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Former Gators star Roldan signs with Florida Southern

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 3, 2002

Of all the big numbers Victor Roldan put up as a freshman at Pasco-Hernando Community College last year, one little one impressed Florida Southern coaches the most: Seven.

The former Land O'Lakes standout set a PHCC record with 222 at-bats last season, batted a team-best .329, yet struck out only seven times.

"I made a lot of contact, but I think I should be hitting better because I was swinging at a lot of bad pitches," said Roldan, one of three players to sign with the Division II Moccasins during last month's early signing period.

The third baseman still has one season at PHCC to look forward to, but Florida Southern expects him to contribute right away in the middle of their 2004 batting order.

"He's going to step right in and be an impact player for us," said assistant Mike Bell, the team's recruiting coordinator. "We're excited to have him as part of our program, and we really like his versatility."

Roldan plays primarily at third base at PHCC but also filled in at second, shortstop and in the outfield. That flexibility drew the Mocs' interest, as did his ability to put the ball in play with two strikes. He's worked in the offseason on his selectivity. He also had just seven walks.

He'll be looking to make things happen at the Lakeland college, which has won eight national titles and reached the NCAA regionals 33 times in the last 35 years.

"I think it's an ideal fit," PHCC coach Steve Winterling said. "It's a good setting, with a lot of opportunities there for him. He performed well every time their coaches saw him, and he was definitely one of our top hitters last season."

Roldan was the team MVP, starting all 52 games and leading the squad with 73 hits while tying for the lead with 34 runs scored. He also earned second-team All-Suncoast Conference honors. As a senior at Land O'Lakes, he batted .320 with 9 doubles and 19 RBIs while playing five positions.

Roldan wouldn't rule out signing a pro contract if he is drafted after his sophomore year at PHCC.

For now, he's excited about this spring. A few incoming batters, led by former Pasco standouts Lee Cruz and Orlando Rosales, could help PHCC improve on last year's 18-33-1 record.

"I think we should be a lot better than last season," the 19-year-old said. "This takes a lot of pressure off of me, knowing I already have a place to play next year. That has me more relaxed, for sure."

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