Damon Treadwell and Tate Soderstrom of Turlock High signed their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to their respective Division-I college.
After a lengthy process for arguably the best tandem in the Stanislaus District, both opted for top tier collegiate baseball programs to continue their careers, University of Arizona (Soderstrom) and University of Pacific (Treadwell).
“It’s been my dream since I was about 12 years old to play collegiate and then I finally was able to make that dream come true and hopefully I can make it for as long as I can in the game,” said Soderstrom, who plays first base for the Bulldogs heading into his senior season.
“Ever since my sophomore season I have been waiting for this day to get it out of the way to focus on what I have to do,” said 18-year-old Treadwell, who goes into his senior year as the undoubted ace pitcher.
Treadwell, who has a scouts dream frame at 6-foot-6, knew that Pacific was his home right from the start and never doubted the decision.
“Pacific was my first offer I had and I fell in love with the coaching staff and the program they have around them so I didn't even bother talking to anyone else. I knew Pacific was my home,” Treadwell said.
Since he stepped foot at Turlock three years ago, Treadwell was always seeking to flourish in the game he loves. After his sophomore year he stood at 6-foot-2, before adding four inches to his height and bulking up with 30-plus pounds heading into this season.
Treadwell's junior numbers last year were superb in the Central California Conference and in general after going 5-2 with an ERA of 2.48.
He was tied for second in ERA with the starting pitchers but had the most strikeouts for the team with 52 after tossing 42 1/3 innings, allowing just 27 hits and 15 earned runs.
Heading into his senior year, he is as ready as he has ever been, he said.
“My gym Venture Fitness and my two trainers Fernando Alvarez and Alex Michael have really helped me to prepare for my senior year,” said Treadwell. “This offseason I lived in the gym 5 to 6 days out of the week and in the past I wanted to do it but never felt the effort until this past summer. I just love it.”
Alongside Treadwell, Soderstrom has flourished in his own right as a premier first baseman and undoubtedly one of the area’s best hitters.
Soderstrom's stats during his junior year were amazing. He topped out in batting average after playing in 27 games at .420 while amazing a team-high 34 hits and adding 18 RBI, which was second best to last year's graduate Jon Temple (Utah), who had 32 RBI.
“It’s a lot of stuff that goes into it which is keeping your body in top physical condition and working on hitting all the time and the repetition and hours put in as well,” said Soderstrom. “All the hard work you go through finally pays off when you sign.”
Soderstrom and Treadwell played together as part of the Oakland Athletics Area Code team.
Soderstrom, 17, was offered various scholarships, including one from the University of Oregon, but he fell in love with everything that Arizona had to offer.
“I honestly just think the coaching staff are the best staff in the Pac-12 and the facilities are fantastic and their field is great in Tucson and their academic system is amazing. It’s a great school,” said Soderstrom.
Last year the Bulldogs went 13-2 in the CCC, with both losses coming at the hands of the Pitman Pride.
Unfortunately the Bulldogs lost in the opening round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section tournament at the hands of the eventual runner-ups Tracy.
The 2017 year provides one final opportunity for the boys in blue to possibly compete for the Sac-Joaquin Section banner, which is one of the goals left for both Treadwell and Soderstrom.
“Section Champions, we won CCC and lost in the playoffs but we want to win it all,” said Soderstrom. “We are going to have to come together as a team and have good pitching, defense and timely hits.”
“I believe this is the best year that Turlock has ever had to do it,” said Treadwell about possibly competing for the D-I title. “We are known for winning the CCC but now the next milestone and I think this year is the best chance we have of doing it.”
Turlock will begin their season at the end of February 2017.