Two years after the strongest class of baseball players in JSerra history played their final season for the Lions, many continue to contribute great things for their college teams.
To highlight a few:
Chase Strumpf is the starting second baseman for UCLA.
Brady Shockey is the starting right fielder for USC.
Lyle Lin is the starting catcher for Arizona State.
Davis Wendzel is the starting third baseman for Baylor.
The four former teammates are each in their second year at the college level. They all gained valuable playing experience as freshmen, which helped them get off to fantastic starts this season.
Wendzel hit .301 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs as a freshman, helping the Bears to their first winning season since 2012. He began this season with six hits in the first three games, including his first home run.
Wendzel told the Waco-Tribune Herald prior to this season that the transition from high school to the college game was an eye-opener, but the experience he gained while playing at JSerra and in the ultra-competitive Trinity League helped him quickly adapt to the level of play.
“Just figuring out that the game is still played the same way, from high school into college,” Wendzel said. “It’s really just the same game. You just have to slow it down a little bit.”
Strumpf, who committed to UCLA in December of his freshman year at JSerra, homered in the first inning of the season-opener against Portland on Feb. 16. He finished 7-for-10 in the weekend series sweep with four doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.
He followed that up by hitting a walk-off double in the ninth inning of a 2-1 win against visiting Pepperdine on Feb. 20.
“I was aggressive and got a slider up and put a good swing on it,” Strumpf told the Daily Bruin student newspaper. “
Lin was second on Arizona State with 61 hits as a freshman last season, and immediately picked up where he left off in his second year.
Lin went 7-for-16 in the season-opening weekend series against Miami (Ohio), clubbing his first home run of the season along the way.
Lin became the first Taiwanese-born player to be selected in the MLB Draft when he was taken in the 16th round by the Seattle Mariners two years ago, but opted to attend college.
Strumpf, Shockey, Wendzel and Lin aren’t the only players from JSerra’s Class of 2016 that are contributing to their college teams.
Micah Pries started all 47 games in center field for Point Loma Nazarene last season, and he also got off to a sensational start with 16 hits in his first 35 at-bats this winter.
Matt Manskar is the starting third baseman for Cal Poly Pomona.
Collin Quinn, the Orange County Register Pitcher of the Year in 2016, redshirted at Washington State last season before transferring to Saddleback College, where he should be a key member of the pitching staff.
Colton Hector is a reserve infielder and relief pitcher for Holy Cross.
Of course, the 2016 JSerra team had another player that was pretty good that season, only Royce Lewis was only a junior. The following year, he’d be MLB’s No. 1 overall draft pick.
That was a talented team, indeed.