Cal Baptist adds seven to baseball program

California Baptist University Head Baseball Coach Gary Adcock has announced the first seven pieces to the Lancers’ 2009-10 recruiting class

Five of the seven are prep standouts, three of which are from the Inland Empire. The other two are junior college transfers.

“This is a great start to our 2010 recruiting class, and we have targeted some early needs and filled them accordingly,” said Adcock, who has led the Lancers to five straight playoff appearances. “By no means are we done recruiting, and we look forward to the challenge of finding more outstanding student-athletes who fit in our program. With the high school season beginning in March and junior colleges well underway, we will continue to work diligently to shape our 2010 roster.”

Headlining the list is left-handed pitcher Jesse Arreola (Riverside-Patriot HS), who signed back in November. Last season, Arreola was 10-2 with a 1.27 ERA in leading the Warriors to the CIF Semifinals. He had 104 strikeouts in 77 innings and earned All-CIF and All-Riverside County first team honors. He was a prep teammate of 2008 MLB First Round Draft Pick Kyle Skipworth.

“We believe Jesse is the best left-hander in the county,” said Adcock. “He is a proven winner who will make an immediate impact on our team next season.”

Twin brothers Luke and Zach Esquerra (La Habra HS) both turned down NCAA Division I opportunities to play at CBU. Luke, who opted to stay closer to home rather than move across the country to Harvard, is a multiple-tool player with good speed, arm strength and power potential. He will pitch and play the outfield next year. He has led his team in home runs the past two seasons and is a three-time scholar-athlete.

Zach, meanwhile, chose CBU over San Francisco among others. He also has power potential, a plus arm and has good speed. Last year, he was La Habra’s defensive player of the year. Both are members of the Kansas City Royals’ scout ball team.

“Luke is a tremendous all-around athlete and possesses an aggressive style of play on the diamond,” said Adcock. “We are excited to see him develop in our program as a true two-way player. Zach is going to be a special player. His combination of tools is among the best we’ve ever had here during my tenure. He is going to be an exciting player to watch.”

Eric Zaragoza (Ontario Christian HS) is a middle infielder and a team captain and two-time all-league selection.

“Eric is a top-notch middle infielder,” said Adcock. “He was the best high school infielder we worked out all fall, and he possesses a simple swing and great actions and should compete for a starting job instantly.”

Catcher Kody Sepulveda (Paloma Valley HS) hit .333 last year with four home runs and a team-best 26 RBIs on a team that finished 23-4 a season ago. Noted as a gritty player, Sepulveda has a plus arm behind the plate.

“A true grinder, Kody is the type of player that will flourish in our program,” said Adcock. “He possesses a quick release to go along with a quick bat.”

Infielder Braden Schaidt (College of the Desert) and utility Willie Holmes (Chaffey JC) are the two junior college athletes. Schaidt was an All-Foothill League first team selection a season ago after hitting .382 with a team-best eight doubles and 41 RBIs. An active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Schaidt is also an excellent student. As a prep standout at Valley View High in Moreno Valley, Calif., Schaidt was All-CIF second team and All-Inland Valley League first team in 2007.

“Braden will be a leader for us on and off the field,” said Adcock. “A tireless worker, he is a disciplined young Christian student-athlete, who we are extremely excited to have aboard.”

Holmes was an All-Foothill first team selection last year after hitting .408 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 42 RBIs for Chaffey.

“Willie will bring back some thunder to our lineup,” said Adcock. “A true power threat, he can make Totman Stadium look small in a hurry. He will be a great compliment to the speed players that we have recruited this year as well as the players currently on our team.

“The coaching staff has done a tremendous job in putting together this talented group–one of the most talented groups we’ve had,” said Adcock. “This combination of speed, power, arm strength and glove work is exciting to envision. We have been able to address our needs for next year’s team and improve upon a high standard that has been set before them.”

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