Indiana University of PA Announces 2014 Early Signing Class

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Indiana University of Pennsylvania head coach Jeff Ditch does not have the type of recruiting budget that he grew accustomed to as an assistant at Penn State, Cincinnati and West Virginia. That didn't stop Ditch, in his ninth year steering the IUP program, from signing nine players during the early signing period.

In describing this large class Ditch explained, "We feel very fortunate to have signed such a solid group of individuals who will join our team next fall. With the graduation of Aaron Lupia, Tyler Mroz, and seven pitchers, we had a need to focus our summer evaluations and recruiting on pitching and a couple of key position players. The early signing period is always a time to look into the future and see all the positive things these young men will bring to IUP as student-athletes. Year after year, the success of our November signing period is a direct reflection of our current players, the opportunities that IUP provides, and the highly competitive PSAC in which we compete."

Ditch became the program's all-time winningest coach with 193 career victories at IUP this past year. He has gained a wealth of experience in his 30 years of college coaching and offers the following advice to underclassmen beginning the recruiting process; "It is important to put yourself in a competitive environment to develop your skill level. The best part of baseball is being a member of a team with team-first goals and competing to win a championship. In addition to playing on one or more teams, also consider attending a few reputable camps and showcase events to assure exposure to a large group of college coaches at a state-wide and regional level. Use email to inform college coaches of your initial interest and distribute your spring, summer, and fall schedules. Last, and most important, keep academics as a top priority both during high school and in selecting a college.

Ditch has been a regular attendee at PBR events over the past 18 months. Of the nine players in this class, four have attended PBR events.

2014 early commits

C Wes Carson (Marriotts Ridge HS, MD)

Carson is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect from Maryland that attended the Elite Prospect Showcase in early November. The switch-hitting backstop made an impression as soon as he walked in the building. Carson put up the top pop times of the day (1.95-2.05) while also showing solid arm strength (77 mph) with carry. From both sides of the plate, he starts from an open, narrow stance and strides to square and slightly more than shoulder width apart. The left side appeared to be his more advanced side and the ball jumped off his bat when he stayed on top. Carson's right-handed swing has a bit more length, but with his sturdy, developed frame, he has a chance to provide some pop from both sides of the plate.

LHP/OF Dan Clark (Indiana Area HS)

Clark is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound two-way prospect that went 2-1 on the mound and hit .406 in 2013. He is ranked No. 174 in the PA Class of 2014.

SS Ted DeSanti (Cathedral Prep)

DeSanti is a 5-foot-9, 175-pound middle infielder that hit .431 with three doubles, a home run and 15 RBI as a sophomore in 2012. He turned in even better numbers in 2013 when he hit .450 for the AAA District 10 Runners-up. He is a solid defender with a good pop in his bat. DeSanti displays gap power and the ability to hit for average. He runs a 7.19 60-yard dash and has an above average arm (79 mph). DeSanti is ranked No. 87 in the PA Class of 2014.

          Carson                      Clark                      DeSanti

RHP Nate Dickey (Central Dauphin HS)

Dickey is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect who showed good athleticism in all facets of the game at the Preseason All-State Showcase in February. Dickey topped off an impressive all around showing by sitting 86-87 with his fastball out of a high 3/4 arm slot during his bullpen session. The righty had topped at 83 mph at an event just a month earlier. He also commanded a tight breaking 11/5 curveball and a 76 mph changeup. Along with his showing at 3B Dickey made one of the biggest impressions of any prospect at the event. Dickey is ranked No. 126 in the PA Class of 2014.

RHP/OF Zach Heffner (Daniel Boone HS)

Heffner is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect that stays inside the ball well and gets good extension through contact. He is an athletic, two-way prospect with the ability to go get the baseball and a strong arm from the outfield. He also sits 85-86 off the mound with a big upside. Heffner is ranked No. 193 in the PA Class of 2014.

RHP Christian McClure (Cumberland Valley HS)

McClure is a solidly built 5-foot-10, 170-pound RHP who gave up one run in three innings of work during the PA Top Prospect Games in June. He worked out of a high 3/4 arm slot sitting 80-81 while pounding the strike zone. McClure also commanded a 65 mph 11/5 breaking curveball and a 71 mph changeup thrown at near fastball arm speed. He struck out three in his three innings of work yielding just two hits. He went 3-1 as a sophomore in 2012 with a 0.50 ERA. McClure is ranked No. 220 in the PA Class of 2014.

           Dickey                    Heffner                    McClure

RHP Sam Riley (Cathedral Prep)

Riley is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound righty that had a 1.35 ERA in 10.1 innings of work as a junior in 2013.

RHP/3B Dan Sepic (Central York)

Sepic is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound two-way prospect that was selected to participate for Team Pennsylvania at the 2013 Big 26 Classic. He sits 84-86 out of a high 3/4 arm slot with command of a 74 mph slider. Sepic showcased an 84 mph arm across the diamond and the ability to be a legitimate two-way player at the next level. He is ranked No. 74 in the PA Class of 2014.

SS Cory Wheeler (Butler Area HS)

Wheeler is an athletic middle infielder with soft hands, good feet and a quick transfer that showcased throws of 75 mph across the diamond at the Western PA Open ID Showcase in June. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound middle infielder showed his foot speed with a 6.97 60-yard dash. Wheeler hits out of a square stance and stays behind the baseball well creating a bat exit velocity of 86 mph. He demonstrated the ability to use all fields in a solid round of batting practice that saw him barrel the baseball with regularity. Wheeler is ranked No. 152 in the PA Class of 2014.

           Riley                        Sepic                      Wheeler

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