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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Baseball

Baseball junior looking to continue stellar career


Junior Jared Triolo was one of the Cougars’ best hitters last season and is one of D1 Baseball’s top 150 professional prospects. | Thomas Dwyer/The Daily Cougar

Like many fans of the sport, junior infielder Jared Triolo began his baseball career as a little kid walking up to the plate to meet the little white ball on a tee. Patiently, the ball just sat there, waiting for that child to swing his bat for the very first time.

But that first crack of the bat was different for Triolo, as it was a spark that ignited the fire leading him to the collegiate level.

Since then, Triolo has lived, breathed and dreamed baseball and sees himself playing in the big leagues one day.

But for now, the hitter prepares for his third season with the University, and his childhood fantasy of playing professional baseball is closer to reality than ever before.

“Just from watching it I wanted to be up there and play in the big leagues,” Triolo said. “I want to be one of the best.”

Triolo is seeing immense success in college as one of UH’s best hitters, and he has performed at a high level since before he arrived in Houston.

Born in Nashua, New Hampshire and raised in Austin, Triolo made his way through high school as one of the best players in the area.

Triolo led Lake Travis High School to four district championship titles and the best season in school history in 2015 when the team finished 34–4.

After earning the team’s MVP award and being named an Austin Area and Texas High School All-Star, it was clear the Lake Travis standout was going to go to college for his talents.

A summer tournament at UH during his junior year of high school and a visit to the team’s facilities and personnel was all it took to get him on board in Houston.

In 2017, Triolo took to the diamond as a Cougar for the first time, and since then he has been firing on all cylinders.

Right off the bat, Triolo made a name for himself and started in 60 games as a true freshman and appeared in all 63, the only true freshman that season to do so.

The departure of 2017’s top hitter Jake Scheiner left a breach in the Cougars’ offense that Triolo was quick to plug.

His 2017 batting average of .271 soared to .344 last season while his production at the plate increased from 59 hits to 85, a jump of 44 percent.

In his first two seasons, Triolo averaged .310 in the batter’s box while accumulating 144 hits, all while earning American Athletic Conference All-Academic honors in the classroom.

Triolo became and remains a leader on the team, a feat that head coach Todd Whitting commends him for.

“I’m really proud of (Triolo) and his development in our program over the past three years,” Whitting said. “Physically, he’s gotten a lot stronger, but probably the biggest improvement he has made is as a leader on our ball club.”

On top of his individual success, which included being ranked No. 69 in Perfect Game’s Top 100 College Juniors, he has helped lift Houston to two regular-season AAC titles, an AAC tournament championship and appearances in two NCAA Regionals.

But when asked what the greatest achievement in the sport that he has dedicated almost all of his life to is?

One would expect the answer to be the numbers, the awards or the championships, but his answer is far from that.

“All of the relationships I have built,” Triolo said. “The life skills I have acquired from working with coaches.”

Triolo credited his success in sports to two of the most important people in his life: Tom and Lesa, his parents.

“Both of them really instilled a hardworking, humble attitude in me when I was young,” Triolo said. “It showed me how to go about life and to be a man.”

If Triolo can continue to improve and help the team, the Cougars could get over the hump and make it to the College World Series for the first time since 1967.

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