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BSB vs Loyola Marymount

The 2013 NCAA Champion UCLA Baseball team (Photo by Don Liebig)

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
UCLA Baseball Signs Nine Players to National Letters of Intent
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  11/18/2013

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The NCAA champion UCLA Baseball team has signed nine high school players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Head coach John Savage’s latest class includes six pitchers and three position players.

Overall, all nine players from this most recent class are from California. In addition, two players competed for the USA Baseball 18U squad at the 2013 18U World Cup in Taiwan. All nine players are also ranked among Perfect Game USA’s Top 500 High School prospects for 2014.

“We are very excited about this incoming class,” head coach John Savage said. “These group of players have the chance to make an immediate impact both on and off the field. Coach Bruce and the rest of the coaching staff have worked very hard to get this class committed to UCLA and we believe that this group of pitchers and position players could be the best group of any class in the country.”

The Bruins’ recruiting class includes talented left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken, right-handers Griffin Canning, Nathan Hadley, Grant Hockin, Jacob Nix and Matt Trask, and infielders Nick Valaika, Sean Bouchard and Josh Morgan.

Seven of Coach Savage’s nine recruiting classes at UCLA have earned a top-20 ranking from Baseball America, with the class of 2012 earning the highest ranking in Savage’s tenure. The 2012 class was named the No. 2 class in the country by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and helped the Bruins win the program’s first NCAA Championship in program history last season.

UCLA Baseball's 2014 Signees

Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. Hometown Previous School
Brady Aiken LHP L/L 6-3 210 Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. Cathedral Catholic HS
Sean Bouchard INF R/R 6-3 180 San Diego, Calif. Cathedral Catholic HS
Griffin Canning RHP R/R 6-1 165 Coto de Caza, Calif. Santa Margarita Catholic HS
Nathan Hadley RHP R/R 5-11 180 Encino, Calif. Loyola HS
Grant Hockin RHP R/R 6-1 185 Pomona, Calif. Damien HS
Josh Morgan INF R/R 5-11 175 Corona, Calif. Orange Lutheran HS
Jacob Nix RHP R/R 6-3 200 Los Alamitos, Calif. Los Alamitos HS
Matt Trask RHP R/R 6-3 205 Davis, Calif. Davis HS
Nick Valaika INF R/R 5-11 180 Valencia, Calif. Hart HS

Brady Aiken
Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. (Cathedral Catholic HS)
LHP - 6-3, 210 - L/L
Three-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, Calif.) under head coach Gary Remiker ... ranked No. 9 on Baseball America’s Top 50 Prospects for the 2014 MLB Draft ... ranked No. 24 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... competed for the U.S. 18U National Team at the 18U World Cup in Taiwan, leading the team to its second straight World Cup title … delivered a great performance in the 2013 IBAF 18U/’AAA’ World Cup championship game against Japan, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on five hits while striking out 10 to earn the win … received International Performance of the Year honors from USA Baseball for his game against Japan … also picked up the victory vs. Korea in a must-win game four days prior to the Championship game, pitching 5.2 innings and striking out seven … played for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2012 and 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … struck out eight batters in just three innings of work at the 2013 Area Code Games, allowing only two balls to be in put in play in his start … named the No. 6 prospect from the 2013 Area Code Games by Baseball America … two-time Under Armour and Perfect Game Underclass All-American … also played for the U.S. 16U and 14U National Teams … participated in the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C. … struck out seven batters in three innings at the tournament without surrendering a hit … pitched in the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic Presented by Rawlings at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. … 2013 second-team All-State Underclass selection … went 5-3 in 10 games (nine starts) as a junior at Cathedral Catholic, tossing three complete games in 53.1 innings … logged 80 strikeouts to just 25 walks while recording a 0.92 ERA as well … opposing batters hit just .162 against him in 2013 … posted a 6-1 record with a 1.32 ERA as a sophomore on varsity, fanning 69 hitters in 47.2 innings pitched … allowed hitters to post just a .170 batting average against him in 2012.

Head Coach John Savage: “Brady is one of the top left-handed pitchers in the country. He has established himself both on the national and international level and has the ability to be an impact pitcher in a rotation right away with the three above-average pitches he possesses.”

