WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla Sweets have signed a duo from the University of Hawaii as their first players for the 2011 West Coast League season. Trent Allianic, a 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, and Kelani Brackenridge, a 5-10, 175-pound outfielder, are the first to commit to playing baseball at Borleske next summer.
Allianic, a sophomore, made five appearances last season for the Western Athletic Conference Champions. He also spent the summer prior to entering college playing in the Northwoods League. In 2008, Allianic led his Kaua‘i High School team to the Hawaii State Championship and received All-State Honorable Mention. He also led his high school football team to the conference championship from 2007 through 2009.
"We're looking forward to having Trent with us this summer," said Sweets manager J.C. Biagi. "He's a accomplished pitcher who is only getting better as he matures with age."
Brackenridge, also a sophomore, was drafted in the 44th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, but passed up a chance to play professionally to further his education and play at Hawaii. He made 17 appearances in his freshman season, including seven starts for the Rainbow Warriors. Brackenridge's father, Lyle, played for the Minnesota Twins and his older brother, Tyron, plays for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Kelani is a heck of an athlete," Biagi said of Brackenridge. "He is going to be a tremendous addition to our program."
Hawaii finished with a record of 35-28 last spring and defeated Fresno State, the 2008 National Champions, in the WAC Championship series. The win sent Hawaii to the NCAA Tournament, where both Allianic and Brackenridge made appearances in the four game regional series. Hawaii eventually lost to No. 1 ranked Arizona State in the Tempe Regional championship game.
Hawaii starts their season with a four game series at home against Oregon on February 18, 2011.