B A S E B A L L
Suns Baseball Concludes Historic Recruiting Class,
and Summer Highlights
Florida Christian College Head Baseball Coach, Jon Copeland, could not help but smile, after putting together what is certainly the largest, and arguably, the most talented recruiting class in the NCCAA (with over forty players for the fall roster, after starting at zero) this summer, he looked like the proverbial fox in the hen house. “Obviously, we are very pleased, and feel very blessed, with this first recruiting class in the short history of the Suns Baseball program. However, there is still a lot of work and time to go in order to build the type of program we expect to have”, stated Copeland. Copeland, and his staff, took one step closer to getting the program where they want it to be, by putting the finishing touches on the Suns historic recruiting class. “This final group of recruits is much more than we had anticipated and adds a dimension of depth that many first-year programs do not typically have”, added Copeland. The group includes Andrew Alderman, a transfer from Crowley’s Ridge College in Arkansas, Carlos Guzman, a transfer from Lakeland Community College in Ohio, Austin Gould, a transfer from Hesston College in Kansas, Alfredo D’Amelio, from Freedom HS, Hansel Lazo, from Hialeah Gardens HS, Reydel Gonzalez, a transfer from Bacone College in Oklahoma, ErickIvan Mendoza, from Miami Christian HS, Anthony Garcia, the second transfer from Div. 1, Florida A & M, for the Suns, Bryan Ortiz, a transfer from East Central University, Christopher Rodriquez, from Miami Sunset HS, Justin Pereira, from Deltona HS and Brent Hodge, from Mainland HS.
Alderman, is a junior transfer and a former NCCAA All-Region recipient. Guzman, also a transfer, is a solid hitter with power. Gould, a junior transfer, comes to FCC after a successful community college career, D’Amelio, was a starter in high school in baseball crazy Orange County, FL. Lazo, is a highly-touted pitcher from the Miami area, while Gonzalez, a Florida native, returns to his home state as a transfer from Oklahoma. Mendoza, becomes the third former player from 1A power Miami Christian HS, to sign with the Suns, just as Garcia is the second from A&M. Ortiz and Rodriquez, are two highly-regarded transfer pitchers from the Miami area. Pereira, was a standout for the recent 6A state runner-up at Deltona HS, and Hodge led Volusia County in HR’s this past season as a well-decorated player.
In addition to completing an outstanding recruiting class, Copeland was pleased by the play of many Suns players, involved in summer collegiate leagues, this past few months. Leading off the list is Mark Vidal, who completed an excellent season in the Florida Futures Wood-Bat League (an affiliate of the premier Florida Collegiate Summer League) by being named the league’s MVP. John Melito also played in the FWL and was the starting 1st baseman for the squad that eventually lost in the league championship game. Vince Tome and David Ruditz played in the Arizona Collegiate League. Eric Santamaria, Kevin Gonzalez, Hansel Lazo and Brian Boet highlighted a group of players who had highly successful travel ball summers- competing in tournaments across the country.
“Completing the recruiting class so well, and then having FCC players represent the Suns Baseball program so successfully during the summer season was a great finish to the summer”, states Copeland. “Now that we have begun our fall practice program it is very exciting to see the quality of character and the level of talent that the program has in this first season of Suns baseball”. Fans of Suns Baseball are welcome to attend the three fall scrimmages that are currently scheduled for home: Oct. 21st vs. Lake Sumter CC, Oct. 29th vs. Pasco-Hernando CC and Nov. 5th vs. Volusia County Scout Team. GO SUNS!