Pitching, Speed The Focus As Baseball Signs Five During Early Period

Pitching, Speed The Focus As Baseball Signs Five During Early Period

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician College baseball coach Chris Langan has received five player commitments from high-school seniors who signed a national of intent during the NCAA's recently-concluded early-signing period. Four of the five signees are pitchers.

"We were going to need to replace a lot of arms after the upcoming season, and we feel that we did that with two righties and two lefties, all of whom can fill various roles," Langan said. "We also looked for athletic players with speed who could play multiple positions."

Felician is a member of NCAA Division II and plays in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. The Golden Falcons are coming off a won-lost record of 24-22 in 2011. See below for details on their five signees for the Class of 2016.

Ralph Caccavale (North Massapequa, NY/Plainedge)
is a 5-foot-10, 160-pound shortstop from Plainedge High, where he was all-county as a junior in helping the Red Devils to a 22-2 record. He was also an all-state running back in football and broke six school records in 2011. His most recent amateur baseball squad was the Long Island Whalers. He expects to major in nursing at Felician. "Ralph is an athletic, switch-hitting shortstop who runs well and has good hands," Langan said. "He is a solid prospect for our middle infield."

Christian Falcone (Staten Island, NY/St. Joseph by-the-Sea) is a left-handed pitcher for St. Joseph by-the-Sea High, and played for the Vikings' first New York City championship team in 2010 He also participated in basketball and was a team MVP in track & field. Falcone, 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, played at the club level for the Richmond County Baseball Club. He intends to major in pre-physical therapy. "Christian is a competitive lefty who throws strikes and has a good breaking ball," Langan said. "He should see significant innings for us as a freshman."

Michael Gonzalez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Pembroke Pines Charter), 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, is a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High School. He began his scholastic career at Archbishop McCarthy High of Southwest Ranches, Fla., where he was a two-time team Cy Young Award winner. He plays summer ball for the All-American Prospects, based out of Miami, and is undecided on a major course of study. "Michael is a solid right-hander who will be asked to get key outs out of our bullpen," Langan said.

John Holland (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Liberty) was an all-county and third-team all-Shore pitcher for Jackson Liberty High in 2011. A 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-hander, he is a two-time team Pitcher of the Year. Holland has also played for the Langan Baseball summer/fall showcase squad. He intends to major in business administration. "John has an 84-86 mile-per-hour fastball, a good slider, and is not afraid to challenge hitters," Langan said. "He is a potential starter for our staff."

Joseph Schultheis (Bethpage, NY/Bethpage) is a 5-foot-11, 183-pound pitcher and outfielder for Bethpage High. He is a two-time all-conference selection for the Golden Eagles in both baseball and football.. His most recent non-scholastic baseball team is the Long Island Titans. Schultheis will study business administration. "Joseph is a potential two-way player for us," Langan said. "He has a strong left-handed bat and is capable of playing all three outfield positions. On the mound, he is a strike-thrower in the 82-84 (mph) range with command of three pitches."