April 6, 218 Onondaga, NY: The Onondaga Flames of the New York Collegiate Baseball;ll League (NYCBL) are pleased to announce the signing of shortstop McClain O’Connor and outfielder Cole Mueller from national collegiate baseball powerhouse University of California Santa Barbara (@UCSB_Baseballfor the 2018 summer collegiate baseball season.

Cole Mueller
After redshirting during the 2017 season, Cole had a solid summer batting .285 over 34 games with the Kelowna Falcons in the competitive West Coast League,  After a slow start, going 3-20 (.150) over his first eight games, Cole went on to bat .309 (34-110) the rest of the way. A versatile athlete, he played all infield positions, including catcher, for the Cathedral Catholic High School Dons. As a senior, Mueller slashed .352/.412/.472 with 14 RBIs and 11 extra-base hits in 34 games and was named All-League, team Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-CIF. A multi-sport competitor, Cole also played football. This scholar athlete was named a member of the All-CIF Academic Team.

Mueller is the son of  Dana and Bob in La Jolla,CA. Has one sister, Samantha; Cole aspires to pursue a career in professional baseball, business, or analytics.

McClain O’Conner
A transfer from Lassen Community College (Susanville, CA), O’Connor played middle infield for the Cougars in 2017 and slashed .318/.447/.439 in 36 games with 11 extra-base hits, 20 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts.  McClain was a three sport athlete earning 10 varsity letters at Lincoln County High School. In football he played quarterback and free safety while also being on the kick and punt return team as a kicker. In basketball he was a point guard. His senior year he was the MVP of the league in football and the offensive MVP of the state in his division. His senior year of baseball he earned Player of the Year honors in his division.

The son of  Kodee and Dell O’Connor of St. George, Utah, he has two siblings: McKinley and Mitchell. His last summer job was a a California firefighter.

University of California at Santa Barbara
Since hiring head coach Andrew Checketts, UCSB has become a national collegiate powerhouse compiling a 204-139-3 over the past six seasons and going deep into post season play.  In 2015.the squad set a then-school record for wins against Division I opponents with a 40-17-1 record, and they were selected as a No. 1 seed and a host for the 2015 NCAA Regionals. Sporting one of the best pitching staffs in the country, UCSB went on to record new program marks in team ERA (2.45) and strikeouts (475) in the 2015 season. The team was also ranked as high as No. 6 in the country while they were slotted as high as No. 2 in the RPI over the course of the campaign.

The Gauchos reached new heights in 2016, winning the Nashville Regional at Vanderbilt before sweeping Louisville in the Super Regionals to reach UCSB’s first ever College World Series. In Omaha, the Gauchos eliminated No. 3 national seed Miami before ultimately falling to Arizona, which reached the CWS Final.

During Checketts tenure, UCSB has had 35 Major League Baseball draftees, four All-America selections (Brett Vertigan in 2012, Joey Epperson in 2014, Dillon Tate in 2015, Shane Bieber in 2016), six Freshman All-America picks, the 2015 Big West Co-Field Player of the Year (Cameron Newell), and 40 All-Big West honorees.

The Gauchos’ 35 draft picks since 2012 are the most by any team in the Big West over that span. Under Checketts’ tutelage, All-American right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate became one of the top players in collegiate baseball, eventually going to the Texas Rangers with the fourth overall selection in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Tate was the first pitcher chosen in the 2015 draft.

During his tenure, UCSB has had 35 Major League Baseball draftees, four All-America selections (Brett Vertigan in 2012, Joey Epperson in 2014, Dillon Tate in 2015, Shane Bieber in 2016), six Freshman All-America picks, the 2015 Big West Co-Field Player of the Year (Cameron Newell), and 40 All-Big West honorees.

The Gauchos play in the highly competitive Big West Conference.

NYCBL
The New York Collegiate Baseball League, founded in 1978, is a summer wood bat development league for professional baseball. Major League Baseball funds a small portion of the leagues annual budget. The league gives college players who have not yet signed a professional contract the opportunity to develop their skills at a higher level of play, gain experience with wood bats, and be evaluated by MLB scouts. The NYCBL is located in scenic Upstate New York.

Teams play a 43 game regular season schedule with games beginning on May 30th and ending in late July. All games are 9 innings, with doubleheaders scheduled as two 9 inning games. The All-Star game is played in mid July, and the League Championship Series concludes in early August.

The New York Collegiate baseball League is the oldest league in New York State – celebrating its 40th season in 2018. The league is a member of the National Alliance of Summer College Baseball (NASCB), a group of non-profit summer collegiate baseball leagues that are each partially funded by Major League Baseball.

Onondaga Flames
The Onondaga Flames are a wooden bat summer league team comprised of top college players from coast-to-coast as well as the best local players..The Flames are operated in a fashion similar to Minor League Baseball (MiLB), providing safe affordable family entertainment with high caliber baseball. The team has a mascot (Blaze), on-field entertainment, raffles and affordable concessions.

The Flames play at the beautiful Onondaga Community College baseball complex, located on Onondaga Hill, home of the Onondaga Nationan original member of the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest forms of democracy in the history of the world.

As the “Fire Keepers”, the Onondagas continue to be responsible for the gathering of the leaders of all of the Six Nations in Grand Council.  They open and close the councils and sanction the decisions arrived by the Council of Chiefs. The Onondaga Flames are named after the great Onondaga Nation and proudly wear their flame logo..

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