18U Titan Pitcher/Infielder Luc Gelinas commits to the Saint Xavier University Cougars

by Jim Stewart

18U Titans pitcher Luc Gelinas of Aurora signed his letter of intent last week with the Saint Xavier University Cougars in Chicago, Illinois.  The graduate of St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School will begin play with the NAIA Cougars in September 2024.  Gelinas will take the field for the 18U Titans this Spring for a final season in the Canadian Premier Baseball League before departing for Chicago.  Gelinas is the ninth Titan from the Class of 2024 to commit to a US College and joins teammate and 18U Titans shortstop Jordan Sfyndilis at the NAIA baseball powerhouse in Illinois.  The Titans run their outdoor program at St. Andrew’s College and have placed over 60 players in post-secondary destinations in the United States and Canada since the franchise entered the CPBL in 2021.

Titans’ Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera expressed his satisfaction with Gelinas’s commitment to the Cougars:  “We are excited for Luc and his family on their achievement of getting to a great post-secondary school.  Luc has been with the Titans for four years and we have known the family for more than seven years so seeing the progress Luc has made with hard work is really exciting.”

Sharing Director Vera’s excitement was Titans’ Director of College Placement and 15U Coach Denis Bailey who was similarly impressed with Gelinas’s work habits and his recent performance on the US College Trip in October:  “Luc has tremendous work ethic which, in my opinion, allowed him to really develop at the next level.  His baseball skills will also allow him to compete as a freshman at Xavier.  Luc will most definitely provide a spark for his team both on and off the field in Chicago as it did for us on the College Trip.”

Gelinas—who is an infielder and a pitcher for the Titans-- offered many reasons for signing his letter of intent with the esteemed 177-year-old Midwest University:   “I chose to commit to SXU because it was the right fit for me. I really liked the urban setting of the university grounds and it felt like home. During the Titans’ College Tour in October, I played a scrimmage game with the team and was impressed how competitive they were. Coach Rouse and Assistant Coach Pat both believed in my ability as a two-way player and could envision me helping the team win another conference championship. An added bonus is getting an excellent education.”

The resident of Aurora identified what he is looking forward to the most about living in The Windy City:  “I am looking forward to the experience of living in Chicago, living in residence, enjoying the great food, meeting like-minded players, and definitely going to the White Sox stadium and seeing a Cubs game at Wrigley, too.”

An Honor Roll student when he attended St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS, Gelinas plans to work toward a degree in Sports and Fitness Administration. He delineated his athletic and academic goals as a student-athlete with the Saint Xavier Cougars:  “As a freshman, I’m determined to work hard and help the Cougars win their conference. Coach Rouse sees SXU winning the College World Series in the near future and I want to be part of that success. Academically, I hope to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and successfully manage my time between baseball and my studies.”

The veteran Titan—who rose through the ranks from 14U to 15U to 16U to 17U--expressed gratitude to his baseball organization for assisting him with his US College placement:  “I’ve been with the Titans for the last four years. I want to thank Coach Lawrence [Vera] for taking me into the program, to my first coach JB [John Bethune]for believing in me from the start, Coach Nick [Dimpfel] for teaching me that baseball was more than a game, and Coach Eddie [McKiernan] for teaching me how to push through challenges and put my head down and grind! During the College Trip this year, Coach [Denis] Bailey helped me through the college placement process and made sure I found the right fit for me.”

Gelinas will play one final CPBL season for the 18U Titans and discussed the highlight of his four seasons with the organization:  “I really enjoyed travelling with my team on the College Trip and playing baseball every day in several different states. Even though the days were long and tiring, it gave me the real life baseball experience. I also enjoyed meeting coaches from the various schools and hearing the advice from former Titans attending these schools.”

He offered this advice to younger baseball players in the Titans community and, by extension, younger ballplayers in Aurora, regarding the achievement of post-secondary goals as a student-athlete:  “I would tell them baseball is a mental game, and you will meet bigger and better players than yourself, but it’s important that you focus on putting your head down and working hard and your hard work will pay off one day. As for school, make sure you're keeping your grades up, and if you fall behind do, something about it. There are many resources you can use at school and you can even ask Jim Stewart for help.”

Congratulations to Luc Gelinas on his commitment to the Saint Xavier Cougars.  We look forward to Luc’s performances on the diamond for the 18U Titans this Spring and for the Cougars this Fall.