BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A quintet of players signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, CSUB baseball Head Coach Bill Kernen announced Thursday, as the program begins to reload with the impending graduation of 10 seniors following the 2010 season.
Nick Bartolone, Cael Brockmeyer, Kyle Desimone, Oscar Sanay and Victor Soto will all don a Roadrunner uniform in 2011, Bakersfield’s first season of NCAA Division I Championship eligibility.
Bartolone is a 5-11 shortstop out of Chabot College in Hayward. He was a first team All-Golden Gate Conference selection in 2009 after batting .348 with 63 hits, including seven doubles, four triples and two home runs. He also knocked in 28 runs and successfully stole 30 bases in 32 attempts.
“Nick is a prime time shortstop with speed, athleticism and ‘ballplayer’ mentality,” said Kernen said of the standout recruit who was also recruited by the likes of Oral Roberts, San Francisco, Fresno State, San Diego, Utah, Northwestern and Virginia Tech. “He turned down many other offers to come to Bakersfield to study and play baseball.”
A native of San Ramon, Bartolone prepped at California High School where he was a first team All-East Bay Athletic League selection and led the Grizzlies to a league title in 2007.
Brockmeyer is a 6-5 catcher/first baseman from Avon Old Farms High School in Avon, Conn., where he was named a 2010 Under Armor Pre-Season All-American. He has led the Beavers to Founders League titles in 2007-09 and Colonial League titles in 2007-08, and he was named the team’s most improved player in 2009.
An honors student who is currently on his school’s Headmasters’ List with a 3.8 grade point average, Brockmeyer was also recruited by Brown, Harvard, Boston College, Rhode Island, Bucknell and Holy Cross.
“Catching is the lynch pin of our defense and we feel Cael is the athlete we needed to take on that responsibility when our current catchers move on to professional baseball,” Kernen said. “He’s big, strong, smart and has all the tools.”
Desimone hails from Bakersfield’s own Stockdale High School, where he plays shortstop and second base. In 2009, the 5-10 Desimone led the Mustangs with a .535 batting average. He also had a .558 on-base percentage, .884 slugging percentage, four home runs, four triples, 10 doubles, 25 RBI’s and 12 stolen bases. Stockdale won back-to-back Southwest Yosemite League titles and Central Sections titles in 2008 and 2009.
“When you go out looking for competitors with a warrior mind set, you hope to find athletes like Kyle,” said Kernen of his local prospect. “This, coupled with his middle infield skills and hitting ability, makes him an important figure in the program’s future.”
Sanay preps at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista. The 5-8 middle infielder hit .423 with five doubles, three triples and 13 stolen bases in 2009, earning second team San Diego Section and first team All-Mesa League honors. Sanay was also a first team all-league selection in 2008 and earned the Barons’ Offensive Player of the Year award as both a freshman and sophomore.
“If you want to see a young ballplayer light up a baseball field all by himself, come see this young man play next year,” Kernen said. “Being tough, fast and intense on both sides of the ball, we expect Oscar to have a major impact immediately.”
Soto is a 5-11 right-handed pitcher out of Rio Hondo Community College. In 2009 he went 6-2 with a 4.12 ERA and one save, recording 49 strikeouts in 78.2 innings and earning second team All-Foothill Conference honors.
“Victor has a power arm with a fastball in the 92-93 range,” said Kernen. “If he buys in to our culture and improves his entire skill set, he can be a Friday night starter on the national level.”
Soto, who was also recruited by USC, UC Santa Barbara and UNLV, prepped at La Serna High School in Whitter where he collected numerous awards as a member of the Lancers’ squad. He was a four-time All-Del Rio League selection, two-time all-area selection, three-time team MVP and La Serna High School’s 2008 Athlete of the Year.