Make that three Shore players that have officially committed to play baseball in the NJAC baseball conference. Monday evening NJSR was informed that Johnathan Rodruiguez, of Raritan, along with Dylan Colatrella of Wall, and Joe Santanello of Mater Dei High School will be taking their to Kean University and Rutgers-Camden. This is a big week for the Shore conference, however, a bigger week for the NJAC getting three talented players that are excited to be part of programs that have been known by their winning ways.
When speaking with John about his commitment he told me “The competition in njac in my opinion is the best competition you’re going to see at the division III level so that definitely had a huge impact on my commitment and they were no schools in that conference that I had an interest in. Alvernia University out in Reading, PA had an interest in me but when I went on my Kean visit I just knew it was somewhere I wanted to be . Coach Neil Ioviero has had something special going on with the program for decades and the winning tradition was something that means a lot to me. They get after it at Kean and he definitely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to baseball so having the opportunity to play under a guy like him is a blessing. It was something I couldn’t turn down.” He will also be playing with his best friend Dylan Colatrella, whom I was able to speak with as well.
On his commitment, he was very exited to be playing alongside someone he had grown up with throughout the years. “I know I couldn’t be happier going to play with one of my best friends. Having Jonathan by my side I know it won’t be that hard to adjust too”, Colatrella told me. He, like Rodruiguez had much praise for Kean University and had said that baseball is certainly a passion of his that he will be enhancing at Kean. For him as well as John, the decision was not too hard at all explaining,” Well playing all summer and receiving emails from many coaches, I knew Kean would be my choice after visiting and seeing the baseball field and the campus. It’s also extremely close to home which is perfect for me. Also can’t forget that my third baseman would be interested too”. This was certainly a benefit that both of them will be able to enjoy staying in New jersey and being close to family and friends the whole time.
Then there is Joe Santanello, the Senior at Mater Dei Prep High School. He too will be staying in New Jersey. Although he will not be joining his friends and teammates on Howell’s PAL Elite, Santanello will be close to his roots attending and playing baseball for Rutgers- Camden. He told me that it is an experience that is truly amazing just to have the chance to play baseball at that next level. “It was hard to get to where I am today but hard work and dedication to the game really paid off”, he told me. It is that drive and dedication that all three of these players have which makes them all candidates to succeed in one of New Jerseys best athletic conferences.