Dunn deal: Norwin baseball player commits to Hartford

Sunday, January 31, 2021 | 4:40 PM

Norwin continues to churn out college baseball talent. What else is new?

This year’s roster, which the Knights can’t wait to roll out in the spring, especially after last season was canceled, is loaded top-to-bottom with talent.

Elijah Dunn is the latest prospect to make a commitment to a NCAA Division I program.

The junior outfielder announced a verbal pledge to Hartford (Conn.) of the America East Conference.

Like some of his teammates who already have committed to college programs, Dunn has yet to play varsity baseball. He proved himself in summer showcase events — the path many prospects are taking nowadays because of issues caused by the covid-19 pendemic.

The old adage, “if you’re good, they’ll find you,” seemed to take a year off. Players are making inroads to the next level on their own.

“It’s an absolute blessing,” Dunn said on being able to secure a Division I scholarship. “I always knew that I was talented growing up. My dream is to play professional baseball, and I’m one step closer to that.”

Dunn said the idea of playing at the highest collegiate level came from watching his teammates get offers and make commitments before last season.

“I worked so extremely hard, and it goes to show you that hard work really does pay off,” he said.

On its next team that takes the field in WPIAL play, Norwin will have 12 players committed to Division I or II schools.

The others are: Alex Gabauer (Penn), Jake Kendro (Tennessee), Eric Chorba (Longwood), Ty Stecko (Mount St. Mary’s), Nick Fleming (Mount St. Mary’s), Justin Turcovski (Pitt-Johnstown), Jake Bazala (Mercyhurst), Jayden Walker (Mercyhurst) and Landon DiBeradin (Mercyhurst).

Zach Potthoff (Swarthmore) and Ryan Scavnicky (Franciscan) are headed to Division III schools.

A Pennsylvania Baseball Report showcase, Dunn said, is at the core of his exposure.

He advanced through a few stages and played in the Pennsylvania Games.

“I did extremely well at the first event,” he said. “Three months later, I got selected to attend the state games. I dominated there, going 4 for 6 with a home run. I received attention from D-I schools from that, including Hartford.”

That performance earned the 6-foot-2, 175-pound slugger a spot in the PBR Future Games late last summer. He was one of the top 15 prospects from the state to advance that far.

“I did very well there,” Dunn said. “I started to get more attention from D-I schools after the event.”

Mount Saint Mary’s also offered.

“He has all the tools,” Norwin coach Mike Liebdzinski said about Dunn. “He runs, throws and hits for power. He is still refining his game but has tremendous upside. We’re looking forward to seeing how he progresses.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.


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