04/03/2019 8:33 AM
The Bellingham Bells have announced the addition of two Big West Conference pitchers, as well as a West Coast Conference infielder to the team’s 2019 roster. San Jose State left-hander Ben Polack, University of California - Riverside right-hander Cole Tucker and Gonzaga’s Mason Marenco will head to Bellingham this summer.
Polack, a true freshman at SJSU, has started five games with a 1-0 record to begin his collegiate career. He is sporting a 5.40 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 15 innings of work through the first month of the Spartans’ season.
"Ben is a talented left-hander who is getting some valuable experience in his freshman year at San Jose State,” Bells pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Jim Clem said. “He is known for having a solid three pitch mix, and has a lot of deception in his arsenal.”
“He has been used as a starter and a reliever, so he gives us some options. It's great that he has that experience in multiple roles, and we are very excited about what Ben brings to the Bells."
A native of Modesto, Calif., the five-foot-ten-inch Polack was a three-sport star at Beyer High School. Also a basketball and football player, Polack led the baseball team to its first section championship in school history on his way to being named all-state after setting the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback on the gridiron. He was named All-Academic MVP in all three sports.
Tucker, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif., is in the middle of his first year at UC Riverside after spending his previous two seasons at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. where he was coached by Bells manager Bob Miller.
“Cole is a great addition to our Bells pitching staff as he can start and relieve,” Miller said. “He has a solid work ethic and is driven to perform at a high level. Coach Clem will be a great resource for Cole in his pursuit to improve.”
The five-foot-nine-inch Tucker has nine strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched for the Highlanders so far this spring.
Marenco, a redshirt freshman, is off to a hot start to begin his Gonzaga career. In eight games, all starts at either designated hitter or second base, Marenco leads the Bulldogs with a .355 batting average. He’s scored three runs, and driven in two more, on 11 hits, including a double.
"Mason brings a lot of versatility to the field, and while he’s played primarily second base at Gonzaga this year, he has the ability to play all the infield positions, as well as catcher,” Clem said. “This type of versatility is of great value to any baseball team, but especially a summer baseball team.”
“Offensively, Mason is a known to be an exceptional hitter. He was one of the WCL's leading hitters last summer and is currently swinging it well at Gonzaga this spring.”
The five-foot-ten-inch Marenco, a native of North Bend, Wash., had a stellar senior year at Mount Si High School where he was named KingCo 4A Player of the Year and first team-all state. A standout on the wrestling mat, as well, Marenco twice medaled in the state tournament and was named KingCo Wrestler of the Year.
Polack, Tucker and Marenco will begin the summer with the Bells on June 4 against the Kelowna Falcons at Joe Martin Field.