November 29, 2007

Party of Five: Northridge Welcomes 'Special' Five-Man Class


Party of Five: Northridge Welcomes 'Special' Five-Man Class
Northridge, Calif. -- Cal State Northridge welcomed five new players into the fold with the 2007 early signing period, it was announced Thursday. High school seniors Bryan Harper (6-6 LHP, Las Vegas HS), Robbie Nadalsky (6-3 UTL, San Luis Obispo HS), Shawn Smith (6-2 LHP, Saugus HS), Mark Trentacosta (6-3 LHP, Marina HS), and Westley Wright (6-5 RHP/UTL, Moorpark HS) made their intentions official by submitting national letters of intent to compete for the Matadors in 2009.

In 2007, the Matadors bolstered their corps of hitters by signing several multi-faceted hitters. The 2008 class, as announced by head coach Steve Rousey, will do the same for their pitching staff: provide depth and variety to greatly improve the Matadors' presence on the mound.

"Our intent was to bring in some quality arms, and I feel we've accomplished that goal," said recruiting coordinator Rob McKinley.

With a distinctly local feel, this class continues the trend that was established last season, when the coaching staff ventured outside of southern California for just one recruit. "Matador fans should be very excited about these student-athletes," opined Rousey. "They're excellent students and players and have outstanding character. They're already developing a bond with the team and with the campus as a whole."

Added assistant coach Mark Kertenian, "We identified these particular guys as special players, so we made them top priorities and we're excited that they've chosen to join our program and become Matadors. These players have intentions of competing for a Big West title and playing in the postseason, goals that they share with the coaching staff and current players.

"That's what makes them Matadors."


2008 EARLY SIGNEE CLASS
Bryan Harper * LHP * Las Vegas HS
Robbie Nadalsky * UTL * San Luis Obispo HS
Shawn Smith * LHP * Saugus HS
Mark Trentacosta * LHP * Marina HS
Westley Wright * RHP/UTL * Moorpark HS


Bryan Harper * LHP * Las Vegas, NV * Las Vegas HS
Coach: Sam Thomas


One of three left-handed pitchers joining the Matadors in 2009, Harper is hailed as a player with tremendous potential. Harper is coming off an outstanding year of development and the coaching staff expects him to be a polished pitcher when he arrives. He first caught the coaching staff's eye at the Las Vegas area code tryouts with his imposing three-pitch mix.

Harper is the second Las Vegas-area recruit to join the Matadors in as many years, joining current freshman Ryan Pineda (Bonanza HS).


Robbie Nadalsky * UTL * San Luis Obispo, CA * San Luis Obispo HS
Coach: Casey Candaele


A 6-3 corner infielder that Kertenian describes as a "physical beast", Nadalsky is a dangerous hitter with tremendous power. He is currently working on his defensive pursuits to give himself opportunities in the infield and outfield, and the coaches are excited to find different ways to utilize his unique skill set. A kicker on his high school football team, Nadalsky will have the opportunity to concentrate on baseball exclusively for the first time when he arrives at CSUN. Nadalsky's excellent work which carries over into the classroom, where he is a terrific student.

Nadalsky competed for the Cleveland Indians area scout team and coach Vince Sagisi, a former Matador.


Shawn Smith * LHP * Saugus, CA * Saugus HS
Coach: John Maggiora


Smith, a southpaw from nearby Saugus High School, is a power lefty with electric stuff. After incorporating a power breaking ball and plus changeup into his game, Smith has quickly established himself as one of the top left-handed pitchers in America. Smith has been seasoning himself against top competition during the fall travel season and is prepared to come in and be a dominant presence as a freshman.

Smith competed for the Cleveland Indians area scout team and coach Sagisi.


Mark Trentacosta * LHP * Huntington Beach, CA * Marina HS
Coach: Paul Renfrow


Another local left-handed pitcher, Trentacosta anchored the Marina HS pitching staff last season as a junior. Trentacosta earned the Matadors' affection with his excellent fastball and curveball, along with a competitive spirit on the mound. Trentacosta will be a second generation Matador, following his dad, who played outfield for the Matadors in 1980. Mark is also an outstanding student.

Trentacosta was a member of the Boston Red Sox area scout team where he was groomed by Jim Woodward.


Westley Wright * RHP/UTL * Moorpark, CA * Moorpark HS
Coach: Scott Fullerton


A terrific athlete with a pure arm, Wright is another player with unlimited potential. Wright has the ability to have an immediate impact as a pitcher, hitter, and fielder, with the skills to play every position in the field and make steady contact at the dish. With a power breaking ball and exceptional competitive feel, Wright is another player with a high ceiling.

Wright played with the St. Louis area scout team for Chuck Fick and assistant coaches Derron Spiller and Mike Glendenning.

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