DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head baseball coach Sean McNally announced the signing of ten student-athletes who will join the Duke baseball program beginning in the 2006-07 academic year. The class is comprised of ten players hailing from eight states with New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Florida represented. This class is highlighted by versatile athletes, with five players who will have the opportunity to be two-way players for the Blue Devils. The 2006 recruiting class, the first for McNally, will be counted on to provide a solid foundation for the present and future of Duke baseball.
“We are excited to announce the signing of these ten student-athletes to be a part of our baseball program here at Duke University,” said McNally. “We are committed as a staff to aid their personal growth, academic pursuits and baseball development for the next four years and beyond. In turn, each of these young men has committed himself to inspire excellence in the classroom and on the field. It is important for us to identify student-athletes of character who are a good fit for the mission of our baseball program and Duke University. Additionally, we believe that these ten student-athletes possess the baseball ability and upside to make a sustained impact on the caliber of our team in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. We are looking forward to seeing these young players grow in our baseball development system, one that has evolved from our 29 years combined as a staff playing or coaching the game at the professional level.”
“We have addressed areas of need for our program with this class,” added Associate Head Coach Dave Turgeon. “Building depth on the mound is a critical element and the addition of seven arms certainly is a step in the right direction. We are also excited about the potential of the position players to strengthen our club both offensively and defensively.”
Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs High School
Will Currier was a double threat for coach Connie Cochran at Dripping Springs High School as a junior, batting .424 with six home runs and 35 RBI while registering an 8-1 record with a 2.23 ERA and 76 strikeouts. He earned first team all-district honors as a pitcher and second team all-state honors as a first baseman as well as being named an academic all-district selection. He is the son of Brent and Suzanne Currier.
Lafayette, La./Lafayette High School
David Foreman was an all-district selection as a junior at Lafayette High School under coach Jay Domengeaux. Foreman, who was named as an all-state selection in soccer after leading his team to the state championship, was nominated for the Pat Tillman Student Athlete Award. A member of the National Honor Society, he is the son of David and Beverly Foreman.
Piedmont, S.C./Wren High School
Michael Ghizzoni, a four-year starter for coach Randy Thompson at Wren High School, batted .362 with seven home runs and 24 RBI as a junior. An all-region selection as a sophomore and junior, Ghizzoni is a member of the National Honor Society. He is the son of Ron and Karen Ghizzoni.
Bellaire, Texas/Bellaire High School
Jeremy Gould was an all-district selection as a sophomore and junior under coach Rocky Manuel at Bellaire High School. Rated as the No. 308 prospect in the country by Baseball America, Gould is currently 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA. He is the son of Diane Gordon.
Boston, Mass./Boston College High School
Alexander Hassan posted a 5-3 record with a 2.05 ERA and 81 strikeouts as a sophomore before batting .375 with two home runs, 20 RBI and 10 stolen bases as a junior under coach Norm Walsh at Boston College High School. Rated as the No. 318 prospect in the country by Baseball America, Hassan was named an Eastern Massachusetts All-Star. A member of the National Honor Society, Hassan was also named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team. He is the son of David and Kathleen Hassan.
Christopher Manno, Jr.
Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian High School
Christopher Manno, Jr. hit .475 with eight home runs, 45 RBI and 30 stolen bases during his junior campaign under coach Dennis Canale at Xaverian High School. He also went 6-1 with a 0.54 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 66.0 innings as a junior. A finalist for the USA Junior Olympic Team, Manno helped his summer league club reach the semifinals of the Connie Mack World Series last year. He is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program and is a member of the National Honor Society. He is the son of Christopher and Alley Manno.
Tampa, Fla./Plant High School
Ryan McCurdy hit .400 and led his county in runs scored as a junior on his way to earning first team all-county honors under coach Dennis Braun at Plant High School. A member of the National Honor Society and Delphi Service Club, McCurdy was also a three-year letterwinner in basketball. He is the son of Jack and Kathy McCurdy.
Seton Hall, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
Michael Ness registered an 8-0 mark with a 0.79 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 63.0 innings as a junior under coach Mike Sheppard at Seton Hall Prep. Named as an all-state selection and preseason All-American by Puma, Ness led Seton Hall Prep to the state championship as a junior. A member of the National Honor Society, he is the son of Paul and Connie Ness.
Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep High School
Gabriel Saade earned Puma All-American and first team All-Dade County honors as a junior under coach George Perez at Gulliver Prep. He is rated as the No. 64 high school player by Team One Baseball and the No. 127 prospect in the country by Baseball America. He is the son of Hector and Marisol Saade.
Michael Seander, Jr.
Pawtucket, R.I./Saint Raphael Academy
Michael Seander, Jr. posted an 8-1 record with a 0.94 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 58.0 innings as a junior under coach Saar Sorentine at Saint Raphael Academy. A first team all-state selection in baseball and second team all-state pick in basketball, Seander is a member of the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies and a member of the Rhode Island Basketball Coaches Association All-Academic Team. The winner of the 2005 U.S. Army Premier Scholar Athlete Award, he is the son of Michael and Mary Seander.
“I would like to thank my entire staff for their tireless efforts in the recruitment of these ten young men,” McNally said. “We believe that this class will contribute immediately to our program and that they clearly understand the connection between academic passion and athletic success, a principle fundamental of the Duke baseball program.”