SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Heading into its final season of reclassification, the Bryant University baseball team has inked 10 recruits for the class of 2016, as announced by head coach Steve Owens. Owens's second recruiting class includes five pitchers, two catchers, two infielders and one outfielder.
"It's the first class that we were able to tell that they are going to be eligible for NEC conference tournament play and the potential to play in an NCAA tournament," Owens said. "These guys are excited to come in. They fit specific needs in our program in areas that we need to improve in, as well as spots that will be vacated by graduation. They were specifically targeted to come in and help us whether it be as an impact player right away, or to provide depth positionally and in the bullpen. It's exciting to be able to tell a group of guys that 'hey we've gone through the last four years where we have run a very successful program, but now we have a chance to make it happen' for real."
Robby Rinn- 1B | Providence, R.I. | Moses Brown School/Worcester Academy
A 2011 graduate of the Moses Brown School in Providence, R.I., Rinn will complete a year of post-graduate studies at Worcester Academy … Was a two-time First Team All-State player as a junior and senior at Moses Brown … Set school records for hits in each of his final two years and was named the MVP of the division each year … On the mound, compiled a 14-1 record over the past two seasons … Served as captain in his final two years … Also a member of the hockey team, earning all-state honors in his junior and senior seasons … Captained team his senior year and led the state in points.
Head coach Steve Owens on Rinn: "He will be a first baseman and a left-handed bat and is the only Rhode Island guy in our class. He had prior good summer stats with the Rhode Island Rebels and is going to prep school, so he has another year to physically mature. Robby is an excellent left-handed hitter that we are looking to come in and have an impact with his bat."
Kyle Wilcox- RHP | Newtown, Conn. | Newtown
A three-year varsity letterwinner in baseball and basketball at Newtown High School in Connecticut … Team captain in both sports as a junior … Named an all-conference second teamer as a junior and was also selected to play in the junior all-star game … Plays his summer baseball with the Admirals American Legion team … In basketball, named All-Colonial and chosen to play in the South West Conference underclassmen all-star basketball game as a junior.
Head coach Steve Owens on Wilcox:"Kyle is one of the higher profile pitchers in Connecticut. With his projectable build,we think Kyle will be a power-type pitcher with pro potential down the road. We are looking for him to be one of the elite pitchers coming out of Connecticut this year. He is a bulldog type guy who logs innings and when he gets command of his secondary pitches he's got a chance to be very special."
Dan Cellucci- SS | Sudbury, Mass. | Lincoln-Sudbury
James Davitt- RHP | Wallingford, Conn. | Mark T. Sheehan
A two-year varsity letterwinner at Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford, Conn. … Davitt joined the varsity squad as a sophomore and went 4-0 on the mound, helping the team to the state championship … As a junior, became a front-line starter as well as the Titans starting second baseman.
Head coach Steve Owens on Davitt: "James is a right-handed pitcher and a shortstop, although we see him primarily on the mound here. He has a good fastball , curveball, and change along with a really good feel on how to pitch. We are very impressed with him and we think he has a chance to pitch very early in his career. As James gets bigger and stronger we think he has a very high ceiling to be a dominant pitcher in the conference."
Thomas Gavitt- C | North Stonington, Conn. | Wheeler
A 2010 graduate of Wheeler High School in North Stonington, Conn., Gavitt is in his second year at the Community College of Rhode Island … In high school, Gavitt was a four-year varsity letterwinner in baseball and three-year varsity letterwinner in basketball … Earned First Team All-Area in baseball during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons … Named first team all-state his senior year after hitting .576 with four home runs and 27 RBI in just 13 games … In his first season at CCRI, Gavitt hit .414 with six home runs and earned First Team All-New England honors … Played this past summer with the Mystic Schooners of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, hitting .333 in nine games.
Head coach Steve Owens on Gavitt: "Already having played two years of college baseball at CCRI, as well as playing the NECBL last summer, we think Tom will provide us instant leadership and tremendous defensive ability. A great handler of the pitching staff and a good blocker, Tom also handles the bat well and we see him as someone that can provide us with extra-base power immediately. Tom is a very mature baseball player which is critical at the most important position on the field."
