LIVONIA, Mich. (MadonnaCrusaders.com) - - The Madonna University baseball program and head baseball coach Greg Haeger announced Monday (Jan. 9) the signing of three student-athletes to letters of intent to continue their careers at MU starting this fall.
The Crusaders signed a pair of pitchers – left hander Brent Ochodnicky and righty AJ Susick – and a catcher, Brett Ramirez.
"I am very pleased to begin our 2012 recruiting class with these three signings," commented Haeger following the start of the 2012 team's preseason practice. "The staff did a great job of identifying talent in the area. All three young men are outstanding students who have great work ethics and will be assets to our program.
Ochodnicky (Livonia, Mich. / Churchill) comes to MU as the No. 27-rated prospect by MichiganBaseballProspects.org. The 6-5 lefty is a two-time scholar-athlete award winner for coach Ron Targoz and the Chargers. As a junior Ochodnicky led Churchill to a co-Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship and earned team pitcher of the year honors.
"Brent is a local kid from Churchill who has a great young pitcher's body," added Haeger. "As an 18-year old now, Brent stands at 6-5 and he's still growing. You don't see great velocity out of him yet but he's still growing into that body. He's got a nice long arm action and he's a young man that if he works and continues to put on weight, he will be a great pitcher for us."
Ramirez (Canton, Mich. / Salem) was named to the all-district team and picked up defensive player of the year honors as a junior under coach Dale Rumberger after earning the coaches award as a sophomore (2010).
"Brett is a good young catcher that we've had our eye on for a few years," commented Haeger. "He provides a nice opportunity to be an offensive catcher for us. He's got a very strong arm as well and works hard."
Susick (Rochester Hills, Mich. / Avondale) is a 6-6 righty who is an eight-time Avondale Scholar-Athlete, a five-time Oakland Activities Association (OAA) Scholar-Athlete and has been named to the Principal's Honor Roll each semester of his high school career. Susick led the Yellow Jackets to a pair of state district titles (2009, '10) on the diamond. He was named the Yellow Jackets' rookie of the year and outstanding pitcher as a freshman (2009) while earning all-district honors as a sophomore (2010). On the hardwood Susick earned all-district honors as a junior (2011) after leading his team to an OAA title.
"AJ is a really interesting kid," added Haeger. "Another tall, lanky pitcher like Ochodnicky but is a right hander. He's pitched a little bit up and down throughout his career. AJ had a huge growth spurt and once that happened he had some great outings where we saw great velocity out of him and he's had others where he's been a little bit indifferent. AJ is the type of player who could make an impact in his career."
The Crusaders – winners of the last four Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championships – begin their quest for a seventh WHAC title in the last eight seasons on Feb. 10 at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Contact: Patrick Moore (734) 432-5834