Boston College High senior third baseman Thomas Russo committed to Holy Cross yesterday, he confirmed this evening to ESPNBoston.com
"Holy Cross has always been my top choice," said Russo, a Weston resident who was also considering Columbia, Marist, Fairfield and Le Moyne. "They definitely offered me the best opportunity for both baseball and academics."
Initially the Crusaders offered Russo a preferred walk-on spot, which for the program equates to roughly a 45-day tryout. Russo was willing to take the offer but decided to wait things out. Yesterday, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Kane upped the ante by offering a roster spot, and Russo accepted almost immediately.
"I was ecstatic," Russo said. "I work so hard, they know I'm a grinder and they love the way I play my game, my willingness to compete, they know I'm going to perform my best every game."
Russo's aunt, Paula Russo Sughrue, is a 1988 graduate of Holy Cross who starred on the school's soccer team, earning First Team All-New England honors her senior season. She was also a high school All-American at Winchester High.
This season Russo is off to a solid start, batting .320 with a .452 on-base percentage, three extra-base hits and 10 RBI. He's also hitting .500 with runners in scoring position.
"They [Holy Cross] see me as a gap-to-gap power guy," Russo said. "They like my power, gap to gap, and they especially like my defense. They just love that... [Defensively] they watch many of my games and notice I can make some plays that shouldn’t be made happen, they like my ability to get to the ball and make a play."