On Thursday afternoon, Marcello Ursini’s scholastic baseball career came to an end when Shelton High dropped a heart-breaking 2-0 decision to Trumbull High in a Class LL second-round matchup.
Early Friday morning, Ursini set the course for the next step in his baseball odyssey, as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Dean College in Franklin, Mass. this fall.
“It’s something I’ve dreamt of doing since I was a little kid,” said Ursini, the Gaels’ standout senior center fielder. “I knew growing up, after the Little League World Series, there was a chance I wanted to keep it going.”
Ursini, along with fellow Shelton High tri-captain Tyler Tice among others, powered Shelton National’s run to the Little League World Series back in 2008.
From there, Ursini continued to have success on the diamond. A three-year starter for coach Scott Gura at Shelton High, Ursini broke the school’s single-season hit record with 42 base hits in 2012.
He also helped the Gaels win the Southern Connecticut Conference championship over Amity in 2010 and the Class LL state title against South Windsor last spring.
“He was a big part of that,” Gura said. “He went on to have an incredible senior season, hitting .408, with a lot of pressure on him to follow up his record-breaking year last year. He’s a special five-tool player.”
Last Wednesday, Ursini showed just how valuable he was to the Gaels in their first-round matchup with Manchester High.
With Shelton trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Ursini tied the game at 2 by slamming an RBI double to left field. He then scored the go-ahead run on C.J. Rizzo’s sacrifice fly, propelling Shelton to its second-round showdown with Trumbull.
“He was a great leader and captain for us,” Gura said. “He’s going to be missed. There is a huge hole in center field now.”
Said Ursini: “Our three leaders this year, Tyler, Ryan (Testani) and I, we’ve been through everything together.”
To get to where he is now, Ursini also decided to give up playing football as a junior.
“I can say football was just an activity for me,” he said. “I liked playing it, but I knew my love for baseball was going to be stronger. I just figured I should stop playing so I didn’t get hurt.”
It proved to be the right choice, as Ursini was named to the New Haven Register All-Area team in 2012, as well to the CT Post’s All-State second team. He was also All-SCC Housatonic Division in 2012 and 2013 and All-Valley in 2012.
“It’s been great,” Ursini said. “I came out, worked hard and earned my spot.”
Ursini will be joining a Division II NJCAA Dean squad that went 20-16 this past season. His presence in the heart of the Shelton order and marshaling center field will certainly be missed by the Gaels.
“He’s a polite and respectful kid,” Gura said. “We want more of these kids like that (Ursini) in the program.”