USF baseball coach Eddie Cardieri didn’t wait very long to grab new players for his team. The 2005 season doesn’t start until March, but Cardieri announced the signing of four prep standouts to national letters-of-intent Tuesday.
The four recruits include two pitchers, a catcher and a shortstop, all from the Sunshine State, as the team plans to have them on the roster for the 2006 season.
“We’re very pleased with our recruiting class,” Cardieri said. “We got what we needed during this early signing period. We signed a catcher. We signed a right-handed pitcher, a left-handed pitcher and a shortstop. Those were our priorities. We feel that all of these guys will have an immediate impact on the program.”
The new players are currently in their senior year at their respective high schools, but should be training with the USF team in the fall of 2005.
Gib Dannehower, a 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher from Seabreeze High who will start his third season on varsity in the spring, has already been to the state Final Four in 2003. The southpaw had a 6-0 record with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts his junior year.
The second pitcher is the 5-foot-11, right-handed Daryl Lewis from Key West High who was brought to the team as a strikeout pitcher with potential the coaching staff is anxious to unleash.
The infield addition was shortstop Addison Maruszak, a 6-foot-1 St. Petersburg Catholic player that led the Barons in batting average (.478), on-base percentage (.602), RBI (27) and runs scored (21) during his junior year. That same year he moved from second base to shortstop and totaled nine stolen bases on the year.
And the most local of the recruits is Braulio Pardo, a 5-foot-11 catcher from Gaither High. The defensive catcher will enter his third season as Gaither’s starter in the spring and was an honorable mention all-county selection by the Tampa Tribune last season. It seems the behind-the-plate talent runs in his family. Pardo’s uncle, former major league catcher Al Pardo, played for Baltimore in 1985-86 and Philadelphia in 1988-89.