Prep Baseball Report

Gray Excited For Baseball Life Ahead At Sacred Heart

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Gray Excited For Baseball Life Ahead At Sacred Heart

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Aidan Gray RHP / 1B / New Canaan, CT / 2024

NEW CANAAN, Ct. - A throwing program helped turn doubt into confidence for Aidan Gray and a commitment to Sacred Heart followed for the senior at New Canaan High School.

“At the start of summer I was throwing 80-82 and decided to go into a velocity program with my coach, Joe Espinosa,” reflected Gray. “Two-three months later I was throwing 87-88. That really helped. I could go to showcases and feel good about myself. Everything else was good, but I was worried about my velocity.”

A camp invite to Sacred Heart two weeks into the current school year then helped the 49th-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in New England find a college home.

“They invited me to a camp,” the 6-5 200-pounder explained. “I believe they were keeping an eye on me in the summer. They wanted to see what I was like and I did really well. After that they contacted me and wanted me to come on a visit. I went and they offered me on the visit. I waited a week and decided to make a decision. I called and said I’d like to go to the school and he said ‘perfect.’”

Gray saw a similarity in himself and the head coach, Pat Egan.

“They have a newer head coach who pitched in the minors,” Gray noted. “He’s taller than me with the same build. I thought it would be a great fit for me. He knows what he’s been through.”

Sacred Heart was enamored with the possibilities of the 15th-ranked senior RHP in Connecticut.

“They like that I’m tall and throw the ball hard with a lot of spin on it,” Gray said. “I knew they liked me as soon as I started pitching at the camp. I was the only one that they pulled out cameras and started recording from different angles.”

An offer from Fairleigh Dickinson and interest from Stonehill and Trinity were other considerations for the 17-year-old, who not long ago was uncertain about a future in college baseball.

“I always thought about it but never D-I,’ the 147th-rated 2024 in New England admitted. “It goes back to throwing 80-82, and I was working. But once I got in the program my velo went up. 

“I used to be down on myself thinking about baseball,” Gray added. “I never thought I could be that good. But I shocked myself. I have the potential.”

Espinosa was a big part of it according to Gray.

“I used to be lazy with baseball but he made me realize I love the sport,” pointed out Gray, who also gave credit to Pat Vigilio of Baseball U with aiding his development and recruitment. “PBR also helped with my recruiting in a tremendous way. That’s really what got me recruited. A good platform like PBR puts stats up and schools can see where you’re at and that really helps. They found me and other teammates on it.”

While getting interest during the recruiting process was comforting, there was a bad side.

“It could be a little stressful,” Gray related. “If you want to go to a school and you don’t show well when they see you, that’s stressful.”

Fortunately, the 52nd-ranked senior in Connecticut put up a strong performance at the Sacred Heart camp to help find a place to pitch at the next level.

“This is a big weight off my shoulders,” Gray said. “I can get back to normal and not worry about my future so much. I really wanted to play a sport in college. I feel I have a future to look forward to now.”

Gray pointed to his father with helping along the way.

“I always wanted to go to college in California where my dad went to USC for basketball,” Gray noted. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in sports now. He made sure I stayed with sports and I thank him a lot for that.”

Plans are to major in business according to the 3.2 student at New Canaan, who is ready for what lies ahead at the Northeast Conference university in Fairfield, Ct., just 25 minutes from home.

“I’m looking forward to the college experience living on campus,” Gray concluded. “Baseball has been my whole life and I look forward to continuing to play. Traveling places with my teammates and playing good competition, I’m just going to enjoy my time there.”

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