September 28, 2006

UCSB Welcomes Top-Notch Recruiting Class

Sept. 28, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Twelve members of an excellent 2007 Gaucho baseball recruiting class arrived on campus as classes opened on Thursday at UCSB.

The 2007 Gaucho baseball recruiting class was listed in the Top-25 nationally by StudentSportsBaseball.com in early December of last year. The rankings were based only on the high school players that were slated to play for UCSB in 2007, not taking into account the three Junior College transfers that are apart of the overall class. The recruiting class is made up of three right-handed pitchers, three left-handed pitchers, three infielders and three outfielders.

Below is the alphabetical list of recruits with a quote about each player by Head Coach Bob Brontsema:

Kyle Brown•LHP•Golden West Community College
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Kyle is a strike-throwing left-hander that will bring us an experienced arm out of the pen. He played with a couple of our guys in the past and was very good."

Forest Cannon•RHP•Eagle High School (Idaho)
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Forest is a power arm who pitches in the low 90's. He was recruited by some big name schools, but he was kind of a `sleeper' in the recruiting wars. However, we feel, by playing year round in Santa Barbara that he will blossom into a big-time college pitcher."

Mike Ford•RHP•Mountain Pointe High School (Arizona)
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Mike is another strong and physical right-handed pitcher. We saw Mike at our camp and loved his competitiveness. He throws three quality pitches for strikes and should be a big contributor for the Gauchos."

Chris Fox•OF•El Camino Junior College
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "We're hoping that Chris can come in and fill the void that Matt Emerick's graduation left. He is a scrappy left-handed hitter that can run."

Mark Haddow•OF•Scripps Ranch High School
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Mark is a physical outfielder with a good arm and a ton of potential."

Mario Hollands•LHP•El Cerrito High School
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Mario is a big, athletic left-hander with tremendous upside. We feel he will be an immediate contributor and has the ability to be a difference maker during his time at UCSB."

Sam Phippen•RHP•Durango High School (Colorado)
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Sam is very much a wild card for us. He projects very well with his size and current velocity. It's a difficult double with our seasons (baseball and basketball) overlapping, but we've done it twice before (Josh Merrill and Bob Erbst)."

Trask Switzenberg•INF•Cactus Shadows High School (Arizona)
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Trask is a good athlete that can play anywhere on the field. We feel he is most at home at shortstop, but his athleticism makes him very valuable to us in many areas."

Gunnar Terhune•INF•St. Augustine High School
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Gunnar is a high profile guy that could step in and fill the void that Chris Valaika left when he signed. Gunnar is an athletic, strong-armed infielder with a potent bat. He looks to continue the tradition of outstanding Gaucho middle infielders."

Matt Valaika•INF•Hart High School
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Matt is a quality infielder that comes from a great athletic family. A talented multi-sport athlete in high school, we expect Matt to mature into an outstanding middle-infielder as he narrows his focus on academics and baseball. With Matt, Gunnar, Trask and our returning infielders, the future looks very bright in the infield."

Connor Whalen•LHP•Arcadia High School (Arizona)
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Connor is a talented left-hander with a good arm that we are anxious to see a lot more of in the future."

Mike Zuanich•OF•El Camino Junior College
Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Mike brings a potentially potent bat to the middle of our lineup. He also has the ability to play first base as well as outfield."

The 2007 Gauchos open their season on February 9 when they travel to San Jose State for a three-game non-conference series with the Spartans. UCSB opens play at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on February 16 when it hosts Hawai'i in the first of a three-game non-conference series.

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