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Bears’ Baseball sends 9 sophomores on to four-year homes

July 31, 2014

Bloom, McClure, Stierstorfer, Wiederhold head list

 

Phoenix, Arizona – July 31, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that the student-athletes listed below from the PC Baseball team have officially signed letters of intent to attend school this coming fall and play baseball for 4-year universities next spring:

               

The following Bears’ student-athletes have officially signed:

NAME

POS

SIGNED WITH

Adam Bloom

OF

Western Oregon University

Ryan Erazo

RHP

Colorado Christian University

Matt Lewis

RHP

Colorado Christian University

Brent McClure

OF

Tabor College (KS)

Alex Medin

OF

Grand Canyon University (AZ)

Hector Ortiz

2B

University of Nebraska-Kearney

Cedric Rodriguez

RHP

Tabor College (KS)

Zach Stierstorfer

C

Grand Canyon University (AZ)

Weston Wiederhold

C

Colorado Christian University

The announcements come a little over three months after the student-athletes walked off the diamond for the final time in their Bears’ careers last April.

 

-Adam Bloom has been one of the main backbones of the team in each of his two years wearing blue and gold.  The Desert Mountain High School alum was one of the main reasons that the Bears broke through to the Region I Playoffs in 2013 as he hit a blistering .374 (2nd-best on the team) with 14 runs batted in in just 91 at-bats.  This past season, Bloom filled every outfield position that PC Head Baseball Kevin Kimball asked him to fill, and really became the glue to the team late in the season when injuries were hurting the team’s playoff chances.  While Bloom’s bat in 2014 started a bit slow, it picked up speed when the Bears needed it, and Bloom raised his batting average some 25 points over the final month of the season to finish right at .300.  Bloom also had four triples and 17 RBI.

-Ryan Erazo (eh-RAH-zoh) is one of three Bears from the Class of 2014 to choose the NCAA Division II school, Colorado Christian University, as their four-year choice, and for Erazo, he’ll have the comfort of knowing that his battery-mate, Weston Wiederhold, will join him in Lakewood.  Erazo spent two years on the Bears’ pitching staff after graduating from Estrella Mountain High School in Goodyear.  This past season, Erazo moved back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen, beginning the 2014 campaign with six straight starts (including going the 7-inning distance February 21st to get the win against South Mountain) before finishing it out with five of his last six appearances coming in middle relief.  Erazo’s last start of his Bears’ career was his best as he blanked Eastern Arizona over six innings to get the W.  Erazo finished with a 3-5 record and a 4.56 earned run average.  He was also 3rd on the team in strikeouts with 30.

-The 2014 journey for Matt Lewis was a quiet one… until the season’s last month, when he became the team’s ‘ironman’ on the hill.  After spending his entire freshman season coming out of Kimball’s bullpen (and finishing 2nd on the team with 3 saves in 17 appearances), the Desert Mountain High School alum won a job in the 2014 starting rotation coming out of fall bal.  He also showed a penchant for taking his starts into the 7th inning over the first month of the season, but not necessarily being around long enough to get the decision.  It took a rough couple of outings in the month of March to rectify that, since that ‘wake-up call’ was enough to get Lewis on track in a big way.  Lewis made four straight starts of 6 2/3 innings or more from March 22nd through April 12th, and took it to the 9th twice.  His two wins during that stretch were extremely impressive, blanking defending ACCAC Regular Season Champ Central Arizona over 7 innings, and followed that with 8 innings of one-run ball against defending Region I DII Champion Scottsdale.  On the season, Lewis finished with a 3-5 record, a 4.02 ERA, and 41 strikeouts (2nd-most on the squad).

-While there were several changes to the everyday starting lineup for Kimball, there was one constant all season long:  leave Brent McClure in right field.  McClure was easily the team’s most consistent player from start to finish in 2014, and opposing baserunners found out more than once why they shouldn’t challenge his accuracy throwing to home plate.  At the plate, he knocked in 19 runs as a freshman, and then as a sophomore kept his batting average hovering near the top of the team leaders all season long, finishing 2nd in that category with a .331 batting average.  McClure was also 3rd on the team in hits (50) and 4th in runs scored (23).

-For Alex Medin (MEH-dinn), the heat to decide where his four-year home was going to be was largely non-existent, since he was pretty much committed to head to GCU before his sophomore campaign even started.  The ‘Lopes loved what they saw from his range and accuracy defensively, since he committed just 2 errors in 27 games as a freshman.  They also didn’t mind his speed on the basepaths, since he had 6 stolen bases in just 67 at-bats in 2013.  Unfortunately, Medin battled injuries from the preseason to the end of the 2014 season, and was mainly used as a pinchrunner by Kimball after the first couple of weeks of the season.

-It was the exact opposite scenario for Hector Ortiz (ohr-TEES), since while injuries were happening all around him last year, he was the mainstay, playing in a team-high 50 games (and a total of 93 games during his two-year career).  Ortiz will head to Nebraska hoping to continue to capitalize on his quick glove, since he helped turn a total of 45 double plays during his time in the Bears’ middle infield.  He was also quick with his feet offensively as well with 6 stolen bases (3rd-most on the team) in 2014 while legging out 7 doubles and 3 triples.

-Cedric Rodriguez (rohd-REE-ghez) was one of Kimball’s go-to pitchers each of the last two years, but those years were drastically different settings for him.  As a freshman, the Agua Fria High School alum not only won a spot in the Bears’ starting rotation, but was the one Kimball gave the ball to as the starter for the 3rd and deciding game of the 2013 Region I Semifinals.  Rodriguez’s 1.81 ERA was 3rd-best on the squad.  For 2014, Kimball decided that Rodriguez’s best contribution would come from the bullpen, and it didn’t take long for Rodriguez to once again be the ‘go-to’ guy for middle and long relief.  Rodriguez had three different relief outings of three innings or more, and his lone start of the season was just as impressive, blanking Western Nebraska for nearly six innings for the win.  Seven of his 12 outings on the season saw Rodriguez not allow a run.  For the year, Rodriguez was 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA.

-Kimball had a dilemma in 2014 that most head coaches on the two-year level would love to have:  how to find places for two catchers in the lineup (and on the field) at the same time.  He was able to wrangle a way, since Zach Stierstorfer and Weston Wiederhold each had 100 putouts or more this past year.  However, Zach Stierstorfer (STEER-stohr-fuhr) wound up behind the dish the majority of the time-as evidenced by his 186 putouts (2nd-most on the team).  The Horizon High School alum also had 154 at-bats during his 44 games played as a sophomore, and his 9 doubles and 20 RBI both ranked 3rd in those respective categories on the squad.  He also finished with a .254 batting average.

-The other half of that catching duo, Weston Wiederhold (WEE-duhr-hohld), was always in the batting order even when he didn’t have the catcher’s mask on during the defensive half of the inning.  Wiederhold-who graduated from Highland High School before spending two years in a Bears’ uniform-had 107 putouts when he was behind the plate, which still ranked 3rd on the squad.  The reason he was the designated hitter when he wasn’t catching?  He was arguably the team’s top producer in 2014 as he led the team in home runs (4) and runs batted in (26) while placing 2nd on the team in hits (51).  Wiederhold finished with a .283 batting average, and even legged out 6 stolen bases.