UCLA Baseball Signs Eight Standouts to National Letters of Intent

Nov. 13, 2009

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LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball program has received eight signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, as announced Friday by head coach John Savage. Aided by assistant coaches Rick Vanderhook and Steve Pearse, the sixth recruiting class under Savage includes five position players and three right-handed pitchers who will enroll at UCLA in the fall of 2010.

UCLA's recruiting class features right-handed pitchers Adam Plutko, Nick Vander Tuig and Zachary Weiss. The Bruins' group is also highlighted by infielders Patrick Gallagher, Jacob Shirley, Patrick Valaika and Kevin Williams and outfielder Brenton Allen.

'Our coaching staff has done a terrific job with this recruiting class,' Savage said. 'Coach Vanderhook and Coach Pearse have worked hard to recruit these players, and we are excited that they have chosen to become Bruins. Between the three incoming pitchers and five position players, we are confident that this class will make significant contributions down the road.'

Savage's first five recruiting classes at UCLA have each earned top-20 billing from Baseball America. His first two classes were ranked No. 5 and No. 13, respectively, and the national publication tabbed his third and fourth classes as No. 7 in the country. UCLA's most recent incoming class was ranked No. 19 by Baseball America.


Name Position B/T Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Brenton Allen OF L/L 6-1 195 Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr HS)
Patrick Gallagher INF L/R 6-2 210 Reno, Nev. (Reno HS)
Adam Plutko RHP R/R 6-3 180 Upland, Calif. (Glendora HS)
Jacob Shirley INF R/R 6-1 185 Covina, Calif. (South Hills HS)
Patrick Valaika INF R/R 5-11 170 Valencia, Calif. (Hart HS)
Nick Vander Tuig RHP R/R 6-3 190 Oakdale, Calif. (Oakdale HS)
Zachary Weiss RHP R/R 6-1 185 Irvine, Calif. (Northwood HS)
Kevin Williams INF/OF L/R 5-11 175 Van Nuys, Calif. (Crespi HS)

Brenton Allen
Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr HS)
OF - 6-1, 195 - L/L

  • Three-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Gahr High School under head coach Gerardo Perez
  • Two-year varsity football letterwinner under head coach Greg Marshall
  • One-year varsity basketball letterwinner (freshman season) under head coach Bob Becker
  • Batted .392 as a junior (2009), totaling two homers, one triple, eight doubles, 16 RBI and 26 runs in 27 games
  • Led Gahr with a .541 on-base percentage and 25 stolen bases in 31 attempts as a junior
  • Competed in RBI's Tournament of Stars (North Carolina), selected alternate to Team USA 18U (summer 2009)
  • Selected to Angels Elite and Tampa Bay Rays scout teams in the fall of 2009
  • Participated in the Baseball Goodwill Series in Australia (winter 2008) with the Tampa Bay Rays' scout team
  • Batted .288 as a freshman (2007), registering three triples, four doubles, 12 RBI and 12 runs in 22 games
  • Playing football, has rushed for 195 yards on 29 carries, and caught 21 passes for 288 yards as a senior (2009)
  • Rushed for 640 yards on 79 carries, and hauled in 29 receptions for 451 yards as a junior (2008)
  • Has earned first-team All-San Gabriel League honors in football as a sophomore and junior
  • Served as team captain for Gahr High School's varsity football squad in 2009
  • Older brother, Tony Fisher, played football at the University of Notre Dame before playing in the NFL (2002-06)

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Brenton is a very good two-sport athlete, and we believe that when he solely concentrates on baseball, he will become a much more polished player. He is an exceptional athlete who can hit with tremendous power from the left side.'

