We continue the countdown today with number 72, University of the Pacific outfielder Gio Brusa. In his freshman campaign with the Tigers, Brusa played in 50 games and totalled 168 at bats while collecting 43 hits. The 2013 season definitely did not go the way the Tigers would have liked as they finished 15-39 overall and only 7-20 within the West Coast Conference. Despite a disappointing season, the young Tigers squad showed promise with their underclassman and also showed great leadership amongst the more veteran players. Brusa ended his first season at Pacific batting .256 with 23 RBIs which was good for sixth and fourth on the team respectively.
The Lodi, Cali. native attended St. Mary’s High School, where he patrolled the outfield and pitched for the Rams. As a senior, Brusa batted .330 with a .421 on-base percentage and 29 RBIs. The 6’3” right-hander also found success on the mound for the Rams posting a 1.14 ERA going 3-1 with 23 strikeouts. In his final year at St. Mary’s he led the Rams to a 27-6 record and the Tri-City Athletic Conference Championship. Brusa was drafted in the 37th round by the Atlanta Braves in 2012, but turned down the Braves offer to pursue a college education at Pacific.
During the 2013 summer, Brusa spent his time in the Alaska League as a member of the Matsu Miners. During the 35 game schedule, he had 131 at bats with 34 hits and knocked in 19 run. The ABL All-Star posted a .260 average and was one of the 14 Miners featured in the All-Star game. Brusa was also chosen to participate in the ABL Home Run Derby where he took home the first place prize.
Bursa returns to Pacific for his sophomore year as a part of the Tigers roster.