Friday, November 20, 2009

Dezse part of four Patriots going DI

Liberty quartet bound for D-I baseball diamonds

Chris Galoski 11/17/09
Olentangy Valley News

Don't adjust your eyes.

It's no ocular aberration, that really is a mini-college baseball team preparing to grace Olentangy Liberty's diamond.

Not one, not two, not even three Patriots inked their Division I collegiate deals Wednesday, Nov. 11. Count them, four Pats are D-I bound in 2010.

Ending the signing suspense were Josh Dezse (Ohio State), a pitcher, catcher and first baseman, center fielder Michael O'Neill (University of Michigan), shortstop-pitcher Zach Michael (University of Toledo) and pitcher-first baseman Tyler Stage (Ohio University).

"It's been interesting for these guys to allow me to meet all these college guys and talk to them on the phone," Liberty coach Matt Lattig said. "It's also been fun to watch these guys go through it.

"All of a sudden, you're taking kids that are 17 to 18 years old and they've gotta make a choice that's not only going to impact them as baseball player, but is going to impact their academics and finances."

In the interim, this prep season is all about getting in the last word. Because a year ago Liberty was undone by Pickerington North, the eventual D-I state runner-up, in a Central District final.

"I think the one thing we try to preach to our kids," Lattig said, "is it doesn't matter what kind of paper you sign, what kind of stats you put up.

"It still comes down to, can you do what you need to do when you have to? The good thing about this group is we've pushed them.

"We've made comments to them saying, 'Hey, you can be D-I all you want but you still haven't won anything. You tied for the (OCC Cardinal Division) title last year and you got beat in the district finals. You were just as good as eight other teams. You didn't stand out, that was Pickerington North that stood out'."

Not that 23-6 (12-2) was an embarrassment for Liberty, it just won't be acceptable in 2010.

"For the most part, they're ready to accept the bull's-eye that's put on their back," Lattig said.

"By them signing these papers they understand everybody is going to be gunning for you."

Analyzing the menacing foursome, Dezse, he of the 1.60 ERA, hurls a fastball that tops out at a neck-breaking 93 mph, with his velocity eclipsed only by his feverish preparation.

O'Neill (.447) has dizzying speed and he's not afraid to use it, stealing a school-record 21 bases in 2009 and regularly flashing the leather as the defensive anchor in center field.

Stage (6-3, 2.13 ERA), the future Bobcat, is the club's ace, bringing a knowing, cool-headed air to the bump.

"When we get Tyler out on the mound we just let him go, he knows how to control the game," Lattig said.

Then there's Michael (.318, .400 OBP), who barring injury (which befell ex-Patriot and current Buckeye Ryan Cypret) will become the first four-year starter in Liberty's six-year history.

"The great thing is Toledo and the guys recruiting him saw him as an athlete," Lattig said of Michael, who also stars for Liberty's football and basketball teams. "Once he starts concentrating on baseball, his ceiling is 'way high."

Though it's still four months in the offing, the same could be said for the Patriots' ever-nearing spring season.

"We have a great senior class," Lattig asserted. "We have those four obviously, but we also have four other kids who are extremely important to us -- Stephen Crea, Blake Hampshire, Brandon Seich and Joe Trivisonno. They're all going to be instrumental to our success this year in making sure we do the things we want to do.

"The great thing is all eight seniors are really focused on doing better than last year. They understand it was neat, but they want to hang a banner. They want to say they were the guys who put up a league banner, put up a district banner."


Anonymous said...

Let get some info on current players.

Chris Webb said...

Well I could inform you on the attire of half dozen players Friday night and how I met a few of the freshmen.

Other than that there isn't any info to really pass a long in regards to the current players.

If you notice I've taken a break from the series and doing any writing of my own, and probably will do so until after finals week.

What else could I provide info on?

I have within the last 10 days posted the two Kendall Rogers stories regarding the current team, and sent an email to athletics communications hoping to get Coach Todd's take on fall practice, but that will not occur until at least after finals as well.

A lot of ex-players and fans of ex-players contribute and read the site. So I post the news I find regarding ex-players as often as possible.

The news regarding the letter of intent signings are to be passed along as they are the future of the program.

Anyhow if you can find another college baseball blog or website that is providing their fanbase with original stories, content, and info on current players as you like, do pass a long.

Anonymous said...

"Going to do it a bit different from here on out.

Monday- I'll give a brief summation on where we are depth-wise.
Tuesday- Spring roundup, what occurred in the spring at that position.
Wednesday- Summer recaps, who did what and where with the wooden bat.
Thursday- Fall ball happenings, who played where, who did what.
Friday- Where we stand, outlook for 2010.

This will allow me to get in-depth on that particular area of focus, without overwhelming you with one post that would take an hour to read. It also allows me more time to research, write, and put everything together without stressing out about a timeframe. Also the poll to the right will be up all work, in relation to that topic."

Sorry I didn't mean to upset you, per you post I thought there would be more info coming. I really do appreciate the work you do. I have subscriptions to Baseball America, and Rivals, but look forward to articles that you write as you have more insight about Ohio State than they do.

Any updates about the status of the pitchers rehabbing? I assume coach Todd has a new contract, for how long? Are the Scouts high on any players besides Wimmers?


Chris Webb said...

I wasn't upset, just explaining why the news that is being passed a long is.

Also what I intended on doing would be prior to my grandfather passing and taking time to focus on other things in life.

It takes 3 minutes to post a story and a link. It takes usually 5 hours to write a story as simple as the Catchers piece, looking up stats from 2009, summer league teams, comparing them to the rest of the league, then actually writing a post.

With these being the last 2 weeks of the quarter, I need to catch up and turn all attention to that. I do not have the luxury to sit around right now for 5 hours a day.

-Nothing on BT's contract, rumors have it at 5 years.

-Hopefully BT will discuss the rehabbing players when I talk to him. I have not talked personally to any of the players about where they stand.

-I know nothing about who and what the scouts think of outside of Wimmers. With that being limited to what the likes of Keith Law, Aaron Fitt, and others discuss.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Chris, sorry to hear about your grandfather. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I know how tough it is to lose a loved one without much notice.

I will have to try and catch some games next spring that Josh Dezse pitches in. I don't really know anything about the kid at all. Pretty cool that 4 players from his high school are playing college baseball for D1 schools though.

Keep up the good work man,believe me everyone really enjoys what you do for the OSU baseball team. Good luck on your finals man.

University said...

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