FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
HARRISONBURG, Va., Dec. 3, 2008 – James Madison baseball head coach Joe “Spanky” McFarland has announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent to join the Diamond Dukes for the 2010 campaign.
“I think this group is a good class and good ballplayers,” commented McFarland. “I feel like they not only fit in with their talents and abilities but also with their work ethic and character. They each fill a need for our program. Brad Shaban is a left-handed hitter and good middle infielder. Matt Tenaglia is a corner guy with left-handed power. John Bladel is an outfielder with a great approach at the plate. We need pitching every year and we feel like D.J. Brown is a guy with great upside who will be a good college pitcher. We are still recruiting and looking to add perhaps another catcher and another pitcher as the year progresses.”
John Bladel, Outfield, Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge
Bladel earned Virginia All-State recognition as a junior when he was named Liberty District Co-Player of the Year after hitting .471 with 10 doubles and 27 RBIs for the Bulldogs. He also played summer ball for the North Hurricanes showcase team in Virginia. Bladel possesses good gap power from the right side of the plate and has shown plus speed, going 11 for 11 on stolen base opportunities last year.
D.J. Brown, Right-handed Pitcher, Locust Grove, Va./Orange County
Brown stands at 6’3 on the pitching rubber with a fastball that hits the mid to upper 80s and room for more growth when he hits college. He went 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 43 innings while playing for American Legion Post 156 last summer.
Brad Shaban, Short Stop, Midlothian, Va./Cosby
Shaban will be the second Cosby Titan to join the Dukes in as many years, following the footsteps of current freshman catcher Alex Lowery. The pair helped lead the Titans to a #1 state ranking for much of the season a preseason national ranking. He also helped South Richmond American Legion Post 137 to a state championship and played with Bladel for the North Hurricanes showcase squad. Shaban is a left-handed hitter with good speed on the base paths.
Matt Tenaglia, First/Third/Outfield, Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East
Tenaglia hit .500 as a junior with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 26 RBIs for the Patriots. He also spent the summer with the Mid-Atlantic Rookies travel team. Tenaglia stands at 6-2 and can fill any corner slot on the field at first or third base as well as left or right field. He hits left-handed with strong power numbers.
This recruiting class represents the first group of players at JMU who will spend their entire careers in Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, a brand new facility scheduled to be ready for the 2010 campaign. It will be located near Memorial Hall on Route 42/South High St. in Harrisonburg.
McFarland added, “All of these players were recruited by SEC and ACC teams and the new stadium was one of the key factors for these guys to come here. JMU has made a commitment to the baseball program and that played a big role into why these guys chose to be Dukes. There’s no doubt that was a big factor.”
JMU is coming off of a 39-19 season in 2008 featuring the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association championship and a trip to the Raleigh Regional in the NCAA Tournament. McFarland was named Coach of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors and the Middle Atlantic Baseball Scouts Association.
The Dukes have had a high level of success signing players in recent seasons as each of the previous three JMU recruiting classes have been ranked among the top 100 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and rated as the top in the CAA each year.