Baseball Inks Florida Native Bryan Russo To Letter Of Intent

June 19, 2001

Chicago, Ill. - University of Illinois at Chicago baseball coach Mike Dee, who led the Flames to their second straight 30+ win season this past season, strengthened his middle infield recently with the signing of Bryan Russo, a native of Davie, Fla.

Russo, who played his high school ball at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., compiled a .442 batting average as a senior and collected Second Team All-State recognition following the season. The 5-foot-10 righty also added 33 runs and 25 RBI while his extra base hits included 12 doubles, one triple and four home runs. Russo, who played at short much of the 2001 campaign, struck out just seven times in 86 at bats while drawing 13 walks.

A four-time All-Broward County honoree, Russo earned all-conference accolades as both a sophomore and senior and was also a First Team All-State member following his sophomore year.

"Bryan has an excellent opportunity coming in and could impact our program immediately, particularly on defense," UIC Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Sean McDermott said. "If he continues to work on his offense this summer and into the fall, Bryan could see significant playing time next spring."

The Flames, who shuffled four different players between second base and shortstop this past year, finished the campaign with a 32-28 overall record while taking second place in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference with a 13-7 league mark. The future continues to look bright for UIC's program as it returns eight starters and a total of 15 letterwinners while adding a talented group of seven newcomers.