Jan. 13, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Head coach Fritz Hamburg and the Saint Joseph's baseball coaching staff have announced the addition of seven student-athletes to the Saint Joseph's Class of 2016. John Brue, Joey Gorman, Matt Haskins, Jason Holcomb, Shane Marvel, Nate Shank, and Dallas Wilson will join the Hawks in the fall of 2012.
"I am very excited about this group of student-athletes that will matriculate next fall," Hamburg said. "We addressed our immediate and long-term needs by adding speed and power potential to our offense as well as four quality arms to strengthen our pitching staff."
Brue comes to Hawk Hill from Sicklerville, New Jersey and Gloucester Catholic High School. A lefthanded first baseman, he hit .557 in his junior season with nine home runs and 56 runs batted in. He also scored 42 runs as the cleanup hitter in leading Gloucester Catholic to the Non-Public Group B state championships in 2010 and 2011. For his efforts, he was chosen First Team All-State and All-South Jersey and was named a First Team ESPN Rise Baseball Underclass All-American. Brue also earned the Most Valuable Player award at the 2011 American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional as his squad reached the American Legion World Series.
"John, who we expect to replace the lefthanded power we will lose with the graduation of Kevin Taylor, has had a very successful high school career and has been a key contributor to Dennis Barth's highly competitive programs at Gloucester Catholic and Brooklawn Legion Post 72," Hamburg said of Brue.
"John is one of the elite hitters in all of New Jersey," said assistant coach Greg Manco. "As the cleanup hitter on the top-ranked high school team in the state, John has already been battle-tested in big games and has fared well against top pitching. He is also a good baserunner and holds his own defensively at first base."
Gorman is a lefthanded pitcher from Philadelphia and plays for Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. He was 9-1 with a 1.00 earned run average in 2011, fanning 71 batters in 54 innings. He also performed well at the plate, hitting .484 with 23 runs batted in as his squad finished the season 22-1 and won the Catholic League title. Gorman was the winning pitcher in all three playoff games, tossing 15 innings and striking out 21, including a complete game victory in the championship game. He earned First Team All-Southeastern Pennsylvania, All-City, and All-Catholic Blue Division accolades, and the Philadelphia Daily News named him the 2011 Pitcher of the Year.
Off the diamond, Gorman was elected the junior class President for the 2010-11 school year and currently serves as his senior class Vice President.
"Joey has both the arm strength and the secondary pitch repertoire to develop into a quality starting pitcher for us," said Manco. "He too has experience coming up big when it counts as he'll be another Hawk pitcher (alongside current junior Kyle Mullen) who has earned a complete game win in the PCL championship game."
"Joey has had an outstanding career thus far at Neumann-Goretti and we are excited that the top pitcher from the Philadelphia Catholic League has chosen to continue his career at home," said Hamburg.
Haskins hails from Newbury Park, California, where he has helped lead Newbury Park High School to the playoffs in each of his varsity seasons. On the mound, the righthander was 2-1 in 9.1 innings last season and hit .344 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in at the plate. A member of the National Honor Society, Haskins will serve as a team captain for the upcoming season. He will be the second active Hawk from the Golden State, as current junior Quinn Renner hails from Laguna Niguel.
"Matt has been primarily a position player throughout his career, but his size and relative lack of experience on the mound have us excited about his learning curve," explained assistant coach Jacob Gill. "He can be effective at different arm angles and is expected to assume a more significant role this spring for NPHS due to the departure of two Division I-caliber pitchers from last year's staff. We are delighted he chose to make Philadelphia his home for the next four years."
Holcomb comes to Philadelphia from St. Joseph High School and his hometown of Ansonia, Connecticut. Another position player that projects as a pitcher, he was 2-1 with a 1.56 earned run average and 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings as a junior. At the plate, he posted a .409 average with a home run, 11 doubles, 24 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases as St. Joseph went 22-4 and reached the league semifinals. He was named to the 2011 All-FCIAC East squad and will be a team captain in 2012. In the classroom, Holcomb has achieved Spanish National Honor Society accolades.
