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Cal Poly Signs Eight Baseball Recruits to National Letter of Intent

Cal Poly Signs Eight Baseball Recruits to National Letter of Intent
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The Cal Poly baseball team has announced the signings of eight high school recruits to the National Letter of Intent.
 
The announcement was made Thursday by Mustang baseball coach Larry Lee and director of athletics Don Oberhelman. The newly formed single signing period opened Wednesday and runs through August 1.
 
The group includes four pitchers, a pair of infielders and two outfielders. Six are from California high schools and the others are from Utah and Hawai'i.
 
Among the eight signees are Brooks Lee, son of the Mustang head coach, and Nick Marinconz, younger brother of former Mustang infielder Kyle Marinconz.
 
"As in most years, we need to have a few of these recruits become impact players immediately," said Lee, who has guided Cal Poly to 513 victories and three NCAA Division I regionals in 16 seasons. "We like the versatility of our infielders and outfielders, the offensive capability, and the pitchability in the arms we are bringing in."
 
The eight early signees, listed alphabetically:
 

Kyle Ashworth, OF, 6-0, 180
Santa Ana, CA (Foothill High School)

Ashworth is a career .404 hitter with 14 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 39 RBI under head coach Vince Brown at Foothill High School in Santa Ana. He has stolen 16 bases with a .526 on-base percentage and 53 runs scored. Ashworth hit .359 last spring with eight doubles, two triples, a trio of home runs and 17 RBI with nine steals and a .586 on-base percentage, earning USA Today Preseason All-American honors, first-team All-Crestview League, second-team All-Orange County, second-team All-CIF-Southern Section and Cal-Hi all-state. He set a school record for walks in a season (33) and is on pace to break Foothill's all-time hits record. Foothill was 25-9 last spring, winning the Crestview League title and going on to finish second in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Ashworth was selected to play in the 2018 CBCA North-South Showcase in June 2018 at UC San Diego. As a sophomore, Ashworth was named team MVP and was named first-team All-Crestview League and offensive player of the year, first-team All-CIF-Southern Section Division 1, second-team All-Orange County and Cal-Hi state sophomore player of the year after hitting .453 with six doubles, a triple, 22 RBI and seven steals along with a .546 on-base percentage. Recruited by more than 10 schools, including Dartmouth, Arizona, Washington State and UCLA, Ashworth chose Cal Poly because of "its coaches, academics, stadium and clubhouse renovation and baseball atmosphere."
 
"Kyle has an advanced approach offensively and has been one of the top prep performers in Southern California over the past several seasons," said Mustang assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Teddy Warrecker. "Kyle adds a much-needed left-handed bat to our lineup and has shown the ability, throughout his high school career,  to get on base at an incredibly high rate."
 
 

Brooks Lee, SS, 6-1, 180
San Luis Obispo, CA (San Luis Obispo High School)

A verbal commitment to Cal Poly after his freshman season, Lee carries a .450 career prep batting average into his senior season next spring, striking out just 13 times in 236 plate appearances and compiling 15 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 53 RBI and five steals. Baseball America rates the two-time PAC 8 batting champion as the No. 2 overall prospect in California and 21st in its National Top High School Draft Prospects list. As the shortstop under head coach Brian Wong at San Luis Obispo High School, Lee hit .462 as a junior with nine doubles, three triples, three home runs and 35 RBI with five stolen bases, helping the Tigers to a 24-7 record, a PAC 8 title and a spot in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Lee was named PAC 8 Player of the Year, San Luis Obispo County Player of the Year by The Tribune and a first-team All-CIF-Southern Section Division 3 selection. He also made five appearances on the mound with a 1-1 record, 0.00 ERA, one save and 11 strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. The switch hitter hit .438 as a freshman second baseman with six doubles, a triple, one home run and 18 RBI, earning first-team All-PAC 8 and All-San Luis Obispo County accolades in addition to the PAC 8 batting title. He missed his sophomore campaign due to an injury. Though he loves the game of baseball, Lee has "other passions, like surfing!" Oregon, Washington, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and Cal all recruited Lee. He chose to come to Cal Poly because of "the location, education, coaching staff and prior success of the baseball team."
 
Warrecker: "Brooks has a chance to make a big impact for us right away on both sides of the ball. He has emerged as one of the top prep prospects in the nation over the past year and possesses great instincts and knowledge of the game."
 
