RENO, Nev. – Local Reno product Chris Stolo is among 16 players signed by first-year head baseball coach Jay Johnson to a National Letter of Intent in his initial recruiting class announced today. The large class is comprised of eight junior college transfers and eight freshmen.
“This is a great day for Nevada baseball,” Johnson said. “This group is a result of a lot of hard work by many quality people at this University. I think it is a reflection of what the University of Nevada has to offer to the elite high school and junior college baseball player. It is a group that will complement our returning players in ability, character, and chemistry in a way that will build a great foundation for our program. Our coaching staff is elated with the way this class turned out in our first recruiting cycle here at Nevada.”
A dual threat on the mound and in the outfield, Stolo played his prep baseball at Reno’s McQueen High School and is in his sophomore season at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev. As a freshman he earned first-team all-region honors last season. On the mound, Stolo posted a record of 8-3 with a save and a 1.98 ERA appearing in 19 games earning 13 starts. In 77.1 innings, he recorded 65 strikeouts and walked 31 tossing thee complete games. At the plate, he batted .315 with 22 runs scored, collected 28 hits, had seven doubles, two triples, a home run and drove in 12.
In addition to Stolo, pitcher Robert Anderson, first baseman Grady Caldwell, outfielder Jared Gaspard, pitcher Sam Held, pitcher Alex Lott, pitcher Cameron Rowland and pitcher Zachary Wilkins will transfer to Nevada from junior colleges. The freshmen include catcher/infielder Michael Blasko, pitcher Charlie Brooks, infielder Jedd Fagg, infielder/pitcher Robert Fennell, outfielder Cole Krzmarzick, infielder/pitcher Jordan Pearce, pitcher Joseph Romero and pitcher/outfielder Cal Stevenson.
Anderson earned first-team All-Coast Golden Gate Conference honors as a reliever his freshman year in 2012 at West Valley College (Calif.) posting an ERA of 2.92. He appeared in 14 games and struck out 29 in 37 innings on the mound. He missed last season with an injury but will pitch his sophomore year at WVC in 2014.
A first baseman, Caldwell also attends West Valley College (Calif.) and earned first-team Northern California All-America, first-team All-Coast Golden Gate Conference and second-team Rawlings ABCA Pacific Association Division All-America honors as a freshman. Appearing in 34 games he batted .376 with 12 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 33 RBI in 2013.
Gaspard is a left-handed hitting outfielder that plays at New Mexico Junior College. His freshman year he batted .354 with 24 runs scored, five doubles, two triples, three home runs and drove in 31.
The right-handed Held is in his sophomore season at Delta College (Stockton, Calif.). His freshman year he went 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA making 14 starts and tossed one complete game. In 74.1 innings he struckout 43.
An All-Big 8 selection at Delta College (Stockton, Calif.) last season Lott went 6-2 with a save on the mound appearing in 13 games. In 39.1 innings pitched he struck out 32 and posted an ERA of 1.37 his freshman year.
Rowland is currently playing his sophomore season at Chabot College (Hayward, Calif.) after pitching last season at Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill, Calif.). He played two seasons of football at DVC earning All-America honors as a wide receiver. On the mound he had an ERA of 2.48 with 25 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched.
A closer at Palomar College (San Marcos, Calif.) Wilkins earned All-America and first-team Pacific Coast Conference honors in helping the Comets to the conference championship. The righty posted a record of 3-0 with 12 saves appearing in 21 games with one start. In his start he tossed a shutout and combined on five others. His 0.79 ERA ranks as the second best season in school history. The 12 saves is the best season at Palomar College and is the top mark in a career with one season remaining.
Blasko a catcher was a member of the last three Nevada state champion teams at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. In 2012 he played on the Legion state and regional championship teams that earned a spot in the Legion World Series. He batted .450 with 50 RBI and five home runs his junior season. The past two seasons he earned All-America, all-state, all-area and all-conference honors. He was a member of the Cincinnati Reds area code team.
A right-handed pitcher at Buena High School (Ventura, Calif.) Brooks posted an ERA of 1.70 in 111.1 innings pitched in three years of high school baseball. He has struck out 119 and tossed a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts. His junior year he went 2-2 with a 1.43 tossing 44 innings and recorded 59 strikeouts.
