Nine Baseball Athletes Sign NLIs, Five Go DI

Nine Baseball Athletes Sign NLIs, Five Go DI

Ulises Caballero
California Baptist University

Caballero, an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) First-Team All-Conference award winner, enjoyed a breakout season for the Tigers in his second year in the community college system. After strapping it up for OCC in 2018, the power hitting right fielder transfer to RCC and flourished. He led his squad in RBI (40), homeruns (6), doubles (12) and walks (33). He hit .310 on the season accompanied by a team-high .458 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage. He had 11 multi-RBI games highlighted by a season-high five RBI against Orange Coast in late March. He primarily hit third for the quad and started 44 games.

Matthew Happ
St. Louis University

Happ, who proved to be one of the more sure-handed defenders in the conference and state wide, held down shortstop for the Tigers throughout the duration of the season. He was a late bloomer at the plate, but posted an impressive line reading .278/.399/.358. He barreled 42 hits with 10 acting as two baggers and a lone triple. He earned 14 multi-hit games.

Junior Coleman
Western Kentucky University

If Coleman reaches first base, it was almost a guarantee he would land on second base shortly after. The speed demon, who led off and patrolled center field for the Tigers, proved the cliché statement of "speed kills" to deadly accurate. Coleman led the OEC in stolen bases with 24 and was 10th in the state. Coleman held an on-base percentage of .390 to highlighted a line with a .285 batting average and .380 slugging percentage. He led his team with 51 hits while legging out 11 doubles and three triples. Both extra base hit marks stand second on the team.

Garrett Irvin
University of Arizona

This electric southpaw and Division II bounce backed raked in multiple awards and titles this season, but none as important as Mr. Irrelevant. Don't let the name fool you; he garners the nickname due to the fact that he was the final pick in the 2019 MLB Players draft this past May. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox, but opted to sign a Division I NLI to chuck it for the Pac 12 University of Arizona Wildcats. Irvine was named OEC Pitcher of the Year after posting a 10-2 record which included a complete game shutout in the opening round of the Southern regional playoffs against no. 14 Cuesta College. He appeared in 15 games, tossed 96 innings and was two punch outs shy of the century mark. He boasted a lowly 2.25 ERA and a strong 9.19 strikeouts-per-nine ratio.

Brandon Ross
University of Hawaii

A crafty left hander in nature, Ross utilized a snappy two-seamer and a filthy bender en route to becoming a Rainbow. Ross came on strong in the final months of the season highlighted by carting a no-hitter into the sixth inning against LA Mission. He appeared in 13 games and earned a 4-1 record. Furthermore, he pocketed two saves and fanned 37 batters.

Joseph Hodapp
Chico State  

Hodapp was deemed a starter since stepping on the scene in 2018. While holding down left field for two years, he capped his career in 2019 with a .290 batting average that included a .363 on-base percentage and a.324 slugging percentage. He barreled 42 hits with five of them acting as doubles. He brought in 17 runs while scoring 26.

Andrew Talkington
CSU San Bernardino

Talkington experienced a breakout season despite battling injury all last year and part of this year's campaign. He finished with a .274 batting average highlighted by a .403 on-base percentage and .421 slugging percentage. He was a gap hitter as seen in seven doubles and one triple. He also hit a bomb in the first game of the season. Talkington held down first base for the Tigers and held a .989 fielding percentage and 263 putouts.

Alexander Salazar
Campbellsville University

Hailing from Ohmi, Japan, Salazar found a home as one of the most dominant right handed arms in the conference for two seasons. After establishing himself in year one, Salazar returned for a second season and posted a 6-3 record with 90 strikeouts and a team-low 2.00 ERA. He averaged 10 strikeouts per inning which acted as a team high as well. He started in 13 games while appearing in 17 and chucked a total of 81 frames on two separate occasions he fanned 10 batters while also strikeout out nine batters on two separate occasions. Look for Salazar's name to be on the draft board in the next season or two.

Kase Warner
Oklahoma Baptist University

Warner held a dual role throughout the season despite only earning 50 plate appearances due to injury. The left handed outfielder, who also saw time as a designated hitter, posted a line of .280/.403/.320. He connected for 14 this with two going for doubles. He used his legs are a weapon as seen in eight stolen bases.