June 1, 2014

What are the odds of three players from one club team committing to the same NCAA D1 University to study and play baseball as freshmen?

Better yet, what are the odds of them playing their first year of college ball with three other members from that same club team?

Whatever the odds, it’s safe to say it will look like old home week for Blue Wave Baseball when UC Irvine’s baseball team takes the field in 2015 with six former Wavers on the roster.

That will come about as the result of three members of Blue Wave’s 18U-SELECT team having signed National Letters of Intent last month to become Anteaters next September.

Shaun Vetrovec, Jake Hazard, and Cameron Bishop are three of the seven UCI early commits announced in November by the university and they presently play on Coach Rich Pohle’s Blue Wave team.

“I am extremely proud of my players, they have all worked hard to get to this level,”
Coach Pohle said. “Each of them have the talent and potential to be top collegiate players and play at the professional level someday.”

In announcing their early commits, UCI stated the following on each of the Blue Wave players they recruited:

Cameron Bishop is a 6-4 southpaw from Brea Olinda High School. Bishop is seen to have an extremely high ceiling both as a pitcher and hitter and the UCI coaching staff sees him as an immediate weekend starter on the mound, as well as a middle-of-the-order bat.

"Cameron has demonstrated power, and throws strikes with a power arm,"
said Gillespie. "He is a great student committed to academic excellence and his future in baseball is unlimited."

Shaun Vetrovec is a local product from Newport Harbor High School. The 6-2 right-hander shows command of three pitches, including a power fast ball, an advanced curve ball and "figures prominently into a weekend starting role as a freshman," said Gillespie.  "Additionally, he has been an outstanding hitter at Newport Harbor High, and conceivably will fit into the offensive lineup at UCI, as well.  Without a doubt, he has an exciting professional future, and his great academic success has him leaning to the field of Engineering."

Outfielder Jake Hazard is another Orange County standout. Hailing from Tustin, the 6-2 talent preps at Beckman High School and is a physical player with size, strength, and runs well above average.

"Jake is an aggressive hitter with power potential," said Gillespie. "His ability to run profiles him to be able to run balls down in spacious centerfield in Cicerone Field."

The three new recruits will be joining fellow former Blue Wavers Jono Herkins (OF, Soph), Sean Sparling (RHP, Freshman), and Jordan Scheftz (RHP, Freshman) as well as senior RHP Mitch Merten, who will graduate this summer.

With six former Blue Wavers on the 2015 roster, some might say Rich Pohle’s squad is looking like the “UCI feeder team.”

“We have a great coach and group of kids that love to play baseball and compete at high levels,” said Blue Wave GM Steve Kruse. “I think their results and achievements say it all.”

Kruse also noted that Pohle’s  2013 team includes two other players that have signed early commitments to D1 schools, Clay Chatham (RHP, Jserra) to Dartmouth and Louis Raymond (RHP, Dana Hills) to the University of San Francisco.