Special to Independent Newsmedia
Ottawa University Arizona head baseball coach Tim Montez announced his first signing class on Sunday afternoon; which consisted of seven players. Of the seven players signed, four hail from Surprise.
“This is a great day for the community of Surprise, as I am pleased to announce our first initial signing class for our baseball program here at OUAZ,” said Coach Montez. “Our first goal with our recruiting was to make it a priority to reach out to all of our local high school coaches and introduce our University and baseball program. We wanted to make sure we took care of our own, before we recruited out of the area. My assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ryan Cisterna has hit the ground running, and has done a great job of helping assemble this group of well-rounded players.
“This group of young men all come from great families, good programs, and are leaders of men both on and off the field. They are solid student-athletes, who play the game the right way. This is just the beginning of something great for our community, as we will continue to identify players that will help us build a championship program.”
Players signing Sunday were:
- Gabe Rios, a catcher from Verrado High School in Buckeye, is a three-year varsity starter. Rios has hit over .340 with 59 hits and 52 runs batted in. He has 24 extra base hits including three home runs and is already off to a fast start in his senior year, with a .330 batting average and a home run in his first game. Rios was named to the Arizona all-state second team in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
- Joining Gabe Rios from Verrado is teammate, outfielder Spencer Kemper. He is a two-year starter at Verrado. In his junior year, he hit above .500 with 18 doubles and 16 stolen bases. In his senior year he has already driven in a team leading six runs and has hit a home run. He has also excelled in the classroom, by receiving three academic letters.
- Catcher Eric Ramos has been a four-year starter behind the plate at Willow Canyon High School. He has a strong arm and agility to make a big impact behind the plate. In his four years, he has accumulated a .300 batting average with over 50 hits, 10 extra base hits and he has driven in 30 runs. Ramos has excelled academically, by being named to the honor roll all four years.
- Lester Acoba has started all four years as an outfielder and pitcher at Willow Canyon High School. As a hitter, Acoba has compiled a .300 batting average with 50 hits, 50 runs, and 18 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he has thrown over 80 innings, with eight wins and a 2.48 ERA. As a junior, Acoba was an All-State honorable mention and named to the All-Academic team. He is off to a hot start in his senior season, by leading his team in hitting with a .571 batting average and 10 runs scored.
- Dylan Chelini is a four starter for the Valley Vista baseball program. He has played both the outfield and started on the mound for the Monsoon. Chelini is also a two-sport star, playing linebacker and tight end for the Monsoon varsity football team. In Chelini’s time at Valley Vista, he has put together a 3.64 ERA in 77 innings pitched. He has six wins and has struck out 86 batters. Chelini was a second-team all-district player his junior year. In 7.2 innings this year, Chelini already has 15 strikeouts and opponents are hitting just .167 off of him.
- Rylan Collins has been a four-year starter for the varsity team at Joy Christian High School in Glendale. He is a three-sport star, competing in football, basketball, and baseball. Collins is an athletic middle infielder with a six foot frame. In his four years at Joy Christian, Collins has assembled a .355 batting average while collecting 72 hits and driving in 58 runs.
- The final signee announced on Sunday, was outfielder/pitcher Adam Bronston from Shadow Ridge High School in Surprise. Bronston is a three-year varsity starting outfielder and pitcher. In his senior year, he has begun to take off and excel on the mound. He has only given up one run this year, in 6.2 innings pitched; Adam has struck out 11 batters.
For more information about OUAZ athletics, visit http://www.ottawa.edu/ouaz/athletics. Follow OUAZ athletics on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUAZSpiritAthletics/ and on Twitter twitter.com/OUAZSpirit.
Editor’s Note: Derek Diesner is the Sports Information Director for Ottawa University Arizona.