RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Baseball program announced the signing of six recruits during the NCAA's early signing period on Monday. Darian Carpenter (Richmond, Va.), Matt Davis (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Shane Dressler (York Haven, Pa.), Logan Farrar (Woodbridge, Va.), Neil Kozikowski (Burlington, Conn.) and Ian Stiffler (Somerset, Pa.) all inked National Letters of Intent to join the baseball team for the 2014 season.
"We are very excited to welcome these six newcomers to our baseball program," said VCU Baseball Head Coach Shawn Stiffler. "These six players encompass everything you really want out of an early signing class. We have addressed a need for speed, defense, players who can play in the middle of the field, left-handed power hitting and starting pitching. The coaching staff did an unbelievable job building relationships with each one of these guys and found players who have the character and are the type of student-athletes that fit our program at VCU."
Darian Carpenter, 3B, 6-2, 200 lbs. (Richmond, Va./Varina)
- Ranked by Perfect Game magazine as the 15th best player and the second best third baseman in Virginia (out of 500).
- Noted as being one of the best power hitters in the state.
- Played his club ball with the Orioles Scout Team.
Coach Stiffler on Carpenter:
"Darian has emerged over the last couple of years as one of the most prolific power hitters in the Mid-Atlantic Region. His advanced feel for hitting and his power to all fields will make him a staple in the middle of our lineup for years to come. "
Matt Davis, SS, 5-10, 165 lbs. (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley)
- Perfect Game has him ranked as the 23rd best player in the state of Pennsylvania and the fifth best shortstop.
- Solid all-around player with above average defensive tools.
- Played his club ball for the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox and the Orioles Scout Team.
- Was named Mid-Penn Commonwealth Co-Player of the Year as a junior.
- Also received interest from Bucknell and Richmond.
Coach Stiffler on Davis:
"Matt is the epitome of a baseball player. He has great instincts for the game, on the base paths, defensively and at the plate. His instincts and ability to play defense will have him ready to compete for a job right away. "
Shane Dressler, 1B, 6-3, 220 lbs. (York Haven, Pa./Red Land)
- Tabbed as the fifth best player in Pennsylvania and the third best first baseman in the state, by Perfect Game.
- Left-handed bat that is one of the best power hitters in Pennsylvania.
- Played his club ball for Elite Baseball, Baseball U and the Upstate Mavericks.
- Was named First Team All-Mid-Penn after his junior season.
Coach Stiffler on Dressler:
"Shane is exactly what you are looking for when recruiting a left-handed power hitting first baseman. He has the ability to hit for average as well as drive the baseball to all fields. We look forward to his left-handed presence in our lineup for the next couple of years. "
Logan Farrar, SS/OF, 6-0, 185 lbs. (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge)
- Ranked by Perfect Game as the 32nd best player in the state of Virginia.
- Left-handed hitting athlete that can play in the middle infield and centerfield.
- Member of the NVTBL Stars club team.
- Named to the All-Northwest Region (Va.) Team following his junior season.
- Also received interest from: East Carolina, Maryland, Liberty, Radford, High Point, George Mason, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Longwood.
Coach Stiffler on Farrar:
"Logan is one of the most dynamic players in the Mid-Atlantic Region. His athleticism and aggressiveness will enable him to serve many roles for us both offensively and defensively. We look for big things out of him early in his career."
Neil Kozikowski, RHP, 6-3, 180 lbs (Burlington, Conn./Avon Old Farm)
- Named the third best player in the state of Connecticut and second best right-handed pitcher by Perfect Game.
- Power right-handed pitcher with a very high upside.
- Member of the Baseball U club team.
- Also received interest from Old Dominion, St. John's and Connecticut.
Coach Stiffler on Kozikowski
"Neil is exactly what you think of when thinking of a projectable right-handed pitcher. He has a fastball that we have clocked up to 90 mph. With a projectable frame, loose arm and command of three pitches he will be able to come in and compete for innings right away.
Ian Stiffler, RHP, 6-2, 175, (Somerset, Pa./Somerset)
- Ranked as the sixth best player in the state of Pennsylvania and fifth ranked right-handed pitcher by Perfect Game.
- Power right-handed pitcher with an above average curveball and high ceiling.
- Member of the Flood City Elite and Kansas City Royals Scout Team club teams.
- Also received interest from Kent State, Arkansas Little Rock and Penn State.
Coach Stiffler on Stiffler
"Ian is another projectable right-hander, who brings three above average pitches to the mound. With a power fastball that we have seen above 90 mph and a plus breaking ball, Ian has the type of stuff to come in and compete for a spot in the rotation or solidify the back end of the bullpen right away."
The Rams open up their 2013 schedule in the Elon Tournament on Feb. 15 against Boston College. VCU is coming off of a 34 win season and will be competing in its first season as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.