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Prep baseball: Hart has two commit

Persico also makes elite team

Posted: August 6, 2012 6:18 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:18 p.m.

Hart High sophomore Dayton Provost verbally committed to UCLA.

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The season may be long over for Hart High baseball, but that doesn’t stop one of the valley’s most prominent programs from making news.

For the Indians, it’s three-fold.

Sophomore second baseman Dayton Provost has given his verbal commitment to UCLA, according to Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Also, senior first baseman C.J. Witkowski has verbally committed to UC Santa Barbara.

Lastly, senior infielder/outfielder Luke Persico was selected for the Milwaukee Brewers’ squad for the Area Code Baseball Games, one of the nation’s premier and prestigious showcases for high school players.

Persico had also previously verballed to UCLA.

Provost is considered one of the fastest baseball players in the Santa Clarita Valley.

As a freshman in 2012, the 6-foot-1-inch infielder batted .303 and scored 16 runs.

“Multi-talented,” Ozella said of Provost. “Outstanding speed. Excellent potential down the road with his offensive capabilities. He’s very exciting and getting better in all facets of the game. He has a high upside.”

Since Ozella took over the Hart program in 2000, there has been a Hart-to-UCLA pipeline.

Provost and Persico, should they end up at UCLA, would join Bill Susdorf, Trevor Bauer, Trevor Brown and Pat Valaika as Ozella players who have gone on to play for the Bruins.

There’s also a pipeline to UCSB.

Chris and Matt Valaika and Shane Carlson all played for the Gauchos after playing for Ozella at Hart.

Witkowski batted .415 with three home runs and 17 RBIs last season.

“C.J. was one of the best hitters last year and continued to make progress,” Ozella said. “UCSB loved his bat, loved that he’s a left-handed hitter.”

Persico joins West Ranch graduate Ryan Keller and former Valencia infielder Christian Lopes as recent locals who have been selected for the Area Code Games.

Persico batted .267 with three home runs last year.

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