FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
PHILADELPHIA (12/4/08) – Temple head baseball coach Rob Valli has announced the signing of seven student-athletes, Ryan Casey (Manchester, NJ / Manchester Twp. / Brookdale CC), Dan Dragos (Beltsville, MD / DeMatha Catholic), David Hall (Commack, NY / Commack), Henry Knabe (Califon, NJ / Immaculata), Ryan Kuehn (Lehighton, PA / Lehighton), Jimmy Powers (Jamesport, NY / Riverhead), and Elijah Yarborough (North Brunswick, NJ / North Brunswick) to National Letters of Intent. The group will begin their careers at Temple during the 2010 season.
“Our staff worked incredibly hard to identify the type of recruits that can help us win an Atlantic 10 Championship,” Valli said. “We are proud of the seven student-athletes who chose Temple and we look forward to having them wear the Cherry and White.”
Casey (6-1, 200) is a right-hander pitcher from Brookdale (NJ) Community College and Manchester Twp. High School. At BCC, Casey threw a no-hitter in his first start as a freshman and compiled a 4-2 record with a 2.10 ERA in leading Brookdale to a number five national ranking. As a senior at Manchester Twp., Casey was 9-3 with five saves and a 0.81 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 60 innings to earn all-Shore, all-county and all-division honors. His sister Shawn played softball at Temple from 2004-06.
“Ryan is a competitive athlete from a great sports family,” Valli said. “He pitches with a power fastball and above-average breaking ball. Ryan is the best junior college pitcher in the region and we are confident that he will make an impact in our conference.”
Dragos (6-0, 175) is an outfielder from Beltsville, MD (DeMatha Catholic). He batted a team-high .421 with two home runs, 18 RBI and 10 steals to lead DeMatha to the conference title and a number eight ranking in the East by ESPN. Dragos was a first team all-Gazette and all-county selection and a second team all-conference pick as a junior.
“Dan is one of the best hitters in arguably one of the best baseball conferences in America,” Valli said. “We project Dan to be a corner outfielder who will hit in the middle of our lineup.”
Hall (6-3, 205) is an outfielder from Commack, NY (Commack High School). A 2009 UnderArmour preseason All-American, he batted .375 during the regular season to earn all-division honors. He batted .581 with three home runs and seven RBI in the playoffs as Commack finished 18-6. Hall hit .460 with six home runs this summer for the Long Island Ducks Amateur Baseball team.
“David has the ability to be a five-tool player,” Valli said. “He reminds me of (current Temple senior) Sean Barksdale coming out of high school. David is an exceptional student with unlimited potential.”
Knabe (5-10, 175) is a middle infielder from Califon, NJ (Immaculata High School). He batted .361 with a home run to lead Immaculata to an 18-5 overall record. He also plays for the South Florida Bandits and the Jack Cust Academy.
“Henry trains and competes year round with some of the best baseball coaches in New Jersey,” Valli said. “We have watched him develop into an excellent infielder with the type of offensive skills that can impact a game. Knowing Henry’s work ethic, I’m confident that his best baseball is ahead of him.”
Kuehn (6-5, 190) is a right-handed pitcher from Lehighton, PA (Lehighton HS). He went 4-1 with a 1.44 ERA 41 strikeouts to lead Lehighton to its first district playoff berth in five years. He compiled a 6-2 record with a 2.36 ERA for Lehighton in the Lehigh Valley American Legion League.
“Ryan is one of the best pitchers in Pennsylvania that nobody knows about,” Valli said. “He is a multi-sport athlete at a small school that pitches with a plus-fastball and has the makings of a strikeout pitcher.”
Powers (6-1, 185) is a left-handed pitcher from Jamesport, NY (Riverhead HS). A four-year letterwinner, Powers also played for the South Florida Bandits with Knabe and the Long Island Ducks with Hall.
“Jimmy is a gutsy lefty with a good fastball and great curveball,” Valli said. “He has the physical ability to be a starter in our league and all the intangibles that may allow him to be a special player.”
Yarborough (6-0, 175) is an infielder from North Brunswick, NJ (North Brunswick HS). He batted .422 as a junior to earn third team All-New Jersey Group III honors. He was also a first team all-conference and second team all-area pick.
“Elijah can play every position on the field and is going to be a great college hitter,” Valli said. “There is no limit to what he can accomplish.”