FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest head baseball coach Rick Rembielak announced the signing of 10 student-athletes to national letters of intent. The class will be eligible beginning in the fall of 2009.
“We’ve met all our projected needs with this class,” Rembielak said. “We hit every spot that we needed to. I feel these players will be great college players for us and leave a good impression on our program! Assistant coaches Jon Palmieri and Greg Bauer did a great job leading the recruiting process.”
The Deacons signed Daniel Aldrich, Patrick Blair, Matt Conway, Tim Cooney, Jacob Johnson, Martin Kelly, Mike Lubanski, Mark Rhine, Niko Spezial and Justin Van Grouw.
“They are all great kids and all play the game the right way,” Rembielak said. “Great approach when they’re on the field. We loved watching the passion for the game and competitive fire each time we saw them.”
The 2009 recruiting class includes players from Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. The Deacons have seven seniors on the 2009 roster. Wake Forest finished the 2008 season with a 25-31 record.
Daniel Aldrich OF ● L/R ● 6-2 ● 200 Mount Pleasant, S.C. (Wando HS)
Rated No. 70 by Perfect Game in the class of 2009 … MVP of the 2008 Summer World Wood Bat Tournament, hitting .482 with four home runs and 16 RBIs … Member of 2008 CABA national champions and named First-Team All-Tournament with .462 batting average and three home runs … Named First-Team All-State in 2007 after hitting .438 and leading the state with eight home runs.
Rembielak on Aldrich: “Daniel is the LH power bat we were looking for. He projects out to play at a corner outfield position for us and work himself into the heart of the batting order very quickly. Very simply put, Daniel doesn’t get shortchanged in the batters box!”
Patrick Blair INF ● R/R ● 5-11 ● 180 Baltimore, Md. (Calvert Hall HS)
Plays for Calvert Hall High School, a team that has won four consecutive championships … Holds the state record for runs scored in a single season … Named 2008 Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Examiner Player of the Year … Twice named to MIAA First Team, All-Metro First Team and All-Baltimore County First Team … Member of the Oriolelanders Showcase Team in 2007 and 2008 … Played for the Oriole Scout Team in 2008 and was selected to play at the USA trials in Cary, N.C., this past summer.
Rembielak on Blair: “He is a versatile player that can do several things for us. He plays both middle infield positions very well and also can play outfield and has done a nice job there. We see him more as a middle infielder. He has good hands and excellent actions with a very solid arm. He comes from a championship high school program and an excellent summer team. He knows the game and possesses excellent baseball instincts.”
Matt Conway 1B/LHP ● R/L ● 6-7 ● 235 Birmingham, Mich. (Brother Rice)
Selected to The Detroit News All-Star Team in the Greater Detroit area … Named All-State Tournament Team and All-Catholic First Team … One of only 23 players in Michigan named to the State of Michigan Dream Team … Winning pitcher in Division 1 state championship game for Brother Rice High School his junior season … Started, completed and won four of the seven state playoff games … Participated in the Perfect Game National Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. … Led high school team in eight of 10 applicable hitting statistics and led the team in pitching with an 11-1 record during his junior year.
Rembielak on Conway: “Matt is a two-way guy. A great target for the infielders at first base because of his size! We also saw him drive the ball well with a wood bat this past summer. He’ll have an opportunity to pitch as well and we’re anxious to see him as he gets even stronger during his career. He gives us needed depth on the mound.”
Tim Cooney LHP/1B ● L/L ● 6-1 ● 165 Collegeville, Pa. (Malvern Prep)
Has compiled an overall record of 19-4 as starting varsity pitcher over the last three seasons … Starting two-way player for Malvern Prep, the No. 10 ranked team in the country that finished 2008 with a 40-3 record … Two-time Philadelphia Daily News All-City … Named to Philadelphia Inquirer All-Southeastern Pennsylvania Team in 2007 and 2008 … Tabbed as a Rise Magazine Philadelphia Area Player to Watch in 2008 … Earned Inter-Ac League MVP honors in 2007 … Semifinalist in 2008 WWBA World Championship … Consistently a First Honors student… High School teammate of fellow freshman recruit, Mike Lubanski.
Rembielak on Cooney: “Tim is a pitcher in the true sense of the word. He has great feel for all three pitches. He throws in the 85-87 mph range. He’s athletic, fields his position and does a lot of the little things that you have to do that are tough to teach. He’ll see quality innings as a freshman for us. He’s a teammate of incoming freshman, Mike Lubanski, coming from a baseball tradition-rich high school. They know how to win!”
