By: Matt Carney, Athletics Intern
MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine Head Baseball Coach Vinny Gallo announced the 14 class of 2022 student-athletes and three transfers who will compete for the Lions this spring on Monday.
The 17-member class will add to a talented roster for Brandywine, which won its second consecutive Penn State University Athletic Conference Eastern Division and finished as the league runner-up in 2018.
The incoming class is composed of Hayden Altimari, Dillon Amatucci, Freddy Bieler, Nick Bromley, Derek Cappadoccia, Sean Donahue, Tom Donahue, Ryan Duplicki, Dane Groce, Jack Hedger, Joe Hurley, Nick Kutufaris, Ben Mutz, Dalton Palmer, Ricky Palmer, Jake Shane and Nick Wright.
Altimari arrives at Brandywine from Saint Anthony's High School, located in South Huntington, N.Y. A two-year varsity letter winner, Altimari was a recipient of the Saint Anthony's Coach's Award during his junior season.
"I chose Penn State Brandywine due to the family atmosphere there and the well-respected and prestigious athletics at Penn State Brandywine," said Altimari.
Amatucci will join the Lions after a four-year high school career at nearby Upper Darby High School. With two years of varsity experience, Amatucci looks forward to bringing his skills to the college game.
"[Brandywine] was just the right fit for me," said Amatucci. "It gave me the chance to hopefully continue my baseball career at the next level."
Bieler, a Phoenixville Area High School graduate, possesses both varsity baseball and winter track experience. Named MVP of his senior class, Bieler helped the Phantoms to a Frontier Division championship and PAC-10 conference second place finish.
"[Brandywine has a] very tight knit community, good athletics and academics" said Bieler.
Bromley, one of four Cardinal O'Hara graduates joining the team, makes his way to Brandywine after playing two years of varsity baseball for the Lions. As captain during his senior season, Bromley helped O'Hara to a top-25 ranking in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
"[Brandywine is] close to home," said Bromley. "I liked the campus."
Cappadoccia, a native of Scotch Plains, N.J., will continue his career with the Lions after a four-year career at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
"The academic opportunities are in line with my career goals, as well as the opportunity to continue my baseball career," said Cappadoccia.
Tom Donahue, also a graduate of Cardinal O'Hara, comes to Brandywine with varsity participation in both baseball and soccer. While playing for Delaware County Community College in 2018, Donahue was named the most outstanding player.
"I wanted to continue my education," said Donahue. "And play baseball at a reputable school."
Sean Donahue, twin brother of Tom, also owns varsity experience in baseball and soccer from Cardinal O'Hara.
"I wanted to continue playing baseball while also staying local," said Donahue.
Both Donahue brothers will have two years of eligibility remaining at Brandywine after playing two seasons at Delaware County Community College.
Duplicki, the first of two newcomers from Sun Valley High School, lands at Brandywine with three years of play for the Vanguards. A member of multiple travel teams, including the SoJo Dawgs and Delco Outlaws, Duplicki chose Brandywine because of its location.
Groce, a three-sport letterman at Coatesville Area High School, plans to play for the Lions after successful high school careers in football, wrestling, and baseball. A captain of the baseball team, Groce earned second team All-Ches-Mont honors, team MVP and the Leo Spikes Award. He also claimed the Braveheart Champion Award, while captaining the wrestling team.
Groce's aided his summer travel team in winning 26 tournament championships as he earned Perfect Game Baseball All-First Team accolades.
"[I chose Brandywine] to achieve in life with a Penn State education and to have a very caring staff to assist me," said Groce.
Hedger boasts two years of varsity baseball experience at Oxford High School. During his senior year, Hedger helped Oxford to a 2018 Ches-Mont American Conference championship. He chose Brandywine because it is close to his home.
Hurley, a graduate of Bishop Shanahan High School, played three seasons of varsity baseball for the Eagles. As a senior, he topped the team with a .369 batting average, while also leading his Legion team to a third-place regional finish in 2017.
"I chose Penn State Brandywine because it was close to home and I could play baseball. Also, because getting a degree from Penn State is very valuable," said Hurley.
Kutufaris holds three years of varsity baseball and football experience at Cardinal O'Hara High School. The Springfield native was a member of the 2016 O'Hara football team that won the Philadelphia Catholic League. Kutufaris, whose father was a member of Brandywine's first varsity baseball team in 1983, also helped his Legion baseball team earn a regional bid after finishing as the district runner-up in 2017.
"I chose Brandywine to continue my baseball career while earning a quality education in the classroom," said Kutufaris.
Mutz, out of Swarthmore, enters Brandywine after playing three sports at local Strath Haven High School: football, basketball and track. Mutz said that Brandywine offered the best fit for him after playing two years at Delaware County Community College.
Dalton Palmer, a resident of Shrewsbury, Pa., takes his game to Media after playing two years of varsity baseball at Susquehannock High School in York County. A member of the National Honor Society, Palmer helped his team to a York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 championship in 2017.
"[Brandywine] is a big-name school with a small campus," said Dalton. "I like the location and the coach."
Ricky Palmer, no relation to Dalton, is ready to compete for the Lions this spring after playing varsity baseball for Pennsbury High School.
"The people are nice," said Palmer. "I feel the sense of family that the people who attend Brandywine have."
Shane arrives at Brandywine out of nearby Springfield High School. A four-year member of both the baseball and football teams for the Cougars, Jake helped lead the latter claim two Central League championships.
"I chose Penn State Brandywine for the academic experience, proximity to home and the Penn State experience," said Shane.
Wright makes his way to the Lions after a strong scholastic career at Sun Valley High School. Named captain and MVP of the team, Wright was also named First Team All-Ches-Mont.
"[Brandywine's] a great fit for myself," said Wright. "It is close to home, I like the baseball program."
Brandywine opens the 2019 season on February 23 at home against NCAA Division III SUNY Cobleskill. The team's entire 2019 schedule will be released this fall.