 

Nick Marinconz, INF, 5-11, 165
San Jose, CA (Valley Christian High School)

As a junior under head coach John Diatte at Valley Christian High School of San Jose, Marinconz hit .318 with seven doubles and 17 RBI, helping the Warriors to a 29-3-1 record, first-place tie in the West Catholic Athletic League and second straight CIF-Central Coast Section Open Division championship last spring. Marinconz also hit .412 with 12 doubles and 22 RBI as a sophomore and .253 with five RBI as a freshman. He enters his senior season at Valley Christian next spring with a .337 career average, 24 doubles, 44 RBI and 31 steals in 35 attempts. Marinconz has struck out just 30 times in 350 career plate appearances. As a junior, Marinconz's postseason awards include Prep2Prep All-CIF-Central Coast Section third team and All-West Catholic League first team. He was a second-team Prep2Prep All-CIF-Central Coast second-team, All-NorCal Preps second-team, San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro first-team and MaxPreps All-Northern California first-team selection after his sophomore campaign as the Warriors were 22-11-1 and CIF-Central Coast Section Open Division champs. Marinconz was an All-WCAL honorable mention in 2016 and also earned Perfect Game Underclass All-American honorable mention praise. The three-year varsity letter winner also played for the Lamorinda Spartans under-14 team and in the 2017 Area Code Games. In addition to Cal Poly, Marinconz was recruited by Santa Clara, Cal, UCLA, Saint Mary's and Nevada, choosing to be a Mustang because of "the excellent coaches, competitive conference and my brother (Kyle) played at Cal Poly." 
 
Warrecker: "Nick is a highly athletic infielder from one of the most successful programs in Northern California. Nick should compete to play right away and immediately makes us more competitive in the infield. We are fortunate that he decided to follow his older brother Kyle's footsteps and become a part of our program."
 
 

Shane Sasaki, OF, 6-0, 160
Mililani, HI (Iolani High School)

Sasaki, the second player from Hawai'i to commit to playing baseball at Cal Poly — outfielder Cole Cabrera will be a sophomore with the Mustangs this spring — was a .448 hitter as a junior under head coach Kurt Miyahira at Iolani High School in Honolulu. He doubled four times, knocked in 14 runs and stole six bases en route to first-team All-Interscholastic League honors. Sasaki helped the Raiders to a 17-6-1 record, second-place ILH finish and to a semifinal-round appearance in the Wally Yonamine Foundation Hawai'i High School Athletic Association state playoffs. Ranked 147th in the Class of 2019 at Iolani High School, Sasaki has played in the Area Code Games. He chose to further his baseball and academic careers at Cal Poly because "I love the program and I love the way they go about hitting. Also, the way they develop players is awesome."
 
Warrecker: "Shane is a true centerfielder with a plus throwing arm and aggressive instincts in all areas of the game. He has made tremendous strides competing on the national stage over the past year. Shane has impact tools both offensively and defensively."
 
 

Kyle Scott, RHP, 6-3, 195
Seal Beach, CA (Mater Dei High School)

Slowed by injury, Scott pitched just six innings as a junior with six strikeouts, one save and a 0.00 ERA under head coaches Richard Mercado and Burt Call at Mater Dei High School. The Monarchs were 10-19 in 2018. Scott is a three-year varsity letter winner and helped Mater Dei to a second-place Trinity League finish and to the semifinal round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs in 2017. The team's scholar-athlete three years running, Scott also has played for the Padres Scout Team as well as the SoCal Birds summer league squad. He was a Perfect Game Preseason All-American honorable mention in 2018 and enjoys playing the guitar. Recruited by Dartmouth, Air Force, Columbia and UC Irvine, Kyle chose Cal Poly "because it has a great baseball program with a winning tradition in a highly competitive conference. In addition to Cal Poly's outstanding academics, the welcoming coaching staff made me feel that Cal Poly is the perfect place to be."
 
Warrecker: "Kyle was limited physically during his junior year of high school, but began to emerge during the summer months. He should develop as a power arm with above-average secondary stuff. Kyle has a high ceiling physically with a good feel for pitching already."
 
