Skole signs Gonzaga to complete 2008-09 recruiting class

Friday, December 07, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 7, 2007) - ETSU head baseball coach Tony Skole announced Wednesday  that the Buccaneers have added the final player to their 2008-09 recruiting class, signing Josh Gonzaga (Pembroke Pines, Fla.).


"Obviously I am very excited about this recruiting class," Skole said.  "All of these young men truly fit into the culture we have established here for ETSU baseball.  In our recruiting we always focus on three equally important areas: talent, someone who will play well at ETSU, desire, a person wanting to be educated at ETSU and receive their degree, and character, to want to represent ETSU, our program, our community, family and friends with pride and respect."


"Our mission is always to find the best kids for our school and our program," Skole said. "Our staff does not get caught up in trying to do everything early, the high-volume recruiting or the superficial aspects of recruiting.  We always take a personalized approach while sharing our story and what our program can offer these young men.  This recruiting class is very talented but, most importantly, they are the right fit for East Tennessee State. They all come from very successful high school programs and each will bring something positive with them to our campus.  As we continue to raise the bar for ETSU Baseball, I believe this class will play a major role in helping us consistently get to the championship level."


Gonzaga, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound, left-handed pitcher won the Florida State Championship in class 5A with Nova High School last season. Gonzaga recently transfered to the Florida 6A defending state champion Flanigan High School coached by Ray Evans. Gonzaga also plays for the highly touted Florida Bombers summer team. He was 5-0 as a junior recording 35 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.


"Receiving a commitment from Josh was huge for our program as Josh is one of the top left handed pitchers in the state of Florida, Skole said. "He is coming to us from a high school program that has won back to back state championships in the highest classification in the state of Florida.  We are excited that Josh chose ETSU as many top programs were recruiting him.  Josh has had a lot of success at the highest levels of high school and summer baseball. Throughout his career he has performed extremely well on the biggest stages. Josh is one of the top left handed pitchers in south Florida and is ranked nationally by all the major recruiting publications. What attracted us to Josh was that he is a big time competitor who pitches with great intensity. Our staff loves his makeup.  He is going to come right after you and make you beat him.  He is a big time strike thrower with command of all his pitches.  Our defense is going to love playing behind him.  Josh has a very high ceiling and possesses all the intangibles to have an outstanding career at ETSU."


Gonzaga rounds out a six player recruiting class that includes infielder Bo Reeder (Cookeville, Tenn.), right handed pitcher Taylor Gouffon (Knoxville, Tenn.), catcher Skyler Barnett (Erwin, Tenn.), middle infielder Garrett May (Marietta, Ga.), and left handed pitcher Pete Whittingslow (Kennesaw, Ga.).


"Our assistant coaches, Clay Greene and Reid Casey, along with our players and the rest of our administration and support staff, did a tremendous job of identifying, evaluating and recruiting a tremendous group of young men," Skole said. "We had great results in landing the players we really wanted.  When a young man visits East Tennessee State and gets an up close look at our baseball program and sees the positive impact it is having on our current players and has had on our former players, they get excited.  When they witness the commitment to excellence, attention to detail and enthusiasm of our coaching staff and how excited our players are to be at ETSU, they realize it is a place where they can accomplish all their goals and have an experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives."


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