Norfort State Sports Information
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State head baseball coach Claudell Clark and recruiting coordinator Joey Seal announced Monday the Spartans’ 2015 recruiting class. The seven-player class includes a trio of players who attended NSU while sitting out the 2015 season in addition to four incoming high school recruits. The newcomers consist of two outfielders, one catcher, one pitcher and three players who can play multiple positions.
The new recruits include a trio of players who attended NSU last year, but will make their playing debut as Spartans in 2015-16: outfielder/infielder Brian Beard (Chesapeake, Va.), a transfer from Old Dominion; outfielder Keyshawn D’Orso (Pittsburgh, Pa.), a transfer from Mercyhurst North East Junior College; and right-handed pitcher Nick McGuire (Chesapeake, Va./Greenbrier Christian Academy). In addition, four high school recruits from the class of 2015 will join the team this fall: utility men Chase Anderson (Norfolk, Va./Granby HS) and Myles Marshall (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips HS), outfielder Kevin Granger (Richmond, Va./Monacan HS) and catcher Chris Ford (Gambrills, Md./Arundel HS).
“We are very excited to welcome this group into our Spartan family,” Seal said. “One of the keys to our success in 2015 was our depth. The coaching staff has worked very diligently to make sure that this class continues the philosophy of having competition at every position. These seven players are very high-character student-athletes who will make our program stronger in the classroom as well as on the field.”
Beard played two seasons at ODU (2013-14) and has two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2015 season while attending classes at NSU. Beard played in 63 games over his two years at ODU, scoring 14 runs and driving in 10 in 78 at-bats.
Beard was a first-team All-Southeastern District outfielder at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake as a senior in 2012. Beard batted .395 that season for the Wildcats. In 2011, Beard was a second-team all-district outfielder who helped the Wildcats win the state Group AAA championship. He was also a standout football player at Great Bridge, earning second-team all-district honors as a quarterback.
“Brian has the tools to play any position on the field. He also has shown the ability to be a middle of the order bat and could be a big run-producer for us,” Seal said. “Defensively, his range and arm strength allow him to play infield and outfield. There is no limit to how much Brian can contribute to this program.”
D’Orso also sat out the 2015 season at NSU but will have three seasons remaining. D’Orso played as a freshman at Mercyhurst North East Junior College (Pa.) in 2014, batting .320 with two home runs, 15 RBI and 15 steals while earning first-team all-region accolades.
D’Orso, a former all-state pick at Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., was an honorable mention All-Atlantic Region selection by the scouting service Perfect Game his senior year in high school before originally signing with Kent State. D’Orso also played this summer for the Morehead City (N.C.) Marlins in the Coastal Plain League, one of the premier wooden-bat summer collegiate leagues.
“Keyshawn can play all three positions in the outfield with great speed and tremendous arm strength. He showed continued improvement throughout this season while he redshirted,” Seal said. “He projects to be a middle of the lineup bat for us, as his power is one of his best tools.”
McGuire posted a 2-0 record and a 3.41 ERA as a senior at Greenbrier Christian Academy in 2014. He attended NSU, but sat out the 2015 season. McGuire averaged better than one strikeout per inning as a senior at GCA and lettered three years for the Gators, one of the state’s top private school baseball programs.
“Nick is a very durable, tall pitcher who has the potential to be a big-time arm in the MEAC,” Seal said. “As his arm strength continues to develop, he could easily be one of the top arms in the region. His ability to mix pitches and locations allows him to be an asset both as a starter and out of the bullpen. There really is no ceiling for Nick.”
Anderson was a first-team all-conference selection for Granby as a senior. He batted .319 and was also one of the Comets’ top pitchers. As a junior in 2014, Anderson went 8-0 with a 0.83 ERA on he mound and also batted .359 en route to Coastal Conference Co-Player of the Year honors.
“Chase is a legitimate two-way player. He can field it with the best of them. His range and arm strength will allow him to compete at any of the infield positions,” Seal said. “On the mound, Chase can run his fastball up in the upper 80s. He also has three other pitches that should help him to compete right away for important innings on the pitching staff. As he develops, Chase could potentially be a front-line arm and a key piece of the offense.”
Marshall was a two-year letterwinner at Dr. Phillips. He was an AP scholar who played prep ball for NSU alumnus Keith Ross. He was an honorable mention selection as a junior.
“With a long and athletic frame, Myles’ tools will continue to improve as he gets stronger,” Seal said. “He can play outfield and first base, and is also a switch hitter. His versatility will give him the opportunity to compete for playing time.”
Granger was a preseason All-American by Perfect Game and ranked by that service as the No. 4 outfielder among the state of Virginia high school seniors. PG also ranked him among the top 1,000 players nationally. Granger batted .309 with a .430 on-base percentage while stealing 18 bases and earning second-team all-conference honors as a senior.
“Kevin brings more speed to an already very quick offense. He can cover a lot of ground in the field and displays a great arm,” Seal said. “He brings energy to ball field every day and will be a lot of fun to watch fly around Marty L. Miller Field.”
Ford was rated by Perfect Game as the No. 2 senior catcher in the state of Maryland and is listed as a “high follow” by the scouting service. Ford batted .308 with 18 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases as a senior. Behind the plate, Ford notched 26 assists this past season. He was also an honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society.
“Chris is a very athletic and versatile catcher. He displays excellent leadership on the field and gives us another quality option behind the plate,” Seal said. “Offensively, he has shown the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap. We are thrilled to watch Chris continue to improve.”
NSU brings back seven everyday starters and nine of its 14 pitchers from the 2015 team that went 27-16, set a school Division I-era record for single-season wins, and won the MEAC’s Northern Division regular-season championship.