    Patrick Gallagher
    Reno, Nev. (Reno HS)
    INF - 6-2, 210 - L/R

  • Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Reno High School under head coach Pete Savage
  • Earned first-team All-Northern High Desert League honors as a first baseman his junior year (2009)
  • Helped lead Reno to a 33-4 overall record in 2009, including a perfect 18-0 mark in High Desert League play
  • Secured first-team All-State and All-Sierra League accolades as a sophomore (2008)
  • Batted .345 with six home runs, 14 doubles, 46 RBI and 28 runs his sophomore season
  • Helped lead Reno High School to the 2008 Northern Region Championship

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Patrick is among the best hitters in the state of Nevada. He is a guy who combines power with the ability to hit for a high average. He can hit with power to all fields and has a very bright future at UCLA.'

    Adam Plutko
    Upland, Calif. (Glendora HS)
    RHP - 6-3, 180 - R/R

  • Three-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Glendora High School under head coach Dan Henley
  • Went 7-3 with a 2.60 ERA, 62 strikeouts and a .216 opponent batting average in 64.0 innings as a junior (2009)
  • Went 2-5 with a 4.24 ERA, 35 strikeouts and one save in 39.2 innings as a sophomore (2008)
  • Went 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 27.1 innings as a freshman (2007)
  • Selected as a 2010 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America selection
  • Played in USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars in 2008 and 2009
  • Competed in the Area Code Games in 2008 and 2009
  • Played for the Brewers Elite Team in 2008 and 2009 and for the Red Sox Scout Team from 2006-09
  • Was a three-time Sierra League All-Academic Team selection (2007-09), posting a 3.7 GPA
  • Listed among the top 75 draft prospects for 2010 by Perfect Game
  • Selected to the ESPN Rise All-Area Code Team, and was named a top underclassman in California by ESPN Rise

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Adam was among the most sought-after right-handed pitchers in southern California. He will be an impact player for our program. Adam had one of the best summers of any high school pitcher in the nation. We look for him to be a major contributor as a freshman.'

    Jacob Shirley
    Covina, Calif. (South Hills HS)
    INF - 6-1, 185 - R/R

  • Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at West Covina High School under head coach Drew Lorenger
  • Batted .433 as a sophomore (2008), collecting three homers, three triples, 10 doubles, 23 RBI and 18 runs
  • Batted .430 as a freshman (2007), totaling six doubles, one triple, 15 RBI and 23 runs
  • Twice earned first-team All-San Antonio League honors (2007, 2008) at West Covina
  • Two-time Most Valuable Player of the Chino Tournament (2007, 2008)
  • One-year varsity football letterwinner (2009) at South Hills High School under head coach Steve Bogan
  • Has completed 45 of 75 passes for 869 yards, throwing 10 touchdowns and one interception this season
  • Since assuming starting quarterback duties this fall (week four), has led South Hills to a perfect 6-0 record
  • One-year varsity football letterwinner (2007) at West Covina High School under head coach Mike Maggiore
  • Secured second-team All-San Antonio League honors as a quarterback his sophomore year (2007)
  • Did not play football in 2008 or baseball in 2009 (junior season) due to CIF transfer rules

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Jacob is one of the best athletes in southern California. He has all the tools to be an impact infielder at the Division I level. Being a quarterback in high school, Jacob has the competitiveness that we look for in a young player. We look for him to be a really good hitter in our program.'

    Patrick Valaika
    Valencia, Calif. (Hart HS)
    INF - 5-11, 170 - R/R

  • Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Hart High School under head coach Jim Ozella
  • Batted .371 as a junior (2009), recording two home runs, one triple, six doubles, 20 RBI and 20 runs
  • Saw limited action on the varsity squad as a sophomore (2008), totaling three at-bats in two games
  • Was the only sophomore to play on Hart's varsity team during the 2008 baseball season
  • Played for the Milwaukee Brewers Gray Team at the 2009 Area Code Games at Blair Field (Long Beach, Calif.)
  • Competed for the South Team at the 2009 North-South Series at Santa Clara University
  • Older brother, Chris Valaika, plays in the Cincinnati Reds' minor league organization (AAA - Louisville)

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Patrick has been a highly-recruited middle infielder who is a very solid player. He has all the intangibles to step in right away and make an impact for our team in the Pac-10 Conference. Patrick is a very offensive player who has a great mentality for the game.'

