Gold Sox secure slugger
The Gold Sox landed Tom Everidge.
How long will he be around? That's anyone's guess.
The collegiate wood bat organization announced the National Baseball Congress signing of last year's right fielder and top hitter this week. Everidge, a junior at Sonoma State, is expected to be drafted by a big league organization in June.
“He has a really good chance of getting drafted, so we may only have him for a couple of weekends,” said Gold Sox manager Brad Peek.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Everidge hit .346 with 66 hits, 20 doubles and 35 RBIs for Yuba-Sutter last summer. The quiet but highly driven player even produced against the tougher pitchers on the schedule, including memorable games against the Maxim Yankees and Santa Barbara Foresters.
He's currently batting .353 with 18 homers and 63 RBIs for the Seawolves, who are ranked 20th in the nation.
“He's a force in Sonoma's lineup,” Peek said. “He plays right field and first base for them and he's even pitched a few times and hasn't given up an earned run.”
If Sonoma reaches the Div. II World Series, his time with the Gold Sox could be lessened even more.
The Gold Sox also re-signed Everidge's Sonoma teammate, Darren Sack, to a second year in March.
Stanford University freshman pitcher Logan Ardis is also on board. The Cardinal (36-6) are ranked No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
The 6-3, 185-pound right-hander from Modesto is on Stanford's active roster but hasn't seen any mound time yet.
“He hasn't pitched, but he's a scholarship player for them,” Peek said. “He throws in the high 80s and has a good curve.”
The only negative is Stanford is a quarter-system school, meaning a longer school year. Furthermore, the Cardinal also are likely to advance deep into the Division I playoffs.
Other Gold Sox players on quarter systems include Vince DeCoito from UC Davis, Blake Knabenshue from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Western Oregon's Greg McCarthy and Nick Waechter.
The Gold Sox would likely fill in with community college players until the others are ready, Peek said.
Shasta College first baseman A.J. Valentine, who became a fan favorite last year despite only being listed as a fill-in, might be available in a similar capacity.
“He may have a hard time finding a spot. I told him that I couldn't promise anything,” Peek said. “He may be in a situation like this year. I love the kid, but we have guys like (Jason) Searle and Everidge who play the same spot.”
Peek said the roster would likely be encompasses by players from 10 Div. I schools, eight Div. II universities and two NAIA schools.
Appeal-Democrat assistant sports editor Matt O'Donnell can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.