Jake Merante Commits to the University of Rio Grande Red Storm

by Lawrence Vera

Titans 18U Catcher Jake Merante has committed to the University of Rio Grande in Ohio.  The resident of Hockley Valley, Ontario chose to go to Rio (pronounced Rye-oh) Grande because “all our coaching staff believed this was a great fit for me moving forward; also the coach pitched the school very well and we had a great conversation.” When asked what he was looking forward to most about moving to Rio Grande, Ohio, and playing for the Red Storm, Merante focused on “getting started with a new team and new surroundings and seeing how I can adapt.”  He expressed his gratitude to the Titans College Placement Staff:   “The Titans helped me with my signing when our 17U Coach Denis Bailey started talking to Rio Grande about my recruitment video and set up a conference call.”

18U Titans Head Coach Jeremy Uylenbroek has no doubts about his catcher’s capacity to adapt to NAIA baseball in Ohio and described him as “Mr. Cool--calm, quiet and collected.  This guy always finds a way when it counts. He’s Mr. Clutch when standing at the plate, and when behind it, he also gets the job done.”  Coach Uylenbroek used some nice figurative language to describe Jake behind the plate: “Don't stray far or Jake will pick you off....Jake is like a casino pit boss catching people trying to steal.”  In addition to the great gambling analogy, Coach Uylenbroek described his Fall Ball catcher as “a solid versatile player able to move around and play several positions.  Jake is an asset wherever he plays.”

Merante’s personal highlight of Fall Ball 2020 with the Titans was “when we rallied to come back to beat the Flying Squirrels who were like our rivals during our games in September.”  When asked what advice he would offer younger Titans about achieving their post-secondary baseball goals, the 18U Catcher offered this thoughtful insight:  “Some advice I’d give to the younger players of the Titan organization is always play to the best of your abilities no matter what because anyone-- at any time-- could be watching.”

Coach Uylenbroek summed up the Titans’ organization’s wishes best when he said “Best of luck at the next level, Jake.”  The Titans are looking forward to great reports from “Rio”, Ohio.  All the best with the Red Storm!