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Cal Poly Signs Five Baseball Players to National Letter of Intent

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Five high school players have signed national letters of intent to continue their baseball careers at Cal Poly.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Mustang baseball coach Larry Lee and director of athletics Don Oberhelman. The early signing period opened Nov. 9 and ends Wednesday. The late signing period for baseball opens April 11 and ends August 1.

The group includes one pitcher and four infielders.

"Overall, it's a very small recruiting class due to the amount of players we brought in this year," said Lee, "but we feel we have addressed some needs for the future and hope that these incoming players can develop to the level needed to contribute as soon as possible."

The five early signees, listed alphabetically:

Casey Bloomquist, Pitcher (R/R), 6-3, 170, Bakersfield, CA (Bakersfield Christian HS)
Bloomquist hit .490 during his junior season under head coach Tom McCormack at Bakersfield Christian High School, collecting 15 doubles, six triples and four home runs. He drove in 42 runs and stole nine bases, leading the Eagles to a 24-8 overall record, second-place finish in the South Sequoia League and the CIF-Central Section Division IV championship. In 85 2/3 innings on the mound, Bloomquist was 9-3 with a 1.96 ERA, striking out 110 batters. When he wasn't on the mound, Bloomquist played shortstop and first base. He had a .586 on-base percentage and .888 slugging percentage en route to All-South Sequoia League pitcher and All-Area utility player honors. He also was named to the NCSAA All-American first team, All-American Far West Super Region team, ESPN Cal-Hi all-state small schools team and all-state underclassmen second team. As a sophomore, Bloomquist hit .481 with 13 doubles, eight triples, five home runs and 45 RBI (7-4, 4.38 ERA on the mound) en route to NCSAA All-American second team, All-American Far West Super Region team and All-Area second team honors. He was named rookie of the year and All-Area honorable mention as a freshman when he hit .522 (6-2, 4.4 ERA on the mound). Bloomquist visited Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and Cal State Bakersfield before choosing Cal Poly because of its "great campus and it feels like home. The coaches are the best and I feel they can help me develop to the next level."

Mark Mathias, Shortstop/Pitcher (R/R), 6-0, 160, Fremont, CA (Irvington High School)
Mathias hit .407 with 10 RBI, five doubles and a home run, stealing five bases, as a junior shortstop under head coach Denny Martinez at Irvington High School. Mathias also pitched for the Vikings, compiling a 4-4 record and 2.17 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings and a pair of complete games. Mathias led Irvington to a 14-11 overall record, second-place finish in the Mission Valley League and to the semifinal round of the CIF-North Coast Section Division I playoffs. Mathias earned first-team All-Mission Valley League and second-team All-East Bay honors as an infielder. During the summer, Mathias played in the 17-and-under WWBA national tournament in Georgia as well as the Area Code Games for the Oakland A's in Long Beach. He also played for Headfirst Bercovich in Connie Mack and California Club Baseball and participated in the Rawlings NorCal World Series and Bay Area World Series. He was recruited by UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State and San Francisco, but chose Cal Poly because "I liked the coaches and I liked the area, the campus and facilities."

Brian Mundell, Catcher/First Base (R/R), 6-3, 205, Valencia, CA (Valencia High School)
Mundell was a catcher and first baseman as a junior under head coach Jared Snyder at Valencia High School last spring, hitting .410 with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 26 RBI with four stolen bases. Mundell helped the Vikings to a 21-7 record, the Foothill League title and into the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs. He earned first-team All-Santa Clarita Valley and All-Foothill League honors, was named offensive MVP of the league and participated with the Southwest Future All-Star Team. A team captain for his upcoming senior season, Mundell was an Area Code finalist last summer and a North/South participant. As a sophomore, Mundell earned second-team all-valley and second-team all-league honors after hitting .339 with five doubles and three home runs. UCLA, UC Irvine, Arizona, Oregon and UC Santa Barbara also recruited Mundell, who chose Cal Poly because it is "a place to truly get better and advance myself to the highest level of my game. I also get a chance to win a national championship."

John Schuknecht, Second Base (R/R), 6-0, 185, Palm Desert, CA (Palm Desert HS)
Schukneckt hit .441 as a sophomore and 402 as a junior under head coach Darol Salazar at Palm Desert High School. Also as a junior, he collected 11 doubles, two triples and 20 RBI along with four stolen bases as the Aztecs posted a 28-5 record, won the Desert Valley League title and reached the championship finals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs. Schuknecht was team offensive MVP, second-team all-league and was batting title runnerup in the Desert Valley League. He landed spots on the North/South and Royal Elite teams. In his sophomore season, Schuknecht drove in 25 runs with 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs, stealing seven bases en route to honorable mention all-league honors. Palm Desert won the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 title in 2010. Schuknecht also was recruited by Sacramento State, Long Beach State, Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and Arizona, choosing Cal Poly because "I fell in love with the campus and coaching staff. It has a very reputable baseball program and it is a great academic school as well."

Peter Van Gansen, Shortstop (L/R), 5-9, 150, Mission Hills, CA (Alemany High School)
Van Gansen is a pitcher and shortstop under head coach Randy Thompson at Alemany High School, earning first-team All-Mission League and second-team All-CIF-Southern Section Division II honors as a sophomore and junior. Van Gansen hit .412 last spring with 20 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 46 RBI and eight stolen bases, leading the Warriors to a 20-10 overall record, third-place tie in the Mission League and into the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs. A four-year varsity player, Van Gansen was a Perfect Game 2011 Underclass High Honorable Mention as a junior. He was recruited by Long Island, Pacific, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, choosing to sign with Cal Poly because "I really liked the coaches and it has a great baseball program. The school has a good child development program and it's a beautiful campus and city."

Cal Poly finished 27-26 overall and placed third in the Big West Conference at 15-9 last spring. The Mustangs open their 2012 campaign Feb. 17-19 with a three-game non-conference series against Oklahoma State in Baggett Stadium.