From Alaska to Wisconsin, Fifteen Tritons Competing in Summer Ball
LA JOLLA, Calif. - With final exams and another school year past them, members of the 2018 NCAA Division II West Region champion University of California San Diego baseball program are back in sanctioned summer leagues again this year.
Fifteen Tritons are competing for nine teams across five states in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
Headlining the group is rising junior right-hander Ted Stuka, who had a brief stint in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) with the Cotuit (Mass.) Kettleers, record 16-time champions. He made his lone appearance on June 26 with 1.2 scoreless innings (one hit, one walk), thus becoming the first Triton under head coach Eric Newman, who took charge in 2012, to compete in arguably the best summer league in the country. Stuka is in fact the first UC San Diego student-athlete to play in the CCBL since Scott Clement (2006-07), who got into eight games for the 2006 Cape Cod champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Stuka was released from his Cape Cod contract on June 29 due to the roster logjam created by late arrivals from the College World Series. He has since moved on to the La Crosse (Wis.) Loggers of the Northwoods League, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary season as another top summer option.
Fellow tall right-hander Kyle Lucke is one of three Tritons in Alaska. The rising senior is with Nick Kitzmann and Cameron Leonard with the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks. The Goldpanners were charter Alaska Baseball League (ABL) members when it began back in 1974, but are competing as an independent this summer. Lucke is the only one of the trio who is making a return trip to Alaska, having thrown for the ABL's Peninsula Oilers in Kenai last year.
Rising senior outfielders Zander Clarke and Christopher Schasteen are in the West Coast League (WCL) in the Pacific Northwest. Clarke is with the Portland Pickles for the third successive summer. UC San Diego's unanimous 2018 All-American totaled 14 home runs as the 2017 Great West League (GWL) Player of the Year, with the Pickles having now moved over to the WCL. Clarke has a combined 18 long balls for his Portland career, including one as the 2017 GWL All-Star Game MVP, and one already this summer in his home debut on June 19, the latter a three-run, two-out, opposite-field blast to right center in a 9-4 victory. Schasteen is with the Port Angeles (Wash.) Lefties.
There are still five Tritons, all underclassmen, in the GWL this summer. Brandon Stewart and Joe DeBaca are playing for the Chico Heat in Northern California, and Antonio Barrios and Blake Baumgartner are teammates for the Medford (Ore.) Rogues. Garett Lake is with the Klamath Falls (Ore.) Gems.
Use the links below to follow your favorite Triton ball-players all summer long, with club Twitter handles included as well, where applicable. List is subject to addition and change.