Buckley is entering his fifth season as Head Coach of the Dirtbags.
Nov. 21, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Head coach Troy Buckley announced the signing of 12 student-athletes today to join the Long Beach State Dirtbags in the fall of 2014. The recruiting class includes the signing of 10 high school players to a National Letter of Intent and two college transfers.
"We are very excited to announce our 2014 recruiting class that satisfies our needs for the upcoming year. This class is very athletic and all display a competitive fire that embodies one of the most important qualities of this program," commented Buckley. "Jesse Zepeda and Shawn Gilbert did a very good job identifying, scouting and recruiting this class and we are looking forward to an immediate impact from this class next year."
The 10 high school recruits who made their respective commitments to the Dirtbags are David Banuelos, Brock Lundquist, Chris Mathewson, Darren McCaughan, Chris McCready, Garrett Nelson, Joseph Sanchez, Brian Schales, Sean Trimble and Jack Wheeless. Trey Ferketic signed an NLI to transfer from Saddleback College while Josh Advocate signed a Financial Aid Agreement to transfer from Cochise JC in Arizona.
Banuelos is a catcher out of Damien High School in La Verne, Calif. As a junior, he earned All-Sierra League honors. Last spring, he earned the opportunity to play for the Angels Elite Scout Ball team and was selected to the Professional Baseball Scouts of Southern California's All-Star game.
Buckley commented on Banuelos, "David plays at Damien HS where he has had varsity experience since his sophomore year. He is a high quality defensive catcher with an excellent arm and has made productive gains offensively. He displays quality leadership skills and excited to have him join our program."
Lundquist will make his way to the Beach from Fountain Valley High School where he has already established himself as one of the best outfielders in Orange County. Last year, he hit .397 with 28 RBIs and led his team to a league title with All-County, All-Area and All-Section accolades pouring in after the season. His monster season led to an invitation to play in the Profession Baseball Scouts of Southern California All-Star game among numerous other awards. He was also a MaxPreps Underclassmen All-American and was one of six high school players to participate in the Junior Select Home Run Derby at Citi Field during the MLB's All-Star week.
Buckley said, "Brock is a strong left handed hitter that displays `hitterish' qualities. He is arguably one of the top hitters in Orange County and plays outfield on the defensive side of the ball in the quality Sunset League."
Mathewson has proven to be a strong talent on the mound and at the plate at Kaiser High School in Fontana, Calif. He already has two First Team All-League selections as well as a Sunkist League MVP and All-CIF First Tam selection with his senior season to go. Last year, he broke school record with a 0.95 ERA and 114 strikeouts on the mound while hitting .455 and breaking the hits record at the plate.
"Chris is a highly successful right handed pitcher and left handed hitter at Kaiser. He has two major weapons, one of which is a highly advanced breaking ball," Buckley commented. "He has outstanding feel and command of his breaking ball which has allowed him to amass over 100 strikeouts last year in his high school season. Chris enjoys competing and will make an immediate impact to our program on his arrival."
McCaughan is another two-way player out of Los Alamitos High School. He started at third base and on the mound last year, helping Los Alamitos to the CIF semifinals. Over the summer, McCaughan was selected to participate in the Elite Baseball Series Futures Game and the Perfect Game West Coast Showcase. Buckley had this to say about McCaughan, "Darren comes from a solid high school program and is a monster competitor who attacks the strike zone with 3 pitches. Adding to his abilities on the mound, he can play multiple positions on the field. He is a very good baseball player who happens to thrive on the mound."
McCready is a decorated outfielder out of Valencia High School. He was an All-Foothill League First Team and All-Santa Clarita Valley Second Team selection last year after hitting .353 with a pair of home runs. He earned an invitation to the Area Code Tryouts and played in the Southwest Futures All-Star game last summer.
"Chris is an athletic, projectable left-handed hitting outfielder. He has an above average arm and fits well into our future outfield," Buckley stated. "Chris has a solid understanding of the short game and we look forward to his projection at the plate. He comes from a solid high school program that will aid in the jump to our program."
Nelson is a first baseman and outfielder out of Clayton Valley High School in Concord, Calif. Last season, he hit .388 and drove in 18 runs. He also swiped 11 bases and went on to score 22 runs. He is a two-time All-League selection.
"Garrett is a very versatile left handed hitting 1B and OF. He displays solid actions around the bag and is a solid defender," Buckley commented. "Garrett reminds me of John Bowker at the plate with his future projection of strength similar to when John was recruited to our program in 2001. He plays with a ton of energy which also adds to the excitement of him joining our program."
Schales will become a Dirtbag after his senior season at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif. A four-year varsity player, Schales is already a decorated infielder. He earned First Team All-League honors as a sophomore and junior for his high school team. Schales was also invited to the US National Team Development Program as well as the Professional Baseball Scouts of Southern California's All-Star Game.
Buckley commented on Schales, "Brian profiles out to be a middle order bat with a very repeatable swing with solid bat speed. He also has a solid glove and arm tool on the defensive side of the ball as an infielder. Brian has exciting projection of strength and he has been exposed to solid competition both during high school and in summer/fall which will aid in his jump to our program."
Sanchez makes his way to the Beach out of Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif. At Orange Lutheran, Sanchez was a versatile outfielder in a very competitive Trinity League. He also played in the Elite Baseball Series Futures Game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base.
"Joey is an athletic, rangy outfielder who displays an above average arm with an ability to cover a lot of ground in the outfield," Buckley said. "His style fits Blair Field very well and he has had a very good summer on the offensive side of the ball. Joey comes from a solid high school program that will aid in the jump to our program"
Trimble is a right handed pitcher from Temescal Canyon High School in Elsinore Valley, Calif. He went 6-2 on the mound with a 2.07 ERA to earn First Team All-League honors. He was invited to the Area Code Tryouts and played for the Orioles Scout Team. Buckley described, "Sean has a really good feel to pitch and has the chance to have very productive pitchability. He is very mature and displays a repeatable delivery that will pay dividends in executing pitches."
Wheeless is a left handed pitcher out of Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif. He was an All-State Second Team selection on the mound as a junior and played in the North-South All Star Game, earning the distinction of the North's Most Outstanding Player. He has totaled a 17-3 record as a varsity starter on the mound with three no-hitters, including back-to-back no-hitters last season.
"Jack is a highly competitive and successful left handed pitcher," Buckley said. "He has won at every level he has pitched and his pitchability, willingness to attack the strike zone and competitiveness makes him an exciting recruit for our program. Jack also comes from a highly successful high school program that will aid his jump to our program."
Ferketic and Advocate will also join the Dirtbags for the 2014-15 school year as transfers. Ferketic currently pitches at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. Last year Ferketic had an effective season out of the bullpen. He threw 18.1 innings of relief and allowed just one earned run. Advocate transfers from Cochise Junior College after spending a season at Arizona Christian where he saw limited time as a freshman in 2013. He posted a 1-0 record with a 3.45 ERA in five appearances, including two starts.
Buckley commented on Advocate, "Josh is a very athletic right handed pitcher. He displays two plus pitches, a plus fastball and a tight, depth curveball. His commitment to pitching full time this year will be a real positive for his development along with his ability to make an immediate impact to our program."
He continued about Ferketic, "Trey is an athletic right handed pitcher who had a solid freshman year at Saddleback JC. He pounds the strike zone with a quality sinking and has a quick arm. He also displays a solid change up and a strike pitch breaking ball, giving him a solid opportunity to be a future starter."
Long Beach State concludes its fall season with a game against USC on Saturday and will begin the 2014 season on Feb. 14 at home against Vanderbilt.
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