Mercer’s men baseball add new recruits to get ready for next season

Written by: Kevin Xavier

Viking freshman in

Viking freshman in elder Brandon Kirk practices  elding during the September 18, 2013 practice. Photo by Sam Foster.

After suffering another disappointing loss in the Region 19 tournament last May to Lackawanna College 4-3, the Mercer Baseball program is continuing to stockpile talent.

With the team still hunting for it’s first region title since 2008, Coach Kevin Kerins and his staff have brought in over 20 new recruits to the college’s West Windsor Campus for the upcoming 2014 season.

“Recruiting is one of the most important parts of my job.” Kerins said, “you are always going to lose talent, it’s the coaching staff’s responsibility to get that talent back”.

In the 2014 recruiting class there are three All-State players expected to lend a large contribution to the pursuit of a Region 19 championship crown this spring.

The first of which is Dave Osnato, a catcher, who at Hamilton West set the all-time hits mark for a career with 144, passing former Vikings baseball coach Matt Wohlski’s 15-year old record. Osnato is expected to compete for the catching job this season.

Another All-State player and Hamilton West recruit is Brandon Kirk, an infielder who hit nine home runs in his senior year. Kirk is expected to fill in at shortstop.


Freshman infielder, Brandon Kirk, takes grounders during the September 18, 2013 practice.


Mercer Viking’s freshman catching recruit, Dave Osnato works on a defensive drill during the September 18, 2013 practice.

The third All-State recruit is Eddie Ashley of Steinert High School. Ashley is expected to see some time in the outfield.

Returning Sophomore Heath Filmeyer (.270 Avg., 18 RBIs, and 25 runs scored in 2012) was drafted in the 28th round by the Colorado Rockies in this year’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, but did not sign his contract offer. He will be returning to Mercer for the 2014 campaign. Filmeyer played mostly at shortstop in 2013, but Coach Kevin Kerins expects to use him much more on the mound this season.

“Sometimes these kids don’t get the offer they are looking for,” Coach Kerins told the VOICE, “with Heath [Filmeyer] pitching more this season, his draft stock should improve”. Filmeyer features a fastball that reaches 93 MPH.

The Vikings also strengthened the pitching depth with Freshman lefties Zack Sharpe and Joe Burgund. Sharpe is a Bucks County native and Burgund comes to West Windsor from Staten Island.

These arms are expected to assist standout Ben Stine who finished last season with a 3.24 earned run average and has a fastball clocked by the coaching staff at 88MPH. “Ben is going to be our moose [workhorse] this season”, said Kerins, “he is a great kid, who works his ass off. Once he realizes who he can be, and who he is, and he takes the mound with that presence, I think doors are really going to open up for him.”

Jimmy Rice, an infielder from Immaculata High School in Bridgewater, turned down a D-1 scholarship from Wagner to study and play ball at Mercer. Kerins describes Rice as “a great kid, who I think is going to be a real nice player for us”.

Kerins told the VOICE, “with Heath [Filmeyer] getting more time on the mound this season I think he [Rice] will have an opportunity to grab that shortstop role and second base role”.

Another key returning player from 2013 is Mark Tomei, a newly minted Captain for the Vikings who had a .380 batting average in 2013. Coach Kerins told the Voice that Tomei is beginning to get some draft looks of his own.

The other new captain is Steven Todd, who is returning at first base. The Hunterdon County native is expected to provide good defense and a solid bat along with the leadership his title.

“All these players come from competitive high school programs”, Assistant Coach and Pennsylvania Recruiting Coordinator Fred Carella told the VOICE adding, “their presence will help create the atmosphere needed to make everyone better”.

The 2014 recruiting class has talent in spades, and the Vikings will need it to contend for a Region 19 title.

Print Friendly
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumbler Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Comments are closed.

Paul McCartney plays Prudential Center in Newark: An intimate night with 18,000 fans

Paul McCartney, one fourth of the legendary rock band The Beatles, filled the 18,000 seat, Prudential Center in Newark, New […]

Who’s next? Dr. David Edwards leaves, paving the way for 5th Mercer VP in five years

Mercer’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. David Edwards, will be leaving his position to assume the same role at […]

Where do we stand on taking a knee?

In the past few weeks the country has been discussing professional athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, an act originally […]

EDITORIAL: Why are we so burnt out? Hint: It’s not because we are lazy, millennial snowflakes

In the last month three of The VOICE’s five editors quit, and it wasn’t because they wanted more time to […]

55 locals shave their locks to support St. Baldricks cancer research

St. Baldrick’s Foundation hosted a their fifth annual head shaving and auction event to support funding for childhood cancer research […]

Donut miss this local artisan doughnut shop just minutes from campus!

Donuts Time Cafe is seven minutes from Mercer’s West Windsor campus–on Rt. 33 in Hamilton–and it is the perfect destination […]

Music professors teach body awareness tools to help prevent injury

Music professors teach body awareness tools to help prevent injury Joshua Wilson, a Piano Instructor at Mercer County Community College […]

Jersey’s Italian American heritage celebrated at annual festival

The annual Mercer County Italian American Festival ran from Sept. 22-24 and featured entertainment, food, games and amusement rides. The […]

DAY OUT: Grounds for Sculpture

Ten minutes down Edinburg Road is a park called Grounds For Sculpture. There are 42 acres filled with sculptures of […]

Where to go for bagels? We have the answer.

Our of all the bagel places in Mercer County there’s one place that stands: Caesars Bagels & Deli on Flock […]

Jammin’ Crêpes: A culinary classic reinvented with farm to table flare

Until recently, if you had asked me what a crêpe was, my honest answer would have been a flat pancake […]

President Trump’s DACA stance leaves Mercer community shaken and students fearful

Bumba Bat is a recent Rutgers graduate who lives in Ewing Township. His family brought him to the United States […]

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing