Baseball Announces 13-Member Signing Class

Baseball Announces 13-Member Signing Class

­The Youngstown State baseball program added 13 future student-athletes during the National Letter of Intent early signing period that concluded on Wednesday.

The class of 13 includes 12 who are from Ohio or Pennsylvania and one Florida native. Four of the 13 incoming players are junior college transfers. Six are pitchers, six are position players and one can do both.

Here is the full class, listed alphabetically:

Player Position State Previous College
Corey Burkes LHP Coraopolis, Pa.  
Colin Clark LHP Circleville, Ohio  
Chad Coles RHP North Huntingdon, Pa.  
Cody Dennis IF Fairborn, Ohio Sinclair CC
Vince Donato 1B Highland Heights, Ohio  
Dalton Earich RHP New Franklin, Ohio  
Blaze Glenn IF Toronto, Ohio Sinclair CC
Nick LaBrasca 1B DuBois, Pa.  
Zach Lopatka LHP/OF Exeter, Pa. Lackawanna, CC
Nick Massey OF Beavercreek, Ohio Sinclair CC
Andrew Shivak RHP Naples, Fla.  
Jon Snyder RHP Springboro, Ohio  
Jeff Wehler IF St. Mary's, Pa.  

 

Coach Bertolini on the Signing Class: "We are very excited to welcome 13 future Penguins and their families to Youngstown State University. Our recruiting coordinator, Eric Smith and pitching coach, Josh Merrigan, did an outstanding job of not only identifying talent, but also finding high character student-athletes that will be leaders on and off the field while representing the 'Y'. Assistant coach Ryan Krokos deserves a lot of credit as well for leading our on campus recruiting. Special thanks to all the administration and support staff for their help in making this process run as smooth as possible.

"This is a very athletic and physical group of competitive players that love the game of baseball and have set high standards for themselves on and off the field. This is evident by their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom and we expect them to be a big part of our sustained success here at YSU.

"With this being our first recruiting class, we wanted to make sure that we attacked Ohio and Western Pennsylvania as there is a great deal of talent in the area. More importantly, we wanted guys that truly wanted to be at Youngstown State University, be a part of something special and be a Penguin for life."


Corey Burkes

LHP | 6'7" | 235 | Coraopolis, Pa. | Montour High School

Highlights: Corey had a 2.15 ERA as a junior and is a senior captain for one of the top high school teams in Pennsylvania... Coached by Glenn Vietmeier at Montour High School and by Fred Albert during the Alleghany Pirates summer season... Also coached by Don Pletcher with Baird Brothers in the Youngstown Class B League... Parents are Wayne and Carole.

Coach Bertolini on Burkes: "We are very excited to have Corey as a Penguin. Corey has great size and athleticism. With his 6-foot-7 frame and his arm action, I think he has the potential to be an immediate impact guy for us on the mound. He has a strong secondary pitch that will make him a big time swing and miss guy."

Burkes on choosing YSU: "Once I arrived on campus, I knew it was somewhere I could see myself for the next four years. I was able to develop a strong relationship with Coach Bertolini right from the start. I saw him as one of the most enthusiastic coaches who truly cared about his players and his program. After getting the opportunity to meet the rest of the coaching staff, my decision was a lot easier to make. This staff has a ton of baseball knowledge, and they know what it takes to succeed."


Colin Clark

LHP | 6'3" | 184 | Circleville, Ohio | Logan Elm High School

Highlights: Ranked 51st overall prospect in the state of Ohio by PBR... Finished his junior year with 65 strikeouts in 41.1 innings with a 3.21 ERA... Named first-team all-league and all-district... Plays for Jeremy Grimm at Logan Elm HS... Plays for the Brownlee Lookouts, which is coached by Craig Opalich and Ben Simon... Parents are Lori and Jerry.

Coach Bertolini on Clark: "Colin is a projectable left-handed pitcher who has a feel for all three pitches. He's got a big frame and big upside as he will continue to develop. Colin is passionate about YSU and is going to be a great representative of our program. We couldn't be happier to have him."

Clark on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU for its amazing coaching staff, incredible facilities and superior academic stature. I am excited to come in and work hard for my teammates, coaches and university. Go Guins!"


Chad Coles

RHP | 6'3" | 190 | North Huntingdon, Pa. | Norwin High School

Highlights: Threw 61 innings with 84 strikeouts while leading his team to a WPIAL championship during his junior season... Wrestles in the 182-pound weight class and finished as the county runner up while coming in fifth in the WPIAL finals... Coached by Mike Liebdzinski at Norwin HS and Frank Merigliano during the summer with the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawgs... Also coached by Don Pletcher with Baird Brothers in the Youngstown Class B League... Parents are Amy and Charles.

Coach Bertolini on Coles: "Chad is a physical right-handed pitcher who will pitch in the mid to upper 80's and has an above average breaking ball. With Chad being a wrestler, he shows mental toughness on the mound and is a fierce competitor. We look for him to be a guy who has a great opportunity to get on the mound early."

