California Baptist University baseball head coach Gary Adcock has announced an additional six pieces for the 2009-10 recruiting class.
“We are extremely excited to add these quality young men in our program,” said Adcock. “In this late signing period we have been able to address some of the issues we encountered during our season and supplement an already top notch recruiting class.”
The impressive class already includes prep stars Jesse Arreola (Patriot HS), Kody Sepulveda (Paloma Valley HS) and twin brothers Luke and Zach Esquerra (La Habra HS), all of whom recently participated in their respective county all-star games, as well as Eric Zaragoza (Ontario Christian HS) and junior college transfer Braden Schaidt (College of the Desert).
Arreola was 8-5 this year with a 1.50 ERA. In 74.2 innings, he had 108 strikeouts and was an All-CIF second team selection. Sepulveda hit .446 with 29 runs, 21 RBIs, 15 doubles and four home runs. Zach Esquerra hit .375 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs, while his brother, Luke, hit .329 with 22 runs, 14 RBIs and three home runs.
The lone transfer in the new crop is Anthony Simmons from national junior college power Central Arizona College. This past season, Simmons hit a team-best .437 with 58 RBIs, 20 doubles, five triples and seven home runs on a team that had seven players sign national letters of intent with NCAA Division I programs, including two to Arizona State. The middle infielder led the Vaqueros, who were ranked No. 7 in the nation, to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Western District Finals where they lost to Western Nevada, which finished third at the World Series. Simmons, who prepped at Chino High, was second in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference in hitting and was in the top 40 in the nation. He was All-ACCAC and NJCAA All-Region I.
“Anthony will be an immediate impact player,” said Adcock. “He is an above average fielder with plus arm strength and he hits for a high average with power. The numbers he put up in junior college are staggering. Central Arizona consistently puts out terrific players, and we are fortunate to have Anthony in our program.”
All-CIF Matt Marnati (Yucaipa HS) hit .456 with 27 RBIs, 10 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 14 stolen bases this past season leading the Thunderbirds to the Citrus Belt League title and the third round of the CIF Playoffs. Marnati was a two-time All-San Bernardino County and All-CBL selection. The outfielder hit .460 with 16 stolen bases as a 2008 junior.
A two-sport star, Marnati also played football, starting 33 straight games as a defensive back. He was a three-time All-CBL pick and was all-county as a senior when he was also named one of the top players in the county by the San Bernardino Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. He was also named Yucaipa High Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
“Matt is an electric player and a gifted 2 sport athlete and will excite Lancer fans instantly,” said Adcock. “Along with being a plus runner (6.8 60-yard dash), he also brings a potential power left handed bat to the lineup. Having played and been a leader for a top 10 high school team this year we look forward to Matt competing at CBU.”
A two-way player, Matt Daugherty (Temecula Valley HS) hit .344 with 22 runs, 31 RBIs and nine home runs this past season, leading the Southwestern League in home runs and RBIs. Selected to the Riverside County All-Star Game, Daugherty was a prep teammate of Brooks Pounders, who was selected in the second round (53rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. TVHS won the Southwestern League title and advanced to the second round of the CIF Playoffs where it narrowly lost, 3-1, to Norco High, which was led by Matt Hobgood, the No. 4 overall selection in last week’s draft.
“Another 2 way player, Matt has tremendous power potential as a collegiate hitter,” said Adcock. “A true ‘gamer’ and clutch player, Matt flourishes when the RBI opportunities present themselves. He is a diligent worker who has a chance to make an impact on the mound and at the plate immediately.”
Orange County standout Daniel Warwick (Villa Park HS) was 6-2 with a 1.58 ERA. In 57.2 innings, he had 74 strikeouts, leading the Century League. He was also second in the league in ERA and was named All-CIF second team and All-Century League. A four-time Scholar-Athlete with a 4.44 GPA, Warwick recently played in the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Century League vs. South Coast League All-Star Game.
“An outstanding left-hander, Daniel will make an immediate impact on the mound,” said Adcock. “With a quality three-pitch mix as well as a superior mound presence, Daniel should develop quickly in our system. He loves to compete, and attacks hitters–two things we look for and stress with our pitching staff.”
Omar Cedeno and Javier Martinez were prep teammates at Hemet West Valley High and will both be teammates at CBU. Martinez possesses a solid changeup and should add quality depth to the bullpen as a lefty. He had a 3.14 ERA in 58 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Cedeno is noted for his work ethic and should push for time on the infield. He hit .451 and led his team with 17 RBIs and seven doubles.
“Both Omar and Javier love to compete and should flourish in our program with that positive attitude,” said Adcock.
Local product Jesse Santana played a key role in Riverside-Poly High’s run to the CIF Semifinals. He hit .318 and started at third base in the semifinal game.
“The entire coaching staff has done a tremendous job putting together this class,” said Adcock. “Seeing the success our freshman players had last year, we decided once again to focus in on high school players in this class. Add in a couple tremendous transfer players and the buzz around the area is that this is the best group of student-athletes we have accumulated since I’ve been here, and we agree. We look forward to helping them develop in their Christian walk, academic endeavors and pursuit of athletic excellence. Recruiting, though, is a never-ending process, and we still will look to make a couple more additions this summer.”
2009-10 Recruiting Class
Jesse Arreola (Patriot HS) – 8-5, 1.50 ERA, 74.2 IP, 108 K, All-CIF
Omar Cedeno (West Valley HS) – .451, 7 2B, 17 RBI
Matt Daugherty (Temecula Valley HS) – .344, 22 R, 31 RBI, 9 HR
Luke Esquerra (La Habra HS) – .329, 22 R, 14 RBI, 3 HR
Zach Esquerra (La Habra HS) – .375, 9 HR, 10 2B, 32 RBI
Matt Marnati (Yucaipa HS) – .456, 27 RBI, 10 2B, 14 SB, All-CIF
Javier Martinez (West Valley HS) – 3.14 ERA, 58 IP
Jesse Santana (Poly HS) – .318, started at 3B in CIF Semifinals
Braden Schaidt (College of the Desert) – .412, 31 R, 37 RBI, 9 2B, 12th in state in hitting as 2008 frosh
Kody Sepulveda (Paloma Valley HS) – .446, 29 R, 21 RBI, 15 2B, 4 HR
Anthony Simmons (Central Arizona) – .437, 58 RBI, 20 2B, 7 HR, NJCAA All-Region
Daniel Warwick (Villa Park HS) – 6-2, 1.58 ERA, 57.2 IP, 74 K, All-CIF
Eric Zaragoza (Ontario Christian HS) – .344, 26 R, 26 RBI, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR