SF baseball loaded with talent

Santa Fe College baseball Lance Bolton (25) and Xavier Moronta (10) will be playing for four-year colleges next season.
Photos by C.J. Gish

A total of 12 Santa Fe College baseball players have made commitments to four-year institutions.

Santa Fe College baseball’s Xavier Moronta has committed to play at Appalachian State University.

Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe College baseball coach Johnny Wiggs

The Mid-Florida Conference first team outfielder played in 37 games for the Saints (27-24) this past season and ranked second on the team with a .344 batting average with 43 hits, 30 RBI, 14 doubles, two triples, and three home runs.

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Moronta, who had hits in 15 of the Saints’ last 16 outings, becomes the 12th Saints player from this past season to get an opportunity to play at the next level.

“Really excited for all the guys that are getting the opportunity to continue playing at the next level,” said Santa Fe College coach Johnny Wiggs, who won his 500th game at SF back in March. “We love winning and winning championships here at Santa Fe, but this is hopefully the best thing we do, helping these guys get better and getting them to the next level.”

This past year the Saints missed the postseason by just a couple of games.

Tyler Shelnut (.333) and Gaby Esquivel (.390) made the race for the postseason even more fun as they both tied a school record for the most home runs in a season (19).

Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe infielder Tyler Shelnut has committed to UF.

Shelnut, who finished a close second to Esquivel with 57 runs driven in, committed to the University of Florida back in December. He was also the 2018 FHSAA Class 5A Player of the Year at Fort White High School.

“The Gators are getting a plus bat in Tyler Shelnut,” Wiggs said. “He just continued to get better and gain confidence in his time here at Santa Fe. And there is plenty of power in that pretty swing as he hit 19 home runs here this past season.”

Esquivel, who had a team-leading 58 RBI and four triples, is one of three Saints players who will be playing for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Right handed pitcher Lance Bolton, who averaged 10.02 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, and former Trenton pitcher Trent Becker, who led the Saints with a 2.22 earned run average this year, will also play for the Division-I Ospreys, who compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“The recruiting coordinator at UNF is former Gator Tommy Boss and he was a JUCO assistant in our conference at St. Johns River before going to UNF,” Wiggs explained about the relationship with the Ospreys. “He knows our program, believes we have good players and communicates with us often. It will be neat for those three guys to continue to play with each other at the next level.”

Former Santa Fe (Alachua) great Kyle Brooks, who finished as UNF’s all-time leader in games played (213) and games started (211), among others, is also an assistant coach for the Ospreys.

Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Gabriel Esquivel is headed to the University of North Florida

The new trio will join former Santa Fe College players Cade Westbrook, Caleb Stafford, and Max McKinley.

SF Baseball Commitments to Four-Year Institutions

Xavier Moronta – Appalachian State University

Jevin Relaford – Florida Southern College

Luke Marquis – University of Fort Lauderdale

Jake McKee – Florida Gulf Coast University

Zeb Marquis – Montreat College – Release

Santiago Garavito – University of Tampa

Lance Bolton – University of North Florida

Gabriel Esquivel – University of North Florida

Trent Becker – University of North Florida

Garfield Johns – University of South Alabama

Mitchell Gross – Georgia Southern University

Tyler Shelnut – University of Florida

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