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Prep baseball: Freshman goes with USC

West Ranch’s Jagger Rusconi verbally commits to play for Southern California

Posted: July 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch sophomore-to-be Jagger Rusconi was the CalHiSports Freshman of the Year last season.

Few freshmen in Santa Clarita Valley’s storied baseball history have had a freshman season like West Ranch’s Jagger Rusconi.

Now the state’s freshman baseball player of the year has capped it off by making a decision on his future.

The sophomore-to-be has verbally committed to the University of Southern California to play baseball.

“I haven’t. Not this early,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill on if he’s had a player commit this early to such a high-profile program. “I know it’s something the family wanted done and out of the way. From chatting with them early on, USC was the No. 1 choice.”

Rusconi was named CalHiSports’ Freshman of the Year on June 20.

The second baseman batted .415 with three home runs, 27 RBIs, 34 runs and 19 stolen bases and helped lead the Wildcats to a Foothill League title.

His other honors this season included a selection to the All-Santa Clarita Valley and All-Foothill League first teams and a nomination for the 2011-12 Signal Newcomer of the Year award.

Rusconi’s clutch two-run double in the sixth inning gave the Wildcats the tying and go-ahead runs in a win over national No. 1 Orange Lutheran on May 25 in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.

“I think he’s shown he’s a very versatile player who can do a lot of things,” Burrill said. “He played second base, but also has experience in the outfield. This summer he’s playing shortstop. He runs like the wind. He’s a switch hitter. He was a big-time offensive force for us as a freshman.”

Burrill said there was interest from the University of Oregon, UC Irvine and some other schools.

Rusconi can’t sign a letter of intent until Fall 2014.



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