Chad Coles on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because of its beautiful campus and its great coaching staff. I am looking forward to spending the next four years of my academic and baseball career at Youngstown State University."


Cody Dennis

IF | 6'1" | 170 | Fairborn, Ohio | Sinclair Community College

Highlights: Was team captain his senior year at Licking Valley HS... Named first-team all-county and was conference champs sophomore year... Coached by Adam Arcuri at Licking Valley... Played for the Ohio Elite in the summer and coached by Drew Kirby... Currently plays for Steve Dintaman at Sinclair CC, one of the top junior college teams in the region... Parents are Chad and Kristin.

Coach Bertolini on Dennis: "In all my years, I don't think I have ever had a player who loves the game of baseball more than Cody. He has a plus arm across the infield and great actions and make up. Cody has the ability to lead, and with his experience coming from a junior college, it should give him the opportunity to impact us right away. "

Dennis on choosing YSU: "My decision to commit to YSU was partially due to the phenomenal facilities and resources. But the majority of my decision was based on the fact that the coaches at YSU love baseball. To be surrounded by people who have a true passion for the game and the grind was something I looked for in a potential school, and YSU more than meets that need."


Vince Donato

1B | 6'3 | 215 | Highland Heights, Ohio | Mayfield High School

Highlights: Hit .330 with 20 RBIs during his junior year... Rated the top overall 1B prospect in the state of Ohio by Prep Baseball Report... Coached by Donald Ramer at Mayfield HS... Plays for the Browlee Lookouts, one of the premier showcase teams in Ohio, and they are coached by Craig Opalich and Ben Simon... Parents are Vince and Donna.

Coach Bertolini on Donato: "Vince is a big-body player with an aggressive approach at the plate. He has plus power and is very good around the bag at first. He will add depth and versatility in the corner infield and as he continues to develop, he could be a middle of the order bat."

Donato on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because I believed in the baseball staff and felt that the program was the right fit for me. I also chose YSU because it truly feels like home to me. I love the campus and its surroundings. Also, I feel that the education and the experience at YSU will teach me lifelong lessons. Go Guins!"


Dalton Earich

RHP | 6'2" | 175 | New Franklin, Ohio | Manchester High School

Highlights: Ranked 60th overall prospect in the state of Ohio by Prep Baseball Report... Was 7-1 with a 1.36 ERA while pitching in more than 56 innings... Has a career 2.02 ERA in high school... Was first-team all-conference and league player of the year... Has thrown two no hitters in high school and won districts his sophomore year... Coached by Bryan Syder and Bob Graham... Parents are Dena and Rick.

Coach Bertolini on Earich: "Dalton is a very athletic right-handed pitcher who will be mid-to-upper 80's with his fastball. Dalton has the compete gene, and with him being a quarterback, we know he is extremely tough. We think he can fill a multitude of spots for us in the spring."

Earich on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because I believe it is going to be a great experience under a new head coach. I love the university, and I am so excited to be a penguin next year."


Blaze Glenn

IF | 5'10" | 185 | Toronto, Ohio | Sinclair Community College

Highlights: Three-time OVAC Player of the Year, three-time First-Team All-State and two-time State Player of the Year... Holds Toronto HS batting average record of .583... Also a two-year captain in football, basketball and baseball... All-time scoring leader in Toronto HS basketball history with 1,951 points... Earned 12 varsity letters... Coached by Brian Perkins at Toronto HS, while playing for Ben Simon of the Browlee Lookouts, a premier showcase team in Ohio... Currently coached by Steve Dintaman at Sinclair CC... Parents are Lynda and Larry.

Coach Bertolini on Glenn: "Blaze is a physical jack-of-all trades who has the ability to hit to all fields to go along with some middle-of-the-order power. He can play multiple positions and play them exceptionally well. He is a man of high character and leads by example. He will be an exceptional leader for us on and off the field."

Glenn on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because the moment I stepped on campus for my visit I fell in love with the environment, the coaching staff and the facilities. I was very impressed with the amount of majors that YSU has available for its students."


Nick LaBrasca

1B | R/R | 6'5" | 240 | DuBois, Pa. | DuBois Area High School

Highlights: Ranked the 36th-overall prospect and third overall first baseman in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game... Threw a perfect game as a freshman while being named second-team all-conference during his freshman season as a designated hitter... Named first-team all-conference during his junior season as a first baseman and right-handed pitcher... Coached by Todd Stiner at Dubois Area High School... Played for the Ohio Glaciers in the summer and coached by Jim Zerilla... Parents are Rudy and Laura.

Coach Bertolini on LaBrasca: "Nick is a physical hitter with athleticism. He is a three-sport athlete in high school, so we are excited for him to really focus on baseball. He has a true power bat, and we think he has the ability to be a big time home run guy. "

LaBrasca on choosing YSU: "I am very excited to be a Penguin. I love the campus; it is absolutely amazing. I also love the atmosphere around campus and the people are all great. Lastly, I am very excited to get to work with a great coaching staff. Overall, I am very excited to be a part of Penguin Nation."


