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Aztec Baseball Signs 16 Recruits For 2011

Tony Gwynn and his staffed have inked 16 freshman for the 2011 season.
Tony Gwynn and his staffed have inked 16 freshman for the 2011 season.

Nov. 13, 2009

SAN DIEGO - San Diego State head baseball coach Tony Gwynn has announced the signing of 16 players to national letters of intent for the 2011 season. The entire class is comprised of incoming freshmen and includes eight athletes from the San Diego area. Included in the group are the San Diego section pitcher of the year plus six other all-state honorees.

Leading the list of local signees is section pitcher of the year Keegan Yuhl (Poway HS) along with all-state selections Cole Swanson (Torrey Pines HS), Brad Haynel (Rancho Bernardo HS) and Kyle Hayes (Santana HS).

Yuhl is a right-handed hurler who went 12-1 with a save and a 2.51 earned run average as a junior. Thirteen of his 16 appearances came in a starting role and he struck out 83 over 75.1 innings. In addition to first-team all-state underclassmen accolades in 2008, Yuhl earned all-Palomar League and all-CIF honors as both a sophomore and junior and was the section and league's pitcher of the year in 2009.

Swanson is a left-handed pitcher who was named to the all-state underclassmen squad in 2008. As a junior this past season, he compiled a record of 7-2 with two saves and a 2.87 ERA. He held opponents to a .241 batting average while striking out 48 in the 53.2 innings pitched. Swanson, who played in the California All-Star Scout Game, was a first-team all-Avocado league selection and a member of the Texas Rangers Scout team.

Catcher Brad Haynal was also a member of the all-state underclassmen first team while garnering first-team all-Palomar League and all-North County honors. Last season he batted .410 with 16 doubles, two triples and a league-leading nine home runs. He also scored 34 runs and drove in 31 while compiling a .474 on-base and .812 slugging percentages.

Hayes is a right-handed pitcher who was a first-team all-state medium school honoree this past season and an all-state underclassmen first team selection in 2008. In addition, he was named to both the first-team all-Grossmont North League and all-CIF squads. He ended the season with a 10-5 record, two saves and a 1.27 ERA.

The three other all-state athletes signed by Gwynn and his staff include third baseman Chad Lewis (Marina HS, Huntington Beach), outfielder John Pustay (Pine Creek HS, Colorado Springs, Colo.) and pitcher Austin Reed (Rancho Cucamonga HS).

Lewis batted .376 in 28 games in 2009 with seven doubles and five home runs along with 29 RBI. A power-hitting third baseman, he was first-team all-Sunset League as a junior and sophomore and was an alternate for the USA Team Trials. He was listed as a Top 100 Player by Perfect Game scouting service while playing for a team that was ranked 13th in the state of California.

Pustay was an all-state player in Colorado as a junior in 2009 after hitting .491 with four doubles, six triples and a pair of homers. He drove in 21 runs and struck out only three times in 63 plate appearances.

Austin Reed is the bother of current SDSU All-American pitcher Addison Reed, who won national stopper of the year honors in 2009. A power-throwing right-handed pitcher, Austin struck out 67 in 63.2 innings and compiled a 3.52 in a dozen appearances as a junior. A member of the Milwaukee Brewers Area Code Team, he earned all-state and all-Baseline League accolades in 2009.

SDSU's other local signees included a pitcher and an outfielder plus a pair of utility players.

Sebastian Vader (San Marcos HS) is a right-handed pitcher who was an all-Valley League player last season and also competed for the Tampa Bay Rays Scout Team. Vader is currently starting quarterback for the San Marcos High football team. Outfielder Cody Smith is a teammate of Kyle Hayes at Santana High and has been honored as an all-county and all-Grossmont North League selection. He finished last season with a .357 average along with five homers and 17 RBI.

