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Canyon grad Max Weinstein choose UC Irvine, will join program run by former COC coach Mike Gillespie

Posted: July 20, 2013 8:26 p.m.
Updated: July 20, 2013 8:26 p.m.

2013 Canyon graduate Max Weinstein will continue his baseball career under former College of the Canyons head coach Mike Gillespie at the University of California, Irvine.

 

Canyon High graduate and 2013 All-Santa Clarita Valley and All-Foothill League player of the year Max Weinstein was woken up early in July by a phone call from Santa Clarita Valley coaching legend and UC Irvine head baseball coach Mike Gillespie.

That call turned into a visit to Irvine, which now has turned into a commitment from Weinstein to Gillespie to become an Anteater.

Weinstein said he made the commitment, which includes academic money but not baseball money, on July 11.

He was set on playing shortstop at NCAA Division III program Cal Lutheran.

Now he will be pitching for a Division I program that went 33-22 overall in 2013 and finished tied for fourth place in the Big West Conference.

Weinstein said he chose Irvine because of the opportunity to play at a high level for a highly respected coach.

“I was half-asleep when he called and I originally wasn’t going to answer the phone. I had no idea who it would be,” Weinstein recalled. “To my surprise it was coach Gillespie. In my mind I was already set on Cal Lutheran. Once he called me, a great opportunity opened.”

Weinstein led Canyon to its first Foothill League title since 2002 and first CIF playoff appearance since 2007.

He was Canyon’s ace, going 5-5 with a 2.49 ERA and struck out 63 batters in 70 1/3 innings.

His .438 batting average led the Foothill League, as did his 42 hits and .495 on-base percentage.

Weinstein was an All-CIF-Southern Section Division I second-teamer.

He said the plans right now are for him to focus on pitching at the college level.

Gillespie built the College of the Canyons baseball program and won three state titles in 16 seasons as head coach.

He succeeded the legendary Rod Dedeaux at USC in 1987 and won a national title in 1998.

Gillespie coached 20 seasons for the Trojans and has been at Irvine since 2008.

Weinstein understands the work he has ahead of him playing for the coach and program.

“That’s how it’s been my whole baseball career — fight for a spot,” Weinstein said. “I’ve always been the smaller fish in the big pond fighting for a spot. It doesn’t scare me going to Irvine. I know I can play with the best of them as long as I play my game.”

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