UConn offer 'too good' for Ruotolo to decline

Peabody High righthander Pat Ruotolo verbally committed to UConn earlier today, just one day after the Huskies extended a scholarship offer.

Ruotolo garnered national attention this spring after throwing three no-hitters in four starts, after which attention to the 5-foot-10 fire hydrant began to crest. But with just one other Division 1 offer at this time, from Northeastern, Ruotolo is putting an end to his recruitment.

ESPNBoston.com caught up with him earlier this evening for a few more comments on his commitment.

Reaction to getting a scholarship offer from UConn yesterday: "I really liked the school and everything, and they offered me a pretty substantial amount of scholarship money that I couldn't turn down. I really like the school, and it's one of the better programs in the Northeast. I kinda knew wanted go threre since the start from when they first recruited me. They've always been in my top five and everything."

On the relief of his decision: "It helps me the rest of summer. I've got a few more tournaments to go, and I don't have to try and impress the scouts, just try to win and have some fun."

Was there a temptation for him to wait it out, and see if any other offers would come in? "There was. I could have waited it out, but I could not have gotten as much money as I did. Some of schools like down South like Virginia Tech really wanted me. Monmouth and St. John's too. But I'd have to pay to visit all of them unless it's an official visit, and then I wouldn't be able to do that until October, and I don’t want to wait that long and I really like UConn."

On the familiarity between Peabody's program and UConn (pitching coach Peter Soteropoulos is a Peabody and UConn alum): "Peter basically got UConn on my radar during the high school season. He still keeps in touch with the coaches, it helped me out a lot."

His stuff this summer: "I've been sitting at 88 mostly every game, I hit 90 every now and then. I play for Show Baseball [AAU] for Steve Lomasney...I think I've stepped up my pitching a lot more over the summer. My velocity went up a lot, I throw three pitches for strikes."