Ventura College baseball is proud to announce for the second consecutive year the Pirates will transfer double digit numbers of student athletes continuing their academic and collegiate baseball careers at four-year universities around the country. The Pirates sent 10 players to the next level a year ago and have matched that number of transfers in 2014. The Pirates will be represented at all levels of college baseball with athletes attending NCAA Division I, II and III universities, as well as NAIA schools.
This year's group is headed by a pair of two-time All-Western State Conference selections, two of the most decorated players in Ventura College baseball history. Sophomore third baseman Harrison Crawford will be continuing on to play at NCAA Division I Creighton University where he will play his home games at TD Ameritrade Stadium the home of the College World Series. Crawford is anticipated to compete for the starting position at 3rd base where the Blue Jays lost their previous starter in the Major League Baseball draft.
Sophomore Tyler Watson turned down numerous Division I offers to remain close to home, playing for emerging Division II power Azusa Pacific University in the Pac West Conference. Watson is anticipated to join a pitching rotation which saw three of its four starters selected in the MLB draft, and fill in behind the Cougars returning ace who is a potential first-round draft pick. Additionally, he will serve as a Designated Hitter and part-time starter at first base for his junior season. Watson looks to take over the full-time starter's role at first base as a senior.
The Pirates sent a pair of catchers on to the four-year level with sophomore Brian Magana accepting an offer to Azusa Pacific University where he will join Watson and compete for a starting position. Sophomore Scott Morton, who saw time at catcher, DH and left field at VC in 2014, signed a scholarship to compete for Briar Cliff University in Souix City, Iowa where he will look to fill a similar role next year for the NAIA school.
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Shoop, who spent three years at VC backing up some of the most decorated first basemen in school history, has been offered a roster spot at North Central College a Division III school in Naperville, Illinois. Shoop is going to have the opportunity to play first base and DH after developing and honing his skills with the Pirates.
Redshirt sophomore Tim Ginther was a two-year starter for the Pirates and earned a pair of WSC honors and a gold glove. He worked in right field, at second base, at first base and as a pitcher at VC and has accepted a scholarship to play at William Jessup University in Northern California. Ginther will be enrolling in fall and competing as a member of the school's first ever baseball team. William Jessup will enter competition at the NAIA level.
In addition to Watson, the Pirates placed four more pitchers at the next level. Redshirt sophomore right-hander Shawn Domke, who was a stabilizing force in the Pirates rotation all year, signed to play for Western Oregon University, an established Division II power. The coaching staff is anticipating Domke to be an immediate contributor replacing the loss of two arms to the MLB draft.
Sophomore Nathan Coakley, a right-handed reliever, is headed to NAIA power University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He expects to compete for a starting role in the rotation for the 2015 campaign.
Sophomore right-hander Grayson Weber, who also was a part-time starter as a freshman, accepted a scholarship to Fisher College in Massachusetts where he slated to compete for a spot in the rotation next season at the emerging NAIA school.
Meanwhile, redshirt sophomore Steven Martinez, a righty who served as the Pirates' closer in 2014, accepted a scholarship package to play at Cal State University, East Bay in Hayward, a Division II member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Pirate baseball is extremely proud of these 10 student athletes and their dedication to making themselves better baseball players and their desire to continue their education. The program's hope is that they will all return with four-year degrees earned while competing in collegiate baseball. The Pirate baseball family will be rooting for each one as they head off to Oregon, California, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa and Massachusetts next year. Go Pirates!