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Dayton adds three for 2009-2010 season


TonyVittorio DAYTON, Ohio – University of Dayton baseball head coach Tony Vittorio has announced the commitments of Zach Blanchette, Jim Hurt and Tyler Kade Smith for the 2009-2010 school year.

"Our latest additions will help build on an already strong recruiting class for the 2010 season," said head coach Tony Vittorio.

Blanchette is a junior college transfer from Elgin Community College in Illinois. He was named to the 2009 Illinois Skyway Collegiate All-Conference First Team and 2009 Region IV All-Region First Team after posting a .438 batting average for the Elgin Spartans. He ranked second nationally among all NJCAA Division II players with 48 stolen bases. Last season he had three outfield assists and a .963 fielding percentage as the Elgin Spartans advanced to the Region IV championship game.

"Zach is a great leadoff hitter with outstanding speed," said Vittorio. "He is the type of player that will be able to set the tone for our offense."

Hurt traded time between pitcher and infield duties. On the hill, he combined for a 6-2 record with 62 punchouts in 48.2 innings pitched for the Bloomington North High School Cougars. At the plate, he tallied a .373 batting average with eight stolen bases. Hurt was a Conference Indiana All-Conference selection in 2009.

"Jim is a versatile player that could see a lot of action in the infield or on the mound," said Vittorio. "He has played summer ball for one of Indiana’s elite club teams, the Indiana Bulls."

Smith, a junior college transfer from the New Mexico Military Institute, is Vittorio’s third addition to the squad. An anchor at first base, Smith recorded 177 putouts for a .958 fielding percentage with the Broncos during the Spring. At the plate, he collected a .300 batting average with nine doubles and four home runs.

"Tyler’s ability to hit is his strongest suit," said Vittorio. "He is a strong first baseman and should be able to hit in the middle of our lineup."

The trio joins five other incoming Flyers for the 2010 campaign in which Dayton looks to defend its Atlantic 10 regular season crown it earned after a program-best 38 wins in 2009. The Flyers will open their season on the road at Wake Forest on Feb. 19, 2010.

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