Nov. 17, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's baseball head coach Shawn Pender has announced that the University has received signed National Letters of Intent from two New Jersey high school players. Middle infielder Brooks Miller and outfielder Mike Plakis submitted their letters and will join the Hawks for the 2008 season.
"We're excited to be getting two players with such great offensive abilities," said Pender. "Both Brooks and Michael are serious baseball players with the makeup and the instincts to reach their baseball potential. They come from strong baseball programs and have competed successfully against the best talent in New Jersey and beyond. I feel very confident they will add to our continued growth as a program."
Miller comes to Hawk Hill from Governor Livingston High School. The Berkeley Heights, NJ product led his team with a .446 batting average, eight homeruns, and 42 runs batted in. Miller helped his squad to a 24-8 record in 2006, which included the Central Jersey Group 2 championship. Individually, Miller had numerous honors bestowed upon him. He was named to the All-State Third Team, and was named to the All-Mountain Valley Conference First Team. The right-hander was honored by the Newark Star-Ledger as a First Team All-Union County selection, and by the Courier-News as a First Team Central Jersey All-Star. He was one of only four non-seniors named to the First Team, which also included current Hawk freshmen Kyle Morrison and Adam Rivera.
"Brooks is a throwback player with surprising power and a keen sense of his offensive game," Pender said.
Plakis hails from Oaklyn, NJ, and currently plays for Bishop Eustace High School. He was the leadoff hitter for the squad ranked number one in South Jersey by the Courier-Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer and took home the Non-Public Group B state championship. Plakis, a left-handed hitter, hit .456 in 2006 with 36 runs batted in and a slugging percentage of 1.011. His 53 runs scored led Bishop Eustace, while his 13 homeruns were tops on his team and second in South Jersey. His single-season totals in homeruns and runs scored rank in the Top 10 all-time in South Jersey baseball history. Plakis also played summer ball for the Pennsauken American Legion, and his father Tony played basketball at La Salle in the 1970s.
"Michael is a true potential lead-off man," said Pender. "He gets on base, has speed, and also shows the kind of power that is unique for his role. Both [Miller and Plakis] will push for playing opportunities as freshmen."
The 2007 Saint Joseph's University baseball team will take the field for their first game on Friday, February 9, as the Hawks will travel to Norfolk for a weekend series with the Norfolk State Spartans.