Nov. 20, 2006
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Spartans baseball team announced today the signing of five players in the early signing period for their first Division I recruiting class. The class consists of three high school players and two junior college players. The Spartans will welcome to campus next fall Matt Bertino, A.J. Clark, Robert Stegbauer, Phillip Meyers, and Tommy Shovlin.
"I am very pleased that we signed these five individuals," said Head Coach Matt Fincher. "Coach Tom Fleenor did an excellent job putting this group together. All of them will have an opportunity to impact the program immediately."
Bertino is a 6'5" right-handed pitcher from Jupiter, Fla. He will play his senior year of high school baseball at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. for Mark Holbert. Until this year he has played at Jupiter High School for Doug Ferguson and Brack Hardee. Over his three years at Jupiter he posted a 2.32 ERA with a record of 8-2 with one save. Last year he was inducted into the Jupiter High School Warrior "Wall of Fame" for his outstanding athletic achievement in the Varsity Conference Championship. Last summer and fall he played for the Tidewater White Sox coached by former Major Leaguers Buggs Moran and Howard Johnson. He also played in a fall high school league where he was coached by Peter Kutsukos. Playing for those organizations he threw 35 innings and recorded 39 strikeouts while posting a 1.40 ERA. "Matt is an excellent addition to our program," said Fincher. "He is an outstanding student, and will compete for time on the mound immediately."
Clark is a 6'2" switch hitting shortstop that can also pitch from Colorado Springs, Colo. He attends Monument Academy and plays for Clark Herring. Last year Clark batted .560 with seven doubles, four triples, and one homerun. He also stole nine bases during the season. On the mound he went 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 25 IP, and struck out 33 of the batters he faced. This past summer he played for the Colorado Jets coached by Bernie Moncallo. He batted .489 tallying 68 hits in 139 at bats, and had a .550 on-base percentage while scoring 48 runs. He posted a 3-1 record with four saves, and had a 2.29 ERA to go with it. "We think A.J. is a valuable addition to our team, and will immediately compete for time at shortstop," said Fincher. "He may also help us out on the mound as well. The fact that he switch hits should be a bonus for our offense."
Stegbauer was the Spartans first commitment to the program this fall. He is a 6'5" right-handed pitcher from Hillsboro, Ohio. He will finish his career this spring at Lynchburg-Clay High School where he plays for Aric Fiscus. During last season, the summer, and this fall he was 11-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 98 IP while striking out 102 of the batters he faced. Over the summer and fall he played for Marty Bruck on the Cincinatti Sharks. "Robert is a tall right-handed pitcher that we feel will contribute to our staff right away," said Fincher. "We also feel that he has a tremendous upside and will continue to get better."
Myers is a 6'5" left-handed pitcher from Louisville, Ky. He will join the Spartans from Seminole Community College in Florida where he plays for Mike Nicholson. Last season he was limited due to an injury, but is slated to be a big part off the pitching staff this spring at SCC. Last spring he went 2-0 in seven appearances, two of them were as a starter, with a 2.18 ERA. He pitched in 20.2 innings and held his opponents to a .116 batting average. He played his high school baseball at Ballard High School where he played for Greg Gilbert. At Ballard he was an all-region selection as well as a 44th round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2005. "We are very excited to have Phillip next year," said Fincher. "He is a left-handed pitcher with size that should pitch in our conference rotation."
Shovlin is a 6'1" outfielder from Cocoa Beach, Fla. He will play this season at Daytona Beach Community College for Tim Touma. Last year at DBCC he played in 44 games and had a batting average of .335. Shovlin recorded 60 hits, nine doubles, two triples, and seven homeruns. He scored 42 runs, had 33 RBIs, and finished the season with a .436 on-base percentage. He played for Rollie Feanny while prepping at Cocoa Beach High School. "We felt like the outfield was an area of need, and we are very pleased to be able to bring in such an accomplished player," said Fincher. "We also feel that Tommy will immediately be a significant help to our offense next year"