November 26, 2007

UC Irvine Baseball Inks Four in Early Signing Period

Nov. 26, 2007

IRVINE, Calif. --- Matt Summers (Phoenix, Ariz./ Cactus Shadow HS), Scott Gottschling (Orange/Villa Park HS), Jordan Leyland (San Dimas/San Dimas HS) and Tommy Reyes (Rancho Cucamonga/Bishop Amat HS) have all signed National Letters of Intent with the UC Irvine Baseball program during the early signing period as announced by associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Pat Shine.

"'Quality not quantity' would be a fitting summation of the 2008 early signing period's recruiting class," said Shine. "This was a very atypical recruiting period, because of the late hiring of the staff, but nonetheless, very successful and a promising foundation for many years to come. We had to evaluate not only potential players for the UC Irvine Baseball program but we had to take into account the program's needs and scholarship situation," continued Shine. "We are extremely proud of these four high school commitments. They are all capable of being immediate impact players. We take pride in not only recruiting great players, but more importantly, student-athletes that have the character and intangibles to be winners at UC Irvine."

Matt Summers...RHP/OF...L-R...6-2...185...Phoenix, Ariz./Cactus Shadow HS
Scott Gottschling...UTL...R-R...5-11...185...Orange/Villa Park HS
Jordan Leyland...INF...R-R...6-4...215...San Dimas/San Dimas HS
Tommy Reyes...INF...R-R...6-1...180...Rancho Cucamonga/Bishop Amat HS

Summers, a 6-2 pitcher and outfielder, posted a 3.50 ERA last season, striking out 23 in 20 innings pitched. The right-hander was named second-team all-region as a sophomore and collected all-state honorable mention honors. As an outfielder, Summers hit .420 with nine doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs. As a sophomore, Summers collected a second-team all-regional award and was named all-state honorable mention.

"Matt has the ability to be a legitimate two-way college player," said Shine. "As a pitcher Matt has an above-average fastball and if he develops the way we think he can, he has the makings to be a front-line weekend starter."

Gottschling, a utility player, batted .272 as a junior and totaled 17 RBI, seven doubles and 18 base on balls. The 5-11 right-hander is a team captain and was a member of the 2005 Junior Olympic team that advanced to the semi-finals. The four-time National Honor Society member also was a three-year member of the New York Yankees scout team.

"Scott has demonstrated the ability to hit and drive the ball to all fields," said Shine. "Along with his ability to hit, Scott has great make-up and brings versatility to the team, showing equal talent in the infield and outfield."

Leyland is a first-team all-league selection. The 6-4 infielder batted .458 as a junior and slugged .711. Leyland had 14 doubles, two triples and 34 RBI while striking out just five times. As a sophomore, he boasted a .531average with 51 hits, including eight doubles, a triple and 28 runs batted in. He is a two-time All-CIF second-team selection and two-time scholar-athlete. Leyland also played with the Southern California Renegades.

"We are very excited to have an offensive player like Jordan in our program" said Shine. "Jordan is arguably one of the best hitters in the 2008 Southern California recruiting class. With his big frame and great work ethic, Jordan has a great future as a college player and beyond. We look for Jordan to be an immediate impact hitter who can play both corner positions in the infield."

Rounding out the list is Reyes, a 6-1 shortstop from Bishop Amat High School. Reyes batted .373 as a junior, totaling seven doubles, a triple and four home runs and boasted a .653 slugging percentage. Reyes helped the team to two Serra League and Del Rey crowns as well as the CIF Southern Section championship in 2007. He was tabbed first-team all-league as a junior and the Defensive Player of the Year. A member of the USA Junior Olympic Team, Reyes was also a San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth All-Star and all-tournament regional selection.

"Tommy brings tremendous upside and versatility to play any infield position," said Shine. "Tommy's greatest strengths, beside what he brings physically, are his character, mentality and passion for the game. He is a hard-nosed player and a great fit for the UC Irvine Baseball Program. He has the arm strength to play shortstop and has a great offensive approach," said Shine.

UC Irvine, under first-year head coach Mike Gillespie, returns 21 letterwinners from the 2007 team that advanced to the semi-finals of the College World Series. UC Irvine is led by All-American Scott Gorgen and All-Big West selections Aaron Lowenstein, Ben Orloff, Ollie Linton and Sean Madigan. The Anteaters open the 2008 season at Nevada (Feb. 22-24).