MORAGA, Calif. - Saint Mary's baseball head coach Jedd Soto is pleased to announce the addition of five outstanding student-athletes for the 2013 baseball season. Joining the Gaels will be Gary Cornish (Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia HS), Connor Hornsby (Lafayette, Calif., Acalanes HS), Ralston Hughes (North Tustin, Calif., Foothill HS), Ian McLoughlin (Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa HS), and Anthony Villa (San Ramon, Calif., San Ramon Valley HS).
"We are very excited about the talented players we signed in this class," said head coach Jedd Soto. "We will be graduating eight seniors and we could potentially lose a number of juniors to the Major League Baseball draft. We recognize the importance of this group and worked diligently to find the players who fit our program both on and off the field."
Gary Cornish is a 6-3 180 pound pitcher from Phoenix, Arizona. He is a three-time letter winner in baseball and one time letter winner in golf for the Titans. In just junior season he finished the year with one of the best strike out per inning ratios, averaging 1.63 k's per inning. He finished the year with 49 strike outs in 30 innings pitched with just nine walks. He also finished the year with four wins and six saves in his 10 appearances. In his sophomore campaign he showed he can handle the bat, hitting .295 with 13 hits in 44 at bats with 12 RBI, to go along with his 1-0 record in eight appearances on the bump.
"Cornish brings with him the stuff and the mentality to be an impact on our pitching staff right away. He pitches without fear and has a strong feel for all his pitches. We believe he will match up well against any of our competition in the West Coast Conference," said Soto.
Connor Hornsby is a local product. Hornsby is a 6-0, 180 pound infielder who
attended Acalanes HS in Lafayette. He is
a three time letter winner for the Dons and was been a captain for the team for
three years as well. He was named to the
All-Diablo Foothill Athletic League team in 2010 and 2011 and was the team MVP
in 2009 and 2010. Hornsby was named the
North Coast Section Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and is related to
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby.
"Hornsby is a local guy who we have seen a lot," said Soto. "We have had the pleasure of watching him grow as a player and a person. He is a very good defender and can play at any of the infield positions. He is an absolute menace at the plate and on the bases and could be a nightmare for opposing pitchers and defenses."
Ralston Hughes is a three time letter winner in baseball for
the Foothill Knights in Santa Ana, Calif.
The 6-0 185 pound catcher had a monster season at the dish in 2011,
hitting .341 with a .450 on base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage. He proved to be a capable middle of the order
hitter, sending four balls over the fence while knocking in 17 runs and scoring
18. He was named Second Team All-Century
League and is a three-time Scholar Athlete Award recipient.
"Hughes will continue the tradition of exceptional defensive catchers in this program. He has shown us the potential to be an impact player behind the dish," said Soto.
Ian McLoughlin is a 6-2, 190 pound utility player from Mira
Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Entering his senior season, he is set to earn his fourth letter for the
Mustangs. In his junior season he hit
.357 with a .464 slugging percentage, he finished the year with 20 hits, six
doubles, while knocking in 11 runs and scoring eight. He has also been the team captain the last
two seasons for the Mustangs.
"McLoughlin brings with him a bat that could potentially have an immediate impact at the collegiate level," said Soto. "He has shown us he can hit for both average and power and he plays the game the right way. He gives us a lot of options defensively and could be used in the infield, outfield, or behind the plate."
Anthony Villa is a 6-1, 180 pound infielder from San Ramon
Valley HS in San Ramon, Calif. Villa is
a three-time letter winner for the Wolves, twice in baseball and once in
football, where he played quarterback.
In his junior campaign he hit .269 with a .313 slugging percentage and a
.303 on base percentage. He scored 10
runs and drove in seven, helping guide his team to an 18-7 record and a
national ranking of 365 with a California ranking of 60. He was named the MVP of the 2011 All-Star
Showdown and was also named to the All-Tournament Team. The All-Star Showdown is a collection of the
top talent in the greater Bay Area.
"Villa is another local guy who we have enjoyed following," said Soto. "Similar to McLoughlin, he brings an exceptional bat to the program. He has shown us he can hit for average and power to all fields. He is a very good athlete who can play a number of positions and gives us a lot of flexibility with our lineup."
The Gaels will open the 2011 season at home against Southern Utah University February 17-19. The season-opener will be the first game ever played at the new complex.