Sean Bouchard
San Diego, Calif. (Cathedral Catholic HS)
INF - 6-3, 180 - R/R
Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, Calif.) under head coach Gary Remiker ... ranked No. 58 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... batted .316 with 16 runs, nine RBI, one double and one home run as a junior in 2013 ... posted an on-base percentage of .391 and stole seven bases as well … 2013 third-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American … played for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … also competed at the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic Presented by Rawlings at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. … played in the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. … 2013 UT-San Diego All-Academic Baseball Team selection.

Head Coach John Savage: “Sean is a very good athlete who we look for to play on the left side of the infield. He has all of the tools you are looking for in an impact freshman and we are very excited for what the future holds for him.”

Griffin Canning
Coto de Caza, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic HS)
RHP - 6-1, 185 - R/R
Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Santa Margarita Catholic High School (Santa Margarita, Calif.) under head coach Dave Bacani ... ranked No. 202 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... pitched in the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., earning the win for the Babe Ruth team on June 19 with two innings of scoreless relief … was one of 40 players selected to attend the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials … in two outings during the team trials, pitched five innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while striking out six … 2013 third-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American … made 15 appearances as a junior in 2013, going 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA while leading Santa Margarita to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS playoffs … pitched 86.1 innings in 2013, fanning 60 batters while walking only 15 … appeared in 13 games as a sophomore in 2012, making 12 starts and posting a 4-7 record with a 2.30 ERA … tossed five complete games and recorded one shutout in 67 innings pitched … logged 50 strikeouts while walking just seven … participated in the 2012 17U USA Baseball National Team Development Program … pitched in nine games as a freshman in 2011, posting a 6-2 record with a 0.90 ERA.

Head Coach John Savage: “Griffin has terrific pitch ability and is one of the top competitors in Southern California. He is pitch ready, has very good command of his fastball and possesses an above-average changeup. Griffin pitches in one of the toughest leagues in the Trinity League in Orange County and will have a significant role on our staff in the future.”

Nathan Hadley
Encino, Calif. (Loyola HS)
RHP - 5-11, 180 - R/R
Earned two varsity letters in baseball at Loyola High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) under head coach Mike Cordero ... ranked No. 312 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... pitched in 14 games for Loyola as a junior in 2013, making one start ... posted a 5-3 record with three saves and a 2.62 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched … logged 45 strikeouts in his 45.1 innings of work as well … one start came in the CIF-SS second round against Lakewood, where he pitched a complete game, allowing one earned run on four hits in a 6-3 victory … 2013 honorable mention Perfect Game Underclass All-American … pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … also pitched at the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., competing for the RBI team … made the start for RBI at the Tournament of the Stars on June 23, striking out five in three innings … 2013 second-team All-State Underclass selection … 2013 first-team All-Mission League selection … appeared in six games as a sophomore in 2012 (all in relief), going 1-0 with one save … did not allow a run in 6.2 innings pitched while fanning three.

Head Coach John Savage: “Nathan established himself this summer as one of the top right-handed pitchers in Southern California and is a fierce competitor that will bring an attitude to the mound. He has a big-time arm and we look for him to be an immediate impact pitcher in our program.”

Grant Hockin
Pomona, Calif. (Damien HS)
RHP - 6-1, 185 - R/R
Three-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Damien High School (La Verne, Calif.) under head coach Al Leyva ... ranked No. 132 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... pitched at the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., competing for the AABC team … went 7-3 with a 1.96 ERA and 96 strikeouts as a junior in 2013, logging 75 innings pitched ... made 13 appearances in 2012, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.10 ERA … two-time Perfect Game Underclass All-American (2012 and 2013) … pitched at the 2012 and 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., pitching the Milwaukee Brewers squad … also competed at the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. and the 2013 Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill. … struck out 70 batters in 70 innings pitched that season … pitched 6.2 innings as a freshman on varsity, recording one win in three appearances … participated in the USA Baseball 16U National Team Trials in 2011.

Head Coach John Savage: “Grant is one of the best right-handed pitchers in the country. Like Griffin Canning, he has high pitch ability with a plus fastball and we look forward to having Grant become a Bruin next fall.”

