The CSUMB Baseball coaching staff has finished its first ever-recruiting class by signing 6 new players to Letters of Intent. This brings the total amount of signees to 22 for the new coaching staff that will be entering their second year of leading the baseball program. In his first year at the helm, Head Coach Walt White’s squad broke the school record for wins and ignited the momentum that has led to the new brand of expectations for MB Baseball.
“This recruiting class has been the culmination of an extreme amount of work by myself and our Recruiting Coordinator Erik Wagle,” stated Walt White. “We took this amazing challenge head-on and we really could not be happier on the way this class has ended up. We have a strong conviction that these young men will lead this university to national prominence. They are of the right character and they deeply believe in what we are building here. The Fall could not come soon enough so we can get to work on our first championship run.”
Dylan Auker – RHP – Virginia Commwealth University: Auker transfers to CSUMB after declaring a medical redshirt during his junior season at VCU. Before signing with VCU, Auker pitched at San Jose City College, leading the vaunted SJCC bullpen both seasons. During his 2 seasons at SJCC, Auker made 31 appearances while pitching 46 innings and struck out 41 batters while only walking 13. He also was the winning pitcher in both of SJCC’s Regional Championship games.
Coach White on Auker: “Dylan is an exciting addition to our pitching staff. He is well known as a clutch pitcher that brings some extreme intensity to the mound. He already knows our system that the pitchers follow and should step right in and be a leader of our staff. His fiery competiveness will be a great addition to our bullpen. He is very versatile and he has pitched in huge games. He is also a phenomenal athlete on the mound.”
David Garcia – IF – Mission College/San Jose City College: Garcia comes to Monterey Bay after a hugely successful junior college career. During his freshman year at SJCC, Garcia led the Jaguars to the Super Regionals with his explosive bat and stellar defense. In his JC career, Garcia hit over .300 with 8 homeruns, 36 RBI, and 59 walks. Garcia is also an advanced defender that will improve the MB defense with his range, arm strength, and knowledge of the game. He is also a professional prospect on the watch list of many Major League Baseball clubs.
Coach White on Garcia: “David signing with us is a huge step for this baseball program. He had plenty of other options, but chose us because he believes that this is the best place for him to get better and get to the next level. He is an explosive offensive player that has a great approach. He runs well and will hit for power. On defense he is a great infielder… he was maybe the best junior college second baseman in the state last year. With all of that, his best attributes are his attitude and personality. He is a winner through and through, and he will immediately be a model for what we want in this program.”
Zach Grotz – RHP – Burlingame High School: Grotz joins the Otters after a successful high school career that established him as one of the premier pitchers in Northern California. In his junior season Grotz notched the save in Burlingame’s CIF Central Coast Section championship game. During his senior season Grotz was 7-1 with 1 save, throwing 54 innings with a 1.16 ERA, a .190 Opponents Batting Average, and notching up 52 strikeouts. The athletic righty was named All San Mateo County first team and the Pitcher of the Year in the Peninsula Athletic League.
Coach White on Grotz: “Zach was someone we recruited for this entire year. From the first time I saw him, I knew he had the ability to be great. He is an extremely good athlete and has a loose arm. He has great movement on all his pitches and he has the ability to take over a game. As he gets into our program and gets bigger and stronger, Zach will mature into an elite pitcher. He has an aggressive personality on the mound and he will be able to take on the challenge of jumping to this level.”
Jason Merjano – IF – Sierra College: The versatile, left-handed hitting Merjano was the starting shortstop for Sierra College’s two State Playoff runs while he was in junior college. Merjano was widely considered one of the best infielders in Northern California. During his sophomore season, Merjano hit .322 (9th in Big 8) with 8 doubles, 2 home runs, and 20 RBI’s in the grueling Big 8 conference. He also flashed some advanced glovework, leading the Sierra College defense. Merjano was recruited by several Division I schools.
Coach White on Merjano: “I have known Jason for a few years now, and he continues to impress me as a young man and a baseball player. As a player, he is a very versatile offensive and defensive player. He can hit anywhere in the lineup and he can do it with some power, speed, and situational hitting. On defense he can play anywhere in the infield and be a great player at that spot. As a person he is going to immediately make us better with his attitude, intensity, and the way he approaches the game. He comes from one of the best JC programs in the state and knows how to do things the right way.”
Chris Neifert – LHP – Scappoose High School: The Oregon native comes to Monterey Bay after having a stellar high school career and establishing himself as one of the best left-handed pitching prospect to come out of Oregon in years. In his junior season Neifert was the winning pitcher in Scappoose’s first-ever state championship victory. Neifert backed up his impressive junior season with a stellar senior campaign. The athletic lefty went 10-3 with a 1.16 ERA with 126 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings pitched. He was named All State first team and won the Cowapa League Cy Young award for best pitcher.
Coach White on Neifert: “Chris is a young man that caught our attention by some Northwest pro scouts late in the Fall. He is an extremely accomplished pitcher that is very excited about coming to California and being a part of what we are building here. He is a great athlete on the mound and he has swing and miss stuff. He has a loose arm with a low arm slot that creates an extreme amount of movement on all of his pitches. We feel he will be ready to compete right away. He is also a very hardworking young man that is an exceptional student.”
Jonas Noack – RHP – University of the Pacific: The Division I transfer Noack is a San Diego native that has a lot of upside to be an impact pitcher with the Otters. The tall and lanky righty hails from University City High School where he was a Western League first team selection after his senior season. In his sophomore year, he helped pitch the team to a CIF championship. While at University of the Pacific, Noack had 12 appearances over two seasons.
Coach White on Noack: “Jonas is an intriguing pitcher. He is 6’6” tall and is a good athlete for his height. He has a strong, loose arm that projects well to our level. We feel very strongly that once he gets immersed in our system he will thrive. He is pumped about the possibility of coming here and getting the opportunity to be a part of something special. We are excited about Jonas and the potential he represents.”