IRVINE, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide, a collegiate wood bat summer baseball team playing in the California Collegiate League (CCL), announced today Connor Spencer joins the OC Riptide coaching staff. Spencer will handle the Riptide infielders and third base coaching duties for the summer 2022 season.
Spencer, along with newly announced OC Riptide Catchers and Bullpen coach Andrew Ramos, is no stranger to coaching in the CCL. 2022 marks Spencer’s second year coaching in the California Collegiate League after running the offense for the Arroyo Seco Saints in 2021. The Saints made a solid run to the CCL semifinal game but lost to the eventual champions, Healdsburg Prune Packers.
“I’m very excited to join the Riptide staff this summer after such a fantastic experience in the CCL last year,” Spencer said. “I’ll surely miss the incredible staff at Arroyo Seco and the lifelong friendships I started there, but I can’t wait to see what we can do this summer with a very talented OC Riptide squad.”
Riptide Head Coach Tim Brown says Spencer’s experience with the Saints last summer will pay dividends for the Riptide in 2022.
“Connor brings with him experience from coaching another summer baseball team which was very successful in the California Collegiate League last summer,” Brown said. “The Saints were aggressive offensively and very disciplined. Connor will bring that offensive approach to the Riptide in 2022. In addition to running the offense while coaching third base, he will work with and develop our infielders.”Born and raised in Orange County, Spencer played his high school baseball locally at Tesoro High School. He led the State of California in batting average in 2010 and holds almost every major offensive record at Tesoro. After a successful career in high school, Spencer played collegiately for legendary coach Mike Gillespie at UC Irvine.
Spencer won the Big West Conference batting title in 2013 and helped the Anteaters reach the 2014 College World Series in Omaha. Spencer earned Most Valuable Player of the Corvallis Regional honors that same year. Spencer’s name is riddled throughout UCI’s record books despite only playing three seasons there. The New York Yankees selected Spencer in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB draft after his third season at UCI.
In Spencer’s first professional season, he won a minor league batting title. Spencer’s .364 average in the New York Penn League made him the first Yankees farm hand in the history of the organization to win one. Over four seasons in the Yankees system, Spencer finished his career batting above .300 with two All-Star appearances.
Spencer chose to walk away from professional baseball after four years. After pro baseball, Spencer worked as a national scouting coordinator for Perfect Game. In his role with PG, Spencer scouted some of the nation’s best high school and college talent. Despite much success in scouting, Spencer knew coaching was his true passion and calling. He broke back onto the field as a coach last year at Tesoro High School in the spring and the Arroyo Seco Saints last summer.
“My main objective as a summer coach is to make sure our guys sharpen their baseball IQ’s, slow their heart rates down in key situations and grow as ballplayers through their overall experience here in Orange County,” Spencer added. “Of course winning is a priority, however, it’s imperative that we send our guys back to their respective schools as more complete ballplayers than when they came to us. I hope our guys are ready to compete when they come to the OC in June.”