With the start of the 2013 baseball season right around the corner, the Menlo College Oaks are proud to unveil their recruiting class for the upcoming campaign.
There will be 15 new players who will suit up in Menlo blue and white, adding to an already stacked roster that enjoyed the program's best season of all time last year, as the Oaks earned their first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
Second year head coach Stefan McGovern has added three catchers, three pitchers, five infielders, one outfielder, one utility player, and two pitcher/hitters to the 2013 roster.
The Oaks lone incoming outfielder is junior transfer Adam Ochart, who is coming off a 2012 1st Team All-Conference honor while playing at Glendale College.
Oaks skipper Stefan McGovern is high on Ochart, calling him a "five tool player" who "brings great speed to our lineup and above average power as well."
Freshmen Sean Sonderman and Alex Boucher can play the outfield as well, with Sonderman also coming in as a third baseman and Boucher as a first baseman and pitcher.
Sonnderman is enthusiastic on the beginning of his Oaks career, claiming that he's "excited to learn all I can while building from the successful season before."
For Boucher, the Castro Valley, California, native carries versatility to the program.
"Alex brings a big bat to our lineup and plays both the infield and outfield," remarks McGovern. "He is also an above average velocity pitcher, and will contribute both on the mound and offensively this upcoming season."
Boucher makes up five potential new arms for the 2013 club, as junior Eric Davila and freshmen Andrew Garcia, Dustin Nakayama, and Kyle Schaller will join Menlo's pitching ranks.
Davila is a right hander that comes to the Oaks from NCAA DII Sonoma State University, helping lead the Seawolves to a Western Regional Championship.
In high school at nearby Sacred Heart Prep, Davila earned 1st Team All-County, and 2nd Team All-State honors in the spring of 2008.
As far as Garcia is concerned, the 6'2" righty from Belmont comes from the prestigious Serra High School in San Mateo, and is looking forward to kicking off his Oaks tenure.
"I am excited to come in and compete for such a great school and be a part of such a great baseball program at Menlo," Garcia commented.
Nakayama, a right hander from Kahalu'u, HI has the potential for an immediate impact.
"Dustin will be a key pitcher for us out of the bullpen as a freshman," Coach McGovern remarked. "He brings high velocity and great off speed stuff, and has a great competitive presence on the mound. Look for Dustin to have significant innings for us this year."
Fellow freshman Kyle Schaller, a Portland, OR native, provides flexibility to the Oaks as both an infielder and a pitcher.
"Kyle brings a lot of versatility, as he can play multiple infield positions as well as pitch," Coach McGovern said. "His solid defense and good bat control will allow him to be a useful tool for the Oaks. On the mound, Kyle is a bullpen guy who gets a lot of groundballs. His great work ethic and knowledge of the game will allow Kyle to be a great player in this program for four years."
Shifting to an infielder's perspective, the Oaks will welcome in five new additions that possess a wealth of potential.
Sophomore John Bowling, a native of Stockton, CA, can play all around the diamond, and comes to Menlo with a lofty resume.
While playing his high school ball at Lincoln High School in Stockton, Bowling earned 1st Team All-League recognition his junior year, and 1st Team All-Area honors in his senior campaign.
Ronnie Schivo Jr., a junior transfer from College of Marin, hit a combined .318 with a .396 on base percentage during his two years at Marin.
A trio of freshmen round out the Oaks incoming infielders, with Cole MacLachlan, Kapono Thibodeaux, and Gino Franco getting ready to suit up in Menlo blue and white.
MacLachlan, a native of Corning, CA, can be slotted in the middle infield, and comes to the Oaks after back to back-to-back All-League honors in his final two years at Corning High School.
Thibodeaux begins his Menlo stint as a first baseman, and according to Coach McGovern, "He brings a much needed power bat to our lineup."
Gino Franco, the younger brother of former four-year Oak John Franco, arrives to Menlo as a shortstop from Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco.
While playing for the Irish, Franco earned All-WCAL (league) and All-San Francisco honors, in addition to taking home the Sacred Heart Cathedral Most Valuable Player Award.
The Oaks brings three new catchers into the start of the 2013 season, as Daniel Comstock, Nathan Harris, and Gary Foster prepare to begin their Menlo careers.
Comstock, a freshman from Petaluma, CA, comes to the Oaks as a three-time All-Empire League recipient, in addition to hoisting the 2012 Empire Player of the Year honor.
"We are very excited to have Daniel on our team, and you can expect big things from him right away," Coach McGovern said. "He brings a big bat and a strong throwing arm behind the plate, and is also a natural leader despite only being a freshman."
Nathan Harris, also a freshman, hails from Laguna Niguel, CA, and is chomping at the bit to get his collegiate career underway.
"I am very excited to be part of a baseball program with such a good reputation," Harris said. "I am looking forward to working hard in order to help the team accomplish its goals."
Gary Foster enters his Menlo career as a senior, bringing on and off the field success with him. The San Jose native has been on the Dean's List every semester in college, both at San Diego Christian College and De Anza College.
"Gary is a great kid who is always working hard at improving his game," Coach McGovern claimed. "He will handle the pitching staff very well, and is a very coachable player."
The Oaks will look to follow up their storied 2012 campaign, which resulted in the program's first ever playoff win, conference tournament postseason championship, and trip to the NAIA National Championship, as Menlo kicks off the 2013 regular season with a doubleheader at Vanguard University on January 25th.