Cal Poly Signs Six Baseball Recruits to National Letter of Intent
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The Cal Poly baseball team has announced the signings of six recruits — all from California high schools — to the National Letter of Intent.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Mustang baseball coach Larry Lee and director of athletics Don Oberhelman. The signing period opened Wednesday and runs through August 1.
The group includes three pitchers, one of whom might also play in the outfield, along with a catcher, a utility player and another outfielder.
“The 2021 recruiting class focuses on filling positions that will be vacated due to graduation,” said Lee, who has guided Cal Poly to 546 victories and three NCAA Division I regionals in 18 seasons. “We are hoping a few of these players will compete for starting positions as freshmen.”
The six signees, listed alphabetically:
Steven Brooks, RHP, 6-6, 185, R/R, Elk Grove, Calif. (Cosumnes Oaks High School)
As a sophomore in 2019 under head coach Mark Gwerder at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove, Calif., Brooks compiled no decisions and a 5.30 ERA in nine appearances on the mound, striking out 23 batters over 37 innings. He also hit .254 with a double and nine RBIs en route to second-team All-Delta League honors. Cosumnes Oaks played just three games in 2020 before the season was shut down and Brooks hit .222 with one RBI and was 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA on the mound, notching eight strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. Cosumnes Oaks was 7-21 in 2019 and 1-0-2 in 2020. Brooks enters his final season with a 4.53 career ERA and 31 strikeouts over 46 1/3 innings. “I chose Cal Poly because I felt like I had a connection with the school and the coaches,” said Brooks. “The education, campus and baseball facilities are among the best on the west coast and I felt like Cal Poly was a great spot for me to further my academic and athletic careers.”
Cal Poly assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Teddy Warrecker: “Steven has made a significant jump in the past two years and shows big upside on the mound. He competes in the strike zone with a three-pitch mix. Coupled with a big pitcher’s frame and continued development, Steven has a bright future in our program.”
Cameron Butler, UTIL, 6-0, 170, R/R, Riverbank, Calif. (Big Valley Christian High School)
Under his father and head coach Mark Butler, at Modesto Christian, Cam Butler hit .496 in 30 games as a freshman and .427 in 26 games as a sophomore, collecting 96 hits in the two seasons with 25 doubles, six triples, three home runs and 59 RBIs. He also stole 71 of 75 bases, including a perfect 25 of 25 as a sophomore and 46 steals as a freshman. Butler also was a pitcher for the Crusaders, posting a 4-1 mark and 0.43 ERA as a freshman in 2018 and a 3-2 record and 2.31 ERA with three saves as a sophomore in 2019. He struck out 96 batters over 66 innings in the two seasons combined. Modesto Christian was 18-12 in 2018, reaching the quarterfinals of the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs, and 17-9 with no playoff berth in 2019. Butler twice earned first-team All-Trans Valley League honors, was a finalist for league MVP honors in 2019, was named his team’s defensive player of the year as a sophomore and earned all-city and all-county honors as well. He also played junior varsity football at Modesto Christian. Butler transferred to Big Valley Christian, also in Modesto, but did not play in any games in 2020 due to the 30-day transfer rule. He was selected to play in the 2020 Area Code Games in Georgia last summer and played for Trotsky National 2021, a travel league team, this fall. Butler also visited UCLA, Stanford and Cal State Fullerton before choosing Cal Poly because “I love the school and the campus, and it’s a great fit for me as a baseball player and as a student.”
Warrecker: “Cam plays the game with incredible energy and effort. He played for both the Underclass and Upperclass Area Code teams and has continued to make progress in all aspects of his game. Cam has versatility to play multiple positions and has the physical skill set to compete right away.”
Martin Haswell, RHP, 6-0, 165, R/R, Auburn, Calif. (Placer High School)
Under head coach Dave Thompson at Placer High School in Auburn, Calif., Haswell hit .345 during his sophomore season in 2019 with 29 hits, including four doubles and eight multiple-hit games, and 18 RBIs. On the mound, he was 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA, striking out 37 batters over 32 1/3 innings in 10 appearances. Haswell, who earned second-team All-Foothill Valley League honors, tossed six scoreless innings for the win against Crater and five shutout frames versus Ponderosa. Twice he struck out seven in a game. Haswell made two appearances on the mound in both 2018 and 2020 and was 3-for-10 at the plate as a junior before the season was cut short due to the pandemic. His career numbers heading into his final prep season include a .356 batting average with six doubles and one home run along with a 5-1 win-loss record, 1.59 ERA and 51 strikeouts over 43 2/3 innings. He was named Placer High School Athlete of the Year as a sophomore and junior and selected to the 2020 Northern California MLB Scout League. Haswell also was a quarterback on the Hillmen football team. As a junior in 2019, he completed 51 of 97 passes for 992 yards and six touchdowns with six interceptions, leading Placer to a 10-3 mark, Foothill Valley League title and a runner-up finish in the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs. Haswell, who enjoys fishing and camping, earned second-team All-Foothill Valley League honors in football. Also recruited by Cal, Sacramento State, Fresno State, Kansas and Pepperdine, Haswell chose to come to Cal Poly because it is “a great academic school in a great location with a top-tier baseball program and an outstanding coaching staff.”
