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Baseball team signs two local standouts

The Binghamton baseball team has announced the signing of two players from nearby Vestal High School as part of the early signing period for high school athletes. Second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, NY.) and pitcher Mike Van Gorder (Vestal, N.Y.), both of whom helped led Vestal to the Section IV Class A championship last spring, have each submitted a national letter of intent and will join the Bearcats for the 2004 season.

Simek led Vestal last season with a .396 batting average. He also led the team in runs, hits, triples and stolen bases. At the conclusion of the 2002 season, Simek was named All-STAC (Southern Tier Athletic Conference). This past summer, he batted .373 while leading American Legion Vestal Post 89 to the Broome County and District 6 championships.

“We think Matt might be the best kept secret in New York,” Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki said. “He has both the offensive and defensive skills to be an outstanding player in our program. Matt plays the game the way we want the kids in our program to play-with passion and enthusiasm.”

Van Gorder split time between the pitching and shortstop positions last season. He posted a 2-1 record with a 1.40 ERA. This past summer, he posted a 4-1 record with a 4.00 ERA with American Legion Vestal Post 89. He also batted over .300 as the starting shortstop. Van Gorder is a right hander with a mid-to-upper 80s fastball.

“Mike is just starting to scratch the surface with his ability as a pitcher,” Sinicki said. “He has a tremendous upside on the mound and is the most projectable high school pitcher we saw this past summer and fall.”

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