 

Kaden Sheedy, RHP, 6-0, 200
Bakersfield, CA (Stockdale High School)

Recruited as a pitcher, Sheedy also played in the infield and helped Coach Brad Showers' Stockdale High School Mustangs to a 25-5 record, a Southwest Yosemite League championship and the CIF-Central Section Division 1 title. Sheedy is a .382 career hitter with 19 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 64 RBI while on the mound has compiled a 9-1 win-loss record with one save and a 2.83 ERA entering his final season next spring. He hit .306 with 10 doubles and 26 RBI as a junior and posted a 5-1 record and 3.38 ERA. Sheedy's sophomore-year numbers include a .342 average, five doubles and 15 RBI and, on the mound, a 4-0 mark and 2.21 ERA. He has struck out 54 batters over 50 innings in two varsity seasons. Sheedy was named All-SWYL rookie of the year as a sophomore and has helped the Mustangs win back-to-back league titles. "Cal Poly has been a dream school of mine since I was really little," said Sheedy. "Everything about this school is awesome, from the coaching staff to where it is located."
 
Warrecker: "Kaden possesses a power arm and has a chance to be a frontline guy for us in the future. He continues a long line of recruits for our program from the Bakersfield area. We are looking forward to Kaden jumping into the mix for us right away as a freshman."
 
 

Drew Thorpe, RHP, 6-4, 190
St. George, Utah (Desert Hills High School)

One of two out-of-state signees, Thorpe compiled a 9-1 win-loss record and 2.36 ERA as a junior under head coach Chris Allred at Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah. He struck out 83 batters over 59 1/3 innings, issuing just 12 walks, en route to first-team All-Utah honors for the second time. At the plate, Thorpe hit .395 with five doubles, two triples, one home run and 26 RBI with a pair of steals. He is a .402 career hitter entering his senior season with eight doubles, four triples, three home runs and 32 RBI with eight stolen bases. Desert Hills was 21-8 last spring, finishing third in the Region 9 standings and capturing second place in the Utah High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs. Also recruited by Pepperdine, Utah, BYU and Cal State Fullerton, Thorpe elected to continue his education at Cal Poly "because I loved the area and the coaching staff, and I get an opportunity to receive a good education."
 
Warrecker: "Drew is a versatile athlete who came on our radar over the past two years. Drew's emergence on the mound began during his junior year at Desert Hills and he made another jump in the summer time. He has above-average fastball command coupled with a changeup and breaking ball. Drew has tremendous projection and we look for him to make another jump over the coming year."
 
 

Derek True, RHP, 6-2, 175
Carpinteria, CA (Santa Barbara High School)

True posted a 6-0 win-loss record and 1.04 ERA as a junior under head coach Steve Schuck at Santa Barbara High School. The right-hander struck out 52 batters over 53 2/3 innings and also earned a save. True earned first-team All-Channel League honors, was third in the league in strikeouts and posted the lowest ERA. Among his wins were a two-hit shutout against La Canada (one walk, seven strikeouts) and a five-hit shutout versus Ventura (zero walks, six strikeouts). True also scattered seven hits in a complete-game 8-1 win over Paso Robles (one walk, four strikeouts) in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 wild-card game. The Dons were 18-9 last spring, finishing second in the Channel League and earning a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs. Also recruited by UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, Utah and UC Irvine, True chose to be a Mustang because "I felt that they had the most to offer in my development as a player and helping me reach my greatest potential. I also felt that, with the class that we have going in, we are going to be a very strong program." 
 
Warrecker: "Derek is only scratching the surface of his ability. He has made tremendous strides over the past year in both velocity and pitchability. Derek is a strike thrower with a calm competitive demeanor and should have a swing-and-miss pitch right away. Derek will make another jump physically this year and once again be the ace of his high school staff."
 
 
Cal Poly finished 30-27 a year ago, claiming second place in the Big West Conference for the second straight year and fourth time in the last seven years (along with a Big West title in 2014). The Mustangs have qualified for regional play three times in the last 10 years and have finished fourth or higher in the Big West 15 times in its last 17 seasons. 
 
Cal Poly has posted a dozen 30-victory campaigns since 2000, including a 47-12 record during its Big West championship season in 2014 and a 32-25 mark in 2015, and has produced 16 seasons with records of .500 or better in the last 19 years.
 
The Mustangs open their 2019 season Feb. 15-17 at Oklahoma. The home schedule begins Feb. 22-24 with a three-game series against Cal inside Baggett Stadium.