When the Bonner-Prendergast baseball team takes the field in five short months, they won’t have just one Division I commitment.
Senior pitcher Pat Vanderslice became the second such commit Thursday when he pledged his baseball future to Temple, joining All-Delco shortstop Jim Haley, who has committed to Penn State.
In Vanderslice, the Owls get an impressive physical specimen. The 6-5, 215-pound right-hander has a great deal of raw talent, including a fastball that climbs into the upper 80s and a solid curveball. Vanderslice compiled a 1-3 record last season, but the final loss in that ledger ironically served as his coming out party. He worked six-plus innings of relief in the Catholic League semifinal loss to Neumann-Goretti; the only run he allowed proved to be the game-winner in the 14th inning. He also plays first base for the Friars, and should move into the role of first baseman/No. 1 starter vacated by the graduated Ron Scull.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him because of Coach (Ryan) Wheeler is not only a good coach but a good person and a leader and he’s going to help develop Pat not only from a pitching standpoint but from a personal standpoint,” Bonner-Prendergast coach Joe DeBarberie said. “His potential with his size is unlimited. If he works hard, he’s going to be very successful there.”
The Owls will be moving to the Big East, and Vanderslice has the opportunity to be a vital part of that foundation. The Owls have had 25 players drafted in the program’s history, including 2012 32nd rounder Steve Nikorak, who was the first Owl selected in the MLB Draft since 2009.
Vanderslice joins Haley, who several weeks ago committed to Penn State despite offer from bigger schools like Virginia, Richmond, Maryland and Temple, among the Division I-bound players.