Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli said a summer in the Cape Cod League as an assistant coach helped him broaden his connections with four-year college coaches. But with a collection of talent that is arguably unrivaled in his 20 seasons at the Pirates' helm, he had already become increasingly popular with Division I recruiters.
No fewer than six members of this year's team have already committed to four-year programs, including two of his three newcomer bounce-backs from Division I schools.
"I like this group," said Altobelli, whose team finished 32-10 last season and reached the Super Regionals. "I like the depth. I like everything about it."
Perfect Game, an online scouting service, ranked OCC No. 4 in its preseason junior college top 50.
Sophomore left fielder Chris Carlson and sophomore relief pitcher Jed Vandernaald return after earning first-team All-Orange Empire Conference honors last season.
Sophomore catcher Trent Woodward was a second-team all-conference performer.