WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Four former PLHS baseball stars finding success in college 
by Scott Hopkins
Jul 26, 2013 | 1888 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KELLEN URBON
KELLEN URBON
slideshow
COLEMAN COX
COLEMAN COX
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CAMPBELL WEAR
CAMPBELL WEAR
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CONNOR BAITS
CONNOR BAITS
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Over the years, dozens of area teen athletes have earned scholarships and invitations to play at the collegiate level because of their prep performances.

In this first installment, the Peninsula Beacon catches up with some of these former sports standouts to see how they’ve fared at the next level.

Five of these athletes are baseball players:

• Kellen Urbon, sophomore, Cornell University: Urbon made a huge impression on the Ivy League last year as a freshman when he played a large role in leading the Big Red to a league championship. Urbon (6 foot, 160 pounds) was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Ivy League and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. 

This year, Urbon seemed to pick up where he left off before suffering a season-ending injury after only four appearances. During this short time, he yielded no earned runs in 5.1 innings, compiling a 1-1 record and two saves.

• Coleman Cox, senior, Menlo College:  Cox helped lead the Oaks to a program-best 34-18 record (20-8 in NAIA West League) this season, starting at shortstop in 48 of 52 games. He recorded 11 doubles, three home runs, scored 30 runs and drove in 24. His batting average was .301.

Cox also excelled in the classroom, compiling a perfect 4.0 GPA in his major (finance/accounting). He was on the Dean’s List every semester, graduated magna cum laude and received the NAIA Scholar-Athlete Award twice. He was also named winner of the Menlo “Collis Steere Award,” which is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA in the university.

• Campbell Wear, sophomore, UC Santa Barbara:  Originally projected as a strong-armed relief pitcher by Gaucho coaches, Wear was moved to catcher, where his skills were needed most. Wear appeared behind the plate in 14 games this season and made not one error, giving him a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Wear, a sociology major, will be competing for the starting position next season after spending time on the bench this year. At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Wear has the physical tools to take over. The Gauchos went 35-25 this year (17-10 in the Big West Conference).

• Connor Baits, freshman, UC Santa Barbara:  Baits, a 6-foot-5, 220 pound right-handed pitcher, has attracted significant attention from pro scouts. He elected to attend UCSB and improve his skills.  This season, Baits started two games (one on the road against University of San Diego on April 16).

Baits sustained an injury and did not pitch after his San Diego appearance, a game in which he was charged with the loss in a 7-5 Torero win. On the season, Baits recorded a 1-1 record with one save. He walked five and struck out 17 in 25 innings, finishing with a 5.76 earned run average.

Urbon, Cox, Wear and Baits played their prep ball at Point Loma High.

• Dillon Checkal, senior, University of San Diego: Checkal prepped at Santa Fe Christian while residing in Point Loma. The 5-foot-11, 170 pound infielder spent three years on the Torero varsity where he compiled a career batting average of .290. 

This season, Checkal started

29 games and played in 49 as the Toreros went 37-25. Throughout his college career, Checkal proved a tough out, striking out only 28 times in 383 at bats. He was twice named All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention.

Do you have information on a former prep player competing at the next level? Type “Where are they now?” in the subject line and send information and photos to: imhoppy@yahoo.com.
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