Fagg is entering his senior year at Williams Field High School in Gilbert, Ariz. As a sophomore year he earned team MVP honors and was the team captain his junior season. Named to Foothill All-Section second-team junior year. This past summer was a member of the Cincinnati Reds Area Code team.
Another of the two-way players, Fennell could see time at shortstop or on the mound as a right-handed pitcher. Last season at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego he batted .348 with five doubles, a triple and two home runs. He earned second-team All-Eastern League honors last season after being named to the first-team his sophomore season when he batted .403 with seven doubles and three triples. In six appearances on the mound his junior year he went 1-2 with a save.
Krzmarzick is the second member of the three Nevada state title teams from Bishop Gorman High School who will play baseball for the Pack. The outfielder was an All-Sunset Region selection after batting .451 with 58 runs scored, 10 doubles, eight triples, four home runs and 38 RBI. The 58 runs scored led the state of Nevada.
Pearce is a pitcher/third baseman that attends El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif. where he earned first-team All-Avocado League honors his junior year and was second-team selection as a sophomore. Last season he batted .344 with 21 runs scored, four doubles, a home run and 25 RBI.
The left-handed Romero attends Oxnard (Calif.) High School where he pitches and plays in the outfield. On the mound he went 10-2 with a 1.24 ERA last season. In 74 innings he recorded 88 strikeouts. He hit .309 with 21 runs scored, two home runs and 17 RBI.
A left-handed pitcher/outfielder Stevenson attended Newark High School (Calif.) but will play his senior year at John F. Kennedy High School in Fremont, Calif. He earned first-team All-Mission Valley Athletic League honors his sophomore and junior years. Batted .435 with 22 runs scored, five doubles, three triples, a home run and 17 RBI as a junior. In eight appearances and just 13.2 innings on the mound he went 3-0 with four saves and did not allow an earned run. He played on the Oakland A’s Area Code team this past summer
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T Class in 2015 Hometown (Previous School)
Robert Anderson RHP 6-5 235 R/R Jr. San Jose, Calif. (West Valley College)
Michael Blasko C 5-10 185 R/R Fr. Henderson, Nev. (Bishop Gorman HS)
Charlie Brooks RHP 6-0 185 R/R Fr. Ventura, Calif. (Buena HS)
Grady Caldwell 1B 6-0 220 R/R Jr. Santa Clara, Calif. (West Valley College)
Jedd Fagg INF 6-2 190 R/R Fr. Gilbert, Ariz. (Williams Field HS)
Robert Fennell INF/RHP 6-0 195 R/R Fr. San Diego, Calif. (Scripps Ranch HS)
Jared Gaspard OF 6-2 190 L/L Jr. Friendswood, Texas (New Mexico Junior College)
Sam Held RHP 6-5 190 R/R Jr. Stockton, Calif. (Delta College)
Cole Krzmarzick OF 6-2 205 R/R Fr. Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman HS)
Alex Lott RHP 6-5 240 S/R Jr. Lodi, Calif. (Delta College)
Jordan Pearce INF/RHP 6-2 200 L/R Fr. Oceanside, Calif. (El Camino HS)
JoJo Romero LHP 6-0 165 L/L Fr. Oxnard, Calif. (Oxnard HS)
Cameron Rowland LHP 6-1 190 R/L Jr. Pleasanton, Calif. (Chabot College)
Cal Stevenson LHP/OF 5-9 165 L/L Fr. Fremont, Calif. (John F. Kennedy HS)
Christian Stolo LHP/OF 6-0 189 L/L Jr. Reno, Nev. (Western Nevada)
Zach Wilkins RHP 6-3 205 R/R Jr. San Diego, Calif. (Palomar College)
Johnson quotes on each recruit:
San Jose, Calif. (West Valley College)
JC Coach: Rick Weins
“Rob is a power arm who we were fortunate to get. He has a lot of life on his fastball (89-91) and has a power breaking ball to go with it. His maturity as a person and a teammate are qualities we look for in major contributors on the mound.”
Henderson, Nev. (Bishop Gorman HS)
HS Coach: Nick Day
“Michael is regarded as one of the best high school players in Nevada. He is terrific with the catch and throw from behind the plate and he has surprising pop for his size. Michael is a tremendous leader who is very respected by his teammates, coaches, and opponents. He is going to have a great future here at Nevada.”
