Three Stars: College Baseball is Back!

Former 2017 Pippins Jonny DeLuca, Tora Otsuka get 2019 baseball season off to fast start

After a long winter hiatus, college baseball returned to action over the weekend, and several former Yakima Valley Pippins started their 2019 campaigns with notable performances.

Jonny DeLuca (2017 Pippins), a sophomore center fielder at the University of Oregon, hit .438 (7 for 16) in three games against Texas Tech, which won two of the games against the Ducks. DeLuca finished 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs on Saturday, and was 3-for-5 with a double and a triple in Sunday’s finale. He also scored four times and stole two bases in the three games. Teammate Cam Campbell (2018), a redshirt junior from Ellensburg, tallied just one hit in 10 at-bats in the three games, but it was a big one: a solo home run to left field on Saturday that gave the Ducks a 9-3 lead at the time.

Cody Jefferis (2018) and Tora Otsuka (2017) both started hot for the University of San Diego Toreros. Jefferis, a freshman utility player, was 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles and four RBIs, including a 3-RBI effort in the three-game series finale against Wagner. In the field, he also had 10 assists and four putouts in the three games. Otsuka, a sophomore outfielder, went 6-for-12 (.500) with a double and a home run, and four RBIs.

Daniel Cope (2017), a junior catcher at Cal State Fullerton, hit a solo homer to left-center in the Titans’ 2-0 season-opening victory against TCU on Friday. In the three-game series, he finished 3-for-10 with two RBIs.

By Yakima Valley Pippins

February 18, 2019