Riverdale, N.Y. (November 20, 2007)- Two student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball for Manhattan College beginning in the 2008-09 academic year, it was announced today by third-year head coach Kevin Leighton.  Matt Jordan (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston HS) and Andrew McKenna (Bohemia, N.Y./Connetquot HS) will join the Jaspers as part of the class of 2012.

“I am excited to announce that Matt Jordan and Andrew McKenna will be joining our program next year,” noted Leighton.  “Recruiting coordinator Mike Cole and assistant coach Ryan Darcy have done an exceptional job once again recruiting top student-athletes that will fit into our program as both Matt and Andrew are strong students in the classroom and quality pitchers on the mound.”

Jordan is a 6-3, 200-pound southpaw who pitches in the mid to upper 80’s with his fastball.  He owns a 17-4 combined record pitching for head coach Mike Groppuso at Kingston High School, and as a junior tallied 49 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched while compiling a 2.36 ERA.  Jordan earned Kingston Daily Freeman Honorable Mention honors after helping lead the Tigers to the Section 9, Class AA title.  Perfect Game USA ranked the Kingston lefty as the 19th top prospect in New York State among the 2008 high school class.  This past summer, Jordan pitched for the South Florida Bandits and the South Troy Dodgers facing some of the nation’s top talent.

 “Matt is a solid sign for our program,” continued Leighton.  “He is a tough competitor on the mound and has a big strong frame.  He can run the ball up in the upper 80’s and has a good change-up and breaking ball.  We feel that Matt has the potential to be a big game pitcher for us in the future and expect that he will continue to improve on the mound.”

McKenna is 6-2, 180-pound left-handed pitcher, and has tallied a 12-2 record with a 1.98 ERA over his sophomore and junior seasons.  Recognized with All-League honors following both his sophomore and junior seasons, McKenna helped lead the Bob Ambrosini coached Connetquot team to the Suffolk County Class AA championship.  This summer he pitched for the Gold Medal Long Island Empire State team, as well as with the Long Island Titans. 

“Andrew is a great pick up for us and our program,” stated Leighton.  “He doesn’t blow guys away with his fastball, but he knows how to pitch.  He has the ability to throw any pitch in any count and never gives in to the hitter.  Andrew owns an excellent breaking ball that is consistently in the strike zone and an above average change-up.  We expect Andrew to strengthen our pitching staff in 2009.”

These two left-handed pitchers will join a Jasper pitching staff that includes a host of quality young arms.

Last year, Manhattan advanced to the MAAC Championship game for the third time in the last three seasons, and ended the 2007 season with a 35-19 record, the Jaspers second straight 30-plus win season.  Manhattan opens the 2008 season February 22-24, traveling to Charlotte, N.C. to take on the UNC-Charlotte 49ers in a three game series.