Aug. 14, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball John Stuper will welcome seven newcomers to the Yale baseball team for his 17th season in the dugout at Yale Field. Included in the septet are two middle infielders, three pitchers, a catcher, and a versatile athlete who can play virtually anywhere on the diamond.
Pat Ludwig is a 6'2", 175lb. right-handed pitcher from Okemos High School in Okemos, Mich. He is a hard thrower already touching the upper-80s and, in addition to having a stellar high school career, put together a tremendous summer that included a string of three consecutive shutouts. "Pat is a polished pitcher who continues to increase his velocity and improve his command. He is a great addition to our staff", said Stuper.
Greg Lyons is a big (6'4", 195lb.) right-handed pitcher from the Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. Another hurler for whom Stuper has big plans, Lyons has reached the mid-to-upper 80s with his fastball, though he brings more than just heat to the mound. "Greg is a big, physical guy who throws three pitches for strikes. He has played for an excellent high school and summer program and, because of his size, I believe he has a tremendous upside".
Eric Shultz is another right-handed pitcher who should help bolster the Bulldog staff immediately. Shultz is a 6'3", 175lb. sidearmer who is quite deceptive on the mound. The Beverly Hills, Calif. native, who played scholastically at Harvard-Westlake, was spotted by Stuper at the Yale Baseball Camp. "Eric came to camp and really just dominated. He has excellent movement, a good breaking ball, and has added a change up that will help him with left-handed hitters. He should get innings right away".
Ryan Brenner is a 5'11", 175lb. catcher from Manhasset, N.Y. who attended Chaminade High School. He is a very good defensive catcher who has really stepped it up with the bat. "We figured Ryan (Lavarnway, drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 draft) was going to leave and we needed to get a catcher. Ryan Brenner was the guy we wanted the most and were lucky enough to get him. We knew he was a good defensive catcher, but he has had a tremendous spring and summer with the bat".
Zach Tobolowsky is a 5'10", 175 lb. middle infielder from the Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. He was high school teammates with fellow freshman Greg Lyons, and together they enjoyed much success. Zach has the ability to play virtually anywhere in the infield, and Stuper sees him as a top of the order hitter. "Zach brings energy to everything he does. He comes from a very successful high school program. He runs well, is a tough out, and can play just about anywhere. He is a great addition".
Matt Schmidt is a 5'10", 165lb. middle infielder from Grayslake, Ill. A graduate of Grayslake Central, he is a very polished defensive infielder. One recruiting publication in Illinois ranked him as the best defensive infielder in the state. "Matt is just excellent defensively. He can make all the plays and is also a tough out. He can run and seems to be a good candidate to eventually hit in the one or two hole. He has a good aptitude for the game".
The most intriguing newcomer might be 6'3" 185lb. Charlie Neil. An exceptional athlete, Charlie will not be with the baseball team in the fall, as he will be suiting up for Coach Brian Tompkins and the Yale soccer team. As a baseball player, Charlie is a switch hitter who can play the outfield, both corners in the infield and can also catch. Stuper feels his versatility will be invaluable. About the graduate of St Mark's school in Dallas, Stuper said, "Charlie is a superb athlete. The biggest question I am going to have is where to play him. His bat is a huge addition, and the fact that he is so versatile defensively will really strengthen our team."
Neil is following in the footsteps of his father, Jim Neil `76, who also played both baseball and soccer for the Elis. Jim has also been the coach of the Dallas Barracudas for many years, and this past year his roster included his son, along with fellow newcomers Zach Tobolowsky and Greg Lyons.
"I am excited about this class," said Stuper. "They should make us a better team immediately".
The Yale baseball team posted a 20-24-1 record overall in the 2008 campaign. The Elis were 9-10-1 in the Ivy League, the fourth best record in league play last season. The 2009 season opens on Sunday, March 8, 2009 in Baltimore, Md. The team will play a pair of games, facing Wagner at 12 p.m. and Maryland-Baltimore County at 4 p.m.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity