SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball program has signed seven high school seniors to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period for the 2017-18 academic year, head coach Reggie Christiansen announced Thursday.
"Recruiting and development are the two reasons we are one of five Division I programs on the West Coast to have won 30 plus games each of the past five years," Christiansen said. "We are excited for this group to arrive on campus next fall and believe they will help us continue the tradition that is being built on our campus. Pitching and defense win championships and I believe this class is built to do just that."
The group contains four pitchers and three position players. Three of the pitchers project to be starters and one will be a reliever, while the position players include two infielders and a catcher. Five of the seven signees are Californians who will remain in the state to play for a Sacramento State team that has the seventh most wins among 24 Div. I programs in California over the last five seasons.
"We have signed three potential weekend starting pitchers in Alex Blaszyk, Chris Daniels and Scott Randall and a late game reliever in Stone Churby," Christiansen said. "On the position player side we were able to bring in a middle of the order bat in Steven Moretto, an outstanding receiver in Ryan Gross, and a true baseball player in Dylan McPhillips. At the end of the day all seven of these kids are very talented and hungry to get better. Each one of them know that this is just the beginning and it is important now that they finish off their high school careers by helping their programs win a championship this spring."
Alex Blaszyk - RHP - 6-5 - 200 - Poway, Calif./Poway HS
Plays for coach Bob Parry at Poway HS...Helped team win the Palomar League and the CIF Div. I championship game as a sophomore...Named All-Palomar League second team going 7-2 with a 2.15 ERA as a sophomore...Had 31 strikeouts and held opponents to a .236 batting average in 71.2 innings pitched in the 2014-15 season...Has a 2.59 ERA over 113.1 innings pitched in his high school career...Earned the San Diego Union-Tribune Academic Award...Also played high school football and basketball
Coach Christiansen: "Alex is a tremendous athlete and has a very high ceiling. He pitches for one of the best high school programs in San Diego (Poway HS). When I saw Alex pitch at the end of July I was shocked that he was still available. He is 85-88 and has good feel for a breaking ball. On his visit our staff and players were impressed with how much humility he exuded. I am looking forward to coaching him the next three or four years."
Alex on why he chose Sacramento State: "I felt at home on my official visit; the players were welcoming and made me feel like I was a part of the team. I also believe that Coach Christiansen and Coach Angier have a plan to help me develop. Sacramento State is a great fit for me and I cannot wait to help contribute to the team."
Chris Daniels – LHP – 6-0 – 190 – Rescue, Calif./Granite Bay HS
Plays for coach Pat Esposito at Granite Bay HS...Transferred from Ponderosa HS...Selected to the 2016 Under Armour All-America game and twice participated in the Area Code Games (2015 & 2016)...Had a 3.17 ERA over 17.2 innings pitched as a junior...Struck out 16 and had a .227 opposing batting average.
Coach Christiansen: "Chris has Friday night stuff with an electric fastball and a plus breaking ball. I had the opportunity to see Chris pitch a lot and when we had an opportunity to recruit him late in the summer it was a no brainer. As long as Chris stays committed to getting stronger and putting in the effort needed to pitch at this level he will have a great career on our campus."
Chris on why he chose Sacramento State: "I chose Sacramento State because I love the coaching staff and it's close to home. I am looking forward to playing with guys that I have played with and against from the Sacramento area."
Scott Randall - RHP - 6-0 - 165 - Rocklin, Calif./Del Oro HS
Plays for coach Jeff Dietrich at Del Oro HS in Loomis...Named team MVP and an All-Sierra Foothill League first team selection...Went 4-4 with a 1.59 ERA as a junior...Totaled 42 strikeouts and just 14 walks over 52.2 innings pitched...Held opponents to a .197 batting average and allowed just 12 earned runs.
Coach Christiansen: "Scott is an 85-87 mph guy that throws three pitches for strikes. We value guys that throw a lot of strikes. As Scott gets stronger his velocity will jump and I believe he will play a big part in our success in the years to come."
Scott on why he chose Sacramento State: "I really liked the atmosphere of the campus and I am looking forward to playing in front of my family and friends."
Stone Churby – RHP – 6-3 – 165 – Brentwood, Calif./Granada HS
Plays for coach Corrigan Willis at Granada HS...Posted a 2.14 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched as a junior...Totaled 19 strikeouts and held the opposition to a .230 batting average...Played for the Bercovich Baseball Club in the summer of 2016.
Coach Christiansen: "Stone is 84-87 with a very good slider. As he gets stronger I can see him being a guy that gets key outs late in games with the ability to finish hitters with his slider."
Stone on why he chose Sacramento State: "I chose Sacramento State because of the baseball program, good academic environment, and coaches who understand the game. I also am excited to be close to home which will allow family and friends to watch us play."
Ryan Gross – C - 6-0 – 180 – Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep HS
Plays for coach Brian Munhall at Gonzaga Prep...Named All-Greater Spokane League 4A First Team as a junior and second team as a sophomore...Helped his team win consecutive district championships...Ranked fourth in the league with 18 RBIs while hitting .386 as a sophomore and hit .380 as a junior.
Coach Christiansen: "Ryan can flat out catch. I saw him this summer catch one of the premier 2018 arms on the west coast and he made it look easy. Ryan is tough, ultra-competitive and was recently named MVP of the league as a quarterback in football."
Ryan on why he chose Sacramento State: "I felt comfortable the moment I stepped on campus. I loved the coaches and realized playing baseball year round in the California weather is something I could get used to."
Steven Moretto - INF - 6-2 - 215 - Coquitlam, BC, Canada/Notre Dame Regional Secondary
Plays for coach Brooks McNiven at Notre Dame Regional Secondary...Selected to the Canadian Junior National Team as a junior after being named to Team British Columbia as a sophomore... Played club baseball for five seasons with the North Shore Twins...Was the Defensive MVP the final four championships as a sophomore...Helped his team win the British Columbia Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) regular season and playoff championships with a 34-10 record...Hit .272 with 29 RBIs in the regular season and .471 with 5 RBIs in six playoff games as a sophomore in 2015...Played in the 2012 Little League World Series at age 13.
Coach Christiansen: "I had a chance to watch Steven play back-to-back years in the Canadian Cup. Steven reminds me of Scott Rolen; he's a great defender and he can really hit. Like Ryan Gross, Steven is also a high school quarterback and is leading his team towards a BC championship on the football field. Steven makes those around him better and plays the game with an energy that is infectious."
Steven on why he chose Sacramento State: "I really liked the relationships between the coaches and the players. I loved the focus when I watched the strength and conditioning workout on my official visit. I also value the academics and they have shown that is an important part of their program. I also believe in the philosophy of everything being about the team and winning games."
Dylan McPhillips – SS – 5-7 – 165 – Gilroy, Calif./Monte Vista Christian HS
Plays shortstop for coaches Donald Keathley and Case Rigby at Monte Vista Christian HS...Named all-Monterey Bay League second team, team MVP, and Gold Glove award winner as a junior when he hit .300 with 25 hits including one home run and six doubles...Was all-league honorable mention and earned a Gold Glove in 2015 and was team MVP in 2014
Coach Christiansen: "Dylan is a Dustin Pedroia type of player. He plays hard, swings hard, plays with an edge and is a winner. Our players are going to love having him on our team."
Dylan on why he chose Sacramento State: "I loved the campus and the Criminal Justice program is one of the best on the west coast. I am also excited to be a part of a program that wins a lot of games and look forward to helping to continue the winning ways."