"Jason is another high school position player who we believe has a bright future on the mound," said Gill. "He is a strike-thrower who commands an out-pitch breaking ball and should make an immediate impact on our staff. His competitiveness and personality will make him a great addition to the Hawk family."
"Matt and Jason come on board with tremendous promise and low mileage on their arms," Hamburg said of Haskins and Holcomb. "For Matt to decide to come across the country when he had quality options on the West Coast is encouraging about how others view the direction of our program."
A three-sport letterman at Sussex Technical High School, Seaford, Delaware native Marvel will make his way to 54th and City next year. For his career, Marvel is a .360 hitter with a .630 slugging percentage and a .552 on-base mark. He has also posted a 2.87 earned run average and 34 strikeouts in 26.2 innings on the hill. He is a two-time Second Team All-Henlopen North Conference honoree and in 2009 he was selected Third Team All-State by the Delaware Baseball Coaches Association.
On the gridiron, Marvel holds the state record for career tackles with 410 and was named All-State as a linebacker this season by ESPNHS after achieving Second Team All-State status the previous two seasons. A four-time Academic All-State honoree, he was the WBOC/Mountaire Scholar Athlete of the Month for October 2011.
In each his two years on the Sussex Tech wrestling squad, Marvel earned All-State and Academic All-State accolades. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society.
"Getting a quality two-way guy was a high priority of ours this year, and Shane certainly fits the bill," explained Manco. "He has played everywhere on the field, although at the collegiate level he will likely find a home at a corner infield or outfield position. Shane is both a power hitter who eventually should settle into the middle of our order and a power pitcher who will strengthen our staff."
"Shane's versatility will allow him to contribute in a number of different ways all over the field, and his character and personality are infectious," added Hamburg.
Shank hit .411 last season for Lampeter-Strasburg High School, slugging at a .630 clip and posting an on-base percentage of .449. He scored 26 runs and drove in 21 with 10 stolen bases and also added three longballs. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania native was named to the 2011 Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3 All-Star First Team after achieving Second Team status the year before; both seasons, Lampeter-Strasburg won the league championship.
The outfielder also lettered in football and was the starting varsity quarterback for each of his four seasons on the squad. He earned Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3 Second Team All-Star accolades at quarterback in 2011, and was also an Honorable Mention honoree as a linebacker and punter.
"Nate brings to the table an intriguing package of athletic tools and baseball skills," Gill revealed. "He is an above-average runner and defender, while employing a simple approach at the plate with gap power. Perhaps most impressive about him, however, is his leadership ability. We are thrilled he chose to don the Crimson and Gray."
Another gridiron standout headed for Hawk Hill, Wilson has posted a .360 batting average at Hershey High School in his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania. He has also clubbed 10 home runs and swiped 29 bases in his career. He earned Big 11 Honorable Mention status in 2011 one year after helping guide his team to the PIAA AAA state title game.
A three-year football letterman, Wilson was named to the Big 11 Second Team defense and also earned Mid Penn Conference First Team defense and Second Team offense honors.
"Dallas is a very good athlete who possesses above-average foot speed and arm strength," Gill said. "His tools and make-up lead us to believe that good things are in store when he devotes his full athletic attention to baseball here at Saint Joseph's."
"Nate and Dallas have an athleticism and aggressiveness that will be an asset in the outfield and give our offense a kick-start," said Hamburg. "Along with Shane, all three enjoyed successful football careers and should help further bolster our squad's makeup and toughness."
The seven incoming student-athletes will join a program on the rise as the Hawks have increased their win total in each of the past two seasons under Hamburg and will look to break into the upper echelon of the Atlantic 10 in the coming years. 2012 will also mark the opening of SJU's new on-campus baseball facility; when the field opens on March 9, it will be the culmination of over a half-century off campus for the Hawk baseball program.
The current edition of the Hawk baseball squad will open the 2012 season on February 17 in Cary, N.C. against Bryant.