Brontsema is going to College World Series

Johnny Brontsema runs on the field to celebrate with his UC Irvine teammates after the Anteaters beat Oklahoma State to advance to the College World Series.

Johnny Brontsema runs on the field to celebrate with his UC Irvine teammates after the Anteaters beat Oklahoma State to advance to the College World Series.

 

Last June, Johnny Brontsema was celebrating his graduation from Santa Barbara High and looking forward to going to UC Irvine.

Brontsema is celebrating again this month. He’s headed to the College World Series a member of UC Irvine’s baseball team. The Anteaters knocked off tournament top seed Oregon State in the regionals in Corvallis, Ore., and then eliminated Oklahoma State in the best-of-three Super Regionals in Stillwater, Okla.

The Anteaters will open the CWS against Texas on Saturday in Omaha, Neb.

Brontsema is the first former Santa Barbara area prep star to go to the College World Series since San Marcos grad Riley Moore with Arizona in 2012. Moore was the starting catcher for the World Series champion Wildcats and made the CWS All-Tournament Team.

The last Santa Barbara High player to play in the College World Series was Cord Phelps with Stanford in 2008.

Brontsema made a huge defensive play in the winner-take-all game against Oregon State in the Corvallis Regional. UC Irvine was leading 4-1 going into the ninth inning when Oregon State scored a run and put runners at first and second with one out.  Anteaters coach Mike Gillespie  put Brontsema in the game at second base at the start of the ninth and the freshman turned a double play on a slow roller to seal the win.

Gillespie heaped praise on Brontsema.

“We have three guys that can play second but he’s the only one that could have turned that double play — or almost any double play,” Gillespie told reporters. “That’s the only reason he was out there.”

 

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