Veselinovic Chooses Baseball, Then Niagara


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Veselinovic Chooses Baseball, Then Niagara

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Nicholas Veselinovic

Class of 2021 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: St Thomas of Villanova
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Windsor Selects
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/L

Statistics

Pitching
88
Max FB
(06/30/21)
84 - 88
FB
(06/30/21)
66 - 70
CB
(06/30/21)
73 - 76
CH
(06/30/21)
Pitching
Max FB
88
FB
84 - 88
CB
66 - 70
CH
73 - 76
Pitching
Max FB
76
FB
73 - 75
CB
63 - 64
Pitching
FB
68 - 72
CB
53 - 54
CH
57 - 58
Position
8.50
60-yard
76
INF Velo
72
Exit Velo
Position
60-yard
8.82
INF Velo
76
Exit Velo
72

Veselinovic Chooses Baseball, Then Niagara

LASALLE, Ontario - A decision two years ago helped Nick Veselinovic make a major determination about his future this summer.

“My main focus was hockey and baseball,” Veselinovic reflected back to 2018. “I decided to quit hockey and just play it for fun two years ago. I was 6-1 and 150 pounds then and I’ve put on a lot of muscle since. I focused on my mechanics and on getting stronger.”

The improvement came gradually for the left-handed pitcher from St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School.

“In the fall I was topping at 77,” Veselinovic noted. “But I’ve gained 20 pounds and worked really, really hard since then. I watched videos and even improved my mental game. My goal was to go to school in the states and I wanted to be able to showcase my name so I really had to work hard to be able to do that.”

Now 6-4 and weighing in at 190, Veselinovic has found what he was looking for with an offer and commitment to Niagara.

“I posted videos from a bullpen at high school and talked to them back on July 11th,” Veselinovic said. “They offered on the 12th and I took over a week to decide. They didn’t have kinesiology so I changed my path to biology. It’s a smaller school which I think is a better fit for me. On July 21st I committed.”

There was a lot that went into making the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school his college choice.

“I like that it’s close. It’s right across the border, a three-and-a-half hour drive,” Veselinovic related about the university located in Lewiston, New York. “I was talking to other schools, but they just showed a strong interest and said they’d use me the right way. If I worked hard, and I will, they said I could start right away.”

Niagara sees plenty of potential in the southpaw pitcher.

“I’m a 6-4 190-pound left-hander and they like my movement,” Veselinovic explained. “I have a four-pitch arsenal with a fastball topping at 86-87, a slider, curve and change. They like my velo and I have a 3.74 GPA.”

North Carolina Central, Kennesaw State (Georgia) and Marshall (West Virginia) all showed an interest in Veselinovic, but with COVID-19 changing the recruiting process adjustments had to be made.

“That made it tough for sure,” Veselinovic admitted. “I set up an area to pitch at a park with a netting area. I threw three times a week and mixed in some long toss. I threw with my older brother and my neighbor.”

The drive to get better was there after deciding on baseball over hockey.

“I was really good at hockey, but I was a left-handed pitcher,” Veselinovic explained about the decision to make baseball his sport of choice. “Hockey’s a hard sport to get into school and I knew with baseball I had something. Once I transitioned and moved into baseball, I started to excel. I knew baseball would be the right move for sure.”

The focus now is to continue improvement.

“I’m working on all my pitches, locating and getting my velo up,” Veselinovic said. “My goal is to touch 90 and sit 86-87. I’m working on locating and being able to work the batter in the count.”

Veselinovic believes he can be a big part of the program at Niagara.

“I can start, pitch a whole game, relieve or close,” Veselinovic noted. “I’m a good team player that works hard and has high academics. I think I can give them innings and really improve the pitching staff. I’m a hard worker that can make it to the top.”

Credit with that desire goes to his older brother Matthew, according to Veselinovic.

“He was always good at sports,” Veselinovic said. “He played volleyball and hockey and I always wanted to compete with him. He pushed me to get better. Once I was able to beat him, I got dedicated to sports.

“My parents also helped me out a lot staying positive and telling me to work hard. They pushed me to my limits to achieve my goals.”

The goal of playing college baseball in the states has now been accomplished.

“It was a little stressful not being committed and (roster) spots filling up,” Veselinovic said. “This year in Ontario, Team Ontario, Team Canada and T-12 all got cancelled and even the tournaments in the states. Nobody was getting the needed exposure. But once I committed, there’s a lot less stress. I’m relieved to be heading to Niagara.”