Tournaments : : Story
Thursday, September 20, 2012

4-day run for PG/EvoShield Under

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Perfect Game

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- According to the rosters that had been submitted by mid-week for this weekend's Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship (Underclass), there are 17 top prospects in the classes of 2014 and 2015 on the 48 teams registered to play that have already committed to NCAA Division I universities.

The amazing thing about that total is that more than half of them will be playing for the same team. The San Clemente, Calif.-based Angels Baseball boasts nine D-I recruits on its preliminary 12-man roster.

The 4th annual PG/EvoShield National Championship (Underclass) will be contested Friday through Monday at the Goodyear Sports and Recreation Complex and the Peoria Sports Complex with games Friday through Sunday at the Cactus League homes of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians (Goodyear) and the San Diego Padres and Seattle Marlins (Peoria). The semifinal games and championship contest are scheduled for Monday at the Goodyear complex.

Thirty of the 48 teams in the field are from California and 10 others from Arizona. There are four teams from Colorado and one each from Utah, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. The 2011 PG/EvoShield Underclass champion was Mountain West 2013, which competed in last week's PG/EvoShield National Championship (Upperclass). Mountain West 2014 is entered in this weekend's event.

The Angels Baseball roster head coach Mike Herbert has assembled looks quite formidable, to say the least. Of the nine Angels that have committed to D-I schools, six are ranked in the top 71 in the classes of 2014 and 2015.

The Angels' top dog is arguably catcher/third baseman Lucas Herbert (2015, San Clemente), ranked the nation's No, 6 overall prospect in his class and a UCLA commit. Right-hander/first baseman Ryan Castellani (2014, Phoenix, Ariz.) is the No. 14-ranked national prospect in his class and is also a UCLA commit.

The link to the Bruins doesn't end there, with left-hander/outfielder Brady Aiken (2014, Jamul, Calif.), the No. 28-ranked nationally ranked prospect in his class, already committed to UCLA.

Shortstop Blake Wiggins (2014, Little Rock, Ark.) and first baseman Keaton McKinney (2014, Ankeny, Iowa) have committed to Arkansas; shortstop/catcher Darren Miller (2014, Key West, Fla.) is heading to Florida State; middle-infielder Brandon Perez (2015, Ladera Ranch, Calif.) has committed to Oregon; right-hander Daniel Slominski (2014, Livermore, Calif.) has announced his intention to attend Oregon State, and outfielder Isaiah Deutsch (2014, Phoenix) has committed to Pepperdine.

The top uncommitted player on the Angels Baseball roster is right-hander Joe DeMers (2015, Martinez, Calif.). DeMers is the No. 4-ranked national prospect in the class of 2015.

The San Gabriel Valley Arsenal  and SGV Arsenal 2015 also look loaded with a couple of D-I commits on each team. SGV Arsenal right-hander Andrew Eppenbach (2014, Claremont, Calif.) has committed to San Diego State and outfielder Scott Hurst (2014, Glendora, Calif.) to Cal State Fullerton. SGV Arsenal '15s' right-hander/shortstop Jonathan Olsen (2015, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) is a UCLA commit and left-hander Tyler Witt (2015, Claremont, Calif.) is an Oregon recruit.

There are other D-I commitments from players on the Oklahoma Fuel, Hard 9 and Team CALIFORNIA Baseball. All the other uncommitted prospects playing here this weekend can expect to be watched closely by the dozens of college recruiters expected to be on hand. One of those uncommitted prospects is catcher Alex Jackson  (2014, Escondido, Calif.), the nation's No. 1 ranked prospect in the class of 2014 who is expected to be playing with the San Diego Show.

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