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Around the SCV: G.V. pitcher headed to Fresno State

Barlow commits to Bulldogs; two Vikes reveal college choices

Posted: October 3, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Golden Valley baseball took a big step forward last season, earning the program’s first-ever win over a number of different Foothill League schools.

Now, the program has produced a college scholarship recipient.

Senior pitcher Scott Barlow committed to Fresno State in September, according to Grizzlies head coach Scott Drootin, who also said it’s the first time any Golden Valley baseball player has earned a scholarship while playing for the Grizzlies.

Former outfielder Jordan Yallen is currently playing at Gonzaga on scholarship, but he earned the scholarship while at Calabasas High.

“I think it’s a great fit,” Drootin said of Barlow. “No. 1, he’s playing at a great school. He’s (Fresno State head coach Mike) Batesole’s type of player. The good news is he’s three hours away from home, far enough away where he can have the college experience.”

Barlow could not be reached for comment.

Barlow was one of the biggest reasons for the Grizzlies’ success last spring. He went 5-3 with a 5.07 ERA, and in one four-game stretch, he beat West Ranch, Valencia, Saugus and Canyon. The wins over West Ranch, Valencia and Saugus were the first ever for Golden Valley over each of those schools. He was a first-team All-Foothill League selection.

It was quite a feat for Barlow, especially given a conversation he and Drootin had before the season.

“Him and I sat down and had a big conversation about what direction he wanted to go, if he wanted to be a baseball player or not, because he wasn’t sure how good he was,” Drootin said. “I told him if he wants to be good, he’s going to have to outwork everyone. I told him if he doesn’t want to play college baseball I’ll leave (him) alone.”

Barlow’s play made his choice clear, and now he’ll take his talents to Fresno State, which went 38-25 last season. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament 31 times, and they won the 2008 College World Series in improbable fashion as the first No. 4 seed to ever win the title. They were 6-0 when facing elimination, and Hart High graduate and WAC Player of the Year Steve Susdorf was a member of the team.

Drootin is confident Barlow can help Fresno State continue its success.

“He deserves a scholarship,” Drootin said. “First of all, he’s good. Second of all, he’s really worked hard.”


Two Valencia baseball players announce commitments

Valencia seniors Shane Zeile and Quincy Quintero have both played key roles in the Vikings’ run of Foothill League titles.

Now they are both headed to NCAA Division I baseball.

Zeile recently committed to UCLA, while Quintero has committed to Pepperdine.

“Both schools are perfect fits for both kids,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

That fit has more of a family feel for Zeile, whose uncle, Todd Zeile, played for the Bruins from 1984-86 prior to his 15-year career in Major League Baseball.

“I knew from day one it’s where he wanted to go,” Snyder said. “He made the choice based on the school he wanted to go to when he was a kid.”

Shane Zeile had a .330 average last season with four home runs, 20 RBIs and 22 runs scored. During the summer, his .529 average was second best in the Valley Invitational Baseball League, as was his .585 on-base percentage. The third baseman’s .882 slugging percentage was the best in the VIBL.

Quintero, meanwhile, batted .368 with four home runs, 22 RBIs and 25 runs scored as a junior middle infielder. On the mound, he had a 0.36 ERA through 19 2/3 innings pitched.

He plans on playing both pitcher and infielder for the Waves.

Quintero said the campus, education and the connection he felt with the team all played into the decision to pick Pepperdine over other schools like Cal, Cal Poly, USC and Arizona, which had also expressed interest.

“I’ve always enjoy baseball, but now it’s a little easier to play,” he said. “I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m just playing for myself, for the love the of the game.”


Cal’s cuts leave Hart grad on the outs

Hart High graduate Devin Rodriguez expected to be focusing on baseball during his sophomore year at the University of California, Berkeley.

He didn’t expect to be thinking about playing somewhere else.

But when the university cut baseball for the 2011-12 academic year on Tuesday, that’s exactly what Rodriguez began to consider.

“You don’t really expect that to happen,” he said. “(I was) shocked and disappointed. ... I’m going to play this season out at Cal and see what my options are for next year.”

As a freshman, the first baseman batted .289 with three home runs, 21 RBIs and 13 runs scored.

The Golden Bears finished 29-25 overall last season and 13-14 in Pac-10 play.

The other sports cut were rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse.

With the 2011 season yet to be played, Rodriguez said his team is as motivated as ever.

“Ever since we found this out, we kind of have this mindset to prove people wrong and make people look stupid for cutting out program,” he said.

The Golden Bears had their first intrasquad scrimmage of fall ball on Saturday.

“Our team came out with a lot of fire, kind of just playing with an extra chip on our shoulder,” Rodriguez said.


Local swimmers honored

It can be challenging enough to meet national timing standards set by USA Swimming.

It’s even tougher to do it while maintaining a 3.5 minimum GPA.

A select few local swimmers have done both.

Five athletes from Canyons Aquatic Club where named to the Scholastic All-America team for the 2009-10 academic year by USA Swimming on Sept. 24, the organization announced on its official website.

Golden Valley graduate Michelle Duraj, Hart High seniors Hayley Good and Alex Ngan and junior Mitch Johnson and Valencia senior Micaela Velasquez were among the 1,539 swimmers nationwide that received the honor.

It was the second time Duraj, now a freshman at the University of Denver, and Good have earned the award, and the first time for Ngan, Johnson and Velasquez.

The state of California had the most recipients with 107. Nationally, 919 girls and 620 boys were named.

Duraj was the Foothill League champion in the 50-yard freestyle with a record-breaking time of 23.93 seconds, and also won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.42.

Good won a league title in the 100 freestyle in 53.07, and as member of the Indians’ 200- and 400- freestyle relay teams. Velasquez also grabbed a championship in record-breaking time, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:53.58. Good finished second to in the 200 freestyle to Velasquez, who took second in the 100 freestyle.

On the boys’ side, Ngan broke the league record in the 100 backstroke in 52.15, adding another league title in the 50 freestyle (21.56) and as a member of the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relay teams. Johnson was also on the 400-freestyle relay team.

Signal sports editor Cary Osborne contributed to this report.

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