Seton Hill Announces Initial Members of the 2013 Recruiting Class

Seton Hill University head baseball coach Marc Marizzaldi has announced the signings of three student athletes. The signing class includes RHP Zack Martinelli and RHP Matthew Ober from Pennsylvania, as well as SS/2B Benito Mendizabal from Clearwater Central Catholic HS in Florida.

MoberMatthew Ober, RHP, Cumberland Valley HS
Ober missed the 2012 high school season with elbow surgery. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect has been working his way back to full health and according to Marizzaldi, "Matt has all the ingredients to be a staple in our rotation at some point during his career.”

MartinelliZack Martinelli, RHP, Irwin HS
Martinelli is a RHP with projectable size. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect tops at 85mph with a heavy fastball. Martinelli went 5-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 2012 and was an All-Section performer. Marizzaldi commented that, "“We're fortunate to grab one of the top high school arms from our backyard in Zach.  He's pretty advanced for a high school pitcher and we think he has the     ability to work his way onto the mound early in his career.”

Seton Hill will compete for one final season as a member of the WVIAC in 2013 prior to jumping to the PSAC for the 2014 season. Prep Baseball Report spoke with Marizzaldi about this recruiting class and what the change in conferences will mean for his team.

Prep Baseball Report:  How does your 2013 recruiting class compare to recent classes in regards to the number of players who have signed during the early signing period?

Marizzaldi: We signed three guys early this year, which is about on par for us. We signed two early last year, but worked hard through the winter and spring to bring in 15 for this year. We’ve kind of adopted the idea, based on some terrific spring signings, that “Late is Great”. But we graduate six seniors this year, so we are only looking to fill 3 or 4 more spots for the 2013 class.

Prep Baseball Report: What do you feel is the strength of this recruiting class and were you able to address the needs you feel you will have going into 2013-2014?

Marizzaldi: Until we finish up the entire recruiting class, it’s difficult to say what the strengths are. We needed to address pitching in this recruiting class and we got off to a good start with Zach Martinelli and Matt Ober, both with the ability to contribute for us early in their careers. I think you can never go wrong recruiting great athletes, and our commit from Florida – Benito Mendizabel – is an athletic infielder that projects well in our system.

We lost 6 arms in the 2012 senior class, and it will take us two recruiting cycles to recoup all of those innings. We have 3-4 current freshmen that will contribute, but adding one or two more pitchers to our current 2013 class should get us to where we need to be.

Prep Baseball Report: Do you have any advice to underclassmen that are just beginning the process of looking at schools and trying to gage a potential college coaching staff’s interest?

Marizzaldi: The starting point for every high school player must be the NCAA Clearinghouse. It's important for them to familiarize themselves with the process of the Clearinghouse and NCAA eligibility requirements.

Just as college coaches do their research and recruiting, I believe prospective recruits need to do their homework as well. Decide what is important to YOU in choosing a school. There can be so much that goes into that equation… baseball, size, location, major, cost, etc. All of that information is at their fingertips, so compiling their list of schools that suit their interests is a good beginning to the process.  From there, it’s important to be seen by those coaches of the schools they are interested in. Reach out to those coaches, find out what events they will be attending and get video and transcripts to them if possible. I also believe it’s best for recruits to make their visits the summer prior to their senior year or the early fall of their senior year. My last piece of advice is to return every phone call or email you receive, whether you are interested in that school or not. 

At the end of the day, recruits need to find the best fit for them. I believe they should end up at a school that will allow them to be successful athletically and academically, and a place that they will have a great experience for four years.

Prep Baseball Report: Seton Hill will make the move to the PSAC in 2013-2014. How will this affect the way you recruit if at all?

Marizzaldi: We are extremely excited to be joining the PSAC! The opportunity to be playing in the biggest, and arguably the best Division II Conference in the country certainly is a positive when it comes to recruiting. I think recruits, especially in the Pennsylvania region, will be able to better identify with the teams on our schedule.

We have had tremendous success in the WVIAC and have established some solid relationships and rivalries there. But geographically the PSAC is a much better fit for Seton Hill, and will present a bigger competitive challenge for us. Having made three straight NCAA Regionals, we are very familiar with the caliber of baseball in the PSAC. We’re confident and excited to face this type of competition every weekend next spring.

This move really will not affect how or who we recruit. The players we have brought in and developed the last nine years have allowed us to compete in the upper echelon regionally and nationally. We will continue to evaluate the same way we have with an emphasis on finding guys that share in our vision of competing for a National Championship.

Prep Baseball Report:  PBR Pennsylvania arrived on the scene in late April of 2012. How have you been able to utilize the information that Prep Baseball Report offers to your advantage?

Marizzaldi: We were pretty tied into PBR Ohio from day one and were relieved and excited to see PBR expand into Pennsylvania. It was something that did not exist in PA and has proven to be a valuable resource for us, and likely other college coaches.

I can honestly say that we are on the PBR website every day and tied into all of the tweets. Recruiting is a year round aspect of college coaching that changes by the day, or even the minute. PBR has provided us the updates and information that otherwise would require five phone calls or five emails to find.