The US college season is now underway so it is time to start spying on the future HarbourCats to see how they fare in the NCAA world. Hopefully, the odd post here and there will give you a view into a few of the players that will show up at the RAP this summer.
The University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos gave us a fistful of players last year - David
Schuknecht, Robby Nesovic, Cameron Cuneo and Joe Record - and the relationship looks to continue with medical-redshirt freshman outfielder Andrew Calica (pronounced cah-LEE-ca) who is headed our way this summer.
The Gauchos have played 4 games so far and sport a 3-1 record, dropping only a single game to San Jose State last weekend. Returning from a back injury last year, Calica is off to a nice start and despite going hitless in his first game, is now batting .400 after stringing together three multi-hit (all singles) games. He has struck out once and been plunked once in his 17 plate appearances while flawlessly (no errors) patrolling centre field and picking up two assists.
Calica seems to be hitting seventh right now but if he keeps up the consistent performance and can mix in some extra base hits, look for him to move up in the order.
The Cleveland Indians selected Calica in the 17th round back in 2012, the year he graduated from Eastlake High School in San Diego. In his junior and senior years there, he hit a combined .450 while also playing football and running some cross country. This well-rounded athlete is just now filling out his six foot two frame so while he will probably never put up Ruth-like power numbers, look for a little more pop to creep into his stat-line over the coming months. Hopefully, he will get through an full injury-free season with the Gauchos before bring his game to Vic-town.
Looking forward, UCSB will certainly have their hands full tonight when they take on the thirteenth ranked UCLA Bruins, before returning home this weekend for a four game set with Princeton. As the season progresses, we will continue to give you updates on how your future 'Cats are doing down south, as the snow (what, in Victoria??) melts away to thoughts of spring...