Nov. 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's head baseball coach Fritz Hamburg has announced that four student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball at Saint Joseph's beginning with the 2012 season. High school seniors Stefan Kancylarz, Ryan Pater, Tim Ponto, and Lansing Veeder will don the Crimson and Gray beginning in the fall of 2011.

"We are very pleased with this recruiting class," Hamburg said. "Tim is a potential frontline pitcher while Stefan, Ryan, and Lansing strengthen us up the middle, adding athleticism, speed, and balance to the lineup. These young men go about their business with a competitive mindset and possess a strong work ethic that will allow them to compete for playing time early in their careers."

Kancylarz comes to SJU from Mount Laurel, N.J. The infielder from Lenape High School has posted a career batting average of .412 to go with a .512 on-base percentage and a .596 slugging mark. This past season he was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Group IV, and Second Team All-South Jersey by the Courier-Post and First Team All-County by the Burlington County Times.

Off the diamond, he is a three-year starting quarterback for Lenape's football team and is a member of the National Honor Society.

"Stefan is a quality all-around athlete who possess a solid lefthanded stroke and a nice feel for playing defense," said assistant coach Greg Manco. "He has some pop in his bat and good arm strength across the diamond. His demeanor and versatility will be a welcome addition to our squad."

Pater hails from Doylestown, Pa. and currently plays the outfield for Central Bucks East High School. He hit for a .523 average over his career with a .579 OBP and a .692 slugging percentage on his way to 2010 All-Suburban One Continental Conference First Team honors from the Philadelphia Inquirer and was named to the 2010 All-Intel Team by The Intelligencer. He has also earned letters on the gridiron as a defensive back and a wide receiver.

"Ryan is a tough competitor who is a potential `table-setter' for our offense," Manco remarked. "He has good speed which allows him to cover ground in the outfield and make things happen on the basepaths. This dimension of his game, along with his previous offensive success, has us excited for him to join us in the Crimson and Gray."

A 6-foot-6 righthander from Pottstown, Pa., Ponto started the PIAA Class AAAA state championship game last season after throwing a one-hitter in the opening round and securing saves in the quarterfinal and semifinal wins by Owen J. Roberts High School. For the year he posted a 9-2 record with two saves, a 1.97 earned run average and 81 strikeouts in 74.2 innings.

For his efforts, Ponto was named All-Conference and All-Area First Team by The Mercury.

"Tim's frame provides him with a nice combination of present `stuff' and future projection," said assistant coach Jacob Gill. "He will be one of the top pitchers in the state this spring after having a tremendous amount of success as both a starter and a closer in one of the strongest conferences in the area last season. We expect Tim to step in and make an immediate impact on our pitching staff."

Veeder, a native of Falls Church, Va., has hit .313 over his career as an infielder and righthanded pitcher for Paul VI Catholic High School. He has totaled 11 career home runs, two shy of the school record. He was named First Team All-Fairfax and Honorable Mention All-Met by the Washington Post in addition to earning All-WCAC First Team and VISAA All-State First Team accolades in 2010. Veeder helped lead Paul VI to state titles in 2008 and 2009, having started on the varsity squad since his freshman year.

"Lance is a high-energy player whose enthusiasm for the game is infectious," Gill said. "He has an advanced feel for hitting and is a versatile defender who can play all over the field. His style of play and leadership qualities are a perfect fit for this program."

Hamburg was effusive in praise of his current players for their efforts in supporting the coaching staff throughout the recruiting process.

"I must thank our current players for the terrific job they did educating our newest Hawks about our baseball program and their experiences at SJU," he said. "We look forward to the arrival of these student-athletes on Hawk Hill next August."