With the dust finally settling from the 1999 season, head coach Keith Veale and the Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball team have landed their first three recruits for the 2000 season.
Jeff Nagy, a first baseman/outfielder from Columbus, Ohio, helped Independence High School to a 13-9 record in 1999 as he batted .452 with 25 runs batted in. Nagy, who was a First Team All-City League selection and an Honorable Mention Agonis Team member in each of his final three seasons, led the 76ers in doubles (9), triples (3), and home runs (3) as a senior.
"Jeff’s strength is swinging the bat," said Veale. "He has a good build and has the possibility of being a solid college hitter with the ability to drive in runs."
"I chose MVNC because of the small campus and the friendly environment," said Nagy. "The one-on-one interaction with professors really appealed to me as did the tradition that the baseball team has established. I am proud to be a Cougar and I hope to do my best in academics as well as athletics."
Tim Saunders, a right-handed pitcher from Lancaster, Ohio, has posted a 5-3 record with two saves and a 3.20 earned run average over the past two seasons as a member of the Lancaster High School team. Saunders also posted a 5-2 record with two saves in 1998 as a member of the Pickerington American Legion team.
"I feel that Tim has a world of potential," Veale said. "The first thing is that he has good size. He has an above average fastball and good action on his breaking pitch. He has the possibility of contributing for us early in his career."
"I selected MVNC because of its excellent baseball program under Coach Veale," said Saunders. "I wanted to join a college team that contends for conference and tournament championships on a regular basis, and I also like MVNC’s reputation of having excellent pitchers."
"Most importantly, I chose MVNC because of its academic standards," Saunders added. "I like the fact that the classes are relatively small. I knew that I liked MVNC after my second visit. Coach Veale and the rest of the school staff did a good job explaining things about the college and answering my questions."
Dave Cox, a catcher/outfielder from Dover, Pennsylvania, compiled a .391 batting average with 12 stolen bases in 16 games as a senior at Dover Area High School. He was selected as a Legion League All-Star in 1997 and 1998 as well as being named to the Legion Scouts All-District Team in 1998.
"Dave helps fill a serious need on our team," said Veale. "We need some catching depth and Dave helps fill that need. He is a good athlete who has played a couple of other positions as well."
"My youth pastor recommended the MVNC baseball program to me when I started looking at which college to attend," explained Cox on his choice to join the Cougars. "The college is a good size for me. The people I met on my visit made me feel welcome, and I liked the set-up of the campus."
MVNC posted a 40-15 overall record in 1999 and the Cougars won their unprecedented fifth National Christian College Athletic Association national title. The MVNC baseball program has posted 30-plus wins in each of the past six seasons and topped the 40-win mark in four of the past five years.