For the third straight season the AppleSox will feature a group of talented young players from the University of California-Irvine. The Anteaters are sending a pair of freshmen, left-handed pitcher Tyler Abbott and right-handed pitcher Phillip Ferragamo to join the AppleSox this summer.
“Like many of our players they are coming here because of our history with the coach and their program,” said Knaggs, who played for UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie at the College of the Canyons in Valencia, CA. “This year it worked out that they wanted to send us two young pitchers. They have been really happy with the improvement their pitchers have made here in the past and we are excited to have them.”
The Anteaters have made five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and were picked to finish second in this year’s Big West Conference preseason poll. The team is off to a 7-0 start and is ranked No. 25 in Baseball America’s latest poll.
Ferragamo, listed at 6-foot-8 and 260-pounds, went 8-2 with a 2.04 ERA his senior year. The Orange, CA, native was named his high school’s athlete of the year in 2010 and was the Century League pitcher of the year as a junior. He has made two relief appearances for the Anteaters and has not allowed a hit in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Abbott, from Simi Valley, CA, was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 44th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He was named to the Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team after going 8-3 with a 1.70 ERA his senior season. He has yet to make his collegiate debut.
“Both were highly recruited out of high school and they are expected to make an impact right away as freshmen,” said Knaggs.
The AppleSox open the 2011 season June 3rd with a three-game home series against the Kitsap BlueJackets. Tickets are available now at www.applesox.com or by calling (509) 665-6900.
Photographs of Phillip Ferragamo and Tyler Abbott are courtesy of the UC Irvine Sports Information Department.