SHU Baseball Adds Six to Recruiting Class

SHU Baseball Adds Six to Recruiting Class

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sacred Heart University baseball head coach Nick Restaino announced on Wednesday that David Aufiero, Justin Martin, James McDowell, Joey Skarad, Matthew Smaldone and Leo Konopka have all committed to attend Sacred Heart for the 2020 season.

This brings the total number of incoming freshmen to eight, as Jack Kramer and Sam Mongelli announced that they will be joining the Pioneer family in the fall.

"I'm excited to add this group of talented young pitchers to our baseball program. Each has achieved success in their high school careers and show the passion to have continued success as a Pioneer," Restaino said. "They will all have an opportunity to pitch right away. I'm also excited about adding Joey and Justin, as both have proven to be ballplayers and had successful senior seasons"

Here is a look at the newest members of the Pioneers:

  • Three-year varsity starter 

  • Was named to the All-Conference team as a sophomore 

  • Was named to the All-Countyteam as a junior 

  • Diamond award nominee as a junior 

  • Went 7-1 record with a 1.14 era, .90 WHIP and 67 strikeouts over 49 innings as a junior

  • Preseason All-Long Island selection as a senior 

  • Was named a top-10 player to watch in Long Island as a senior

  •  Has totaled 34 strikeouts and has posted a 0.70 ERA in 29 innings pitched as a senior

Restaino on Aufiero: "Aufiero is a slender righty with mid 80's velocity and upside. He attacks the strike zone and will join his brother Matt who is a rising junior on the team."

  • Three-year varsity starter 

  • Helped lead the Pascack Valley Indians to their first state sectional championship win in 53 seasons as a sophomore

  • Was selected to the Garden State Underclass Games which featured the top 100 high school players in New Jersey as a sophomore

  • Earned All-League honors as a sophomore

  • Earned All-County honorable mention as a sophomore

  • Was named to an All-Tournament team for a Perfect Game tournament

Restaino on Martin: "Justin is an athletic infielder from north Jersey and he impressed the staff on both sides of the ball as he continually gets better."

  • Earned All-Conference honors as a junior

  • Earned All-Academic honors as a junior

  • Helped lead East Catholic to a conference championship in 2017

  • Honor roll student throughout high school

Restaino on McDowell: "McDowell is a strong RHP from East Catholic who has a fastball that sits in the mid-80's and a good breaking ball in his repertoire."

  • Two-time FCIAC Honorable Mention selection while attending Westhill

  • Was named captain after transferring to King School

  • Earned FAA Honorable Mention honors

Restaino on Skarad: "Skarad enjoyed a breakout senior season after hitting eight homers and hitting over .400 at King School in Stamford."

  • First Team All-Division as a junior

  • First Team All-State as a junior

  • Selected to Rhode Island Division I All-Star team three years in a row

  • Earned Academic All-State honors

  • Earned All-Division honors in track and field

  • State champion in track and cross country

  • Member of the National Honors Society, Rhode Island Honors Society, English Honors Society and Spanish Honors Society

Restaino on Smaldone: "Smaldone is a smooth lefty that was First Team All-State selection for one of the top programs in Bishop Hendricken."


  • Was named to the SCC All-Academic Team

  • Served as captain

  • Honor roll student all four years

Restaino on Konopka: "Konopka features mid-upper 80's arm strength and served as the team captain at North Haven."