The Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball program has signed two former Mansfield Christian School standouts to join the Cougars for the 2001 season.
Matt McDaniel and Jon Barchus both posted outstanding careers for the Flames offensively and on the pitching mound during their four-year careers.
McDaniel, a pitcher/outfielder from Mansfield, Ohio, posted a .646 batting average in 2000 to go along with five home runs and 43 runs batted in. He also recorded a team-best 1.58 earned run average as a pitcher. As a junior, McDaniel set a school record by batting .745 as he was named a Mansfield News Journal All-Star. He also notched five pitching victories to set a single-season school record in that category.
"The first thing that caught my attention with Matt is his athleticism," said MVNC head coach Keith Veale. "He reminds me of (this year's American Mideast Conference Pitcher of the Year) Mike Waddell, (former Mansfield Christian and MVNC star and current Boston Red Sox prospect) Marty McLeary, and those types of players. We recruited him primarily as a pitcher, but he had an outstanding senior season offensively."
In addition to playing baseball, McDaniel has been a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a junior class officer in 1999, and he was on the academic honor roll all four years of high school.
"I chose to attend MVNC for several reasons," said McDaniel of his college choice. "I like the Christian atmosphere and professors there. MVNC has a beautiful campus and quality academic programs. I will have the opportunity to play college baseball and still be close to home."
Barchus, a pitcher/middle infielder from Crestline, Ohio, batted .487 as a senior. He recorded five victories to tie the school record set by McDaniel the previous year, and he posted a 1.60 earned run average with a team-high 49 strikeouts. He also tossed one no-hitter and combined on another no-hitter as he was named to the District 9 Second Team.
"Jon has a live arm and throws in the low 80s," Veale said. "He is another player who has played positionally, which is a real draw for our program. He has a lot of potential. When you have success with one player (McLeary) from a high school program, you do not hesitate to return to that program for more."
In addition to playing baseball, Barchus has been active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a class representative during both his sophomore and senior years, and he was a member of National Honor Society.
"My main reason for choosing MVNC is that I wanted to go to a Christian college," said Barchus. "I like MVNC's baseball program, and I have heard nothing but positive things about Coach Veale. I am looking forward to attending MVNC in the fall."
"I am impressed with everything that I know about these two young men," added Veale. "They come highly recommended as players and people. I believe that they will be solid contributors to our campus and our baseball program."
The Cougars posted a 29-20 overall record in 2000 as the program notched its seventh straight 20-win season. The team also advanced to the championship game of the NAIA Region IX Tournament. In addition, one MVNC player, Dave Byard, was drafted by the New York Mets, while another player, Andy Heimbach, signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.