OCC baseball sends 16 players to next level

OCC baseball sends 16 players to next level

COSTA MESA -- Sixteen sophomores from the 2017 Orange Coast College baseball team ... ALL 16 players from the 2017 OCC baseball team ... will continue their athletic careers at either the four-year or professional level, according to head coach John Altobelli.

"It was really a special group of guys and to see that all 16 of our sophomores either earned scholarships or will be playing at the professional level, says a lot about the type of players they were and the opportunity our school provides for them," Altobelli said. "I really wish we could have gotten to that final dance (the State Final Four), but this group deserves every accolade and opportunity and I wish them all the best down the road."

In alphabetical order, here is a glimpse at each former Pirate and where they will be in 2018 ... 

John Balliet, Point Loma Nazarene -- Balliet played in 43 of 48 games for the Pirates and batted .248 with 29 hits, 20 runs, six doubles, one HR and 15 RBI and was a defensive standout in right field.

Andrew Eppenbach, Oklahoma Baptist -- Eppenbach pitched in 10 games for the Pirates and went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA, allowing nine runs with 11 strikeouts over 16 innings.

Jake Gozzo, Oklahoma Baptist -- Gozzo played in 25 games for the Pirates and batted .235 with 16 hits, 11 runs, two home runs and 12 RBI with a solid .446 on-base percentage.

Daniel Hawkins, Sonoma State -- Hawkins was a catcher/designated hitter for Coast in 2017 and batted .258 with 17 hits, 14 runs, two home runs and 12 RBI in 27 games played.

Luke Hussung, Chico State -- Hussung made the most of his opportunity late in the season for Coast and batted .258 with 24 hits, 18 runs, three home runs and 19 RBI while stealing 11-of-12 bases in 2017. He was a second-team, All-Orange Empire Conference selection.

Blair Lewis, Rice University -- A fellow second-team, All-OEC choice, Lewis heads to the state of Texas after leading the Pirates with 22 appearances on the mound, notching a 4-2 record with four saves and a 2.25 ERA in 56 innings of work. 

Travis Moniot, University of Arizona -- Moniot was the conference's Co-MVP after batting .353 with 54 hits, 49 runs, 12 doubles, seven home runs and 34 RBI with a team-best 17 stolen bases. His 50 walks in 2017 were the most in one season in school history and his .524 on-base percentage was among the tops in the state.

Austin Moore, University of Utah -- One of the hardest throwing pitchers on the Pirates, Moore appeared in 11 games and went 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA, allowing six earned runs over 20 innings with 13 strikeouts.

J.T. Navarro, Chico State -- After a slow start, Navarro turned things up during conference play and earned first-team honors for his efforts. He finished with a .304 batting average, 52 hits, 32 runs and 27 RBI while striking out only nine times in 171 at-bats.

Nolan Powers, UC San Diego -- A solid outfielder for the Pirates, Powers batted .313 with 42 hits, 31 runs, two HR and 15 RBI, earning second-team, All-OEC honors along the way.

Ryan Randel, University of Houston -- The 6'7" righty has the tools for greatness and in 18 appearances (eight starts), Randel went 7-4 with four saves, one complete game and a 3.46 ERA. He allowed 21 earned runs over 54 2/3 innings with 38 strikeouts.

Kyle Robeniol, University of Utah -- The workhorse of the Pirate pitching staff, Robenion went 8-1 with a complete game and a 2.36 ERA, striking out 90 batters in 91 2/3 innings. His 15 starts were tops on the team and he was a first-team, All-OEC selection.

Jake Scott, Houston Baptist -- Scott was a steady outfielder for the Pirates, who battled injuries throughout the season. He batted .297 with 11 hits, two home runs and nine RBI in 15 games.

Robert Teel, Washington State -- A first-team, All-OEC selection, Teel batted .388 with 45 hits and 23 RBI in 37 games played for the Pirates. His 10 doubles were third-most on the team and only struck out 18 times in 116 at-bats.

Eric Wagaman, New York Yankees -- Selected in the 13th round by the New York Yankees -- the highest California Community College selection in 2017 -- Wagaman batted .332 with 61 hits, 45 runs, 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 49 RBI.

Jacob White, Chico State -- A first-team, All-OEC selection, White batted .279 with 38 hits, 22 runs, 17 RBI and was a defensive star in the outfield for the Pirates.