BERKELEY -- Before former Napa (Calif.) Vintage freshman righty Jared Horn took the mound, and another former Crusher in sophomore Aaron Shortridge came out of the bullpen against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday, California added another Vintage to their wine cellar in 2019 right-hander Eli Wood.
Bears pitching coach Thomas Eager offered the 6-foot-1, 185-pound pitcher before the game, and he immediately accepted, joining fellow right-handed pitcher Josh White and San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian outfielder Coleman Brigman.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1778044-stanford-nips-cal-..."I was able to talk to coach Eager on the phone the last few weeks, and I had a feeling that it was coming, but wasn't positive," said Wood, who went 4-4 this season for the 11-15 Crushers, sporting a 1.31 ERA in 12 appearances. "Two Thursdays ago, I was pitching against Vacaville, and coach Eager came up to watch me. I was fortunate enough to throw a really good game, and he was really excited about me, and we've been in communication ever since."
Wood went the distance against the Bulldogs, striking out 9 and allowing 5 hits. This season, in a staff-leading 59 innings, Wood allowed 49 hits and just 7 walks, striking out 69 and allowing just one home run in 234 batters faced, allowing a .222 batting average against and a .265 opposing on-base percentage.
Wood throws a fastball between 83-86 mph, with a curveball, a 75 mph change up and a slider.
"[Eager] says he likes my competitiveness and pitchability, and the fact that he knows I'm willing to work hard for Cal" said Wood, who's been going to games since he was a youngster.
"Being an hour away, I've always had my eye on Cal," Wood said.
Wood was approached by former Bears pitching coach -- fellow Vintage alum and current head coach at Pacific -- Mike Neu, but with a 4.6 grade point average, he wanted to continue his education at a high-profile academic institution. The Cardinal, in fact, expressed interest in Wood the morning before he committed to Cal. He had offers from 2016 College World Series participant UC Santa Barbara, and St. Mary's.
Throughout the last year, Wood, who played with Horn last season, when he got moved up for the playoffs, picked the brain of his former teammate.
"He told me how much he's excited and how much he likes the coaches," Wood said. "He told me how amazing [Eager] is with the guys, and he just wants you to be the best you can be, and [Horn] loves it so much."