WALLA WALLA – The roster for the Walla Walla Sweets grew by three this week as the team announced the signing of three position players from California schools. Mark Contreras of UC Riverside, Michael Duarte of UC Irvine, and Kevin Morgan of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will head to Walla Walla for the Sweets’ fifth season of West Coast League baseball.
Contreras, a freshman at UC Riverside, is a native of Moreno Valley, Calif., and a graduate of Canyon Springs High School. The 6-foot tall, 180-pound middle infielder hit .408 over 27 games during his senior season at Canyon Springs.
“All we keep hearing about Mark is that he’s a real tough kid, excellent hitter, and a super person,” said Sweets field manager J.C. Biagi.
Michael Duarte is a 5-11, 160-pound sophomore from UC Irvine. Originally from Rodando Beach, Calif. He graduated from St. John Bosco High School in 2012, and during the summer of 2013 he played for the Hannibal Cavemen of the Prospect League and hit .351 with eight doubles, and two triples.
“Mikey will be among the veterans in our infield, having played some last spring and putting together a great summer in 2013,” Biagi said. “It’s always nice to get guys with some experience and it appears as though Mikey is going to earn the job at second base for Irvine this spring.”
Morgan, a native of Corona, Calif., is a 5-10, 185-pound outfielder. The freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a 2012 graduate of Santiago High School. In the summer of 2013, while playing for the North County Indians, Morgan hit .339 with 10 doubles, four triples, and two home runs.
“Kevin is another left-handed hitter that has received a great deal of praise for his offensive ability. He’s pretty versatile, and he’ll likely see some time in the infield in addition to playing outfield,” Biagi said.
The Walla Walla Sweets host Opening Day, presented by Northwestern Mutual, at 7:05 p.m. on June 5 with an alumni matchup at Borleske Stadium. The team opens WCL play on June 6 against the Bellingham Bells.