    Nick Vander Tuig
    Oakdale, Calif. (Oakdale HS)
    RHP - 6-3, 190 - R/R

  • Two-year varsity letterwinner at Oakdale High School under head coach Hondo Arpoika
  • Went 8-1 with a 0.82 ERA, compiling 80 strikeouts and eight walks in 59.2 innings as a junior (2009)
  • Hurled seven complete games, making 11 appearances on the mound as a junior
  • Batted .405 with three home runs, 29 RBI, a .511 on-base percentage and .716 slugging percentage as a junior
  • Secured first-team All-State honors (Cal-Hi Sports) in 2009
  • Earned first-team All-Valley Oak League honors as a pitcher in 2008 and 2009
  • Named a first-team All-District selection as a junior, leading Oakdale to the 2009 Valley Oak League title
  • Went 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA, recording 82 strikeouts and 16 walks in 61.0 innings as a sophomore (2008)
  • Batted .346 with two home runs, eight doubles, 27 RBI and 18 runs his sophomore year
  • Claimed second-team All-District recognition as a sophomore, leading Oakdale to the 2008 Valley Oak League title
  • Competed for Central Valley at the 2008 Rawlings NorCal World Series
  • Voted Oakdale High School's most valuable pitcher as a junior and sophomore
  • Helped lead Oakdale to the 2008 Sac-Joaquin Section Championship, posting a 25-3-3 overall record

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Nick is a very talented right-hander who has three pitches that will allow him to compete right away. We like his athleticism and are confident that he will have a significant impact in our program at UCLA.'

    Zachary Weiss
    Irvine, Calif. (Northwood HS)
    RHP - 6-1, 185 - R/R

  • One-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Northwood High School under head coach Rob Stuart
  • Went 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA, 36 strikeouts and one save in 33.2 innings as a junior (2009)
  • Limited the opposition to a .168 batting average his junior season, allowing just 23 hits in 33.2 innings
  • Batted .292 with six RBI and eight runs in 22 games as a junior
  • Played for the Milwaukee Brewers Gray Team at the 2009 Area Code Games at Blair Field (Long Beach, Calif.)
  • Competed for the Irvine Rox at the Junior Olympics and played in the Southwest Future All-Star Series
  • Played in the Dodgers Elite Lasorda Classic Showcase
  • Secured scholar-athlete honors as a junior at Northwood High School

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Zach was among the most pleasant surprises of all the pitchers that came out of southern California this past summer. He has a tremendous future on the mound, and he is a guy who is just learning how to pitch at a high level. Zach has all the physical attributes that you want in a Pac-10 pitcher.'

    Kevin Williams
    Van Nuys, Calif. (Crespi HS)
    INF/OF - 5-11, 175 - L/R

  • Two-year varsity baseball letterwinner at Crespi High School under head coach Scott Muckey
  • Batted .312 with two home runs, five triples, eight doubles, 24 RBI and 21 runs as a junior (2009)
  • Helped lead Crespi to the 2009 CIF Southern Section Division II Championship at Angel Stadium
  • Earned second-team All-CIF Southern Section Division II honors as a junior
  • Selected as an honorable mention on the 2009 Daily News All-Area Baseball Team
  • Two-year varsity football letterwinner at Crespi High School under head coach Jeremiah Ross (2008-09)
  • Has registered 44 total tackles as a defensive back during his senior season (2009)
  • Totaled 47 tackles, one sack and one interception as a junior (2008)

    Head Coach John Savage: 'Kevin is a very talented position player in this class. He is a left-handed hitter who can spray the ball all over the field. Kevin is a very versatile athlete who comes from a great program in Crespi High School, winners of the CIF Division II title last spring.'

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