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Head Coach joe Spano enteres his ninth season at Mercyhurst.
Head Coach joe Spano enteres his ninth season at Mercyhurst.
Laker Baseball Lands Four Early Committments

Nov. 20, 2007

Erie, Pa. - Coming off its second-straight season of 30 or more wins, the Mercyhurst baseball team, led by head coach Joe Spano, continued to hit the recruiting trail in the off-season and landed commitments from four players in the early signing period. Headlining the group is local standout Jeremy Cressley.

Cressley, who is in his senior season at Corry High School, was named first team all-region as a pitcher and as an outfielder last spring. He was named region player of the year, while posting a 1.37 ERA in 60 innings pitched and batted .500 on the season, as well.

"Jeremy is one of the best athletes I've seen come out of this area in a long time," Spano stated. "We are ecstatic that he chose us, and we think he can be a two-way impact player."

Also committing to the Lakers were right-handed pitchers Eric Aschley of Callery, Pa., and Joshua Graham of Carrolton, Ohio. Aschley, a senior at Seneca Valley High School, helped his team to a Pennsylvania state AAAA championship last season, posting a 3-1 record and 26 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Graham won five games, posted a 2.05 ERA and struck out 83 in 58 1/3 innings. In the sectional title game, he hurled a one hitter and struck out 13. Not only was he an excellent pitcher, but he also hit .339 at the plate.

Mercyhurst also signed infielder Ethan Santora of Mayfield High School in Gates Mills, Ohio. As a junior, Santora batted .388 with 26 hits and 17 RBIs. He also played for the Andy's Niners, which is one of the elite summer programs in Ohio. With that team last summer, he hit 17 homers and batted .360.

Both Santora and Graham participated in the Buckeye Scout Top 100 Showcase.

"This is the strongest early signing class we've had," said Spano. "We have eight seniors this year, so we it was important to sign these players, and Eric and Joshua will help us right away in the pitching department. Ethan provides a powerful bat that can replace our two seniors (Jeff Stoll and Joe Luli) that will bat fourth and fifth in our lineup this year."

Mercyhurst opens its season on Feb. 22 with its annual spring trip to Florida.


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