UC Santa Barbara Inks Strong Recruiting Class

Nov. 21, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team has signed six talented high school seniors and three junior college players to National Letters of Intent, head coach Bob Brontsema announced Tuesday.

The recruiting class includes five right-handed pitchers, two outfielders, an infielder and a catcher. If not drafted, they will all join the Gauchos beginning in the 2008 season. Below is a list of the recruits with information about their baseball careers thus far:

Junior College Recruits

Eric Oliver•1B•Orange Coast College•6-2•R/R
Oliver was a Second Team All-Orange Empire selection as a freshman. In his first collegiate year, he hit .322 with 17 doubles, nine homeruns and amassed a slugging percentage of .582.

Recruited by: Long Beach State, UCLA and Kentucky

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "We look for Eric to fill a big void in our lineup left by the graduation of Robbie Blauer. He is a big-time bat with power that should fit very nicely in our park."

Zach Samuels•RHP•De Anza College•6-3
Samuels pitched 76 innings in 13 starts while recording a record of 6-7 as a freshman at De Anza. In those innings, the right-hander surrendered 72 hits and 20 walks while striking out 58 and sporting a 2.72 ERA.

Recruited by: Long Beach State and USF

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Zach is a quality 3-pitch guy that should challenge for a spot in our rotation. Like Jason [Schnitzer], his experience should blend in well with the young arms we have returning."

Jason Schnitzer•RHP•Cypress College•6-3
As a freshman, Schnitzer started six games and finished with a 1-0 record. The right-hander pitched a total of 27.2 innings while surrendering 30 hits and 12 walks. Finished his freshman campaign toting an ERA of 4.94 with 20 strikeouts. As a side note, Schnitzer was drafted by the Boston Red Sox after his senior year of high school.

Recruited by: Pepperdine

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Jason comes from a great junior college program and will have pitched and gained valuable experience by the time he puts on a Gaucho uniform. He should be able to step in right away and provide us with quality innings."

High School Recruits

Greg Davis•RHP•Edison High School•6-4
Davis is a former Gaucho camper that has blossomed onto the scene. Totes an 88-90 MPH fastball with a sharp slider. Played Connie Mack Baseball for the Trombley Braves.

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Greg, like Jesse [Meaux], pitched in our camp and we loved what we saw. He showed great poise along with a 90 MPH fastball and a sharp slider. He, like all our athletes, is a great student."

Chris LoPiccollo•OF•Monterey High School•6-2•R/R
LoPiccollo was rated the 37th best prospect in California by Perfect Game. Was also a four-year varsity letterman at Monterey.

Recruited by:UC Irvine and UC Davis

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Chris is rated the 37th best prospect in California according to Perfect Game and should challenge our returning outfielders for significant playing time."

Jesse Meaux•RHP•Glendale High School•6-4
In his junior year, Meaux tallied 49 innings pitched with 38 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.14. In those innings, Meaux walked only 14 batters en route to All-League, All-Area and All-CIF First Team honors. The right-hander was also a member of the Angels Elite and Cardinals Scout Teams.

Recruited by:Cal State Fullerton and University of San Diego

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Jesse is an up and coming power arm with great potential. As he gains more experience, he could develop into a 'Friday night' type guy."

Lance Roenicke•OF•Chino Hills High School•6-1•R/R
Roenicke is a talented outfielder that was a member of the 2006 Angels Elite Scout Team.

Recruited by:Santa Clara and UNLV

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Lance is a talented athlete who has split his time between football and baseball. We feel that with him concentrating solely on baseball skills, he will develop into an outstanding player for us."

Bryce Tafelski•C•Santa Ynez High School•6-1•R/R
Tafelski was voted co-MVP of the Los Padres League as a sophomore. Hit .395 as a sophomore with five stolen bases. As a junior, the backstop was selected First Team All-Los Padres League and All-Santa Barbara County. Hit .380 with nine homeruns and 21 stolen bases as a junior. Tafelski was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' and Cleveland Indians' Scout Teams.

Recruited by:UCLA and Cal Poly

Quote from Coach Brontsema: "Bryce is a strong athletic player. Although he is a highly touted catcher, I could see us using his athleticism at other positions."

Jared Wagner•RHP•De La Salle High School•6-3
Tossed 16.2 innings and tallied thirteen strikeouts and an ERA of 0.84 while walking only three batters as a junior. Wagner pitched the championship game of the 2006 Phil Nevin Classic and was the winner versus Esperanza. Was a member of Team California in the Sun Belt Classic in Oklahoma. Wagner was rated the number 52 prospect by Perfect Game and was selected as the Top Prospect at the Perfect Game National in Jupiter, Fla.

Recruited by:Pepperdine, Cal Poly and UC Irvine

Quote from Coach Brontsema:"Jared is a highly rated freshman prospect that we hope can help fill the void left by the graduation of six senior arms. He has the stuff to compete for us as a freshman and we look for him to do just that."

Quote on the entire recruiting class from Coach Brontsema:
"Once again, Coach Myers has done a great job coordinating another outstanding group of talented student-athletes. Not only are these quality young men that can play baseball, but also they represent what UCSB looks for in all their students. We are extremely happy that we were able to fill the voids that will be left from our graduating seniors. It was important for us to back up last year's recruiting class with another group of quality student-athletes."