Five baseball student-athletes from Ohio and Pennsylvania have each signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their academic and baseball futures at Youngstown State University, YSU head coach Dan Bertolini announced on Wednesday.
The class includes Ohioans Steven D'Eusanio, Phillip Glasser and Brett Souder, as well as Pennsylvania natives Brandon Matthews and Travis Perry. D'Eusanio and Glasser are position players, Souder is a pitcher, and Matthews and Perry could be two-way players.
Coach Bertolini on the Signing Class: "We are very excited about our 2018 recruiting class. After bringing in a very large class last year, we were able to focus and evaluate what we needed to continue to grow the program, and I think assistant coaches Eric Smith, Josh Merrigan and Ryan Krokos did a tremendous job assessing our needs and finding the players that are the best fit for our program.
"Our biggest key when recruiting potential student-athletes is always first and foremost that they show a deep desire to be part of Youngstown State and a willingness to go above and beyond their abilities both on and off the field. These five young men have been shining examples of what a student-athlete should be in high school, and we are so excited to continue their development here at YSU.
"This is a very versatile class, with two players who have a potential to be legitimate two-way players for us. Pitching is always at a premium, and recruiting locally is always important. All five players are from either Ohio or Pennsylvania, and are all ranked among the top players in their respective states."
Information on each of the student-athletes who committed during the early signing period is below:
3B/OF | 6'0 | 195 | Willoughby, Ohio | Willoughby South High School
Highlights: Ranked the 45th-best prospect in the state of Ohio by Perfect Game… Will be a four-year varsity letterman in baseball and a three-year letterman in football… Named a team captain this fall… Hit .390 with 35 RBIs in the spring of 2017, which was tops in the region… On pace to break numerous career records… Coached by Steve Norris and Brian Pelligrini at Willoughby South High School… Plays for Force Ohio, one of the premier summer league teams in the state and is coached by Larry Mosley and Josh Bieneman… Has maintained a 4.2 GPA and is on pace to graduate as valedictorian… Plans to work towards a BSN in nursing with the intent to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist… Parents are Dawn and Dave.
Coach Bertolini on D'Eusanio: "Steve is a very physical athlete who can play really anywhere on the field. He plays quarterback in high school, so you know that he is a very athletic, and shows he has tremendous toughness and leadership skills. He is very blue collar on the field and is a potential valedictorian in the classroom. Steve has a power bat that can hit in the middle of the lineup, and we look for him to contribute in a big way."
D'Eusanio on choosing YSU: "I chose YSU for many reasons, some of which include the awesome athletic facilities and the academic programs that are offered. Most importantly, I saw the passion and determination to build a strong baseball program that was portrayed by all of the coaches. This is something I want to be a part of."
INF | 6'0 | 180 | Tallmadge, Ohio | Tallmadge High School
Highlights: Ranked the 59th overall prospect in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and the 50th overall prospect in the state by Perfect Game… Will be a three-year varsity letterman… Batted .400 with 20 RBIs and 39 runs as the captain for the 2017 team that won the Ohio Division II State Championship… Named to the 2017 Ohio Division II Honorable Mention All-Star Team by Prep Baseball Report… Named to 2017 OHSAA Top-22 All-Tournament team by Prep Baseball Report… Named second-team All-Suburban League in 2017… Three-year Suburban League Scholar Athlete… Coached by Kenny Linn at Tallmadge High School… Coached by Chris Steinborn of the Mashfactory Elite, one of the top teams in the area, during the summer… Has a 4.1 GPA and is looking to major in Business while at YSU… Parents are George and Carmie.
Coach Bertolini on Glasser: "Phil is a great competitor and a proven winner, as he helped guide his high school to a state championship last year. He has great instincts and a natural ability to lead. He provides versatility as a left-handed bat that plays in the middle infield which is much needed. He is a top-ranked player in the state of Ohio and is a 4.0 student, and we couldn't be more excited to have his as part of our 2018 recruiting class."
Glasser on choosing YSU: "The coaching staff is very energetic and passionate with a great vision for the program. Combining both academics and baseball, YSU was the perfect fit for me."
RHP/UTIL | 6'3 | 165 | Punxsutawney, Pa. | Punxsutawney High School
Highlights: Ranked the 31st overall prospect in the state of Pennsylvania and the 13th overall pitching prospect by Prep Baseball Report… Struck out 61 batters while sporting a 2.49 ERA over the past two seasons… Will be a three-year varsity letterman in baseball and basketball… Earned one letter in football… Named 2017 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention… Coached by Mike Dickey at Punxsutawney High School… Also coached by one of the most respected coaches in the region, Fred Albert, of the Allegheny Pirates… Maintains a 3.3 GPA and is interested in majoring in dental hygiene at YSU… Parents are John and Tressa.
Coach Bertolini on Matthews: "Brandon was our first commit in the 2018 class. He is a great athlete that has shown he can compete at the highest level, playing for the Allegheny Pirates this fall and Baird Brothers in the summer. Brandon is a star basketball player in high school, and he is one of the top-ranked players in Pennsylvania. Brandon has a live arm and great feel for three pitches. He can throw from different arm angles and he has above average actions in the infield. As Brandon continues to develop, I really think he has a chance to be a two-way player for us."
Matthews on choosing YSU: "I knew Youngstown was the right fit for me when I visited the campus. The atmosphere was something I fell in love with."
RHP/UTIL | 6'7 | 220 | Oil City, Pa. | Rocky Grove High School
Highlights: Ranked the 24th overall prospect in the state of Pennsylvania and the ninth overall pitcher by Prep Baseball Report… Coached by Bill Wilson at Rocky Grove High School… Also coached by the legendary Don Pletcher of the Baird Brothers Youngstown Class B summer team, which earned a third-place finish in the Palomino 18U World Series… Three-year varsity letterman in baseball and basketball… Two-year letterman in golf… Named the D10 player of the year two years in a row… Named 2017 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention… Maintains a 3.4 GPA and is planning to major in business at YSU… Parents are Craig and Teresa.
Coach Bertolini on Perry: "Travis is one of the top-ranked players in Pennsylvania, and for good reason. Travis will show an upper 80's to low 90's fastball and has really raw power at the plate. He has the ability to throw three pitches for strikes and can command the strike zone. For being 6-foot-6, he is extremely athletic and plays shortstop in high school. He has great actions in the field and really has a chance to be a two-way player for us next spring."
Perry on choosing YSU: "Choosing YSU to continue my education and athletic career was less challenging for me because they had exactly what I was looking for in my major and a good, up-and-coming baseball program."
RHP 6'3 | 200 | South Lebanon, Ohio | Kings High School
Highlights: Ranked the 42nd overall prospect in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report… Will be a three-year varsity player at Kings High School… Coached by Kevin McClung… Pitched 44 innings with a 0.79 ERA this past summer… Will be coached this upcoming summer by Bill Boston of the Midland Redhawks, one of the premier summer teams in the nation… Currently has a 3.2 GPA and is planning to major in criminal justice… Parents are Brett and Jennifer.
Coach Bertolini on Souder: "Brett was the last piece to our 2018 signing class. He is a physical right-handed pitcher who has a very live arm. He will run his fastball into the upper 80's, and he has a very good breaking pitch and the ability to get a lot of swings and misses. He is a top-ranked player in Ohio, and every time we saw him he got better and better. We look forward to seeing his growth and development here at YSU."
Souder on choosing YSU: "YSU baseball is a program with great potential and a great new coaching staff. It will be exciting to be part of the YSU baseball team and see it grow and excel."