Dutchmen Continue to Fill Out Pitching Staff With Talent

Photo courtesy James DiBianco/Albany Dutchmen
The Dutchmen added even more depth to their pitching staff, returning to three familiar programs to bring new players to Albany for the 2012 summer. After grabbing All-Star Dain McNabb from Middle Tennessee State in 2011, the Dutchmen have signed his teammate, Cody Tollison, while also signing Blake Smith, a Morehead State Eagle, and the teammate of last year's leading hitter, Andrew Deeds. The Dutchmen then turned their attention further west to Cypress College, where they were able to snag Joey Boney in 2011; this time landing a talented starter, Ricky Schafer.

Tollison is the oldest of the trio; a sophomore from Nashville, Tennessee. The left-hander threw 26 innings as a true freshman and has made seventeen more appearances out of the bullpen this season. A control pitcher who can throw any of his pitches in any count, Tollison has limited opposing batters to a .246 batting average during the 2012 campaign. The Ensworth High School graduate was a three time All-Region honoree and brings an incredible competitive fire to the mound every time he pitches.

The same can be said of Morehead State freshman Blake Smith. The Lexington, KY native is a tall, thin pitcher with a loose, whip-like delivery. His fastball clocks in the high 80s to go along with a sharp breaking ball. His high school production led him to be named a Pre-Season Perfect Game All-American twice and Pre-Season All-State before his senior campaign. Pitching primarily as a starter in 2012, Smith has a 4-2 record in 44.2 innings pitched and will use his newfound collegiate experience to push him during his summer in Albany.

Rounding out the group is Cypress College freshman Ricky Schafer. A Perfect Game Top 1000 Prospect, and a Top 20 Prospect in the state of California, Schafer immediately won a starting spot for the Chargers. He went 5-4 with a 3.25 ERA and 43 strikeouts to only 13 walks. He held opponents to a .258 batting average and struck out an average of seven players a game. After pitching both out of the bullpen and in the rotation, Schafer looks to bring his versatility to the Dutchmen pitching staff that might be short-handed in the early weeks with many players competing in Regionals.

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