The Siena baseball team will have a new look when it takes aim at its fourth straight MAAC Championship series appearance next spring. Head coach Tony Rossi announced the commitment of eight additional student athletes today, complementing the five who inked NLIs during the early signing period in November.
"We are excited to have this group of student athletes join our program," Rossi said. "It's a talented class, which gives the program much needed depth needed to tackle our ambitious schedule. All the newcomers will have a chance to impact the program immediately. Assistant coach Pat Carroll and former assistant Brian McCullough did an outstanding job assembling this talented group."
In recent years, Siena has had a great deal of success with its recruiting classes, gaining significant contributions from their freshmen and other incoming players each season. The Saints have boasted the MAAC's Rookie of the Year each of the last two seasons (Dan Swain in 2014 and Joe Drpich in 2015).
"We have addressed some important needs for the long and short term by bringing in outstanding positional players and quality pitching," Rossi said. "With the loss of 11 upperclassmen, this class should adequately replace and enhance the future of the program, with hopefully a short learning curve. We try to address significant needs with each recruiting class, but our general philosophy is to go out and attract the best athletes possible for our program. We are always looking for the top arms and athletes available, and this group achieves that goal."
Zehnbauer is a 6-1, 180-pound right-handed pitcher form Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He attended Roy C. Ketcham High School where he was named All-League, All-County, All-Section and First Team All-State. Zehnbauer was 8-0 last spring with a 0.36 era in 50 1/3 innings.
"Tim is a talented, hardworking pitcher with great command who should be a major contributor from the start." Rossi said. "He also is an outstanding student and will be a welcome addition to the Siena community."
Goione is a 5-10, 170-pound infielder from Fair Haven, N.J. He attended Rumson-Fair Haven Regional where he was All Division as a senior, and hit .391 with a .487 OBP as a junior. A two-time team captain and slick fielding middle infielder, Goione was named his high school's defensive MVP.
"Max is a hard worker who can play anywhere in the infield," Rossi said. "With his versatility, sound defense, and steady offense he will add much depth to the infield. He is also an outstanding student who should have much to offer the Siena community."
Flynn is a 6-3, 220-pound outfielder from Myrtle Beach, S.C. He is a one-year transfer from Anderson College in South Carolina by way of Carolina Forest High School. In high school he was a two time All-Region and All-State performer. Flynn is another top student who was rated highly on the prestigious Perfect Game rating scale.
"Ryan has a great arm and we expect him to develop great power and compete for playing time immediately," Rossi said. "He also may add some depth to the pitching staff. We are excited to have him aboard. He's another excellent student who will be a welcome addition to the program and school."
Martinez is a 5-10, 185-pound outfielder from Austin, Texas. He is a two-year transfer form Allen Community College in Lola, Kansas. At Lake Travis High School in Texas he was All-District, Third Team All-Central Texas, and Honorable Mention All-State. At Allen he was a two-time Academic All-Conference pick and was selected team MVP his senior year.
"We are extremely happy to have Ryne in our program and as a member of the Siena community," Rossi said. "He's an exceptional student and an outstanding outfielder, who has been exposed to some of the best talent in the country."
Kelly is a 6-0, 185-pound middle infielder from Demarest, N.J. who attended Northern Valley Regional. He's coming off a season where he hit .385 with a .473 OBP and collected 30 hits and 21 RBI. Kelly was named All-Conference, All-County and was selected to play for the Garden State Games.
"Brian is another outstanding student who was one of the top shortstops in New Jersey," Rossi said. "He will compete for infield playing time immediately, and the coaching staff is looking for him to add some much needed power to the squad."
Hamel is a 6-0, 160-pound infielder/outfielder from nearby Gansevoort, N.Y. He attended Christian Brothers Academy in Albany where he was a two-time Big Ten First Team selection and a two-time First Team All-Area performer. Hamel is a much-needed, versatile player who can play just about any position. He also started in basketball and football at CBA.
"A top scholar, we expect Matt to help out at various positions," Rossi said. "A shortstop in high school, and an outfielder during the summer, he is a hard worker who will add much needed depth and versatility to the squad."
Durant is a 6-4, 180-pound right-handed pitcher from Verona, N.Y. He was a two-sport athlete at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, also lettering in football. Durant was an All-Central New York performer at VVS.
"Zack is an outstanding pitcher who has great command of all pitches, with an excellent slider and curveball," Rossi said. "His high school team had a great season, and he was the main cog on the staff. He is a big, strong kid who has a very high ceiling. We expect that he will give the program quality innings immediately."
Dillard is a 5-9, 175-pound middle infielder from Clinton, Ohio. He attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School where he was team MVP, and played in the prestigious NEOBCA All-star game.
"Ian is an outstanding student and a hard worker who was a shortstop in high school, but has the tools to help out at other positions," Rossi said. "He should add depth to the infield and outfield, and has the work ethic to create playing time for himself immediately. We are happy to have him with us".
The Saints went 13-8 in the MAAC this past season and advanced to the MAAC Championship series for the third straight year and fifth time in the last eight years. The program won its second conference title in 2014 and went on to defeat national power Dallas Baptist in the NCAA Tournament.