INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler baseball program, which just put together a 21-win season, is adding 10 new players. Marcos Calderon, Marco Caponi, Dan Gad, Aaron Gershenfeld, Patrick Guinane, Jeff Gunter, Will Schierholz, Zach Sizemore, Scott Sutton and Ryan Wojciechowski will join the Bulldogs for the 2011 season.
The 10-player class includes student-athletes from eight different states. Three players are from Illinois and Butler got one player each from Florida, Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma and Massachusetts.
Calderon (Belen Jesuit/Miami, Fla.) was Florida’s Class 4A Player of the Year in 2009 after batting .511 with seven homers and 45 RBIs as an outfielder. Calderon is also a left-handed pitcher, and threw a no-hitter in the district tournament. He was named his school’s sportsman of the year as well as Team MVP and team captain.
Caponi (Walsh Jesuit/Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) was a three-year letterman and two-year starter at Ohio powerhouse Walsh Jesuit, helping the team to the state title game three years in a row. Caponi and the Warriors on the state title in 2008 and finish runner-up in 2009 and 2010. Walsh Jesuit was ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps and Rivals.com during the season. Caponi, who also lettered twice in basketball, was an Eastman Young Leadership Award winner and is active in community service in Northeast Ohio.
Farley and the Bulldogs added Caponi after his original choice, Duquesne, dropped varsity baseball last year. “Marco has the ability and versatility to play a couple different infield spots for us,” Farley said.
Gad (Mansfield/Mansfield, Mass.) is a two-year letterwinner and team captain at Mansfield High School, which is approximately 30 miles from Boston. In 2010, he hit .460 and led his team to the state tournament. He was also named a 2009 Hockomock League All-Star. Gad is also a National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society member and a two-time athletic achievement award winner.
“Dan can play a couple of different position on the field and he has an excellent swing from the left side of the plate,” Farley said. “We are looking forward to seeing what he can do during the fall season.”
Gershenfeld (Cushing Academy/Champaign, Ill.) a three-year letterwinner at catcher for nine-time New England Prep School champ Cushing Academy, was a first team all-conference selection in the New EnglandPrep School Athletic Conference Class A his senior year. He threw out 11 of 18 runners and was named Team MVP for Cushing en route to leading the team to a 23-3 record. In Gershenfeld's junior year, he was awarded with the team's best defensive player award. Gershenfeld has spent his freshman and sophomore summers playing for the nationally-ranked travel team Champaign Dream and his junior year with some of the nation's best players at IMG Academy.
Guinane (Glenbrook South/Glenview, Ill.) is a top corner infielder and pitcher from just north of Chicago. He batted .434 as a senior with a school record 10 home runs en route to Team MVP and all-conference honors. During the summer, Guinane led the Chicago-based Top Tier Americans summer team to a CABA World Series title with a three-run homer in the championship game. Guinane is an honor roll student and earned scholar athlete honors.
“Pat is a good prospect as both a corner infielder and pitcher,” Farley said. “He moves well on defense, has a strong arm and has power to the gaps. We really like his hard-nosed approach to the game.”
Gunter (Coweta/Coweta, Okla.) is a lefty pitcher who put up impressive numbers during a four-year varsity career at Coweta High School, where he was Tulsa Metro Conference Pitcher of the Year two years in a row. Gunter posted a 5-1 record and 0.76 ERA as a senior and was named all-conference and a Green Country all-star. Gunter was just as good as a junior in 2009, going 9-2 with a 0.79 ERA.
“Jeff knows how to get guys out and he throws three quality pitches. All of our incoming players are solid students, but Jeff’s test scores and class rank put him at or near the top of his class,” Farley said. “And like all of our players, he comes from a great family.”
Sizemore (Huntington/Huntington, W. Va.) signed with Butler after hitting a school record 24 career home runs in high school. He was twice named first team all-conference and second team all-state. As a senior, he hit .384 with eight home runs and was named Team MVP and his team’s most outstanding hitter. Sizemore is a National Honor Society member, a Mu Alpha Theta math fraternity member and received Latin honors in high school.
“Zach is a big, strong guy with excellent power potential at the plate,” Farley said. “He can play either corner position and he could put himself in the middle of our lineup.”
Sutton (Glenbrook North/Northbrook, Ill.) is a lefty-hitting middle infielder from the Chicago area. An all-conference player, Sutton was selected to the Central Suburban League Senior All-Star Game and has been named the league’s player of the week. He was named Team MVP as a senior and in 2009, he made the CABA World Series all-tournament team. Sutton is a Black Lion Award winner and was honored as a scholar athlete.
“Scott is an excellent middle infielder and he hits from the left side. He came on strong this spring and put up outstanding numbers for his high school team,” Farley said.
Wojciechowski (The Walker School/Marietta, Ga.) is a first team all-region catcher from Georgia who Farley says “can come in and compete for a spot right away in our offensive attack.” As a junior in 2009, Wojciechowski batted .426 and led his team in doubles and slugging. During the summer of 2009, he played with Team Georgia Baseball Academy, batting .398 and helping the team to 52-17 during the summer.
“Ryan’s best tool is his bat. He was a catcher in high school but we think he has the versatility to play a couple different positions as well,” Farley said “He projects as a guy who will hit for both power and average in college.”
The new eight Bulldogs will join a team that won eight more games this season than in 2009 and posted a winning record at home. Butler is set to return 23 letterwinners from this season’s 21-29 squad.