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Bucknell Rounds out Coaching Staff

LEWISBURG, Pa. – First-year Bucknell baseball head coach Scott Heather was promoted this past summer after eight years as an assistant with the Bison. On Friday, he announced the remainder of his coaching staff. Two-year assistant Jason Neitz was elevated to the top assistant position, while Patrick Rose, a four-year letterwinner on the baseball team at Cal Santa Barbara, and former Bucknell player B.J. LaRosa were named assistant coaches.

All four members of the Bucknell coaching staff have professional experience, including Heather, who pitched for the Northern League’s Duluth Dukes in 1998. Neitz played professionally for four seasons, mostly in the San Francisco Giants organization, while Rose played pro ball for four years after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2008. LaRosa was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system for two years after graduating in 2010.

Neitz initially joined the Bucknell staff in the winter of 2011. A native of nearby Mifflinburg, Pa., he was drafted in the 37th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Giants.

A 2002 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School, Neitz played baseball for four years at East Carolina before graduating in the fall of 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. A left-handed pitcher, Neitz was 3-2 with an ERA of 4.71 in 80.1 career innings over 43 appearances with the Pirates. He recorded 55 strikeouts.

Netiz got his start in the coaching profession as an assistant at Mifflinburg Area High School in the spring of 2010.

A three-year letterwinner at Cal Santa Barbara, Rose was named Second Team All-Big West as a senior when he led the Gauchos with a .357 batting average, had 11 doubles, five triples, one home run and 29 RBIs. That followed a junior campaign where he finished third on the squad with a .32 batting average.
A Laguna Niguel, Calif., native, Rose was drafted by the Rockies in 2008 and he played two years in their organization advancing as high as Double A spring training. Rose played in the Frontier League in 2010 and independently secured a free agent deal with the Na Koa Ikaika Professional Baseball Organization in 2011.

Rose, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with credits towards a minor in coaching, first got into the coaching profession in 2010-11 when he served as a volunteer assistant baseball coach at his alma mater. He has also spent time as an assistant with Santa Barbara City College and as a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. Most recently, Rose was the head assistant coach of the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League.

A two-year starter at catcher while a Bison, LaRosa was a two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection. He ranked sixth on Bucknell’s single-season at bats list (202), fifth in hits (75) and second in sacrifice bunts (11) at the time of graduation. On a career level, LaRosa listed eighth in batting average (.345) and fifth in sacrifice bunts (15).

A strong defensive player, LaRosa committed just three errors as a senior and threw out 19 potential basestealers. As a junior he gunned down better than 50 percent of runners trying to steal against him.

LaRosa, who was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the Dodgers, graduated from Bucknell with a degree in chemical engineering.

Bucknell, which has won the Patriot League Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament five times since 1996, was 21-28 in 2012.

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