Senior Jay Patti savors his seventh inning stretch

Adam Ceribelli

     A warm summer night, the stands are packed; there is a baseball game in the middle of farm fields. Jay Patti (12) steps up to bat with two men on base and the game is tied, 7-7. A curve ball with some heat on it comes down the plate, and Jay smashes it into deep right field. The crowd goes wild screaming as Jay rounds first, quickly sliding into second with two runs tallied onto the Blue Jays’ score.

     Jeffrey “Jay” Patti is a baseball star here at Hereford, but he also plays metro (club) for the Blue Jays, a team consisted of many private and public school baseball players. After missing his freshmen year due to injury and having one year on junior varsity, Jay became the star of the varsity baseball team as a junior, winning Baltimore County Player of the Year. Jay was elected to Team Maryland which consists of the best junior and senior players in the State. His team of all-stars selected him to participate in the home-run derby at the tournament. The team plays against other states in a national tournament at the University of Oklahoma.

     Coming into his senior season, Jay is first team all-state. He is being recruited by a number of Division One and Division Three schools, but he would rather play Division Three. “I’ve broken it down to Randolph Macon, Washington College, Salisbury, and McDaniel. Randolph Macon is my number one, being that I am their number one recruit and they guarantee me a starting position my freshmen year,” said Jay.

    In college baseball, coaches recruit about eight players per class with four or five of those recruits being pitchers. “Colleges need pitchers, it’s their first priority. Pitching is one of the biggest parts of baseball,” said Jay.

     Jay is looking to major in communications or maybe even sports management. Randolph Macon has a well-respected communications program. “I’ve been accepted into all of the schools so far and will make my decision by March 1st,” said Jay. “I just want to make sure that I know which school is for me because I will be spending the next four years of my life there.”

     Coach Todd Hartshorn, who has been in the baseball program for the past 10 years, coached Jay last year on the varsity level. “He’s one of the top five players to ever play here in my tenure at Hereford High School. He’s not just a great baseball player; he is also a great kid.”