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Vincej Chooses Waves

Posted: March 6, 2008 12:58 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Saugus High junior shortstop Zachary Vincej (3) tries to finish off a double play March 30, 2007. Vincej recently verbally committed to Pepperdine University.

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Saugus junior shortstop Zachary Vincej has lived up to every expectation thus far in his already accomplished high school career.

Now comes a reward.

The three-year starter verbally committed to play baseball at Pepperdine University in late February.

"I just really like the school and the coaching staff. I was more than comfortable around them," Vincej said.

Vincej came in and immediately started at shortstop for the Centurions as a freshman.

He hit .356 with 13 RBIs that season.

Then as a sophomore, Vincej batted .542 with two home runs and 26 RBIs.

"It's not normal," said Saugus head coach John Maggiora of Vincej's production and ability to adapt to the high school level so early.

Vincej chose Pepperdine but was being courted by numerous schools including college baseball institutions Arizona State and Clemson.

Arizona also made a hard charge at Vincej, but Pepperdine offered early.

Maggiora said he was getting letters about his shortstop after his freshman year.

"Pretty much in September, I was fielding phone calls pretty much everyday about him," he said.

The 5-foot-11, 160-pound junior represented Team USA this past August in the IBAF World Youth Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

He helped lead his team to a gold medal.

"Just playing with all those great players and to get a chance to do that was the opportunity of a lifetime," Vincej said.

"Going there, wearing that jersey was the greatest experience. I loved every second, every minute in North Carolina (at the Youth National Team Trials) then down in Venezuela."

Maggiora said that really put Vincej, who he calls the most humble and hardest working player on his team, on the map.

Already on Vincej's map is Omaha, Neb., the home of the College Baseball World Series.

He said by choosing Pepperdine, he feels he has a good chance of making it there.

The Waves finished 2007 35-22 and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

They won a national title in 1992.

Vincej is the second Saugus player to verbally commit to Pepperdine in a year.

Outfielder Tyler Brubaker, who has since officially signed with the Malibu school, will be going there in the fall.

"He'll show me the ropes in a couple of years," Vincej said. "I look forward to playing with him. I'm definitely happy to have Bru a part of Pepperdine as well."

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