Aug. 28, 2008
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati Bearcats baseball program had four players selected in 2008 Major League Baseball Draft that included sixth-round selection Josh Harrison, seventh-round pick Dan Osterbrock, 13th-round choice Tony Campana and 45th-round selection Mike Spina. While Harrison, Osterbrock and Campana moved on to the next level along with Ryan Baker, who signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees, Spina and junior-college transfer Josh Godfrey both opted to return to Clifton for the 2009 campaign.
"We lost several key pieces from our record-setting team in 2008, but we also return some very key pieces and add to them a strong recruiting class," said 13th-year Bearcats head coach Brian Cleary. "While we will certainly miss the contributions of Dan Osterbrock, Josh Harrison Ryan Baker, Tony Campana and others, we are excited to welcome back Mike Spina and hope he can again contribute like he did in '08."
Spina, who transferred to UC prior to the season from Florida Community College, came on during the middle of the season to become one of the Bearcats' top offensive threats in 2008 finishing in the Top 10 in the BIG EAST in batting average (8th, .377), home runs (t-1st, 21), RBI (1st, 79), total bases (2nd, 163), and slugging percentage (1st, .731). His home run and RBI totals set new school single-season marks, helping him earn second-team all-BIG EAST honors.
The Bearcats welcome a talented incoming class for the 2009 ledger, including Godfrey who is a Cincinnati native that graduated from Glen Este High School.
"Josh Godfrey was a draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks but elected to join us," said Cleary. "Several others are also very talented and I look forward to their arrival, but am also aware of the many adjustments they face as they move to the competition of the BIG EAST and Division I Baseball."
Godfrey comes to UC from Wabash Valley Junior College in Illinois, where he posted a 7-1 record last season. Godfrey pitched a team-high 85.1 innings while striking out 95 batters opposed to only 33 walks en route to a 2.11 ERA. Godfrey, a Cincinnati native that graduated from Glen Este High School, also recorded an impressive WHIP of 1.01.
While Spina highlights the list of returning letterwinners for the 2009 season, Cleary is also anticipating the return of other Bearcats players that played a pivotal role during the record-setting 2008 season.
"We also can look forward to the return of Cam Satterwhite, Jamel Scott and Kevin Johnson - all of whom were central to our success as position players - and Michael Hill and Jake Geglein who were so important to us on the mound," said Cleary.