By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods baseball announced the addition of four local standouts on Wednesday, as the local community college continues to push for more H-DNL student athletes.
The talented Fortuna trio of Regan Nyberg, Ethan Ward and Joey Quen all signed their letters of intent to play for the Corsairs, along with Eureka’s Xander Sorenson.
Head coach Andrew Aiello, who recently had the interim tag removed from his job title, has been busy hitting the local recruiting trail in recent weeks and is determined to take advantage of the deep pool of high school players here on the North Coast.
“We want all the local guys here,” Aiello said. “I want them to be a part of turning this thing around. It starts with them.
“I want guys that are hungry and ready to go out and compete.”
That push is paying immediate dividends.
Nyberg is coming off a big senior season for both him and the Huskies, who finished the spring 8-6.
“I think he’s going to be a scrappy guy for us,” Aiello said of Nyberg. “He’s a guy that definitely has a good baseball IQ and understands the game well, and he’s going to be a competitor for us.”
Nyberg will play mostly in the infield, but could also see time in the outfield.
Quen, meanwhile, is expected to have an immediate impact on the pitching staff.
“He’s a big powerful kid, and we’re going to look for Joey to definitely compete for us on the mound right away,” Aiello said.
Quen has also committed to play football for the Corsairs, when they return to action in the fall of 2022.
“We support that,” Aiello said of the CR athletes playing multiple sports. “That makes you a better overall athlete, and also makes sure you’re on top of your academics.”
Ward, meanwhile, will see time behind the plate and is expected to push the returning catchers for starting time.
“He’s got a good foundation of things,” Aiello said. “The good thing about Ethan is he’ll give us some quality depth at catcher, and he’s going to work hard and compete.
“Nobody’s job is safe, and Ethan is going to definitely push our returning catchers.”
Sorenson is coming off a strong season with the Eureka Loggers, who closed out the spring season with just two losses and were the unofficial Big 5 champions.
“Xander is a very fast kid,” Aiello said of the outfielder. “He’s a very smart, intelligent kid and we’re going to look for him to definitely be a ball hawk for us in the outfield.”
The head coach says he is in conversation with some other local players, and hopes to add more H-DNL recruits in the coming weeks.
“There are a couple of other guys we’re talking to,” he said. “We’re trying to finalize that.”
After a tough spring season, with 16-hour days traveling to and from Redding for many of the Corsairs’ home games, Aiello says he is delighted to have the interim tag removed and that he is looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’m excited for it,” he said. “Now we get an offseason to implement everything we want.”