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Nov. 19, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head baseball coach Robbie Wine announced the signing of seven top high school recruits to National Letters of Intent today.
Next year's class includes four top prospects from Pennsylvania and one each from Florida, New York, and Virginia. The newest group of Nittany Lions, who will join the program in the fall of 2011, consists of three pitchers, two catchers, an infielder, and an outfielder.
"I'm very excited about this year's class and the kind of talent these players bring to our program," said Wine. "I expect good things from this group and believe they will have an immediate impact on the field."
Among the incoming freshmen are four from the Keystone State. Left-handed pitchers Jordan Donmoyer (Lititz) and Casey Kulina (Hummelstown) join outfielder Aaron Novak (Ambler) and infielder Ryky Smith (York) as the team's Pennsylvania recruits.
Donmoyer, a two-time All-Conference selection at Warwick High School, broke the single-season ERA record during his sophomore season with an incredible 1.31 mark. Fellow PA southpaw Kulina has a strong resume as well, compiling a 1.36 ERA for Lower Dauphin High School while striking out 105 batters and posting a no-hitter against Mechanicsburg.
Joining the two aces will be a pair of highly-regarded position players. Novak, a two-time All-Conference pick, helped lead Germantown Academy to the Independent State Championship while being ranked among the top-15 outfielders by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith, a versatile infielder, earned MVP honors at Eastern York High School during the last two seasons and was ranked as the 13th best prospect in Pennsylvania after posting a .544 batting average during his junior year.
Along with the Pennsylvania talent, the Nittany Lions will welcome three out-of-state standouts as catchers JC Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) and JJ White (Lansdowne, Va.) will join right-handed pitcher Patton Taylor (Nichols, N.Y.) on the trek to Happy Valley.
Coban, a strong-armed catcher and third baseman from Boca Raton Community High School, ranks as the 67th best player in the state of Florida and received a top-500 national ranking while earning 2010 Under Armour Southeast Tournament MVP honors. White, who also split time behind the plate and in the infield for Stone Bridge High School, earned first-team All-District honors during each of the last two seasons.
Taylor, a tough right-handed ace, rounds out the recruiting class after piecing together an excellent career at Tioga Central High School. Selected as the All-Region Pitcher of the Year last season, he was also a first-team All-State selection while going 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA.
"Recruiting coordinator Eric Folmar and pitching coach Jason Bell did a great job of addressing our needs this offseason and working to get the type of players we were looking for," added Wine. "We were able to get a few pitchers who we feel have a chance to be successful in our league. We've also added depth in the infield and outfield as well as behind the plate."
Penn State's 2011 baseball season is quickly approaching. In addition to a 24-game Big Ten Conference schedule, the Lions play West Virginia, Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Wichita State, and Pittsburgh. Penn State opens its season in late February with a trip to Florida for the third Big Ten/Big East Challenge held in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. Please visit GoPSUsports.com for the Lions' complete 2011 schedule and other news and notes about the team.
JC COBAN - Boca Raton Community H.S. - C/3B, 6'0"/200
· 2010 Under Armour Southeast Tournament MVP
· Ranked as the 67th player in the state of Florida and in the top-500 Nationally
· Led summer team with .507 batting average
· Played summer and fall baseball for Palm Beach PAL
From The Coaches: "JC is a strong kid with good defensive skills and a very strong arm. We have him listed as a catcher but he has the ability to play third base as well."
JORDAN DONMOYER - Warwick H.S. - LHP, 6'3"/170
· Two-time All-Conference Lancaster/Lebanon League Section 1
· Broke single season ERA record with a 1.31 ERA his sophomore season
· Struck out 105 batters in the past two high school seasons
· Played summer and fall for Elite Baseball
From The Coaches: "Jordan is a tall, projectable left-hander. He has a good arm and an above-average breaking ball that has the potential to be even better with added size and development in the weight room."
CASEY KULINA - Lower Dauphin H.S. - LHP, 5'8"/155
· Mid-Penn Keystone Division MVP and selected to Patriot-News Big 11
· Recorded 101 strikeouts in 67 innings with a 1.36 ERA
· Threw a no-hitter against Mechanicsburg
· Kulina is a three sport star at LD playing football, basketball, and baseball
From The Coaches: "Casey is a hard-working player and a great competitor on the field. He has an idea of what he is doing on the mound and knows how to pitch. He is coached by his dad who was also an outstanding pitcher."
AARON NOVAK - Germantown Academy - OF, 6'0"/185
· Two-time All Interact Conference Player and two-time member of Carpenter Cup team
· Helped lead his high school to an Independent State Championship
· Named as one of the top 15 outfielders in the Philadelphia Inquirer
· Lettered three times in football
· Played for the Philly Bandits last summer
From The Coaches: "We feel Aaron will be a very good hitter in the future. He is an athletic kid who can play all three outfield positions and has well above-average arm strength."
RYKY SMITH - Eastern York H.S. - INF, 5'10"/180
· Team MVP as a sophomore and junior
· County Player of Year as sophomore
· County batting champ as a junior with a .544 batting average
· Ranked as the 13th prospect in the state of Pennsylvania and in the Top 500 nationally
· Played summer and fall baseball for the Mid-Atlantic Rookies
From The Coaches: "Ryky will bring a lot of energy to the field and to our team. He has the ability to play anywhere in the infield and can play the outfield as well. Has a good approach to hitting and will succeed at this level."
PATTON TAYLOR - Tioga Central H.S. - RHP, 6'1"/210
· All-Region Pitcher of the Year 2010
· First Team All-State 2010
· Was 5-1 in 2010 with a 1.78 ERA and 63 K's in 30 innings pitched
· Also a multi-sport star where he has lettered in football, basketball, and wrestling
From The Coaches: "Patton has a good arm and above-average secondary pitches. He will attack the strike zone and has shown the ability to get hitters out with all of his pitches."
JJ WHITE - Stone Bridge H.S. - C/1B, 6'3"/215
· 1st Team All-District as a sophomore and junior
· Will be a four-year starter for high school baseball team
· Played summer ball for Mid-Atlantic Red-Sox
· Starter on Stone Bridge's nationally ranked football team
From The Coaches: "JJ is a multi-sport athlete who will help us behind the plate and at first base. He is a big, physical kid who is very athletic for his size. He will be a force offensively for us in the next few years."
|JC Coban||C/3B||6'0"/200||Boca Raton Community H.S.||Boca Raton, Fla.|
|Jordan Donmoyer||LHP||6'3"/170||Warwick H.S.||Lititz, Pa.|
|Casey Kulina||LHP||5'8"/155||Lower Dauphin H.S.||Hummelstown, Pa.|
|Aaron Novak||OF||6'0"/185||Germantown Academy||Ambler, Pa.|
|Ryky Smith||INF||5'10"/180||Eastern York H.S.||York, Pa.|
|Patton Taylor||RHP||6'1"/210||Tioga Central, H.S.||Nichols, N.Y.|
|JJ White||C/1B||6'3"/215||Stone Bridge H.S.||Lansdowne, Va.|