Matt Schneider signs letter of intent to play baseball at Assumption
DALTON — Matt Schneider had as little doubt about his college choice as he has when telling one of his Wahconah pitchers to throw a curveball.
The Wahconah rising senior catcher signed a national letter of intent on Thursday to play baseball at Division II Assumption College in Worcester. He'll be getting a partial athletic scholarship.
"It was just the best fit for me," said Schneider, "athletically and academically — and the campus was the best. It was a school that could offer me the best chance to succeed after high school. Assumption was the best place for me."
Schneider, an All-Berkshire catcher last year for a Wahconah team that reached the Western Massachusetts Division III semifinal game, picked Assumption over Western New England.
"I committed in the middle of September. Signing in November is great," he said. "Now I can focus on my basketball team and my baseball team, and I don't have to worry about all that other stress."
Flanked by parents James and Catherine Schneider and surrounded by Wahconah baseball teammates and classmates, the Wahconah catcher put pen to paper in the school cafeteria as classes ended for the day.
The newest Greyhound will join a team that went 9-30 last year. Head coach Mike Rocco has a junior and two freshmen catchers currently on the Assumption roster. One, junior Tom Paine, was the No. 2 hitter last year batting .281.
At Wahconah, Schneider hit .356 with a home run and seven doubles. He threw out 11 of 28 runners and helped guide the Wahconah pitching staff to a 1.65 earned-run average.
"Nobody really deserves it more," Wahconah baseball coach and school athletic director Jared Shannon said. "He works really hard. His passion is this game. I'm glad he's going to a place where he's going to get a good education. For him, that was the most important thing.
"There are a lot of schools he could play at, but I think this is a good fit for him academically."
Assumption plays in the Northeast-10 Conference, the only Division II wood bat league in the country. That is also something that Schneider says he's looking forward to.
"I'm looking forward to playing [in Division II]. The Northeast-10 is a great conference," he said. "They're giving me a great opportunity to play."
Schneider said he's got wood bat experience, playing with the Berkshire Americans in a summer wood bat league.
The Wahconah catcher said that he went to several showcase events in the summer, which got him looked at by more schools. That started his list of schools changing, and the list was kind of in flux for most of the summer.
"Assumption saw me playing in the Massachusetts Junior All-Star Game. Then they saw me play in the Blue-Gray New England Invitational, which was at Worcester State," he said. "They saw me play at the Bay State Games. It was midway through the Bay State Games when the coach, Mike Rocco, sent me an email inviting me up. Without all that showcasing in the summer, I wouldn't be at Assumption."
Schneider said he is one of two freshman catchers coming into Assumption.
Schneider said he's going to major in business and minor in sports management.
"The league gets a lot of guys drafted," he said. "I think it's very good baseball."