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MMC Baseball Makes Roster Additions


Published Date8\29\2012
Mount Marty College is pleased to announce the commitment of junior college transfers Julian Cutolo and AJ Griffith as well as Taylor Klapperich of Saint Thomas Moore High School graduate to attend Mount Marty College and participate in the baseball program.

AJ Griffith comes to Mount Marty via Miles Community College (Mont.) and is a graduate from C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana. Griffith is a pitcher that is coming off a quality junior college career in which he helped lead Miles Community College to back to back Mon-Dak Conference and Region IX Championships. Griffith tied for the team lead in appearances with 13 this past spring including 5 starts with 2 complete games. He compiled a 3-0 record with a 2.79 earned run average. In 42 innings pitched he only allowed 25 hits while striking out 33 and only issuing 13 base on balls. For his freshman season, Griffith tallied a 2-1 record with a 1.34 ERA striking out 13 batters in 15.67 innings of work.

The son of Robert and Veronica Griffith, AJ is undecided in major at Mount Marty. He is the recipient of an MMC academic incentive scholarship in addition to his baseball scholarship.

Julian Cutolo comes to Mount Marty from McCook Community College (Neb.) and is a graduate from Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a catcher that was a two-year starter at the junior college level. Cutolo started over 70 games in his junior college career and batted .232 in a wood bat league. He also had an outstanding high school career batting .444 with 52 hits, 28 runs, 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 1 triple, and 36 runs batted in during his senior season. For his efforts he was named 2nd Team All-Conference. During his high school career he was part of a legion team that won State and National Regional American Legion Championships. The American Legion Regional Championship led to a birth to the 2010 American Legion World Series.

The son of Frank and Tiffany Cutolo and Barbra Cutolo, Julian is the recipient of an MMC academic incentive scholarship in addition to his baseball award.

Taylor Klapperich is a pitcher and outfielder who is coming off an outstanding athletic high school career. Klapperich was a multi-sport athlete that played for both the Saint Thomas More High School Club Baseball Team and with Rapid City Post 320 American Legion Baseball Team. For Saint Thomas More Klapperich was a five-year varsity player helping lead the team to South Dakota High School Club State Championships in 2009 and 2010. This past spring he helped lead the team to a South Dakota Club State Runner-up finish and was listed by ESPN High School as one of the top 20 players for the State of South Dakota high school baseball. Klapperich went 3-4 on the mound this summer for Post 320 and 5-3 this past spring striking out 40 batters in 35 innings. During his junior club season Klapperich was named First Team All-Region. Klapperich was 4-2 as a pitcher with a 2.88 ERA and struck out 57 batters in 41 innings. As a hitter Klapperich batted .444 with 25 runs, 24 hits, 8 doubles, 1 triple and 11 runs batted in.

The son of Dean and Donna Klapperich, Taylor will major in recreation management at Mount Marty. He is the recipient of an MMC academic incentive scholarship in addition to his baseball scholarship.

Mount Marty College head baseball coach, Andy Bernatow, is excited to announce the additions to the Lancer baseball program. "I am very excited to sign AJ, Taylor and Julian. AJ has played on championship teams and we want to continue that mindset in the program and on the pitching staff. He's pitched in a variety of roles at the junior college level which makes him very versatile in how we can use him. I was very impressed with his ability and feel that he is just hitting his athletic prime. He showed three pitches that he threw for strikes and some good velocity on his fastball. We graduated some really good arms last season and for us to continue to stay competitive is essential that we bring in a veteran arm for the pitching staff."

"As for Taylor, the ceiling is high for him and he is still physically maturing," continued Bernatow. "He is very athletic and has the prototypical pitcher's body. I have seen him play several times since his freshman season and have always walked away very impressed. With his athletic ability, the potential for him to have a great college career is possible. He could end up as a dual position player for us playing outfield and pitching. This past spring at the State Tournament he pitched a 1-hitter taking a no-hitter late into the game. He pounded the strike zone and topped out at 83 miles per hour. He has shown good velocity as a high school pitcher and I feel he has more to come as he continues to mature."

Bernatow adds, "As a coaching staff we are trying to put an emphasis of bringing in players from championship programs and I think it is really evident in this recruiting class. That is no exception with Julian. He played for a tremendous high school program and also brings in starting experience from a junior college. Julian's commitment helps to make us strong and deep at the catcher position and he has the ability to help out immediately at the varsity level."

For more information on Mount Marty College's baseball program please visit www.mmclancers.com or contact head coach, Andy Bernatow at abernatow@mtmc.edu.