The four additions are Steven Coe, Justin Flatt, Christian Leung and Jesse Lewis, all current seniors at in-state high schools, with one from nearby Valley Center and the other three from Northern California. Flatt, Leung and Lewis have all previously attended the UC San Diego Baseball Prospect Camp.
Coe is the lone local product out of Valley Center High School. He became the starting catcher in his junior season there a year ago, and led the Jaguars in batting, doubles, RBI and walks, while ranking second on the squad in hits and runs scored. Defensively, Coe commanded his pitching staff to a 2.62 ERA. He also posted a 1.62 ERA of his own over seven appearances on the hill.
"Steven has a good understanding of the game at the catcher position and really throws well," remarked Newman. "He should have an opportunity to play early in his career here."
"Steven's leadership and skills behind the plate are exactly what we look for in a catcher out of high school," added UCSD assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jonathan Johnston. "He has a passion for the game of baseball and we look forward to adding that passion and leadership to our program."
Flatt is a promising first baseman at De La Salle High School in Concord. A prospect with great bat speed and a solid glove, he helped guide the Spartans to a 20-7 overall record and East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) and North Coast Section (NCS) Division I titles as a junior. Flatt was also a member of the nationally-ranked and nationally-regarded De La Salle football team that went 13-1 and claimed a third successive Open Division state crown in 2011.
"Justin brings athleticism to the UCSD baseball program, along with a strong work ethic and competitiveness," commented Johnston. "He loves the game and will be a great addition to the Tritons next year. I am truly excited for Justin and the skills he will bring to our ball club."
"Justin is a really good hitter who brings good skills to the first base position," said Newman. "We think he is going to be a great contributor to our program."
In 104 plate appearances during his junior season at Alameda's Encinal High School, Leung produced a .392 batting average with seven doubles, two triples, four home runs, 21 RBI, 28 runs scored and seven stolen bases.
"Christian is an advanced hitter for the high school level, and should provide us with a solid corner outfielder who can hit for average and power," remarked Newman.
"Christian is a great addition to the Triton baseball program as a power-hitting outfielder with a strong arm," added Johnston. "We are extremely excited to have him as a part of our fall signing class. Christian is an impressive athlete and person."
Lewis is a three-sport athlete at Alameda High School. He has helped lead the Jets, ranked among the Top 20 in California in 2011, to three straight league titles in baseball while earning all-league selection each year. In 2012, Lewis led the league in hitting with a .432 average to go along with 23 RBI. In addition to his baseball exploits, he was a first-team all-league quarterback for the football squad and a two-year member of the varsity basketball team that qualified for the state tournament.
"I have had the pleasure of watching Jesse play since the fall of his junior year, and I am constantly impressed with his work ethic and desire to become the best player he can be," remarked Johnston.
"Jesse is an exceptional athlete that could play at all three outfield spots and looks to be able to hit for both average and power, as well as have good speed and arm strength," said Newman. "He should have an immediate impact on our program with his competitiveness and athleticism."
"Our assistant coaches really did a great job of putting together a class that addresses our needs moving forward," concluded Newman. "I am excited about the talent level of this group and really believe that they will further provide a solid base from which UCSD baseball can continue the tradition of excellence here. I want to thank Coach (Rob) Avila, Coach Johnston, Coach (J.T.) Bloodworth and Coach (Cory) Burleson for their hard work in identifying this talent and recruiting them to UCSD."
Following a trio of exhibition games at home in late January, Newman's Tritons will begin their quest for a first return trip to Cary, N.C., since 2010 in earnest on Friday night, Feb. 1, hosting Colorado Mesa in the opener of a three-game set at 6 p.m.
|UC San Diego Baseball 2014 Early Signings|
|Steven Coe||C||6-0||175||R/R||Valley Center/Valley Center HS|
|Justin Flatt||1B||6-1||180||L/L||Walnut Creek/De La Salle HS|
|Christian Leung||OF||5-9||185||L/L||Alameda/Encinal HS|
|Jesse Lewis||OF||6-2||175||R/R||Alameda/Alameda HS|
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