ATASCADERO — Atascadero senior baseball player Nolan Meredith signed his letter of intent to play baseball for the UC Davis Aggies on Monday morning in front of a gathering of his friends, coaches, and faculty.
Meredith pitched 50 innings a season ago with a 1.8 earned run average and offensively hit .359 and drove in 16 RBIs for the Greyhounds as he earned second team all-league honors.
“We are so excited for him,” Meredith’s mother Amy said at the signing. “He has worked really hard and has had a lot of great coaching along the way, and we’re just happy to see it work to this point and see him go play D1 Baseball in Davis.”
Meredith drew interest from a number of colleges including Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and the University of San Diego but is choosing to attend Davis because “the campus. Just how big it was and how many people there were, it just felt really good.” Meredith said.
Many high school athletes are forced to make the decision every year whether to stay relatively close to home for college or leave the nest. Meredith will stay close to his tight-knit family who was in attendance at the signing.
“We are a really close family,” Meredith’s grandmother Debbie Miles said. “… but I think we would have been happy wherever he went, but it's such a good school. I wanted him to become a veterinarian so I was just thrilled. He has no interest in doing that at all though.”
She also added that she is, “Extremely, extremely happy it's only a four-hour drive.”
Both Nolan and his mother Amy noted that there was a pivotal turning point in his career that led him to where his today.
“My husband used to be president of Little League so we had an opportunity to go back and see the Little League World Series when he was 11 and he had already been playing baseball,” Amy said. “That experience, watching those 12-year-olds on the field in Williamsport, West Virginia changed his life. California won that year and he came back and he didn't put a baseball down after that.”
Meredith added, “After I went there I saw how good these kids were and how much fun they were having I was just like, ‘I want to do that, I want to do that really badly,’ so I just started working every single day. I started playing catch every day with my brother in the backyard.”
Meredith will enter this season as a four-year varsity baseball player and can be seen playing shortstop, second base or toeing the rubber for the Greyhounds this spring.