10/03/2016 10:03 PM
PASADENA, CA — Pat Burns, the commissioner of the California Collegiate League (CCL), one of America's top college summer baseball experiences, has extended an invitation to Arroyo Seco Baseball to join its summer wood bat league. Founded in 1993, the CCL features teams from Northern to Southern California and hundreds of NCAA players from premiere college baseball programs across the nation. The CCL partners with the National Baseball Congress (NBC) and Major League Baseball (MLB), and annually hosts a north-vs-south all-star game televised on Fox Sports West.
With preference and admiration, that invitation was accepted by Arroyo Seco Baseball co-founder and general manager, Aaron Milam, the current pitching coach for NCAA Division III Occidental College. Together with co-founders Nicholas Gorman and Thomas Stafford, Milam reflected, "What a great day for our program. We started in 2004 as a simple idea with a vision to help graduating high school seniors prepare for the next steps in their baseball careers. To be invited to play at this level, with these quality teams, and this many years later, is a testament to the hundreds of players and tens of coaches that have been part of our program over the years." Arroyo Seco Baseball will move their flagship team, the Saints, into the CCL.
Arroyo Seco Baseball has grown into one of the West Coast's premiere baseball programs as players have routinely gone on to compete across the country from the Pac-12 to the SEC. Heading into season No. 14, Pasadena has become a regular stomping ground for college baseball head coaches.
Arroyo Seco alumni have played a big part in the success of College World Series teams in Omaha for the past four years. The list is impressive: J.J. Muno (UC Santa Barbara), David Olmedo-Barrera (Cal State Fullerton), Elliot Surrey (UC Irvine), and national champion Kevin Williams (UCLA).
Eric Smith, an Arroyo Seco Baseball alumnus, attended Stanford University before being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th Round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Following the 2014 season, Smith returned to coach the Saints during the summer, on his way to becoming a graduate assistant at Stanford. Smith is not surprised by the organization's success. "I'm extremely excited for the staff and players. Arroyo Seco is professional in everything they do. They were well-organized and scheduled highly-competitive opponents which afforded me the opportunity to get better. I've been fortunate to play our great game at a high level. Playing for the Saints is right up there and played a big part in my development," commented Smith.
Arroyo Seco competes at Jackie Robinson Memorial Stadium in Pasadena’s Brookside Park. The historic cobblestone venue sits quaintly just south of the world-famous Rose Bowl in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley’s picturesque Arroyo Seco (the inspiration for the program’s moniker). The setting has a beauty and charm unmatched in Southern California.
Twenty-five Arroyo Seco alumni have been drafted by MLB organizations and two, Christian Bergman (Colorado Rockies, UC Irvine) and John Holdzkom (Pittsburgh Pirates, Salt Lake CC), have played at the highest level.
The CCL schedule runs from late May to early August and the Saints will play a 40+ game schedule.
To learn more about the CCL, visit www.CalSummerBall.com. To learn more about Arroyo Seco Baseball, visit www.ArroyoSecoBaseball.com.