Warrecker: “Martin has made tremendous strides over the past year and shows attributes of a great competitor. He has continued to trend upward with all of his pitches and projection on the mound. Martin has worked incredibly hard to develop his game and has put himself in a place to contribute immediately.”
Tanner Sagouspe, OF, 6-0, 190, S/R, Madera, Calif. (San Joaquin Memorial High School)
Currently a senior at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, Sagouspe has lettered in both football and baseball. As a sophomore in 2019, Sagouspe earned first-team All-County/Metro Athletic Conference honors as he led the Panthers to a 27-5 record under head coach J.D. Salles, including a first-place finish in the County/Metro Athletic Conference for the second year in a row and their second straight CIF-Central Section Division 2 championship with a walkoff nine-inning 3-2 win over Sanger. Sagouspe, who earned the win in relief in that game, also pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and two walks in a 13-1 win over Madera earlier in the year. At the plate, Sagouspe hit .427 with a .680 slugging percentage and 44 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and three home runs. He drove in 38 runs and stole eight bases. Sagouspe earned MVP honors in the 50th annual Fresno Easter Classic after going 6-for-13 with a double, two home runs and seven RBIs. Postseason honors include first-team all-section and all-league and second-team all-state (medium schools). Twice he was nominated for NorCal player of the week honors and Sagouspe was runner-up for CIF-Central Section underclassman of the year honors. He also earned his team’s Silver Slugger Award. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Sagouspe hit a double and a triple and pitched three scoreless innings for the win against Clovis. His combined statistics for the freshman and sophomore seasons include a .372 average, 82 hits (23 doubles, three triples, five home runs) and 62 RBIs with 15 steals. As a pitcher, 10-0 win-loss record, 1.31 ERA and one save with 32 strikeouts over 34 innings. A second-team All-County/Metro selection as a freshman, Sagouspe was a running back and middle linebacker on the Panthers’ junior varsity football team. He has been named San Joaquin Memorial scholar-athlete three times, served as ASB President and junior class president and has landed on the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years. A member of the National Honors Society and lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation, Sagouspe is an AP Scholar as well. Also recruited by UC Santa Barbara, Saint Mary’s, Fresno State, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, Sagouspe chose Cal Poly because “it was the right fit for me in all aspects of a college experience that I was looking for — great coaching staff and baseball program, beautiful campus, stellar academics and you can’t beat the West Coast.”
Warrecker: “Tanner has performed at a very high level in the Central Valley over the past few years. He has a chance to come in and compete for significant playing time right away. Tanner has a well-rounded game that translates well to Baggett Stadium.”
Ryan Stafford, C, 5-9, 165, R/R, Folsom, Calif. (Folsom High School)
Under head coach Aaron Agnew at Folsom High School, Stafford is a career .313 hitter, including a .333 mark as a sophomore in 2019 with 32 hits in 31 games. Stafford produced four doubles and a triple, knocking in 17 runs and stealing 15 bases. The Bulldogs were 25-6 in 2019, winning the Sierra Foothill League title and reaching the quarterfinal round of the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. Stafford earned first-team All-Sierra Foothill League and second-team All-Metro (Sacramento) honors in 2019. He also hit .195 in 25 games as a freshman with three doubles and nine RBIs and was 6-for-10 with a double and triple in three games as a junior and the Bulldogs were off to a 3-0 start prior to the suspension of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Stafford was selected for the Area Code Games in both 2019 and 2020. Also recruited by Xavier, Stafford chose to be a Mustang because “Cal Poly was a perfect fit for me. I love the area, with the beach and plenty of outdoor activities nearby. The entire town was appealing, especially downtown, which had many of the best food places I’ve ever visited. The baseball program is top tier and has the best facilities around. Coaches Lee and Warrecker are also great coaches that I think will be invaluable in developing my abilities to get to the next level. Lastly, the education is great, which will set me up for a successful life if baseball doesn’t work out.”
