BSB: Getting to Know Lucas Erceg
BERKELEY -- California pitching coach Mike Neu loves him some two-way players. Three of the eight scholarship freshmen the Bears brought in this season both pitch and play the field: Alex Martinez (though he'll wind up being solely a pitcher), tonight's starter Daulton Jefferies (middle infield, outfield and, of course, pitching) and perhaps the most intriguing of the three, Lucas Erceg.
A long and lanky 6-foot-1, 188 pounds, Erceg throws from the right side and hits lefty, and has sneaky power at the dish to go along with a 90 mph fastball and a very effective knuckleball on the hill.
The 2013 Central Coast Section Player of the Year out of Campbell (Calif.) Westmont, Erceg hit a blistering .437 as a senior with eight doubles, a triple, a home run and 22 RBI, while going 9-3 with a sparkling 0.59 ERA and 106 strikeouts to only 19 walks in 83.2 innings of work on the bump.
Erceg was the final piece of the 2013 signing class, and may be one of the most dynamic players in a class that featured three Perfect Game USA Top 100 freshmen in Jefferies (53), the starter of the night end of Saturday's doubleheader against Texas in Alex Schick (52) and right-handed pitcher Trevin Haseltine (60).
"He's a great third baseman, and also pitches for us," said head coach David Esquer. "If Lucas isn't playing on the field for two to three games of the weekend and sitting on the rail, watching the game, he certainly will be pitching at some point during the weekend, because he's that high a quality of baseball player."
Of course, Erceg's skills on the mound will help him out a lot in the hot corner, and he's shown a strong and accurate throwing arm through fall and spring practice, working behind starter Chris Paul.
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