Cody Decker, the star of Santa Monica High’s baseball team the last three seasons, has completed an impressive freshman season at UCLA.
Decker was one of numerous first-year players who helped the Bruins produce a 33-25 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament after going 15-41 a year ago.
John Savage has been named a finalist for national coach of the year.
Decker wasn’t playing regularly until late in the season and had a batting average under .200. But a late season surge carried him to 19 hits in 63 at-bats, including five home runs and 13 RBI.
With the year of experience and the graduation of some seniors Decker is likely to see increased playing time next season. He was a designated hitter and first baseman this season who started 13 games.
It wasn’t the home runs, but rather a hook slide that brought home a run in a late season win over USC, that impressed Samohi Coach Kevin Brockway. Decker slid to the outside of the plate and hooked it with his left leg to avoid being tagged out. On the play he scored from first base on a double.
“His power is well known, but that play showed he’s a true baseball player,” said Brockway.
Savage gained confidence in Decker as the season went along and had him in the lineup during the playoffs. Decker had two hits in a playoff game against Pepperdine and two more against Missouri.