Dutchmen dip into JUCO ranks for arms

After the success last summer of Casey Wilson, Preston Hill and Cameron Brewer, the Dutchmen have gone back to the Junior College ranks in search of powerful arms. Targeting top teams at all levels, the Dutchmen were able to find talented veterans, as well as promising younger arms. Altogether, Albany signed five pitchers who figure to play a important roles on the staff, both in the rotation and out of the bullpen.

Two of the talented freshman that the Dutchmen were able to land both come from perennial division two powerhouse, Heartland CC. Currently carrying a 27-1 record, the Hawks sport a 2.44 team ERA. The number is certainly helped out by Freshman David Stagg, a 6'3"  left-hander from West Des Moines, Iowa. A mid-80s starter with impeccable control, Stagg was rated as a National Top 1000 prospect by Perfect Game heading into college. Once there, he soon moved into the Hawks rotation and is 1-0 on the season with a 2.63 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.

Joining Stagg in Albany will be his Heartland teammate, Keith Mahler. A 6'6" right-hander from Highland, IN, Mahler is a power arm whose fastball consistently sits in the upper 80s. After his senior campaign, Mahler was named to the Indiana All-State team. He throws a solid changeup with hard sink and figures to be a big part of the Hawks bullpen in the second half of the season, after missing the beginning of the season with a shoulder strain.

The last freshman JUCO arm for the Dutchmen is Glouchester CC right-hander, Andrew Furber. The Wayne, New Jersey native is a 6'0" 200 pound power arm who was another Perfect Game Top 1000 National prospect. Followed by various MLB scouts, Furber threw in the low 90s during his high school career and quickly won a spot in the Glouchester rotation. He's helped the team to a 30-6 record, striking out 23 batters in 23.1 innings while only walking seven.

Adding a veteran presence to the group is Patrick Henry CC sophomore, Tony Floyd. The right-hander from Largo, Florida proved to be the ace of the Patriots staff as a freshman. Always a powerful division one team, the Patriots have used Tony as a starter again this season. He's currently 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA and has 57 strikes to only 18 walks in 44 innings pitched. A reigning NJCAA player of the week, Floyd figures to be a key component in the Dutchmen rotation.

Rounding out the JUCO arms is sider-armer, Cody White, from Southern Idaho CC. A 5'9" sophomore from Lacey, WA, White has been the go-to reliever for the Golden Eagles. He's appeared in 17 games out of the bullpen, totaling 37 innings and holding opponents to a .170 batting average. In those innings, he's compiled a 1.22 ERA and allowed only 23 hits, while striking out 25 batters.

With a varied set of skills and unquestionable talent, the junior college pitchers figure to help the Dutchmen in numerous ways this season. If they can improve on last year's showing, Albany could feature a dynamic staff in 2012.

For all Dutchen information make sure to follow the team on Facebook and on Twitter @DutchmenPGCBL

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