Trojans Pile on the Summer Ball Accolades
Sept. 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES - As is custom in college baseball, members of the USC program spread out across the country this past summer to compete in collegiate summer leagues, with many excelling and receiving national recognition for their successes. Senior Ian McCarthy, juniors Jake Hernandez, Kevin Swick, James Roberts, Omar Cotto Lozada and sophomores Nigel Nootbaar and Garrett Stubbs all had standout summers and received national recognition.
Junior catcher Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) made his mark in the Cape Cod League, suiting up for the Orleans Firebirds. Hernandez was named a Cape League All-Star, starting for the East squad and earned the league's Manny Robello 10th Player Award, given to the player who performs above and beyond expectations. Named after long-time volunteer Manny Robello, who served as the director of both the Cape League and the Cotuit Athletic Association, the award recognizes a player in the league who shows the highest level of continuous leadership and dedication throughout the length of the season. Hernandez played in 33 games, hitting .239 and driving in 19 runs, while showing some pop with five home runs and five doubles.
Junior Kevin Swick (La Cañada, Calif./Loyola HS) batted .311 with 10 doubles, six homers and 22 RBIs through 35 games for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. He also tallied seven stolen bases en route to being named a top performer of the Alaska League by Perfect Game USA. His .311 batting average ranked 15th in the league. For his efforts, Swick represented the Glacier Pilots in the All-Star Game and was named the league's No. 17 prospect by Perfect Game.
Also competing in the Alaska League, but for the Peninsula Oilers was sophomore pitcher Nigel Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS). He appeared in 13 games, compiling a 3-3 record with a 3.41 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched. He tallied 35 strikeouts, good for second on the team. Touted as potentially the most athletic player in the league, the switch-hitting Nootbaar also played 17 games at third base, collecting 10 hits and driving in two runs. Both Baseball America and Perfect Game ranked Nootbaar was the third-best prospect in the Alaska League, and he also competed in the Alaska League All-Star Team.
Senior righty Ian McCarthy (Tustin, Calif./Mater Dei HS) also had a standout summer, being named a top performer of the California Collegiate League. He made 10 appearances for the NBC Champion Santa Barbara Foresters with an impressive 1.93 ERA through 42 innings. He struck out 39, walked 11 and held opponents to a .216 batting average. For his efforts he was named to the CCL All-Star Team and finished the season as a CCL All-League first teamer.
Junior infielder James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) had an outstanding summer for the Cotuit Kettleers of the prestigious Cape Cod League. Through 34 games, Roberts batted .306, driving in 25 runs with three doubles and one home run. His 25 RBIs were third-best on the team, and his batting average was fourth-best. His batting average ranked 17th in the league, while his 25 RBIs ranked 19th. Roberts was named a Cape League Top Prospect by Perfect Game. Sophomore Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco) suited up for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League, appearing in 20 games and driving in three runs and scoring eight.
Other Trojans that competed in the Alaska League were Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and Matt Munson (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College). Competing for the Peninsula Oilers alongside Nootbaar, Stubbs hit .245 through 16 games, driving in five runs with four doubles and one home run en route to being named the league's No. 23 prospect by Perfect Game. Munson joined teammate Swick on the Glacier Pilots, making six appearances and, allowing nine hits and striking out 12 through 10.0 complete innings.
Senior Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS), one of four Trojans in the Northwoods League, suited up for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Landecker appeared in 39 games as a third baseman, hitting .283 while driving in a team-high 32 RBIs with seven doubles, one triple and one home run. Joining Landecker on the Border Cats was Omar Cotto Lozada (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Bonneville School), who batted .327 through 47 games in the outfield. He drove in 21 runs, hit three home runs and stole 17 bases. His .327 batting average was 19th-best in the league. He was named the No. 11 Prospect in the Northwoods League by Perfect Game.
James Guillen (Covina, Calif./Damien HS) went 5-2 with a 3.20 ERA through 12 games for the La Crosse Loggers. He struck out 36 through 59.0 innings as the Loggers finished 49-21 on the season and won the Northwoods League title. Also in the Northwoods League, on the Alexandria Beetles, Nick Berhel (Benicia, Calif./De La Salle HS) made eight appearances, including two starts. He struck out 13 through 14.2 innings pitched.
Pitcher Corey Carma (Salinas, Calif./Hartnell College) went 2-0 from the hill in seven appearances for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League. Carma tallied 19 strikeouts and boasted a 2.04 ERA through 35.1 innings as he was named to the WCL All-Star team.
Kaz Halcovich (Indio, Calif./Palm Desert HS) suited up for the Tides of the Orange County Collegiate League, batting .230 with 10 RBIs through 10 games.