Jacob Johnson RHP ● R/R ● 6-4 ● 215 Lake Worth, Fla. (Trinity Christian Academy)
Earned All-County and All-State honors during his junior and senior seasons … Named Team MVP after his junior year…Selected to participate in the Perfect Game National Showcase, The Tournament of Stars at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC … Also competed at the East Coast Professional Showcase … Currently ranked #164 in the class of 2009 by Perfect Game.
Rembielak on Johnson: “One of his best assets right now is his ability to throw his changeup anytime in the count. He has a power arm but great feel for that particular pitch which is rare for that age. His fastball has great downward angle and he has tremendous competitive fire in his belly! We look for great things out of Jacob during his tenure here.”
Martin Kelly OF ● R/R ● 6-0 ● 184 Pompton Plains, N.J. (Pequannock Township)
Named First Team All-Conference as a junior … Earned All-County honors as a sophomore and junior … High school team won the county championship during freshman season … Named Athlete of the Week by Suburban Trends newspaper during freshman year … Made the Top 250 National Showcase in Minnesota during the past summer.
Rembielak on Kelly: “My best description for Martin: he’s a guy who will go through a brick wall for you! Love his game! He can play any outfield position and surprises you with his ability to drive the ball. Seen him run the bases extremely well. It’s easy to project him as a top of the order type of guy because he always puts the ball in play and runs well. A player who is exciting to watch and who constantly shows his enthusiasm for the game.
Mike Lubanski C ● R/R ● 5-11 ● 190 Collegeville, Pa. (Malvern Prep)
Currently ranked among the nation’s Top 200 High School Prospects according to Perfect Game USA … Competed at Perfect Game National Showcase and East Coast Professional Baseball Showcase … Participated at USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in 2007 and 2008 … Selected to All-Tournament Team at AAU Junior Olympics National Championship Tournament in 2007 … Played for nationally-ranked Malvern Preparatory School and earned All-InterAc League honors in 2008 … Also earned academic honors at Malvern Prep… high school teammate of fellow freshman recruit, Tim Cooney.
Rembielak on Lubanski: “We’re very excited to have a player like Mike catching for us because he fits the mold for that position showing toughness and leadership complimenting his offensive capabilities. Every time we saw Mike catch, he continued to get better. He has a strong, powerful swing that gives us power potential in the middle of our lineup. Mike comes from an excellent baseball program at Malvern.”
Mark Rhine INF ● S/R ● 6-1 ● 165 Orefield, Pa. (William Penn Charter)
Four-year starting shortstop at Penn Charter … Two-time All City selection by the Philadelphia Daily News and twice named an All-Conference selection … Preseason Rise Magazine Player to Watch for Greater Philadelphia area … Hit .512 with 15 doubles, five triples and 23 stolen bases during his junior season … Went 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA and five saves as a pitcher during his junior year … Starting shortstop for the All Star Baseball Academy during the 2007 and 2008 summers … A three-year starter for high school basketball team … Three year honor roll student and a National Leadership Scholar.
Rembielak on Rhine: “Mark makes every play look easy. We never saw him bobble a groundball in all the games we saw. He has consistency in his defensive game and can play all three infield positions because of his defensive tools. Mark shows good bat control and can project to be a gap to gap hitter as he gets stronger.
Niko Spezial LHP ● L/L ● 6-3 ● 207 Ramsey, N.J. (Don Bosco Prep)
Two year letter winner for the Don Bosco Prep baseball team … Recruiting service Perfect Game ranks Spezial No. 272 in the class of 2009 … Finished the 2008 season with a 7-0 record and a 1.20 ERA, playing for the nation’s number one ranked team … Awarded second team All-County honors … Played in the Perfect Game National Showcase in St. Paul, Minn. … Pitched in the East Coast Pro showcase in Lakeland, Fla., and went 1-0 with two saves … Member of the National Honor Society.
Rembielak on Spezial: “Niko is a big, strong athlete who brings a very live arm to the table. He has a deceptive delivery and has a good feel for his breaking ball. Niko is a tough player who has performed well on the National stage. He’ll definitely step in as a freshman and contribute right away.”
Justin Van Grouw RHP ● R/R ● 6-6 ● 205 Oakland, N.J. (Indian Hills HS)
Three year letter winner and team captain for both the baseball and basketball teams at Indian Hills … Named First Team All-Conference in baseball and basketball … Attended Perfect Game’s National Showcase and the Area Code Games in 2008 … Named Northeast Regional All-Star by Perfect Game … Helped Indian Hills to win its first State Sectional Championship in 20 years as a sophomore … Averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior … Honor roll student.
Rembielak on Van Grouw: “Justin is big, tall pitcher who throws in the upper 80’s and creates a great downward angle. He has a very quick arm which contributes to the hard, downward sink on his fastball. He also throws a good, hard slider. Justin has a very aggressive approach to the hitter which we loved to see each time we saw him.”