St. Mary's Colgan senior Nate Grimaldi signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., a NCAA Division II institution.
"Out of all the campuses I visited during the recruiting process, Drury was the campus I felt most at home," Grimaldi said. "It is a very small and friendly campus that I could see myself living in. Not only did I enjoy the campus but they have one of the top Pre-Med programs in the area which was also very attractive.
"In baseball, I feel like it's the perfect fit for me. They win games with their speed, pitching and defense, along with small ball which fits right into my game. I also really look forward to playing under the head coach, Scott Nasby, and I admire the program he is running."
Grimaldi, a recipient of the Drury Presidential Scholarship, earned All-League, All-County and All-State honors in baseball his junior year and participated on a state-qualifying Scholar Bowl team, reflective of his 3.6 GPA.
His parents, Gary and Debbie, attended the signing.
"It's only an hour-and-a-half away," Grimaldi said. "My parents, they'll make it regardless but it will make it a lot easier on them. They're pretty happy about that too . . . my mom didn't want me to leave at all . . . but she'll be happy."
During his junior season, Grimaldi batted .351 from his leadoff spot with 26 runs scored, 20 hits, 20 singles, 19 walks and eight RBI. His .531 on-base percentage helped lead Grimaldi to steal 21 bases in 22 attempts, a 95 percent success rate.
A dozen games into his senior year, Grimaldi has stolen 17 bases with a pair of four-steal games against Baxter Springs and Galena.
Colgan baseball coaches Mike Watt and Kyle Wolf talked about Grimaldi on Monday.
"I'm really happy and proud of him," head coach Watt said. "He's been committed to baseball since . . . in the nursery so he's been committed to baseball for his whole life. It's great for him that he's able to achieve a dream he's wanted. He's a very good baseball player. Drury is going to challenge him, academically and athletically, so I think it's a great fit for him."
"No. 1, he likes to play the game," assistant coach Wolf said. "No. 2, Nate can run. He's a fast guy and in baseball, that's an invaluable asset. There's an old saying that speed never slumps and that's what he's going to be able to take to Drury."
Drury owns a 28-12 overall and 19-7 Great Lakes Valley record this season. The GLVC includes fellow Missouri schools Maryville, Missouri S&T, Missouri-St. Louis, Rockhurst and William Jewell, as well as Kentucky Wesleyan, Indianapolis, Southern Indiana, Qunicy, Bellarmine and Illinois-Springfield.
Page 2 of 2 - Grimaldi's father, Gary, played college baseball for the Pittsburg State Gorillas from 1968-1971 and then coached two stints at Pitt State (1994-2000, 2006-2010) and one as head coach at Pittsburg High (2001-2005).
Al Ortolani, Nate Grimaldi's grandfather, coached the Gorillas from 1962-1972 and the Pitt State baseball field bears his name.