ORONO, Maine — Andrew Noviello was being recruited by teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The versatile infielder and pitcher has decided he is going to remain in New England to pursue his studies and his baseball career.
Noviello confirmed Thursday that he has given a verbal commitment to attend the University of Maine starting in the fall of 2015.
“The coaches are really cool about the whole recruiting process. He [UMaine head coach Steve Trimper] gave me a pretty excellent offer, one I couldn’t deny,” said Noviello, who recently returned from the Perfect Game National Tournament in Jupiter, Fla.
“I’ve spoken to a bunch of colleges, but of all the schools, Maine is probably the best decision I could have made,” he added.
Noviello is a junior at Bridgewater-Raynham High School, where he helped the Trojans earn the school’s first-ever Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state championship last spring.
The 6-foot 185-pounder, who bats left-handed and throws right, played third base and batted .280 with a .419 on-base percentage and two home runs, 20 runs batted in and six stolen bases. Bridgewater-Raynham plays in the Old Colony League, which uses only wooden bats.
On the mound, Noviello posted a 5-1 record with two saves and logged a 0.61 earned run average. He struck out 67 in 46 innings, featuring a fastball clocked in the high 80s.
One key reason Noviello chose UMaine is the coaches agreed to allow him to compete as an infielder and as a pitcher.
“I can jump in at all parts of the field. I can catch, play in the field and pitch,” he said.
That was a successful formula for former UMaine pitcher and catcher Mike Connolly, who played at the same high school as Noviello. Connolly signed with San Francisco after being drafted in the 27th round last June.
“I’m very close with Mike,” Noviello said. “When it came down to my decision, I kind of asked him about [Maine] and he said nothing but good things.”
Noviello, who also played football and hockey, goes to school with Connolly’s younger brother Jack, who has committed to Notre Dame.
In August, Noviello was named to the Perfect Game Underclass All-America Team, an honor bestowed on only two players from New England this year.
Trimper is prohibited by NCAA rules from discussing a recruit until UMaine has received a signed National Letter of Intent.
UMaine baseball family grows
The UMaine baseball family added a member to its ranks last week.
Samuel William Spaulding broke into the lineup Oct. 29 as the first child born to Black Bears associate head coach Jason Spaulding and his wife, Margaret.
Sam checked in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and 20 inches long.