By Ray Hamill — The list of Eureka Loggers heading to the Division-I college ranks continues to grow, with Jackson Giacone recently verbally committing to play baseball at Cal State Fullerton after graduation in 2022.
And for Giacone there were several reasons for wanting to play for the powerhouse Titans, but one reason stood out above all others.
“I really like the campus down there, and I like the area, and I love the coaches,” he said, before stressing, “and I want to win a national championship, and that’s the best place for me to get it.”
The Titans could very well give him the opportunity to achieve just that.
They are a perennial powerhouse program, having never posted a complete losing season in 45 years, while winning four NCAA national championships, the most recent in 2004.
Remarkably Giacone is the sixth Eureka Logger to receive a Division-I scholarship offer this year, and the seventh in the past two years.
The junior standout put himself on Fullerton’s radar at a tournament in Arizona last fall while playing for the NorCal Baseball Club out of the Bay Area.
Competing against some of the top high school sophomores in the nation, Giacone hit well that week and met the Fullerton coaches, who offered him a scholarship at the beginning of this summer.
When they came calling a second time just two weeks ago, the Eureka standout visited the campus and immediately verbally committed.
Giacone has been practicing with and playing for the NorCal Baseball Club for the past two summers, as well as working with a hitting coach in Santa Rosa.
And that experience has helped him develop his game, in addition to getting him noticed by college coaches.
The two-sport star, who also plays a pivotal role for the Eureka High basketball team, has known for some time that baseball would be his chosen sport in the college ranks.
“I kind of knew baseball was going to be my sport when I got to high school,” he said.
Since the end of his freshman year, the junior has bulked up from 145 pounds to 175 this year, giving an already impressive presence at the plate some additional power.
While COVID-19 shut down the spring sports, Giacone was due to miss his sophomore season with a shoulder injury, but says he is completely healthy now and has been busy playing again this summer with the NorCal club.
He is expected to play his favored position at third base for Fullerton, although he has been told he could see time at second base and in the outfield.
For now, however, Giacone still has some unfinished business to take of at Eureka High, both on the basketball court — where he intends to play two more years — and on the baseball field.
“I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and stay on track, and keep my grades up.” he said. “And I want to win another league title.”
The Eureka junior also likes what he has seen from Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook, who is in his ninth year in charge of the program.
“He’s a tough coach and that’s what I like,” said Giacone, who also received interest from other schools. “He wants you to do the right thing.”
Giacone joins fellow Loggers Isaak Gutierrez, Miles Meynell, Keylei Carroll, Malia Guilbert and Alana Busby-Dunphy, each of whom also received and accepted D-I scholarship offers this past year.