Baseball: All Eyes Will be on Sophomore Chase Strumpf

Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia
Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

It has been a little over a month since sophomore Chase Strumpf of JSerra returned from Colombia with a gold medal after helping the USA 15U baseball team win the Pan American championships.

It was another achievement for a young player who keeps raising expectations. Before he even played in his first high school game last season, he accepted a scholarship to UCLA. Then he became a starter for the Lions. And things keep getting better.

Strumpf is ranked No. 3 in the nation among the class of ’16 prospects by Perfect Game. He’s appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd after hitting five home runs in eight games in Colombia to earn tournament MVP honors.

“It was amazing being able to wear USA on your chest,” he said of his USA 15U experience last weekend at halftime of the JSerra-Buena Park football game. “It was the best feeling in my life. I’ll never forget it.”

Strumpf has already made a big jump from freshman to sophomore year based on his summer. He’s stronger and has more power. He got to see Trinity League pitching as a freshman. It’s a little scary to think what he’ll look like by his senior year.

JSerra’s Robinson Gets High Marks on Progress Report

Parker Joe Robinson
Parker Joe Robinson

By Adam Maya, OC Varsity

Parker Joe Robinson threw two scoreless innings while striking out three batters in a recent showcase at UCLA. But the true test came the next day when he asked his father, Jeff, how he looked.

“I noticed he was opening up his front side early,” Jeff said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I felt it. I wasn’t getting loaded.’ For him to figure that out is really gratifying.”

Not so much because of his son’s success, Jeff said, but his progress. Jeff pitched nine years in the major leagues, including one season (1991) with the Angels. Once Parker Joe made it clear at a young age he hoped to “follow (his) dad” on the mound, Jeff alternated between Father and Coach, one pitch at a time.

“With my background, I knew you had to build a foundation,” Jeff said. “It’s a process.”

Parker Joe, who will be a senior in the fall at JSerra, worked on being quicker to the plate from the stretch this past spring. The previous year was it was about maintaining his balance point. Before that it was his follow through.

Now, Jeff wants his son to put it all together.

“It’s for him to figure it out on his own,” Jeff said. “He’s learned all the major mechanics. Ever since he started pitching, there was one goal per season, one thing to master every year. That’s led him to where he is now.”

This week that’s the Area Code Games in Long Beach, where more than 200 of the nation’s top prospects are competing in an all-wood bat tournament. Parker Joe is one of seven players from Orange County that made the cut.

“It’s a big honor,” Parker Joe said.

It’s also a big improvement. Just 15 months ago, the powerful, 6-foot-5 Parker Joe was still playing junior varsity, mostly because Lions varsity coach Brett Kay wanted to see Parker Joe develop into a two-way player. The sophomore responded by playing nearly every inning and winning MVP honors.

“He understood the process,” Kay said.

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Baseball: Chase Strumpf Hits His Fifth Home Run in Six Games

StrumpfBy Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times

A year ago, when he was an incoming freshman at San Juan Capistrano JSerra, Chase Strumpf was cut from the USA national youth team that he was trying to make. That might be the final time in his life that someone dares to cut Strumpf.

On Friday, he hit his fifth home run in six games of the COPABE Pan American Games in Colombia, helping the USA 15U national team improve to 6-0 with a 9-0 win over Brazil.

Strumpf became the starting shortstop as a freshman at JSerra this past season. He has committed to UCLA, and USA 15U assistant Coach Matt LaCour, the head coach at Harvard-Westlake, said Strumpf is much improved from the player of last summer.

“Was a year younger,” LaCour said in an email. “This past year of real baseball has done him well.”

As for what he is accomplishing in Colombia, LaCour said, “He is playing really well and is a run producer. Fun watching him develop over the last couple of years. He is going to be an impact guy at the next level.”

Blake Sabol, who attends Aliso Niguel, had two hits and two RBIs on Friday.

To watch more on Stumpf click here.

JSerra Quarterback Commits to UCLA

Click photo to watch the full video

JSerra quarterback and upcoming graduate Jake Hall has committed to the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins, as a preferred walk-on.

Hall also talks about his offer from Yale and the decision to play as a Bruin, joining his family legacy, in the fall.

For more on Jake Hall click here.

JSerra Board Profile: Kevin Baldridge

Kevin Baldridge a graduate of UCLA, attended the London School of Economics earning a masters in finance and accounting, now serves as the Executive VP of the Apartment division at the Irvine Company. Baldridge, with wife Lora now have three children; Kara, a JSerra alumni, Ryer, a junior, and Elle, a freshman at JSerra.

Baldridge sits as the chair of community relations for the JSerra Board, where he works to keep JSerra in a positive light by offering the school’s resources for the betterment of the community.

As chair of the Community Relations Committee, Baldridge meets with the city council of San Juan Capistrano, to discuss the many ways JSerra can support its surrounding community through relationship building.

Baldridge ensures that JSerra is looked upon positively and, moreover, that the JSerra community is of helpful service.

“The future of JSerra holds such a high caliber student body. I am most excited about hearing the many prestigious colleges students get accepted to, as the Community Relations Committee works to build a strong reputation among the top universities,” said Baldridge.

Michael Nowicki Named Scholar Athlete by OC Varsity


A key member for the Lions golf team, Michael Nowicki has also been a standout in his academics and around the school community. Nowicki is currently taking Intro to Philosophy, AP English/Language Composition, AP American Government/Politics, Intro to Film, Physics, Calculus, and Fundamentals and Principals of Radiographic Imaging.

Nowicki is a member of the school’s Habitat for Humanity Club, and is member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholastic Federation, with a 4.40 GPA.

Nowicki is also affiliated with the school’s Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program, and will attend University of California Los Angeles next fall.