Pioneer of Woodland will be a baseball team to watch this spring, thanks to three outstanding juniors who have announced verbal college commitments, including two to the Pac-12.
Pitcher Zach Aukes, a USA Baseball junior national team player, has selected Oregon; pitcher-first baseman Robert Daugherty plans to play for Washington; and outfielder Marcus Vidales says he will play for Cal State Fullerton.
"A coach is lucky to get one D-I guy, let alone three," said Pioneer coach Craig Marquez. "They're part of a real talented group that's been playing together for a long time. They and their families have done a real good job of getting their names out at the showcases."
The trio were key contributors as sophomores for a Pioneer team that went 18-8 and finished 12-3 in the Tri-County Conference, two games behind Yuba City, which has won five consecutive league banners.
Aukes went 4-2 with a 2.16 earned run average. He struck out 53 in 35 2/3 innings.
Daugherty batted .412, stole 15 bases and was 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He also struck out 65 in 40 innings.
Vidales batted .295 and drove in 14 runs.
"We're all excited to get the season rolling," Marquez said. "It will be a fun year."