Siena Baseball Receives Six NLI's During Early Signing Period

Dec. 7, 2009

Head Coach Tony Rossi announced that he received six binding National Letters of Intent during the recently completed early signing period. The class consists of two pitchers: Matt O'Kipney a southpaw from Liverpool, N.Y. and Jimmy Meindl a right-hander from Old Bridge, N.J., two outfielders: John Rooney from Syracuse, N.Y. and Tyler Bell from Cornwall, N.Y. and two infielders: shortstop Vinnie Citro from Montclair, N.J., and first baseman Kenny Kirshner from Cornwall, N.Y.

"I feel that this is an outstanding class which addresses our needs for the short and long term," Rossi said. "Assistant coach Jimmy Jackson did an outstanding job identifying and addressing those needs. This class is a nice complement to the players we currently have in our program and should help our program grow and enrich the Siena community."

O'Kipney (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool High) comes from one of the top high school and summer programs in the state. He played high school ball at Liverpool and summer baseball for the renowned Syracuse Sports Zone Chiefs. The Chiefs are perennial y one of the top summer and fall program in the Northeast, competing at several national tournaments. O'Kipney was 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA last spring, earning All-League, All-State and team MVP accolades. During the summer and fall he was a combined 11-2 against strong competition.

"Matt brings much needed experience from the left side," Rossi said. "We feel he will be a major contributor in a short period of time."

Meindl (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge High) is a versatile talent who can swing to the outfield if needed and is also considered a strong addition to the pitching staff. He made All-League, All-State and was team MVP as a positional player and had an outstanding summer on the mound posting a 1.07 ERA. He is expected to get quality time on the mound as he progresses during the 2011 spring season and projects as a top pitcher in the program.



"We're happy that Jimmy will be a member of the Siena community," Rossi said. "He is an outstanding student who brings versatility to the program. Not only is he an outstanding outfielder with a great arm, the coaching staff sees him as a future top pitcher."

Kirshner (Cornwall, N.Y./ Cornwall High) comes from Tom Fanning's strong Cornwall High School. He has been a three-year starter at first base for the varsity, and last spring hit .432 with 30 runs scored, and 23 RBI. Kirshner was an All-league Third Team All-Section IX selection in 2009. Last summer he hit .429, with 25 runs scored, 25 RBI, and had 12 stolen bases. H

"Ken is an outstanding hitter with excellent speed," Rossi said. "With a plus-bat, he will see some time at first base and in the outfield. He should be a major contributor immediately."

Citro (Montclair, N.J./ Montclair High School) was named First Team All-League, First Team All-County, Northern New Jersey Rookie of the Year in 2008 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. He hit .531 last spring with 36 runs scored, 21 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. His summer team, Lefty's Lightening, is a top program in Northern New Jersey. He hit .425, with 29 runs scored, 17 RBI, and 37 stolen bases using the wood bat. Citro was also selected First Team All-County, First Team All-Northern New Jersey, and MVP in basketball.

"Vinnie has exceptional speed for a big guy and swings the bat well which will allow him to compete for starting position at shortstop or in the outfield," Rossi said. "In a short time, he could be an immediate impact player."

Rooney (Syracuse, N.Y./Bishop Ludden High) excelled in the classroom while playing three sports in high school. In baseball and football he was named All-League, All-Central New York, and All-State, and in basketball he was an All-League, and All-Central New York honoree. Last spring he became his Bishop Ludden's all time hits leader after hitting .391 with 36 hits, eight homeruns and 12 stolen bases.

"John is an extremely versatile athlete who can play almost anywhere," Rossi said. "He is an aggressive player who could see action at several positions and we welcome his experience and feel he should get quality playing time immediately."

Bell (Cornwall, N.Y./Cornwall High) also hails from the strong Cornwall program. He is a speedy outfielder who is also one of the top-5 high school Alpine Skiers in the Northeast. Last spring he hit .473 with a .580 on-base percentage, scoring 24 runs and stealing 20 bases. This past summer he had 33 hits and 22 stolen bases.

"Tyler brings exceptional speed and a plus-bat from the left side," Rossi said. "He will have every opportunity to compete for one of the starting outfield positions and should be an immediate impact player in a short period of time."

As always our philosophy is to go out and try to attract the best athletes possible for the program and we feel that we have great athletes in this class. We are very fortunate to have these fine student-athletes as members of the 2009-2010 program."