PACIFICA — The San Francisco Seagulls have started their summer collegiate baseball season 8-4.
Playing their home games on the artificial turf at Fairmont Park in Pacifica since 2010, the Seagulls were founded by Doug Price and current manager Marc Caviglia in 2003.
A San Bruno native, Caviglia went to Burlingame High School and played one year of baseball at City College of San Francisco before transferring to University of Hawaii-Hilo.
During the Seagulls first few years of existence, Caviglia was a player/coach.
After hanging up his glove and assuming full-time managing duties in 2008, Caviglia explored different league options for the Seagulls. They bounced around a few leagues and played as an independent team before Caviglia realized the opportunity to create a high-caliber league.
In 2013, he founded the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League along with the manager of the Atwater Aviators, Richard Ruiz. Right now, the GSCBL season is in full swing. Fielding highly recruited players from mostly NCAA Division II, NAIA and junior colleges, the league has eight teams in California, Oregon and Nevada.
Giving players the opportunity to enhance their skills and get playing time in front of professional and college scouts is what the summer is all about. And the talent pool to pick from is immense.
“The ultimate key, in my opinion, to forming a good summer collegiate team is to get as many returners as possible that fit your system,” said Caviglia. “That also shows that you’re doing the job right, because they want to come back and play for you in the summer.”
A number of the players on the Seagulls roster have been with the team for multiple summers, including shortstop Ismael Orzoco, a San Francisco native.
“He’s a guy I’ve seen mature and develop into something special,” said Caviglia.
Orozco, who will be a senior at Rogers State University in Oklahoma this fall, crushed his first homerun of the season in a 7-4 loss to the South Bay Storm on Tuesday afternoon.
Second baseman Juan Reina singled and doubled while driving in two runs in the loss. His path to the Seagulls is a little different. His teammate at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, Justin Eclavea, is in his fourth season with the Seagulls. Reina, a New Jersey native, views playing on the West Coast for a summer as a great opportunity.
“I’m just trying to get more exposure, have fun and learn new things,” said Reina.
The Seagulls will play a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Fairmont Park against the reigning GSCBL champions, Top Speed Baseball, of San Rafael. Pitching in the second game of the doubleheader will be Jared Koenig, a former draft pick of the Chicago White Sox.
“He’s a big lefty that runs it up to 91 mph with a good off-speed pitch, and he’s off to a hot start with us,” said Caviglia.
Like Koenig, many of the players in the GSCBL have been or will be among the roughly 1,200 players drafted each year in the MLB first-year player draft.