Michael Marshall- RHP/INF | Maynard, Mass. | Maynard
A two-year varsity letterwinner at Maynard High School in Maynard, Mass. … Marshall has been named a Mid-Wach D League All-Star three times … Named the league MVP in each of the last two seasons … Led his team to a league championship as a sophomore and helped the Sudbury Legion team to a state final eight appearance in 2010 … Also lettered in football and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Head coach Steve Owens on Marshall: "Michael is a very good athlete that has above average velocity on his fastball and a polished breaking pitch. We think he flew under the radar and we are real excited about his addition to our pitching staff and his potential for development."
Ryan McDonald- LHP | Acton, Mass. | Acton Boxboro
A two-year varsity letterwinner, McDonald enters his final year at Acton-Boxboro … Enters his senior season with a 9-3 record … As a junior, McDonald led his team to the MIAA Division I North finals, recording 71 strikeouts over 55 innings, a 0.90 ERA and he held opposing batters to a .205 average … Also serving as the designated hitter, McDonald led the team in home runs and RBI … Named to the 2011 ESPN Boston Massachusetts All Star team … The 2011 Lowell Sun Baseball Player of the Year and a Dual County All Star 2010 and 2011 … A member of the 2011 Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Junior All Star Team and the 2011 Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Eastern Massachusetts Junior All Star Team … He was a member of Post 109's 2010 American Legion State Finalist … Also competed on the Bay State - North East team and the 2011 Acton Iron Pigs Prospect team.
Head coach Steve Owens on McDonald: "The only left-handed pitcher in this class, Ryan has very good command and two very good breaking pitches. With our current right-handed pitching depth, Ryan provides us with a potential left-handed starter. He has a good understanding of how to get hitters out and is able to execute his pitches over and over again. We believe that Ryan has the makeup to be successful at the collegiate level."
Bobby Morgenroth- RHP | Caldwell, N.J. | Seton Hall Prep
A native of Caldwell, N.J., Morgenroth begins his final season at Seton Hall Preparatory school this year … Helped Seton Hall Prep to the Greater Newark Tournament and the Super Essex Conference championship in 2011 … Plays summer and fall ball for the New Jersey Farrah Builders … Has been selected to the New Jersey Fall League All-Star team in 2010 and 2011.
Head coach Steve Owens on Morgenroth: "Bobby is a very important recruit for us and is from one of the best high school programs in the country. Having been an outfielder for most of his career, Bobby was excited to be recruited as a pitcher where his excellent arm strength gives him the best chance to be an impact player. He is the true definition of a projectable type guy with his size and his arm and we see him turning into a power-type pitcher."
Daniel Palazzo- C | Rocky Hill, Conn. | Rocky Hill/Avon Old Farms
A three-year varsity letterwinner at Rocky Hill High School in Connecticut, Palazzo has spent the last two years at Avon Old Farms … Earned all-conference honors in his sophomore and junior seasons at RHHS, hitting .480 as a junior … Also a two-year captain … Enrolled at Avon Old Farms after his junior year, completing another junior year and his senior year … This past summer, helped Team Connecticut win a National Championship, earning National Tournament All-American honors.
Head coach Steve Owens on Palazzo: "Daniel will be a freshman catcher that has a power bat. He is in charge of the game behind the plate and catches with a lot of enthusiasm. Danny blocks, frames and receives well with a quick throwing release. He can also provide us with some power from the right-handed side of the plate."
Adam Zarozny- OF | Shrewsbury, Mass. | St. John's/Avon Old Farms
A three-year letterwinner at St. John's High School that is competing in a post-graduate year at Avon Old Farms … At St. John's, Zarozny was a member of two district champions … Hit .350 as a senior, with four home runs and a .411 on base percentage … Named a Central Mass All-Star and a Massachusetts Coaches Association All-Star … Hit .426 as a junior, including a .700 mark in the postseason … Competed with the New England Ruffnecks over the summer … Was also a member of the varsity track team during his sophomore and junior years … Part of a 4x200 relay team that went to states … Also participated in fall crew.
Head coach Steve Owens on Zarozny: "Adam is a centerfielder with a very strong arm and well above average speed. His impact in our program will be with his speed, offensively, defensively and on the bases. In addition to gearing his game for speed, Adam has shown the unique ability to hit for power as well.