Zach Lopatka

LHP/OF | 5'10" | 175 | Exeter, Pa. | Lackawanna Community College

Highlights: Named MVP in leading Wyoming Area High School to the 2015 conference championship... Also named all-conference... At Lackawanna, Slugged 12 doubles and four homers to go along with a .314 batting average... In 44.2 innings on the mound, he struck out 41 batters and pitched to a 3.83 ERA... Coached by Ros Musto at Wyoming Area HS and Bruce Thompson at Lackawanna Community College... Parents are Wendy and Gary.

Coach Bertolini on Lopatka: "There is a ton of excitement with Zach coming in as a Penguin. Zach is a two-way guy with junior college experience. We really like his bat, and he can play any of the corner outfield spots for us. Left-handed pitching comes at a premium, and Zach has a good arm from the left side. Once he develops more on the pitching side, I think he could possibly be a rotation guy down the line."

Lopatka on choosing YSU: "I felt that YSU was my best fit because it gives me a chance to play baseball at a high level while getting a great education."


Nick Massey

OF | 5'10" | 185 | Beavercreek, Ohio | Sinclair Community College

Highlights: Batted .385 with 82 hits, 84 runs, and 49 RBIs to go along with 26 steals in helping lead Sinclair to the Junior College World Series as a freshman... Played for Brandon Long at Beavercreek High School and currently plays for Steve Dintaman at Sinclair Community College... Parents are Winston and Brenda.

Coach Bertolini on Massey: "Nick is a leadoff-type hitter who has had a ton of success at the junior college level. He comes from a winning program and has great competiveness. With his experience and success we expect him to come in and compete for a starting spot in centerfield next year."

Massey on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU because the facilities are second to none and the atmosphere is unbelievable. It had a family feel and the area is beautiful. The staff was friendly and made me feel welcome. With the new coaches, it's a great opportunity to come in and earn a starting spot and win a Horizon title. The academics were a big part because they have a great program to help me get the desired program I need to succeed."


Andrew Shivak

RHP | 6'0 | 170 | Naples, Fla. | Gulf Coast High School

Highlights: Rated a top 500 player in the country by Perfect Game... Had a 1.75 ERA in 16 innings of work during his junior season... This past summer he came on strong with with a 1.00 ERA while striking out a batter an inning vs elite level talent... Plays for Pete Garcia at Gulf Coast HS... Plays for the Orlando Scorpions, one of the premier teams in the country, and they are coached by George Sandel... Parents are Cheryl and Andrew. 

Coach Bertolini on Shivak: "Andrew has an electric arm with a fastball that has reached 91 miles per hour. He plays for one of the best travel teams in the country in the Orlando Scorpions. He has great experience playing at a high level that will allow him to be an early contributor. We are so excited for him to be a Penguin."

Shivak on choosing YSU: "YSU is a great school with a new coaching staff that I believe will lead and coach us to a regional. I cannot wait to be a part of this program!"


Jon Snyder

Jr. | RHP | 6'4" | 180 | Springboro, Ohio | Springboro HS

Highlights: Ranked the 57th overall prospect in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report... Named second-team all-league his sophomore year... Followed that up with a 3.00 ERA his junior year in 35 innings... Also threw a no-hitter as a junior... Coached by Mark Pelfrey at Springboro High School and by Kyle Wainscott during the Midland Braves summer season... Pitched to a 1.60 ERA this summer... Parents are Jon and Jen.

Coach Bertolini on Snyder: "Jon was a late bloomer who really came on strong in the last year-and-a-half. Jon grew about 6 inches over that span and now has a 6-foot-4 frame with clean arm action. He has a mid-to-upper 80's fastball, and I believe he will continue to develop as he gets stronger. He has number-one type stuff. "

Jon Snyder Jr. on choosing YSU: "I chose Youngstown State University because of the great opportunity to pursue my dream of playing Division-I baseball at a school that provides such a great overall experience."


Jeff Wehler

IF | 6'0" | 185 | St. Mary's, Pa. | St. Mary's Area HS

Highlights: Was a part of a state runner-up team as a freshman while hitting .437... Followed that up with a .415 average during his sophomore season... During his junior season, he hit .508 and received the team's Offensive MVP award... Was named a Central Penn League All-Star, Tri-County/Courier Express Fst Team All-Star and Northern Allegheny League Large School All-Star... Played for Tony Azzato at St. Mary's Area High School... Played for the Northeast Twins, an elite travel team in the Northeast coached by Jerico and Jay Weitzel... His parents are Dale and Tammy.

Coach Bertolini on Wehler: "Jeff is an athletic infielder who can flat out hit. He is a three sport athlete at St. Mary's, and he has shown ability to compete in multiple sports. His versatility will allow him to fill any of the infield spots for us. We look for him to use his leadership abilities and great work ethic to get on the field early."

Wehler on choosing YSU: "As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I knew it was special. I told my parents during my sophomore year that I wanted to go to a program that I could help turn around. With the class that we have recruited, we have a great chance at accomplishing that. It is an honor to be a part of something like this at Youngstown State University."