Ventura, Calif. (Buena HS)
HS Coach: Mark Magdaleno
“Charlie is a winner and one of the most polished pitchers in the 2014 class. He has three pitches that he can go to anytime. He is a good athlete with a very quick arm and will make an immediate impact here at Nevada.”
Santa Clara, Calif. (West Valley College)
JC Coach: Rick Weins
“Grady is a physical hitter with a solid background as a JC All-American last season. He will be an immediate contributor to the middle of our order. He is an advanced defender as well as a power bat.”
Gilbert, Ariz. (Williams Field HS)
HS Coach: Kraig Leuschner
“Jedd is a physical young player with great upside. He is strong and extremely aggressive at the plate and in the field. What separated Jedd was how well he competed against elite pitchers this summer at the Area Code Games in Long Beach. Jedd is also a standout Quarterback and Basketball player with a terrific resume and will add leadership and competitiveness to our program.”
Infielder / Right-handed pitcher
San Diego, Calif. (Scripps Ranch HS)
HS Coach: Chris Lamb
“Grant is a great athlete who possesses a lot of tools. He has great bat-speed and power to all parts of the field. Grant has tremendous arm-strength which will serve us well in the field and on the mound. He will help us immediately as he has a lot of different ways to change the game in a positive way.”
Friendswood, Texas (New Mexico Junior College)
JC Coach: Josh Simpson
“Jared is a physical hitter who had an outstanding season last year at NMJC. He has plus power, speed, and arm-strength. He will put pressure on the opposing pitcher every time he steps to the plate.”
Stockton, Calif. (Delta College)
JC Coach: Reed Peters
“Sam is a tall pitcher with a quick arm and a very high ceiling. His poise on the mound and terrific stuff make him a huge get for us. We identified him as one of the top Junior College pitchers in California and were elated to add him as our latest commitment to this class. He has top of the rotation stuff and will pitch in a key role for us next year.”
Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman HS)
HS Coach: Nick Day
“Cole is one of the top High School hitters in Nevada as evidenced by his big Junior season last year. He is a very physical offensive player who has feel for the barrel and will only improve throughout his career here at Nevada.”
Right handed pitcher
Lodi, Calif. (Delta College)
JC Coach: Reed Peters
“We were fortunate to get one of the top JC pitchers in Northern California, which is what we got with Alex. His firm fastball and power curveball make him very tough to hit. He will fill a key role on our staff immediately.”
Infielder / Right handed pitcher
Oceanside, Calif. (El Camino HS)
HS Coach: Jason Schmizer
“Jordan Pearce is a name that Wolf Pack Fans will hear a lot of over the next few years. He will contribute immediately in the middle of our order, in the infield, and on the mound. He has great left handed power and a professional approach to hitting. Jordan also has an 88-90 mph fastball with good downhill angle and will contribute significantly on the mound.”
Oxnard, Calif. (Oxnard HS)
HS Coach: Al Terazon
“JoJo is a three pitch lefty with all the makings of a great college pitcher. He is a great character guy with tremendous competitiveness with a knack for winning. He will be an anchor of our pitching staff for years to come.”
Pleasanton, Calif. (Chabot College)
JC Coach: Steve Friend
“Cameron is a special athlete who was a highly decorated High School and Junior College Wide Receiver in. He is now coming into his own as a high velocity lefty with three pitches. He had a great summer for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League and is now building on that at Chabot.”
Left-handed Pitcher / Outfielder
Fremont, Calif. (John F. Kennedy HS)
HS Coach: Jim Stevenson
“We have signed one of the top high school players in Northern California with Cal. He is a player that can do a number of things to help us win on the mound, at the plate, and in the field. He is a winner and immediately makes us better.”
Left-handed pitcher / Outfielder
Reno, Nev. (Western Nevada College)
JC Coach: DJ Whitemore
“With Christian, we landed one of the top players to come out of Northern Nevada in recent years. Christian is a dynamic athlete with the abilities to perform at a high level on both sides of the baseball. His competitiveness, his leadership skills, and performance have made him the catalyst for every team he has played on including McQueen HS and WNC. I believe he will have that same impact for us on the mound and in the field here at Nevada.
San Diego, Calif. (Palomar College)
JC Coach: Buck Taylor
“Zach had an incredible 2013 season as a Junior College All-American at Palomar last year. He has the ability to miss bats and make big pitches during the most critical points in the game. He is a durable and competitive pitcher who we feel has his best days ahead of him.”