Josh Morgan
Corona, Calif. (Orange Lutheran HS)
INF - 5-11, 175 - R/R
Three-year baseball letterwinner at Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.) under head coach Eric Borba ... ranked No. 51 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... batted .326 with 15 runs, five RBI, three doubles and four stolen bases as a junior in 2013 ... recorded an on-base percentage of .420 and a slugging percentage of .395 … logged one save in his only pitching appearance as well … 2013 first-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American … played for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … also competed at the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. … hit .316 with 15 runs, 15 RBI, two doubles and a home run as a sophomore in 2012, leading Orange Lutheran to the Trinity League title … participated in the USA Baseball 17U National Team Development Program in 2012 … batted at a .233 clip with four doubles as a freshman on varsity in 2011.

Head Coach John Savage: “Josh is a terrific young infielder with all of the skills you are looking for in an impact player. He has taken a big step forward this past summer and fall and should be able to step in and play a major role in our program as a freshman.”

Jacob Nix
Los Alamitos, Calif. (Los Alamitos HS)
RHP - 6-3, 200 - R/R
Three-year letterwinner in baseball at Los Alamitos High School (Los Alamitos, Calif.) under head coach Matt Nuez ... ranked No. 60 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... competed at the 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials … made the final cut and pitched for the U.S. 18U National Team at the 18U World Cup in Taiwan, leading the team to its second straight World Cup title … earned the win in an exhibition game against Chinese Taipei on Aug. 27, 2013, pitching 2.1 innings of hitless relief while striking out two … helped the U.S. earn a 6-5 win over Cuba in the 18U World Cup on Sept. 2 with 5.2 innings of scoreless relief … 2013 third-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American … pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … also competed at the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., playing for the Babe Ruth squad … played at the 2013 Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. … 2013 All-Sunset League selection … went 8-0 with a 1.97 ERA and 41 strikeouts as a sophomore in 2012, leading Los Alamitos to the Sunset League title … 2012 Sunset League Pitcher of the Year … 2012 second-team All-Orange County selection … struck out 10 in a complete game one-hitter against El Toro in the 2012 CIF-SS Quarterfinals … pitched a no-hitter in 2012.

Head Coach John Savage: “Jacob is a power right-handed pitcher who has elevated his game over the last nine months. Along with Brady Aiken, he led the 18U USA Baseball team to a Gold medal at the World Cup this past summer and proved himself to be one of the top right-handers in the country. Jacob, along with the rest of the pitchers in this class, will comprise the best pitching class going into college next season in my opinion.”

Matt Trask
Davis, Calif. (Davis HS)
RHP - 6-3, 205 - R/R
Two-year baseball letterwinner at Davis High School (Davis, Calif.) under head coach Dan Ariola ... ranked No. 275 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... posted a 7-2 in 11 appearances, logging a 1.52 ERA with three complete games in 55.1 innings as a junior in 2013 … batted .413 with 13 runs, 20 RBI, eight doubles and a .511 on-base percentage as well … named to the All-Nor-Cal first team and the Cal Hi Sports All-State second team … pitched at the 2013 Perfect Game WWBA 18U Championship, earning All-Tournament honors … competed at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., playing for the Oakland A’s squad … 2013 third-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American and 2012 Underclass honorable mention selection … went 3-3 with a 1.72 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) as a sophomore in 2012.

Head Coach John Savage: “Matt is one of the best right-handed pitchers in Northern California. He comes from a very good program at Davis High School and has a chance to play a major role as a freshman in our staff next year.”

Nick Valaika
Valencia, Calif. (Hart HS)
INF - 5-11, 180 - R/R
Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Hart High School (Valencia, Calif.) under head coach Jim Ozella ... ranked No. 234 on Perfect Game USA’s list of Top 500 High School prospects for 2014 ... brother Pat played at UCLA from 2011-13, winning the NCAA Championship with the squad this past season … played for the Milwaukee Brewers squad at the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. … also competed at the 2013 Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., playing for the Babe Ruth squad … 2013 third-team Perfect Game Underclass All-American and 2012 Underclass honorable mention selection … batted at a .316 clip as a sophomore in 2012, missing most of the season with a knee injury.

Head Coach John Savage: “Nick comes from one of the best baseball families in Southern California and also plays for one of the best baseball programs in Southern California. Coach Ozella has proven that they can produce top notch players both at the collegiate level as well as the professional level. We have had very good players come from Hart High School in Trevor Brown, Trevor Bauer (Golden Spikes Award Winner 2011) and Pat Valaika (captain of the 2013 National Championship team) and we believe that Nick will continue that tradition for us next year.”


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