Sometimes it might be best to not question destiny.
Just ask Bryce Warrecker.
This time last year, the 6-foot-9 Santa Barbara High basketball star thought he was headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on a hoops scholarship.
Then the Mustangs fired coach Joe Callero — and Warrecker’s yet-to-be-signed scholarship was a thing of the past.
Cal Poly was still a dream for Warrecker.
He had another option: Use the summer to showcase his baseball prowess to see if the Mustangs would pony up a scholarship there.
Warrecker didn’t waste his opportunity — traveling up to San Luis Obispo to spend time with Teddy Warrecker (his uncle and Cal Poly’s baseball recruiting coordinator) and Mustang skipper Larry Lee.
They saw instant progress, with Warrecker adding four to five mph on his fastball (now hovering around 87) and a refined left-handed swing that shows the potential to be a middle-of-the-order bat at the Div. I level.
And, on Monday, that was rewarded with a baseball scholarship — something that Warrecker quickly accepted.
“I’m happy with how it all ended up, even though I don’t get to play basketball, I get to play baseball for my Uncle Teddy and Coach Lee,” Warrecker told the News-Press. “I also get to play baseball with one of my best friends, Derek True. I’m stoked for sure.”
Warrecker was maybe most proud of being admitted to a prestigious university, as he sports a 4.76 GPA.
He plans to major in business at Cal Poly.
“They decline a lot of 4.0 students every year,” Warrecker said. “The school keeps getting better and better. I know there are a ton of people from Santa Barbara High applying there. Education comes first for me. At some point in my life, I’m not going to be able to play sports. It’ll be great to show my degree was from Cal Poly.”
Warrecker has been told that he will be looked at as a two-way player, both pitching and likely playing first base.
“It’ll be a lot of work, but I’ve been doing it in high school, so I’m sure it’ll be just fine,” Warrecker said.
Santa Barbara High baseball coach Steve Schuck has little doubt that he can help the Mustangs in the lineup and on the mound.
“He’s 6-foot-9 and long, it’s almost like he’s three feet away from you by the time he delivers the ball, and he hides it well, too,” Schuck said. “And he has such a beautiful, short swing. His wrists and hips are so fast. He’s going to hit the ball a long ways as he continues to get stronger.”
While baseball has quickly become his top priority, Warrecker will be playing basketball this winter, hoping to help the Dons win a CIF title.
The only difference this year is that his additional time away from basketball will likely be spent honing his baseball skills.
“I can’t wait to play with my boys on the basketball team, definitely going to have fun with that,” Warrecker said. “My time away from basketball will be all about school and getting ready to help the baseball team, too.”
With True already at Cal Poly, the Dons baseball program is showcasing plenty of Div. I talent, with the likes of Nick Oakley also likely to land with a top-level college team.
“It’s a testament to the players, it’s just exciting for the kids,” Schuck said. “Everyone wants to go to D1 baseball, it’s awesome for them.
“It’s a dream realized.”