WALLA WALLA - The relationship between the Walla Walla Sweets and UCLA will continue for another year thanks to the signing of a pair of Bruins for the 2011 West Coast League season.
Brenton Allen, a freshman outfielder from Covina, Calif., and Jacob Shirley, a freshman shortstop from Cerritos, Calif., signed to play WCL baseball in Walla Walla this summer.
Allen, a 2010 Major League Baseball 9th round draft pick, turned down signing for the Philadelphia Phillies right out of Gahr High School in order to play for the Bruins. The 6-foot 1-inch, 205 pound outfielder batted .421 as a senior, belting six home runs while collecting 33 RBI and scoring 28 runs with an .803 slugging percentage. He was named 1st team all-CIF Southern Section Division III and co-MVP of the San Gabriel Valley League.
Allen is also a speedster on the base paths, having stolen 25 bases in 31 attempts as a junior to lead Gahr.
Shirley, a 6-1, 185-pound shortstop out of South Hills High School, earned first-team all-CIF Southern Section Division III acclaim as a senior. He was named first-team all-San Antonio League after a senior season in which he hit .440 with three home runs and recorded 15 stolen bases. Shirley was named an all-tournament team selection at the Diamond Sports National Classic in April 2010. Shirley also earned first team all-San Antonio League honors as a freshman and sophomore at West Covina High School.
"Both of these guys are amazing athletes, having been varsity letter winners in multiple sports during high school," said Sweets manager, J.C. Biagi. "They're top notch players coming to us from a top notch program and should really help us out defensively and offensively. We're looking forward to more of the same type of contribution that we received from our UCLA guys last season."
The pair sign one year after a trio of Bruins had an immediate impact in Walla Walla. UCLA advanced to the NCAA College World Series in 2010, keeping Dennis Holt, Adrian Williams and Kevin Williams from joining the Sweets until July, but the threesome played a key role in turning around the Sweets' season.