UConn Announces Early Signees For 2003 Season
STORRS, CT (November 29) - UConn Baseball Coach Andy Baylock announced the signings of three high school stars for the 2003 season on Thursday. The three are right-handed pitchers Ryan Christopher (Suffern, NY), and Eric Donahue (Newmarket, NH), as well as outfielder Jason Houser (East Bridgewater, MA).
"With our large and strong recruiting class from last year, we could afford to zero-in on just a few particular needs with this early-signing group," said Baylock. "We are going to continue the recruiting process and sign more student-athletes in the spring, but we are pleased with the three people we got early."
Ryan Christopher is an all-league, all-section, and Area Code Games invitee from a baseball-rich area in Suffern, NY. The 6-1 righty has starred for Suffern High coach Ron Gamma and for Coach Nick Farese and the OTB Pirates American Legion program. "Ryan is a guy that knows how to pitch," Baylock noted. "He doesnt overpower you, but knows what he is doing on the mound. He has very good stuff, and has pitched in some pressurized games already in Legion and in high school. He also fits the profile of the high-caliber competitor that is necessary to win in the BIG EAST. I am looking forward to working with him next year."
Eric Donahue was selected as the New Hampshire player of the year in 2001, and was named the pitcher of the year in the New Hampshire State American Legion Tournament. He was also named to the Boston Globe All-New Hampshire team in 2000. Donahue attained all of these accolades while pitching for the Newmarket High School team and for the state-champion Exeter Legion Post 32 squad. Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jim Penders said, "While he doesnt fit the physical profile of a power pitcher at 5 foot 11 and 190 pounds, Eric is a bulldog with a fastball in the very high 80s to low 90s. I was impressed with the fact that when I saw him this summer, he can dig down deep into the late innings of a game and throw just as hard as he did in the first inning. He also has a very good breaking ball, and outstanding aggressiveness. We think he can be an impact performer here in Storrs."
Jason Houser was a Catholic Central League all-star in both baseball and football at Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton, MA. Like Donahue, the East Bridgewater native has baseball skills that dont correlate to his stature. At 510", 180 pounds, one would not expect much power. However, the very speedy outfielder packs a real punch in his bat. He hit .606 with six home runs for Coach Peter Ambrose last spring. He also got the attention of several colleges up and down the East Coast this summer with participation in several high-profile showcases. "We got a look at Jason in the Top 96 showcase, and liked the way he played the game," said Penders. "We think he will add athleticism and power to our outfield down the road. Like our other signees, he comes from a very supportive family and should be a fine addition to our squad."