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Briefs: 'Eaters land Woods

Collin Woods, the Arizona 5A-II Division Player of the Year last season who is ranked No. 48 among high school point guards by ESPN.Com, picked UC Irvine in the November signing period for men's basketball.

The 6-foot-2 Woods averaged 17.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season at Horizon High in Scottsdale.

He chose UCI over Air Force, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, San Diego State, Fresno State and UTEP.

Another early signee for the Anteaters is 7-0 center Thanos Thodos from Greece. The 240-pound Thanos graduated from high school in Greece in 2010 and is playing this season at Lee Academy, a prep school in Maine.

"I'm excited about these guys joining our program next season," UCI Coach Russell Turner said. "We are getting a point guard and a true center and we have one scholarship left for the spring signing period."

"Woods is talented and athletic and has tremendous potential as a player. I'm equally impressed with his competitive makeup and his personal character.

"Thanos has great hands, impressive basketball IQ and the aggressive mentality I look for in young big players. He has a 7-5 wingspan and has the potential to become a difference-maker for us inside as he matures physically."

— From staff reports

UCI baseball recruits

Eight high school players and one junior college transfer were landed by the UC Irvine baseball program in the November signing period, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Pat Shine announced.

Connor Spencer, a left-handed hitting first baseman from Tesoro High, owns school records in average (.538), hits (47) and doubles (14) after earning second-team All-CIF Southern Section laurels last season. He has led the South Coast League in hitting each of the last two seasons and boasted an .833 slugging percentage in 2010.

Taylor Sparks is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound shortstop at St. John Bosco High, where he hit .354 with six home runs and 15 stolen bases last season.

"Taylor is one of the most talented players in Southern California," Shine said. "He has the upside and athleticism to be an immediate contributor at UCI and he has a great future in professional baseball."

Race Parmeter, the lone community college player in the class, was 2-1 with a 3.63 earned-run average at Golden West. As a senior at Marina High, the 5-foot-11 right-hander was 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA.

Sam Moore is a 6-0 right-hander at Peninsula High, where he posted a 2.12 ERA and struck out 64 in 60 innings last season. He threw five complete games in 2010 and was a first-team All-Bay League choice.

John Alexander, a first baseman and outfielder, helped lead Glendora High to a CIF Southern Section Division II title in 2010. He batted .395 with 11 doubles and five home runs and struck out just 12 times. Also a standout volleyball player, the 6-5 left-handed hitter had a .721 slugging percentage.

Kyle Davis, a right-handed pitcher and outfielder at Great Oak High in Temecula, hit .344 with four homer runs and was 3-0 with a pair of saves and a 1.27 ERA in nine innings on the mound. He struck out 11 and allowed six hits.

Shine said Davis was a two-way prospect for the Anteaters.

Kris Paulino, an outfielder at Tesoro, hit .468 as a sophomore in 2009, then hit .419 last season, when he had nine doubles, three triples and one homer. He was a first-team All-South Coast League performer in 2010.

Jonathan Munoz, a 6-3, left-handed hitting infielder from Diamond Bar High, hit .360 with four doubles, three homers and 22 runs batted in as a junior in 2010.

He is a two-time first-team All-Sierra League honoree.

Tyler Krause, a center fielder at JSerra High, hit .367 with 33 hits, three homers and 16 RBIs in 2010 and Shine called him one of the best athletes in Orange County

— From staff reports

Six Pirates lauded

Orange Coast College sophomores Kayla Albin and Taryn Bales have been named repeat first-team All-Orange Empire Conference performers in women's soccer.

Albin and Bales are joined by teammate Jessica Parker on the first team.

Chelsea Hilliard, Kallie Ryker and Nicole Vanderlaan represent OCC on the second team.

Bales, a forward, had 14 goals and four assists for Coach Kevin Smith's squad, which finished 12-6-2, 11-4-1 in conference, good for third place. Her 32 points (two for a goal and one for an assist) and goals rank second among OEC players. She had eight goals and 14 assists as a freshman.

Albin, a midfielder, had two goals and seven assists in 2010.

Palmer was a freshman defender this fall.

Hilliard, a sophomore defender, was a second-team all-conference pick as a freshman.

Ryker, a sophomore midfielder, had seven goals and five assists in 2010. She was a first-team honoree in 2009, when she had 19 goals and eight assists.

Vanderlaan was a freshman defender for the Pirates.

Saddleback Coach Brandee Craig, a former standout player and assistant coach at OCC, was named Coach of the Year.

— From staff reports

Pirates' Pinto lauded

Freshman Alec Pinto was named first-team All-Orange Empire Conference to highlight three Pirates recognized in men's soccer.

Pinto, a defender, was the lone first-team honoree from the Pirates, who placed sophomore midfielder Toshi Fujimura and freshman defender David Torres on the second team.

The second team also included Irvine Valley freshman midfielder Rodrigo Rubalcaba, a product of Newport Harbor High.

Orange Coast finished 4-11-6, 2-7-5 in conference.

— From staff reports

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