You see them in the hallways going to class, working out at the gym, constantly practicing, diving for grounders, popups, puzzling batters with a variety of pitches or pelting out line drives for runs on the field.
However, did you ever wonder how these impressively skilled athletes make it onto the University of Portland Bluff?
Amazingly, Head Coach Chris Sperry and his staff have done an great job of recruiting from the region with 21 players from the Great Northwest, not only stopping rival schools like Oregon and Oregon State from cropping local players, but stealing many from our neighbors up North in Washington.
But that’s not all, Sperry and his staff have a deep reach down South in California as well. Some of the team’s most talented players now were once highly recruited players from powerhouse schools like Mater Dei High School. Sperry’s pitch of early playing time, the great UP academics and the small, close-knit campus life was able to convince many players to come to UP over huge California colleges from major conferences and even pass on a MLB contract to come to school here in Portland in the WCC like sophomores Travis Radke, Caleb Whalen and freshman Lucas Hunter. Sperry’s recruiting hand even reaches to far off places like Colorado, Texas, even Hawaii in order to grab the right player who not only fit Sperry’s team-first and flexible game-play, but also fit into the University of Portland community. If a current glance at the roster is any indication, Sperry’s recruitment reach will only grow as UP’s baseball program continues to improve as it has the past four seasons as well as seeing the University of Portland brand grow.
Check out the map and click on view the larger map to see where your favorite players are from, their high school stats and even video of before they were stars on Joe Etzel Field and be amazed at the talent Coach Sperry has brought to campus from both near and far.