Warrecker: “Early in the recruiting process, Ryan stood out for us behind the plate. He can receive, block and throw at a high level. Ryan has played for both the Underclass and Upperclass Area Code teams and displays both leadership and high baseball intelligence. He has continued to swing the bat very well and we expect him to be a big contributor to our program.”
Jakob Wright, LHP/OF, 6-0, 160, L/L, Paso Robles, Calif. (Paso Robles High School)
Wright hit .421 in six games under head coach Jonathan Thornhill at Paso Robles High School before his junior season was cut short due to the pandemic in 2020 and compiled a .406 average in 26 games as a sophomore in 2019 with five doubles, two triples and a home run. He drove in 17 runs and stole 15 of 15 bases on his way to second-team All-Mountain League honors. In his brief junior campaign, Wright had three doubles, two home runs and four RBIs with six steals in seven attempts. The Bearcats were 15-15 in 2019, qualifying for the CIF-Central Section Division 1 playoffs. On the mound in three varsity seasons so far, Wright has compiled a 5-3 win-loss record with 2.89 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 46 innings, averaging 14.1 strikeouts per seven-inning contest. He chose to attend Cal Poly because “it is close to home with a great education” after visiting San Diego, Long Beach State, San Jose State and Washington.
Warrecker: “Jakob is an exceptional athlete with the potential to be a two-way player for us. He has a quality left-handed arm with a plus breaking ball. Jakob plays a high-level center field and has made a big impact offensively as well. We expect Jakob to compete on both sides of the ball for us.”
Cal Poly, 28-28 overall in 2019, earned its third straight and sixth second-place Big West finish since joining the conference in 1997, posting a 17-7 mark. The Mustangs rallied from a 2-9 start and entered the final game of the 2019 season with a shot at a share of the Big West title and the automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA regionals.
Prior to the suspension and cancellation of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Cal Poly won five of 16 games, including an upset of then-No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Vanderbilt at the MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Mustangs also defeated No. 5 Michigan and Baylor at home.
Cal Poly has posted 13 winning seasons since 2000, won 16 of 30 home games in 2019 and claimed seven weekend series, including sweeps over Columbia, CSUN, Long Beach State and UC Davis, along with a 2-2 split versus Saint Mary’s. The Mustangs have finished in the upper half of the conference standings 15 times in Lee’s 18 seasons at the helm (no conference play occurred in 2020).
Cal Poly averaged 1,511 fans for 30 home games in 2019, drawing 1,000 or more folks for every game inside Baggett Stadium for the first time in program history.
- This report was contributed by Eric Burdick, Cal Poly Associate Director of Athletics for Communications
Cal Poly Softball Inks Five to National Letters of Intent
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Canvasing all areas of Bob Janssen Field, 17th-year Cal Poly softball head coach Jenny Condon announced the program’s five National Letter of Intent signees for 2020 on Thursday afternoon.
Set to join Cal Poly for the 2022 season are shortstop Caroline Allman (Castro Valley, Calif. / Castro Valley HS), catcher Julia Barnett (Brentwood, Calif. / Heritage HS), outfielder Jade Contapay (Salinas, Calif. / North Salinas HS), righthander Kate Judy (Seattle, Wash. / Bishop Blanchet HS) and third baseman Malia Mah (San Martin, Calif. / Gilroy HS).
“We feel the class of 2022 will help us continue building on our recent success and contribute in our hunt for another Big West Conference championship,” Condon said.
Caroline Allman (SS)
Allman batted a team-leading .410 (34-for-83) as a sophomore in 2019 at Castro Valley HS and .338 as a freshman in 2018 (all five signees saw their 2020 junior seasons cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic). She also topped the program with 22 runs and added 10 RBI in 2019 to earn CIF All-North Coast Section honorable mention recognition and All-Western Alameda County Conference first team praise.
Intending to major in environmental engineering, Allman is the younger sister of Cal Poly junior lefthander Krystyna Allman.
“The family bloodline continues,” Condon said. “Caroline’s parents are Mustangs, as well, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Caroline to the family. Caroline adds depth to our middle infield.”
Julia Barnett (C) - Soon-to-be four-year letterwinner Barnett batted .435 (40-for-92) with 25 RBI as a sophomore in 2019 to earn All-Bay Valley League first team recognition. She also helped Heritage HS to a 25-3 overall mark in 2019, a second successive Bay Valley League title with a 10-0 record and a runner-up finish in the CIF North Coast Section tournament.
