BERKELEY – The University of California baseball program continued its recent strong recruiting efforts by signing six in-state athletes to national letters of intent – featuring three pitchers, two infielders and a switch-hitting catcher – it was announced today (Nov. 19) by Golden Bear head coach David Esquer.
Cal’s incoming class for fall 2015 includes Jeff Bain, a 6-4, 205-pound right-hander from Pasadena (San Marino High School); Brett Cumberland, a 6-0, 185-pound switch-hitting catcher from Turlock (Turlock High School) and Preston Grand Pre, a 6-3, 175-pound middle infielder from Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach High School).
As a junior in 2013, Bain was an impressive 8-1 with a 1.11 ERA, three complete games and 98 strikeouts in 76.0 innings. He was a Rio Hondo League second team selection and a member of the Brewers’ Area Code team. For his three-year varsity career, Bain has compiled a 15-7 record with a 1.33 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 163.2 innings, while opponents have a .194 batting average against him.
Cumberland led Turlock High School to an outstanding 2013 season (28-3, 15-0 in league) when he hit .383 with two home runs, 28 RBI, 24 walks and only struck out four times in 112 plate appearances. He is a two-time all-conference catcher, was twice named to Perfect Game’s All-American Underclass Honorable Mention and was a member of the County All-Star Team. As a sophomore, Cumberland hit .358 with only three strikeouts in 81 plate appearances with 18 walks and 16 RBI.
Infielder Grand Pre is a two-year starter at shortstop at Laguna Beach High School, earning first-team all-league as a junior, hitting .347 with eight doubles, three triples, 18 RBI and 13 stolen bases. For his high school career he has a .307 average with 58 hits, 34 RBI and has scored 42 runs in 56 games. Additionally, Grand Pre was a member of the 2012-13 Tampa Bay Rays Scout Team, the 2013 Angels Elite Scout Team, and a member of the Urban Youth Academy 2013 Scout Ball All-Star Team.
Also signing national letters of intent with the Bears were Denis Karas, a 5-11, 175-pound infielder from Lafayette (Campolindo High School); Matt Ladrech, a 6-1, 180-pound left-handed pitcher from Lafayette (Campolindo High School) and Erik Martinez, a 6-0, 185-pound right-handed pitcher from West Covina (South Hills High School).
Karas is a standout infielder for Campolindo High School, helping his squad to three-straight North Coast Section titles while earning second-team all-league honors as a sophomore and first-team all-league accolades as a junior. As a junior, he hit .340 with two home runs, 27 RBI and 10 stolen bases, while as a sophomore he batted .380 with four home runs, 34 RBI and had seven stolen bases. Karas is a Perfect Game 2013 Underclass Honorable Mention selection as well.
A teammate of Karas at Campolindo High School, Ladrech was his team’s starting right-hander in the school’s last two North Coast Section championships. As a junior, he was 5-2 with 56 strikeouts and a 0.54 ERA in 78.0 innings pitched. As a sophomore, Ladrech was a perfect 8-0 with 49 strikeouts in 49.0 innings pitched and a 1.70 ERA. Ladrech joined Karas as a Perfect Game 2013 Underclass Honorable Mention selection.
Martinez is another top right-hander recruit for the Bears and a Perfect Game 2013 Underclass Honorable Mention selection. He throws his fastball in the low 90s and finished his junior year with a 9-2 record, earning first-team All-Sierra League honors and was an Academic All-League selection.
“This class is very versatile and fills some major needs on the mound and in our lineup,” said Cal baseball’s recruiting coordinator and pitching coach Mike Neu, who was the star closer on Miami’s 1999 College World Series championship team. “We will add a couple of more guys before next season, but we are very excited with the six players that we have signed early.”
“We are really excited about this class coming in,” added Esquer. “Coach (Mike) Neu and (Tony) Arnerich have done a great job filling our program’s needs – two frontline left side infielders, a frontline catcher and three weekend-capable pitchers.”
CALIFORNIA’S 2013 BASEBALL RECRUITING CLASS
Name Pos B/T Last School (Hometown)
Jeff Bain RHP R/R San Marino HS (Pasadena, Calif.)
Brett Cumberland C S/R Turlock HS (Turlock, Calif.)
Preston Grand Pre INF R/R Laguna Beach HS (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Denis Karas INF R/R Campolindo HS (Lafayette, Calif.)
Matt Ladrech LHP L/L Campolindo HS (Lafayette, Calif.)
Erik Martinez RHP R/R South Hills HS (West Covina, Calif.)