Junior infielder of Marcos Castanon of Carter High School has committed to UC Riverside.
Castanon was named most valuable player in the Citrus Belt League this season, helping the Lions (21-7) to a share of the league title. He batted .416 with 19 runs scored, 20 RBI, 14 doubles 2 triples and a home run.
That was the only offer he had but felt good enough about the school he didn’t want to wait to see what else might come along in the coming school year.
“If that really feels like the right place to be why wait for something else?” he said. “I like what they are building there and there are a lot of Inland Empire guys there. I love the school and the program.”
Castanon said the fact that former major league pitcher Troy Percival, himself an Inland Empire product, is heading the program was a definite factor. But he also singled out assistant Bryson LeBlanc who had been recruiting him since his freshman year.
“It isn’t just Percival, I really like the whole coaching staff,” he said.
Percival took over the program in late July of 2014. The Highlanders were 15-40 overall and 4-20 in Big West play in his first year, although he got the job late and had little chance to recruit.
UCR made great strides last season, finishing 26-29 overall and 12-12 in conference.
“I am looking forward to being part of program that is really building for the future,” he said.
Castanon plans to major in kinesiology.