With the NCAA Baseball Tournament getting underway over the past two weekends, many of the rosters of the 64 teams competing for a chance to play in Omaha, had some familiar faces. A handful of college players had ties to the Temecula Valley area, which has been a hotbed for baseball talent for many years. Names like Andrew Mosiello, Zach Arnold, Jake Moberg, Chance Hroch, Zach Rodriguez and Ryan “Woody” Hadeen were just some of the local talents that had once showcased their skills on the high school fields in Temecula and Murrieta.

University of Oregon pitcher, Andrew Mosiello, a former Chaparral Puma, delivers a pitch during a recent outing for the Ducks. Valley News/Courtesy photo

NCAA Regional games were scheduled for June 4-7 and consisted of 16 four-team pools with one advancing to the Super Regionals from each pool. One of the more fun matchups for local fans was when University of Oregon pitcher, Andrew Mosiello (Chaparral High School) faced off against Zach Arnold (Great Oak High School) of LSU on ESPN 2. Mosiello got Arnold to ground out twice and had retired 7 batters straight during his first career start for the Ducks.

When the dust settled, No. 14 seed Oregon lost to LSU 9-8 in a winner-take-all regional final. Arnold played a huge role for the Tigers this past season hitting .277 with 43 hits in 155 at-bats, including 7 home runs with 26 RBIs.

Zach Arnold, formerly of Great Oak High School, hit .277 with 43 hits in 155 at-bats, including 7 home runs with 26 RBIs for LSU in 2021. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The Ducks (39-16) led 7-6 after 7.5 but gave up three runs in the bottom of the eighth to the Tigers (38-23) who staved off elimination four times and beat the Ducks twice to advance to a Super Regional at No. 3 Tennessee this past weekend. Tennessee ousted LSU, 15-6, to clinch its first College World Series berth since 2005.

Former 2016 Southwestern League Player of the Year from Vista Murrieta High School, Chance Hroch and his Arkansas Razorbacks, fell to Nebraska in their final game of regional play. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Chance Hroch, a former Vista Murrieta pitching standout, who looked more like Rollie Fingers during the NCAA tournament with his mustache game on point for the Arkansas Razorbacks, gave it all he could with his teammates, but fell to Nebraska in their final game of regional play. Hroch, who went 8-6 on the season with a 4.15 ERA, was named pitcher of the week in late May by the Big Ten Conference and threw in some big moments during the NCAA tournament.

The UCLA Bruins baseball team, which featured Jake Moberg (Vista Murrieta), headed to the Lubbock (Texas) Regional and UC Irvine, which included freshman Ryan “Woody” Hadeen (Temecula Valley) went to the Stanford Regional while UC Santa Barbara, with another former Vista Murrieta standout in sophomore Zach Rodriguez, went on to play in Tucson, Ariz.

UCLA’s Jake Moberg, who graduated from Vista Murrieta in 2018, hit .297 with 11 hits in 37 at bats for the Bruins in 2021. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Hadeen and the UCI Anteaters (40-16) made their first postseason appearance in seven years, but none of the three aforementioned teams could make it to the Super Regionals best-of-three bracket, which took place June 11-14. The switch-hitting freshman infielder hit .294 with 15 hits in 51 at bats for UCI and should see a valuable increase in his role during his sophomore season. Moberg did the best he could with his role this season, hitting .297 with 11 hits in 37 at bats, including 1 homerun, 2 doubles and 10 RBIs. Rodriguez, a freshman for the Gauchos, saw his role deepen greatly as the 2021 season progressed, along with his bat. Zach hit .348 with 77 hits in 221 at bats, had 7 home runs and led UCSB with 55 RBIs.

A 2020 graduate from Temecula Valley High School, Ryan “Woody” Hadeen, had 15 hits this season for the UCI Anteaters, who just made their first postseason appearance in seven years. Valley News/Courtesy photo

As of this story going to print, the 2021 College World Series field was nearly set, with six teams already having earned their berths to Omaha and the last two games in super regionals to be contested Monday, June 14.

North Carolina State, Texas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Arizona, and Stanford each won their super regionals to clinch spots in the CWS. All are among the national seeds except North Carolina State, which knocked off top-seeded Arkansas in Game 3 of their super regional on Sunday.

Zach Rodriguez, a freshman at UCSB and former Vista Murrieta Bronco, led the Gauchos with 55 RBIs this season. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

On Monday, Virginia will face Dallas Baptist in a winner-take-all Game 3 in Columbia, South Carolina, and Mississippi State will meet Notre Dame for a decisive third game in Starkville, Mississippi.

For the College World Series, which starts Saturday, June 19, Vanderbilt, Arizona, Stanford, and North Carolina State will be in Bracket 1. Texas, Tennessee, and Monday’s two winners will be in Bracket 2. Game updates can be found at http://www.ncaa.com. Article contributions made by Craig Johns.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.

JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.