Transfer Players Highlight 2nd Group of
Suns baseball Signees
The second group of 12 signees to the inaugural Suns Baseball recruiting class of 2011 has been announced by Head Baseball Coach, Jon Copeland. The group continues the trend of talent from the first group and includes a number of transfer players. “This group is just as talented in baseball ability and in quality of character as the first group. We wanted to bring in a certain percentage of transfer players in order for us to compete right away for the first season of the program in 2012, and this group helps us significantly with that goal”, stated Copeland.
Two players coming from Daytona State College are Vince Tome and Mark Vidal. Tome, a red-shirt this past season, was a .315 hitter with 14 RBI’s coming out of high school and is currently playing in the summer Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League. Vidal, also a red-shirt freshman, was a standout player coming out of Gulf Coast HS last season. He is currently one of the top players in the Florida Futures Wood Bat Summer League, with a .371 batting avg. and he is 2nd in the league in RBI’s.
Transferring from Florida State College-Jacksonville, is Erick Figueroa. Figueroa, played multiple positions for the Stars and was a Mid-Florida Conference All-Academic Team selection. Prior to that he was a 4-year letter winner at Bishop Snyder HS were he earned All-Area honors as a sophomore and junior before an injury shortened his senior season. However, he still won the coveted Cardinal Award as the most outstanding player for four years in the program.
John Melito joins the team coming from Florida A&M. Melito, who was a member of the state championship team from Trinity Christian Academy in 2010, red-shirted his freshman season at Division 1 A&M. He is also currently playing in the Florida Futures Wood-Bat Summer League and leads the league in doubles.
Blake Urquhart was a starter last season at Clearwater Christian. Urquhart was a standout two-way player at South Fort Myers HS were he was 6-2 (including 2 no-hitters) with a 1.95 ERA his senior year and carried a .433 career BA in route to being named the Wolf Pack’s MVP. He was named to the All-County All-Star Team, the News-Press All-Area Team and to the Perfect Game CrossChecker/Baseball America National Top 2,000 Prospects list- which garnered him a spot on the MLB Draft follow-list for that year.
Brandon Zurn comes to the team from Mayville State University. Zurn, a standout at Interlachen HS, returns to Florida after playing two seasons for NAIA power Mayville State.
Coming straight from high school are: Carey Emmerke , Jarrett Bielawski, Russell Hackworth, Sean Cochran, Andres Rios, and Michael Mena. From Chelsea HS in Alabama, Emmerke, a 3-yr. starter for the Hornets, batted .321 as a senior, with a .400 OBP; as a junior he was nominated to the state North/South All-Star game. Bielawski, had a standout senior campaign for the Palmetto HS Tigers as he batted .395, led them into the District playoffs and was named to the exclusive Herald-Tribune All-Area squad. Hackworth, from Western HS, was a 3-year letterman for the Wildcats and was the Coaches Award winner and Captain as a senior as he batted .358 and tied for the team lead in HR’s and was second in RBI’s. He belted .444 and was named the team MVP as a junior. Mandarin Christian HS’s Cochran, helped lead the Eagles to their first ever appearance in the Regional Playoffs as he batted .325 with a SLG of .538 and an OBP of .409. He scored 29 runs with 11 doubles and 2 HRs, and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Rios, who batted .370 during his senior season at Clewiston HS, is also currently playing in the Florida Futures Wood-Bat Summer League. Finally, Golden Gate HS Titans’ MVP this last season, Mena. Mena who batted .408, with a .914 FP, was selected as a 2011 Perfect Game-Honorable Mention, to the CCAC All-Conference Team and was a Naples Daily News All-Area Honorable Mention.
“We are very excited about this second group of signees”, states Copeland. “They are a fine group of young men who have the ability and history to distinguish themselves on the field, in the classroom and within the FCC community. We are currently working on our third and final group of signees, and hope to have that group finalized by the end of July. We are blessed to have such a talented group of players at this point in the recruiting process; we are eagerly looking forward to the first season of the Suns Baseball program”. The Suns begin their first season, in 2012, at home with a 3-game series against Point University on Jan. 27-28.