Bowling Green picks up Five in Early Signing Period

The baseball team signed five players for the 2010 season.

The baseball team signed five players for the 2010 season.

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Bowling Green State University baseball coach Danny Schmitz has announced the signing of five student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Falcons in the 2010 season. Cody Apthorpe (Windham, Ohio), Nick Bruns (St. Henry, Ohio), Todd Kibby (New Middletown, Ohio), Patrick O’Brien (Boardman, Ohio) and Matt Pitzulo (Poland, Ohio) are the newest members of the baseball program.

“We really focused on pitching and infield play in this recruiting class,” said Schmitz, who is likely to become the first coach in BGSU history to reach the 500-win milestone this season needing just 11 victories. “We thought it was important to solidify these positions in the early signing period. We will be losing four infielders after this season, three of whom are middle infielders. The pitching staff will be losing three players.

“With these five players, we feel we answered some major needs that we will have in 2010. Each one of these players will have a role in our success in 2010. We expect each of them to come in and contribute in some way as a freshman.”

Cody Apthorpe, RHP, 6-5, 185, Windham, Ohio/Windham High SchoolIs a three-year letterwinner who had a 6-1 record with a 1.40 ERA as a junior. Also hit a school-record .615 with six home runs and 33 RBI. As a junior, he earned first-team all-league honors in basketball, in which he was also an all-state pick, and golf as well as baseball. In the first three years of his high school career, Apthorpe has earned a letter in all three sports. He has a career record of 17-2 with a 1.45 ERA in baseball. Last summer, playing for the Ohio Thunder, Apthorpe appeared in eight games, starting seven, and had a 5-2 record with a 2.65 ERA with 43 strikeouts in the 42.1 innings of work. He has played on several “big stages” including the semifinals of the state basketball and baseball tournaments. Apthorpe has served as his class president as a sophomore, junior and senior while he is also a National Honor Society member. Schmitz on Apthorpe:”Cody is an outstanding student-athlete with a high ceiling. We feel he will only get better as he grows into his 6-5 frame. Cody is as steady as they come. You know what you are going to get every time you give him the ball.”

Nick Bruns, RHP, 6-1, 165, St. Henry, Ohio/St. Henry High SchoolHe had a 4-4 record in 52.2 innings as a junior with a 2.26 ERA. He also had four saves and 83 strikeouts. He earned first-team all-state honors at the utility position (he hit .413 with 29 runs scored and 25 RBI) and was a first-team all-league selection. As a junior, he earned second-team all-conference honors. Schmitz on Bruns:”Nick has a work ethic that is contagious. He is a bulldog-type pitcher that hates to lose. He has the athletic ability to be a dual player at this level and will have a chance to do so either in the outfield or in the middle infield.”

Todd Kibby, OF/LHP, 6-3, 215, New Middletown, Ohio/Springfield Local High SchoolAs a junior was 9-2 in 53.1 innings with 103 strikeouts while yielding just 19 hits to go along with a 0.66 ERA. He also hit .558 with 47 RBI and 35 runs scored helping him earn first-team All-Inter Tri-County League honors. The three-year letterwinner has a career record of 16-5 with 163 strikeouts in 102.1 innings and a 1.85 ERA. Last season, he helped the Tigers to sectional and district titles before losing in the regional final. Kibby has hit .464 for his high school career with 105 RBI and 74 runs scored. He was a first-team all-league selection as a sophomore and has helped the Tigers compile a 66-23 record in his three seasons. Kibby hit .367 last summer playing in the Youngstown Class B League while compiling a 2-1 record on the mound to go with a 0.71 ERA in 29.2 innings of work. Schmitz on Kibby:”Todd is a very good athlete who will be able to fulfill two roles for us. Todd is able to play the outfield, first base and can throw mid to upper 80s from the left side. He can run for a big guy and should develop into a middle-of-the-lineup type of hitter.”

Patrick O’Brien, RHP, 6-2, 195, Boardman, Ohio/Boardman High SchoolA three-year letterwinner in baseball, O’Brien was 6-2 last season with a 1.80 ERA in 58 innings of work. He had 57 strikeouts while also hitting .350 and playing the middle infield position. He also was an all-league selection. O’Brien was 4-2 last summer in the Youngstown Class B League with a 2.41 ERA in 32.0 innings or work. His brother, Richie, is a red-shirt sophomore pitcher for BGSU. Schmitz on O’Brien:”We look for Patrick to be able to come in and help us right away on the mound. He has a great cut fastball that he can throw for strikes any time in the count. Patrick is another player that is talented enough to be a dual player and will have the chance to do so at a corner position in the infield.”

Matt Pitzulo, SS, 5-11, 175, Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary High SchoolAs a junior, was named the Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year hitting .590, second-best in school history, with 52 hits and 39 runs scored. He added 29 RBI and nine stolen bases. As a sophomore, he hit .426 earning first-team all-conference honors, and was a second-team all-league selection as a freshman hitting .320 with six triples. The last two summers he has hit over .400 playing in the Youngstown Class B League. Schmitz on Pitzulo:”Matt is the kind of player that you want to build your team around. He is a hard-working, blue collar type of player. He has a great knowledge for how to play the game. Matt is what you want in a middle infielder. He isn’t afraid to take control and be the “coach” on the field. We also feel Matt is one of the best left-handed bats in the state.”