November 14th was a dream come true for Vikings Sophomore Gredan Velasquez as he signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic career and play baseball for the University of California San Diego Tritons.
Velasquez a Barstow native is coming off a solid freshman year and looking to be the ace of this years Vikings pitching staff.
Gredan planned to came into Barstow as an outfielder after graduting from Barstow High School, however after spending that summer after graduation prior to entering Barstow playing for Head Coach Ricky Walker, talks about teaching him to pitch began. "His natural arm strength and ability to adapt and compete showed all the makings of a guy that could become a dominate pitcher," Walker said.
Gredan then entered his freshman fall as a two way player, getting a lot of reps in the outfield, but spending a lot of time with Pitching Coach Austin Crank learning how to pitch and creating strength and stamina to convert to becoming a pitcher. Gredan knew his future was on the mound after clocking in the upper 80's consitently. He committed to becoming a pitcher only. Through Gredan's freshman campaign he had 23 appearances, 7 games started, with a 4-1 record and racking up 46 strikeouts.
His freshman year earned him a spot in the So Cal Sophomore All Star Game where Velasquez threw to four hitters, striking out three. After that outing, many scouts and college coaches took notice of Velasquez, UCSD being on of them. Tritans Coach and Recruiting Coordinator came up to Bartsow to watch Gredan pitch in a scrimmage and after seeing him pitch for a second time, he knew he wanted Gredan to visit campus soon as possible.
Gredan took a couple visits after the All Star Game, but fell in love with the UCSD baseball program and school. When UCSD offered him a scholarship to come pitch for the Tritons, it was a dream come true.
This fall season Gredan has shown that he is ready to take the ball in any situation and ready to compete in the Big West next year. This fall Velasquez has ptched 27 innings, only giving up 7 earned runs, 12 Walks, with 57 strikeouts, with a 2.81 earned run average.
"We are extremely excited for Gredan and his future. UCSD is getting not only a great pitcher, but an even better young man. He is an example of what Barstow Baseball is all about. His work ethic on and off the field and in the classroom is second to none and the best is still yet to come" - Coach Walker