“Julia will help us on both sides of the ball,” said Condon of Barnett, who intends to major in biological science. “She’ll be a great addition behind the plate and bring offensive power and consistency to our lineup.”
Jade Contapay (OF) - As a sophomore during the 2019 season, Contapay batted .391 (25-for-64) with 20 runs and eight RBI. Also a letterwinner in basketball where she’s a program captain for North Salinas HS, Contapay intends to major in kinesiology.
“We’re excited to add Jade to our outfield,” Condon said. “She has a lot of speed that will help on the basepaths and to run down balls in the outfield.”
Kate Judy (RHP) - An upcoming four-year letterwinner at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet HS, Judy has compiled a career 1.91 ERA for her 2018 freshman and 2019 sophomore seasons with 275 combined strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. At the plate, she’s a career .481 hitter after batting .540 with 31 RBI and 28 runs in 2019.
A two-time All-Seattle Metro League first team honoree, Judy intends to major in psychology.
“Kate has been playing on one of the top travel ball teams in Orange County for the last couple years,” Condon said. “She’ll come in and compete for a spot in the starting rotation. She’s also very competitive and will push her teammates to get better every day.”
Malia Mah (3B)
A .339 (60-for-177) career hitter at Gilroy HS, Mah has also produced 32 RBI and scored 40 times in 57 games. Batting .352 (31-for-88) as a freshman in 2018, she helped Gilroy HS to a CIF Central Coast Section championship. A two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic League second team honoree, Mah hit .354 (28-for-79) as a sophomore in 2019.
Also a letterwinner in field hockey, Mah intends to major in kinesiology.
“Malia looks to step in on the left side of our infield,” Condon said. “She’s got great hands, a quick release and a strong arm. We’re excited to finally have Malia in a Mustang uniform. She’ll help us on both sides of the ball.”
Cal Poly Men’s Basketball Signs Two to National Letters of Intent
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Adding height and backcourt depth to the Cal Poly men’s basketball team, second-year head coach John Smith announced the program’s 2020 National Letter of Intent signing class on Thursday afternoon.
Set to join Cal Poly ahead of the 2021-22 season are 6-11 center Matur Dhal (Tempe, Ariz. / PHHoenix Prep) and 6-2 combo guard Daniel Esparza (Whittier, Calif. / Veritas Prep).
Matur Dhal (F) - As a junior during the 2019-20 season at PHHoenix Prep (stylized with two capital Hs), Dhal averaged 13.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Two seasons ago during his sophomore season at Paradise Honors HS (Surprise, Ariz.), Dhal posted 11.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per outing to earn program Offensive Player of the Year honors.
A native of South Sudan, Dhal intends to major in psychology.
“We’re very excited to add a versatile big who can provide a spark with his athleticism and his length,” Smith said. “Matur is probably one of the fastest post men in the country end-to-end for 94 feet and his motor doesn’t stop. For us to continue to play an up-tempo style, we need mobile post players and Matur is just that. He has a huge upside and his development under coach John Ortega’s program has been tremendous. We feel he will be a key contributor right away.”
Daniel Esparza (CG) - A four-year letterwinner at Sonora HS (La Habra, Calif.), Esparza broke a 19-year-old program single-game scoring record with 45 points during a 77-62 win against Troy HS of Fullerton (Jan. 10, 2020). He helped Sonora HS to a 24-6 overall record last season and a Freeway League title with a 10-0 mark.
Esparza, who intends to major in business administration, moved on to Veritas Prep for the 2020-21 season and has led the program in assists nine times through the opening 20 games. He scored a season high 24 points during a 95-78 victory against Eduprize (Nov. 8).
“(Daniel Esparza) is one of the toughest competitors that we’ve seen in his class,” Smith said. “We’re fortunate to add him to the Mustang family as he provides instant depth and versatility at the guard spot. He’s an unselfish, high-character, driven student-athlete that fits the model Cal Poly covets. His ability to stretch the floor with his outside touch and high IQ makes for a phenomenal combo guard that can move from the point position to either wing spot at any time. I’m excited for our future with him as a Mustang.”
As a program, Cal Poly is scheduled to open the 2020-21 season at the Nov. 25, 27-28 U.S. Bank Pilot Invitational, hosted by Portland. Cal Poly’s portion of the competition begins on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. against Portland.