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Bishop Canevin senior DiPaolo signs with Gannon baseball

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | for the Signal Item
Bishop Canevin senior Nico DiPaolo looks over his lett of intent with his father Lou, right, and Crusaders baseball coach Dale Checketts.

It might seem that Bishop Canevin's Nico DiPaolo would have a hard time deciding which sport he would continue with in college after a standout high school career in football, basketball and baseball.

But the South Fayette resident said it wasn't all that difficult: He knew all along he would continue his playing career on the diamond and signed his letter of intent with Gannon University last week.

“It was the first sport I started playing,” said DiPaolo, who will major in pre-med. “It was an easier choice.

“It was always my favorite growing up.”

He cited several reasons why he signed with the Golden Knights. He mentioned the team's success on the field — Gannon finished the regular season tied on top of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division — and a young coaching staff as contributing factors.

“They are getting a new facility,” DiPaolo said. “And with the Erie weather, it will be indoors, which will be helpful.”

The PSAC West includes California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana (Pa.), Mercyhurst, Pitt Johnstown, Seton Hill and Slippery Rock.

DiPaolo also considered attending Mt. Olive College in North Carolina and Canisius College in New York. He will be used as a middle infielder and a pitcher.

“(DiPaolo) grew into being a solid ball player over the last four years,” Bishop Canevin coach Dale Checketts said. “He was a three-sport athlete and is leaving to be a baseball player.

“It is a tribute to his work ethic that he earned this opportunity.”

DiPaolo's focus is now on the WPIAL Class A playoffs as Bishop Canevin looks to extends the senior's final high school season. The Crusaders finished the season 7-4 to reach the postseason for a second straight year.

“I think we can make a good run,” DiPaolo said. “We have a good team, so we can hopefully make it far.”

His high school coach has no doubts DiPaolo will be able to find success when he takes the field next year.

“He will fit in well there,” Checketts said. “They got a solid ball player.

“As a coach, you want someone who has that fire and desire to be a better ball player.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5813 or at nsmith@tribweb.com.

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