East County Sports

BYU-bound Cross joins UNLV signees Schultz, Strong at next level

Drew Schultz with UNLV head baseball coach Stan Stolte



By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com


EL CAJON (6-17-16) — Unheralded left-handed pitcher AARON CROSS has overcome Tommy John surgery to apparently earn a baseball scholarship to BYU.

Cross, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound redshirt sophomore has traveled several places, beginning with Santa Ana Mater Dei High. He continued his college career at San Diego State in 2014 before suffering an arm injury.

After the surgery, he recovered to appear overpowering under the auspices of Grossmont College Griffins head coach RANDY ABSHIER.

He finished the 2016 season with a 0.29 ERA (allowed only one earned run). He struck out 41 batters in 31 innings, while allowing just 21 hits. He logged a team-high 6 saves in a primarily closers role.

He was reported to make a commitment to the Provo, Utah, school this week.

Cross was also reportedly recruited by Utah, Arizona and San Jose State.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago, Griffins’ versatile right-hander DREW SCHULTZ signed a letter of intent to play at Nevada-Las Vegas, joining teammate ALAN STRONG, who signed his NLI with the Rebels back in April.

Schultz appeared in 23 games for the Griffins this past season, primarily as a reliever, finishing with an impressive 1.45 ERA over 49.2 innings. He struck out 44 hitters, while allowing 29 hits and 28 walks.

“I’m proud to be a rebel,” Schultz said on Twitter after his announcement. “Couldn’t be more excited.”

Strong will enroll at the University and be eligible to play for the Rebels during the 2017 season.

The Santee native went 0-1 with three starts and 21 appearances during his 2015 freshman campaign. He threw 32.0 innings and surrendered 21 runs (18 earned) off of 33 hits. He struck out 32 against nine walks.
However, he was the Griffins’ No. 1 starter in their championship campaign this past season, going 9-3 with a 2.74 ERA, striking out 94 in 95.1 innings.

“I can’t wait to get out to Las Vegas and start my career as a Rebel,” noted Strong. “I’d like to thank the UNLV coaching staff for giving me this opportunity.”

Strong graduated from Santana in 2014. He lettered three years in baseball and helped the Sultans to a 22-12 overall record and a Grossmont Valley League championship during his senior campaign. That title came one year after the squad finished second in league play.

During his prep career, he was a two-time all-league first team selection (2013-14) and was also tabbed to the 2014 all-state and All-CIF San Diego Section Second Teams.

“We are thrilled to add Alan to our 2017 roster,” UNLV head coach Stan Stolte said. “He’s got a chance to provide immediate help to our pitching staff. He is a very good student and high-character kid, which is always a bonus.”

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