The utility players with San Diego ties are Tim Zier (Escondido HS) and Jared Hunt (Granite Hills HS). Zier was an all-county and all-Avocado League honoree who was chosen to play in the California North-South Series. He hit .421 with 11 doubles and 29 stolen bases as a junior. He also plays for the school's football team (all-purpose back) and was recruited by Nevada in that sport. Hunt, an all-Grossmont South league and all-San Diego County selection, can play multiple positions. He batted .333 last season with eight doubles, six home runs and 21 RBI.

Four other recruits also hail from California while one will come from out of state.

Utility player Denny Vigo (Simi Valley HS) plus pitchers TJ Kendzora (El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif.) and Carl Robinson (Valencia HS, Placentia, Calif) hail from southern California while infielder Cory Slader (Bishop O'Dowd HS, Oakland, Calif.) will arrive from the northern part of the state.

Vigo is a first-team all-Marmonte League and all-San Fernando Valley selection who possesses power at the plate. He played both catcher and first base for a team that won a CIF title in 2009. Robinson, a left-handed pitcher, went 6-6 with a 4.03 earned run average. A four-year varsity letterman, he was selected to compete in the California North-South All-Star Game and is a member of the New York Yankees Scout Team.

Kendzora, a right-handed hurler, won all-Sea View League honors while his team captured a CIF title in 2009. He finished with a record of 3-3 and a 2.91 earned run average. Slader is a slick-fielding middle infielder who was a first-team all-Hayward Area League pick the past two season. He hit .328 over 24 games with a .430 on-base percentage and 13 stolen bases.

The Aztec coaching staff went out of state for its final signee and landed second baseball Tony Mancuso out of Rockhurst High in Kansas city. Mo. A quick-fielding infielder, he led the Missouri District in doubles with 14 as well as in stolen bases and on-base percentage. Among his honors was the MVP trophy at the 2008 Kansas Early Bird Tournament.

"We went after the best players we could who we think will fulfill our future team needs and we believe we've put together an excellent group of newcomers with this recruiting class," said Coach Gwynn. "We anticipate a number of these athletes stepping in to fill any holes we might have with anticipated losses at the end of the 2010 season. The quality of the players we've signed leads us to believe that they will help us in a number areas in the coming years. All of them are freshman as well, so we know they'll be an important part of the program for the next few seasons. We look forward to having them join us next fall and helping continue of the tradition of Aztec baseball."

Name            Pos   B-T  Ht.  Wt.  Hometown (Current School)
Kyle Hayes      RHP   L-R  6-3  180  Santee, Calif. (Santee HS)
Brad Haynal      C    R-R  6-2  190  San Diego, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo HS)
Jared Hunt     UTIL   L-R  5-9  170  El Cajon, Calif. (Granite Hills HS)
TJ Kendzora     RHP   R-R  6-3  175  Lake Forest, Calif. (El Toro, Calif.
Chad Lewis       3B   R-R  6-3  185  Huntington Beach, Calif. (Marina HS)
Tom Mancuso    2B   L-R  5-10 175  Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst HS)
John Pustay      OF   L-R  6-0  175  Colorado Springs, Colo. (Pine Creek HS)
Austin Reed      RHP  R-R  6-3  185  Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga HS)
Carl Robinson    LHP  L-L  6-3  185  Placentia, Calif. (Valencia HS)
Cory Slader      INF  S-R  6-2  170  Oakland, Calif. (Bishop O'Dowd HS)
Cody Smith       OF   L-R  6-0  175  Santee, Calif. (Santee HS)
Cole Swanson     LHP  L-L  6-4  190  San Diego, Calif. (Torrey Pines HS)
Sebastian Vader  RHP  R-R  6-4  200  San Marcos, Calif. (San Marcos HS)
Denny Vigo      UTIL  R-R  6-1  195  Simi Valley, Calif. (Simi Valley HS)
Keegan Yuhl      RHP  R-R  6-1  220  Poway, Calif. (Poway HS)
Tim Zier        UTIL  R-R  5-10 180  Escondido, Calif. (Escondido, Calif.)
  (All 16 players will enter SDSU as freshman in Sept. 2010)