ETOBICOKE, Ont – Humber baseball head coach Matthew Ferreira announced the Hawks' incoming class of recruits, a group of five newcomers for the upcoming 2019 Fall season.
All but one of the Hawks' recruits are true freshmen (one junior college transfer) and the class includes three pitchers, one catcher, and an infielder.
"This recruiting class will look to build on the success that our program experienced last year," said Coach Ferreira, the 2018 OCAA Coach of the Year. "The combination of our '18 and '19 classes give Humber baseball a tremendous foundation of young talent."
Last season, Humber baseball finished with a 24-3 (.889) record, capturing the programs first NCBC and OCAA titles.
"This class will be key in augmenting the returning players from our National Championship team and filling voids created by graduating players," added Coach Ferreira. "Last year we added a tremendous amount of positional talent. This year, we've keyed in on retooling the pitching staff. The group of arms that have committed to Humber have a chance to be special. Overall, this recruiting class is representative of the type of student-athlete we look to recruit both on and off the field."
Here's a look at Humber's 2019 incoming class…
Shaine O'KEEFE (P, 6-4, 175, Whitby, ON)
Business Management, Humber College
- O'Keefe joins Humber baseball after being named an EBLO All-Star. That season he led the league in wins, ERA, and WHIP.
- In '17 and '18, he represented Canada in the World Comes to Palm Beach tournament.
- At the PBR Ontario 2019 Canadian College & University Showcase, O'Keefe finished with the highest fastball velocity.
- O'Keefe on joining Humber baseball: "Humber was the best fit for me academically, athletically and personally. Humber has a great business program, and I want to be a big part of the next Canadian championship team.
- Coach Ferriera on O'Keefe: "Shaine is a product of the Stouffville Yankees and has been coached by the Butler brothers over the years. He had a lot of options through the recruiting process. Ultimately, we found a great fit between him and Coach Gibbs on the pitching side of things. He's a hard-throwing righty who will get the opportunity to compete for a rotation job from day one. His mix of velocity, secondary stuff and character project out as a potential future ace."
Riley POLLARD (P, 6-0, 160, Brampton, ON)
Plumbing, Humber College
- Pollard is the older brother of Humber ace Rory – who is entering his third season with Humber baseball.
- Pollard brings plenty of post-secondary experience to the Humber roster after playing at El Paso C.C. (NJCAA D1) and North Iowa Area C.C. (NJCAA D2). At NIACC, Pollard set a new school record with nine saves.
- Pollard on joining Humber baseball: "The trades program is a good fit for me, and I wanted to play with my brother."
- Coach Ferreira on Pollard: "Riley comes to us with a wealth of experience having pitched successfully in the NJCAA. Collegiately, he's been both a successful closer and starter. He'll bring versatility to our staff and be counted on to provide meaningful innings in a variety of situations."
Anthony GODDARD (P, 6-4, 193, Etobicoke, ON)
Bachelor of Journalism, Humber College
- Goddard is a hometown player, attending Michael Power/St. Joseph Highschool in Etobicoke.
- A product of Ontario Royals 18U team, he finished 2018 PBLO competition with a 0.00 ERA.
- Goddard on joining Humber baseball: "I chose Humber College for its fantastic academic programs and a chance to play for a team that is looking to build off of a championship season."
- Coach Ferreira on Goddard: "Anthony has spent his amateur career playing for the Ontario Royals and Coach Shawn Lynn. He's a pitching coach's dream. Long and lean, he comes to us as an accomplished prep arm which has seen high-leverage innings for his club program. He'll be part of a young core group of pitchers that look to leave their mark on the OCAA."
Dylan WHITE (C, 5-6, 188, Brampton, ON)
Business Administration (Co-op), Humber College
- White will join Humber baseball from École Secondaire Sainte-Famille in Mississauga.
- A two-time provincial champion, White competed at the World Comes to the Palm Beaches – an international baseball tournament held in Florida.
- White on joining Humber baseball: "They have a good baseball team and very good school."
- Coach Ferreira on White: "Dylan comes to us from Coach Frank Fascia's Brampton Royals program. He follows a long line of Royals who have left their mark on the Humber Baseball program. Dylan is a very athletic catcher who also has the ability to see time around the diamond at other positions. His versatility will see him compete for time at various positions. He brings a tremendous work ethic and blue-collar style of play."
Leif BURCIUL (2B, 5-10, 150, Niagara Falls, ON)
Business Accounting, Humber College
- A five-time OBA champion with the Niagara Falls Falcons, Burciul will join Humber baseball from St. Paul Catholic High School.
- With the St. Paul Patriots, he was a three-time team MVP and defensive gold glove winner.
- Burciul on joining Humber baseball: "Having active interest from other universities for baseball, it was through the various prospect camps, phone calls and meetings with Coach Matt that it became clear to me that Humber is where I wanted to attend to play baseball, learn and grow as a student-athlete."
- Coach Ferreira on Burciul: "Leif comes to us from the Burlington Bulls club program after spending the majority of his amateur career with the Niagara Falls Falcons playing for Coach Allen, a coach who I have a great deal of respect for. We've had a chance to get to know Leif well over the years. He's a blue-collar player who approaches the game the right way. His make-up and intangibles are off the charts. Leif does all the little things right. He'll compete for time in the middle of the diamond as a freshman. We're confident that Leif will develop into a premier infielder in the OCAA."
Humber baseball will host open tryouts in August 2019. Exact dates and times will be released in the coming months.