NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Third-year head coach Jim Martin has announced the seven-member group representing the Early Signees of the Merrimack baseball Class of 2017.
The group of seven represents four different states across the New England and Northeast regions, with three hailing from the Bay State, two from Connecticut, and one each from New Jersey and Rhode Island.
"I am very pleased to welcome the Class of 2017 to Merrimack College and our baseball family," Martin said. "Our coaching staff worked extremely hard over the last seven months identifying the right kind of players who will succeed in our program and our College."
Four pitchers, two infielders and an outfielder will look to make an impact on a youthful Merrimack squad that heads into 2013 looking to build on a 17-win campaign from a year ago. All seven are entering their senior years at their respective high schools and will add one final year of foundation under their belts before making the transition to Merrimack for the beginning of the 2014 season.
"We have signed great student-athletes who will help continue in the growth and development of our program on and off the field," Martin said. "All are high-quality young men who come from great families. All have played and won at high levels of baseball. We are extremely excited about what this class is going to do in helping us win many games in their time at Merrimack, and also add to our great academics. We have addressed certain areas in our program and I am excited to see them develop in their [high school] senior year and into next fall."
Class of 2017 Breakdown
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Matthew DiNello IF/P 5-9 175 Southington, Conn./Southington
Nick Karalekas IF/OF 6-0 186 Riverside, R.I./St. Raphael Academy
Perry Kulaga RHP 6-1 150 Lincroft, N.J./Middletown South
Tyler Lyne OF 5-11 170 Agawam, Mass./Agawam
Michael Nocera P 6-3 175 Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern
Nathan Spielvogel P 6-1 145 Brookline, Mass./Brookline
Joseph Velozo P 6-4 200 Tewksbury, Mass./Malden Catholic
Matthew DiNello | IF/P | 5-9 | 175 | Southington, Conn./Southington
Born June 3, 1995 … Four-year member of the Southington baseball team … Helped team post 20-5 record while earning a Class LL State Championship Runner-Up title as a sophomore … Named All-Conference and All-Herald while playing second and third base as a junior … Also was recruited by URI, Saint Anselm, Saint Michael's and Babson … Intends to major in Sports Medicine … Son of Jim and Sherri … Has one sibling, James.
Nick Karalekas | IF/OF | 6-0 | 186 | Riverside, R.I./St. Raphael Academy
Born January 16, 1995 … Four-year member of the St. Raphael Academy baseball team … Has earned three varsity letters so far … Has started every game in his three previous seasons … Led team in fielding percentage as a freshman and sophomore … Posted a .421 average at the plate and named team captain as a junior, starting every game at shortstop … Led Rhode Island in hits as a junior … Named First-Team Division I North, Lynn Invitational All-Star, and was invited to the Area Code Games … Selected to RIBCA High School All-Star Game … Intends to major in Business … Son of James and Erin … Has one sibling, Alyssa.
Perry Kulaga | RHP | 6-1 | 150 | Lincroft, N.J./Middletown South
Born May 12, 1995 … Two-year varsity letterwinner entering senior season at Middletown South H.S. … Posted a 3-1 record and batted .343 as a sophomore, helping team win Monmouth County Tournament and Central Jersey Group III championship … Helped team win Shore Conference A North Title while going 3-1 on the mound as a junior … Led Shore Conference with a 0.21 ERA and also added three saves … Also recruited by St. Thomas Aquinas, Felician and Quinnipiac, among others … Plans to major in Business … Son of Jack and Maureen … Has one sibling, Kiera.
Tyler Lyne | OF/MIF | 5-11 | 170 | Agawam, Mass./Agawam
Born June 6, 1995 … Three-year member of the Agawam baseball team … Earned All-League and All-Western Massachusetts Second-Team honors as a sophomore … Named team captain as a junior … Has also earned varsity letters on the golf team, the boys' basketball team, and the football team … Also recruited by Stonehill and Franklin Pierce … Plans to major in Engineering … Son of David and Lori Anne … Has one sibling, Trevor.
Michael Nocera | P | 6-3 | 175 | Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern
Born Aug. 10, 1995 … Three-year member of the Bristol Eastern baseball team … Has posted a combined record of 20-1 over three previous seasons … Has played summer ball on Team Connecticut, during which he has earned the Golden Arm Award after his junior campaign and was the Silver City Tournament MVP as a sophomore … Plans to major in Language Studies (Italian) … Son of Gennaro and Dianne … Has one sibling, Gabrielle.
Nathan Spielvogel | P | 6-1 | 145 | Brookline, Mass./Brookline
Born May 25, 1995 … Three-year member of the Brookline H.S. baseball team … Has spent the past two seasons as the top reliever on the team … Has posted a sub-three ERA during that span and went 2-1 as a junior … Also batted .371 with two home runs … Has also worked with many baseball camps in Brookline as a counselor teaching baseball, as well as Brookline Winterball, a program designed to teach baseball in the offseason, and Brookline Fallball, a weekly clinic for up-and-coming players … Honor student … Intends to major in Business … Son of Robert and Karen … Has one sibling, Noah, who attends George Washington University.
Joseph Velozo | P | 6-4 | 200 | Tewksbury, Mass./Malden Catholic
Born May 21, 1995 … Three-year member of the Malden Catholic baseball team … Named a Catholic Conference all-Star as a sophomore and junior and was named the conference's Pitcher of the Year for two seasons … Plays on the New England Lightning Club Team … Son of Wayne and Kelly.