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Tuesday, September 02, 2014         

UH BASEBALL


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Rainbows get a head start by signing 11 for 2012

By Billy Hull

POSTED:



Before the 2011 season begins, Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso has already put together a full recruiting class for 2012.

Trapasso announced the signing of 11 recruits yesterday, including four local prospects.

Saint Louis outfielder Kaeo Aliviado and Moanalua pitcher Jordan DePonte are joined by Kailua's Alan Baldwin and Mid-Pacific left-hander Lawrence Chew as players from Hawaii.

Left-hander Scott Squier of Greenway High School in Phoenix and infielder Brett Harrison of Green Valley High in Henderson, Nev., lead seven mainland recruits. Squier had a 1.56 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings as a junior, while Harrison is ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 1 player in the state of Nevada and 70th overall in the country.

"This is as deep and talent-rich a class that I can remember us having," Trapasso said. "It remains to be seen how many of these guys will actually join us, depending on the major league draft, but based on merit it's a real solid class."

Hawaii lost four recruits in its 2011 class to the draft, but still managed to bring in 15 guys at the start of the fall.

Ten of the 11 recruits announced yesterday are high school seniors expected to inject a youthful presence into the baseball program.

"You always would prefer to get as many freshmen as you can and try to get a good mix if you can get it," Trapasso said. "I actually went into our recruiting wanting to sign a few more junior college pitchers, but the talent was at the high school ranks."

The Rainbows may have found that elusive leadoff hitter they've been searching for with the commitment of Stephen Ventimilia from Monterey High in California. Ventimilia has lettered in seven sports in high school, stealing 33 bases as a junior. He plays quarterback and safety on the football team and participates in sprints, relays and long jump events on the track team.

"That's what we recruited him for," Trapasso said. "He's all about speed and he's absolutely fearless on the bases."

Hawaii also got good news yesterday when sophomore Matt Harrison, the brother of Brett, was cleared to play this season by the NCAA.

Matt Harrison is a transfer from North Carolina and was rated as one of the top 10 high school shortstops in the country when he signed with the Tar Heels.

He did not play in 2010 after playing as a freshman in '09.

2012 UH SIGNEES

» Kaeo Aliviado, OF, Saint Louis

Trapasso: "Will be a great college player. We look for Kaeo to be an impact player as a freshman. He does everything well ... hit, run, throw. Plays with great energy and will make those around him better."

» Alan Baldwin, C/OF, Kailua

Trapasso: "Alan has a great upside. At 6-2 he has the frame to get big and strong. He's very athletic and will be a versatile player for us."

» Lawrence Chew, LHP, Mid-Pacific

Trapasso: "Lawrence will be a valuable addition to our staff. He's a strike-throwing lefty who has the frame that will allow him to add velocity."

» Cody Clark, C, Centennial High School (Las Vegas)

Trapasso: "Very athletic, outstanding defensive catcher. Excellent athlete...multi-sport athlete in high school. Plays with great energy."

» Jordan DePonte, RHP, Moanalua

Trapasso: "Jordan has the frame to develop into a star. Pitches in the high 80s now and will improve as he gets stronger. Has good command and a good breaking ball."

» Brett Harrison, INF, Green Valley (Nev.) High School

Trapasso: "Brett is a versatile middle infielder who will be a plus hitter. He will be an impact freshman and a great player. Brett's brother, Matt, is an infielder on the UH team this year, having transferred from the University of North Carolina."

» David Longville, RHP, Capistrano Valley (Calif.) High School

Trapasso: "6-5 pitcher with excellent command. Tremendous upside. Looks to be a high draft in three years."

» Corey MacDonald, RHP, Consumnes River (Calif.) College

Trapasso: "An imposing figure on the mound at 6-7. Has command of three pitches and can develop into a high velocity RHP. Will be a front-line guy right away."

» Trevor Podratz, C, Chaparral (Calif.) High School

Trapasso: "Strong, physical frame that is a plus offensive player. Can catch or play corner infield positions."

» Scott Squier, LHP, Greenway (Ariz.) High School

Trapasso: "Being left-handed and having a great frame at 6-6"... Scott will be a front-line pitcher as a freshman and a very high draft. Has a low 90s fastball with an outstanding curveball."

» Stephen Ventimilia, INF/OF, Monterey (Calif.) High School

Trapasso: "Tremendous athlete. Lettered in seven sports in high school. Tremendous speed and ability to steel bases, high-energy player."






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