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Two more Bulldogs commit to play for HCC

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 11, 2000


Brooks Boyette and Mike Stepp have signed to play baseball next season at Hillsborough Community College, bringing to four the number of current Zephyrhills baseball players headed there. Stepp signed Sunday and said Boyette signed Monday as they joined teammates Graham Taylor and Jossie Aponte, who signed last week.

Stepp, who considered an offer from Manatee Community College, said the domino effect created by Taylor's signing last week was too much to ignore.

"We all talked about it," said Stepp, a third baseman and pitcher. "Community college is a good way to go. I get to play with three other good buddies that I've been playing with."

Stepp is one of the premier power hitters in the county. He is batting .446 this season with 10 home runs and a county-leading 43 RBI. Last year, he set a school record with 12 home runs, 13 doubles and batted .462 while driving in 44 runs.

Boyette, a catcher, is batting over .400 with five home runs and 22 RBI. Last season, he hit .429 with 7 homers, 31 RBI and 42 runs. He also is on the weightlifting team and has qualified for this weekend's state tournament.

"My hat goes off to them. They deserve it," Zephyrhills coach Bruce Cimorelli said. "HCC is getting good, quality kids. They love to play baseball. And now they get to do something not too many kids have a chance to do."

Land O'Lakes third baseman Derrick McNeil also has signed with HCC.

Cimorelli said second baseman Mike Recine, one of five Bulldogs hitting over .400, and outfielder Jeremy Hinsz probably will attend South Florida and try to walk-on.

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