Secondary School
Steven van Vooght hails from British Columbia where he attended Sands Secondary School. He competed for Coach Evan Bailey with the Okanagan Athletics in the BCPBL. The righty enjoyed a well-decorated baseball career beginning in 2009 when he won the first of back-to-back Provincial Tournament MVP Awards and the first of two Western Canadian MVPs. He would win that award again in 2010. In 2011, van Vooght was named the Sands Secondary/Athletics Pitcher of the Year. Additional accolades include being selected twice to play in the Arizona Sr. Fall Classic and once to play in Florida for the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Tournament. Academically, Van Vooght's made the Honor Roll from grades 8-12.
"We are excited about Steven's raw ability," said McCoy. "He has a ton of upside and with development could be a special arm for us."
Jack Wietlispach | 6-2 | 205 | C/2B/3B | Chicago, Il. | Parkland College
Wietlispach, whose older brother, Matt, was a Purple Eagle from 2008-10, joins Niagara University from Parkland College. While at Parkland, Jack helped his team achieve a No. 4 ranking in the NJCAA in 2012. He hit .275 with four homeruns and four triples as a freshman. As a sophomore he served as team captain. His season was cut short after suffering a hand injury that forced him to redshirt. Before Parkland, Jack attended high school at Notre Dame College Prep where as a senior he hit .419 with eight homeruns, collected 39 RBIs, and went a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen bases. His accolades included: an All-ESCC pick, an All-Area pick by four different local papers and the Chicago White Sox, and was an Illinois All-State selection. Additionally, Wietlispach was honored with the Notre Dame Prep team MVP, was selected as a team captain, and received the team's Hardest Worker Award.
"Jack provides our team with an unbelievable amount of versatility," said McCoy. "He can play multiple positions and plays them well. Additionally, we expect great things from his bat as he anchors our lineup for the next three years.'