Dons Report: Baseball

 Blink and you’ll miss them. There will be plenty of new Dons on the team next season. /DonsAthleticsFlickr

Christopher Francis

Staff Writer

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have cut some seasons short, but the Dons will return in the fall — and alongside our returning athletes will be a class of new recruits. 

This week, the Foghorn will be reporting on the newest additions to the USF baseball team. 

Following the departure of 10 seniors (including four from their pitching staff), the Dons retooled through a massive 12-man signing class. This week, we focus on the six pitchers signed to the Dons roster for next spring. In an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, head coach Nino Giarratano said, “We’re probably going to have a good eight players off this recruiting class that will make an impact on next year’s team.”

Disclaimer: Stats were pulled from the 2019 high school baseball season, which was the last full season of play each player had due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kaleb Woltz, RHP, Aurora, Colorado. Cherokee Trail High School (6’2″, 185 lbs.)

With a fastball topping out at 87 mph, a sharp moving changeup, and a 10-4 curveball, Woltz joins the Dons with a strong pedigree. Coming from the Colorado Slammers club team (a frequent source of players for the Dons in recent years), he was named to the Rocky Mountain Showcase Top Prospect List in 2019 and received an honorable mention on the Rawlings Perfect Game All-American Preseason List. Woltz also ranked in the top 500 in the nation for high school baseball players, according to Perfect Game.

Elijah Tolsma, RHP, Torrance, California, Bishop Montgomery High School (6’1″, 170 lbs.): 

Joining the Dons with his fellow club team battery mate in Tyler Imbach, Tolsma brings an impressive stat line to the Hilltop. He went 4-0 with a 0.23 ERA in nine appearances this past season, striking out 41 in 30 2/3 innings with just four walks while holding opposing hitters to a paltry .140 average. He also received an honorable mention in the California region in Perfect Game’s 2020 Preseason All-American lists. 

Owen Stevenson, RHP, San Francisco, California, Sacred Heart Cathedral High School (6’3″, 170 lbs.): 

An in-city recruit coming from Sacred Heart, Stevenson joins the Dons with a knack for big-time-player, big-time-play ability. He carried a 5-3 record with a 2.88 ERA for the Irish and was a key piece in their rotation come playoff time during his junior season. He picked up saves in two big games against Aragon and Willow Glen before his masterpiece: a complete-game shutout to send his team to the Central Coast Section Division II final. Boasting a fastball, curveball, change-up, and a knee-buckling curveball, Stevenson should contend for a starting rotation spot come springtime.

Trevor Meisner, RHP, Las Vegas, Nevada, Bishop Gorman High School (6’2″, 175 lbs.): 

Another big-time-player, big-time-play pitcher, Meisner comes with a pitching repertoire of a fastball, 11-5 curveball, change up, and curveball. During his junior year, he amassed a 5-1 record with a 1.73 ERA (35 to 23 K/BB ratio while also collecting statement wins in the postseason. Meisner pitched a complete game one-hitter against Spring Valley High School, fanning seven while giving just two a free pass to first. 

Max Jones, RHP, San Diego, California, Patrick Henry High School (6’1″, 195 lbs.): 

Coming from San Diego with a fastball, curveball, and change-up to his name, Jones is projected to come out of the bullpen next spring. But make no mistake, the former Patrick Henry Patriots rotation member comes with a strong resume. Jones carried a 1.82 ERA through a 7-1 record his junior season, striking out 86 while only walking 46 in 77 innings of work. He was also named to the Rawlings Perfect Game Preseason All-American list for 2020, earning an honorable mention. 

Aidan Lee, RHP/1B, Gilroy, California, Monte Vista Christian School (6’4″, 220 lbs.): 

A versatile player coming from Southern California, Lee is projected to join the Dons as a starting pitcher with two-way playability. During his junior year, he collected a .339 batting average over 21 games, knocking in 16 runs in the process. On the mound, he posted a 3.77 ERA over 8 appearances, picking up 3 wins and striking out 26 in the process

Nick Naccarato, OF/UTIL, Carlsbad (Calif.) Sage Creek (5-11, 168):

Luke Keaschall, SS/MIF, Watsonville (Calif.) Aptos (6-0, 165):

Tyler Imbach, C, Palos Verdes Estates (Calif.) Palos Verdes (6-1, 180):

Cameron Faris, SS/3B Castro Valley (6-1, 185):

Mario Demera, 3B/OF, St. Ignatius (6-1, 185):

Jared Breedwell, OF, Vacaville (6-0, 180):

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