MINFORD, Ohio — Shawnee State University has lured another local athlete to stay close to home, as Minford’s Shawn Mersiel has decided to continue his academic and athletic career with the Bears.
Mersiel made it official Monday afternoon, May 23, 2016, when he signed to play baseball with Shawnee in the lobby at Minford High School.
Mersiel, an infielder, for the Falcons thought Shawnee was a great fit for him.
“It’s closest to my house, and it just made the most sense honestly,” Mersiel commented, on why he chose to attend Shawnee.
The university has been on the mind of the Minford senior since his freshman year and was ultimately where he decided to take the next step of his life.
Mersiel has been in contact with the coaching staff at Shawnee. In his latest discussions, Mersiel said the staff were interested in players that could make an immediate impact on the team.
“They said they like to find people who can play right off the bat,” Mersiel said. “They don’t like to wait on people until they are juniors and seniors to start playing.”
One message the staff relayed to Mersiel was that he needed to keep working and getting ready for the transition to the collegiate level.
Minford baseball coach Brent Daniels had high praise for the four year starter.
“He started out at shortstop, but has been our mainstay at second base,” Daniels said. “He’s a very good defensive player. He has just been a strong defensive player and a good player overall for us, over the last four years.”
Daniels also noted Mersiel having a good on-base percentage.
Defense is one of Mersiel’s strongest assets, according to Daniels, noting the senior has made several nice plays in the field.
Daniels also praised Mersiel’s ability as a leadoff hitter.
“He’s a good leadoff batter,” Daniels said. “He’s always trying to get on base and to get the pitcher deep in counts. He has done a real nice job in those two areas.”
Transitioning from the high school game to the collegiate game can be troubling for some players, but Daniels believes Mersiel will be able to adapt to the much quicker collegiate game.
“He’ll be able to adapt to the speed of the game,” Daniels said. “I think he’ll get right in there and battle for a position.”
While Mersiel and the Falcons are still competing in tournament play, he will soon play his final game on the diamond for the Falcons.
“I’m going to miss all of my teammates,” Mersiel said. “I’m definitely going to miss playing on this field.”
Right now, Mersiel is excited to have the opportunity to compete in the regional round of the state baseball tournament, as well as knowing he will have the opportunity to play baseball for another four years at Shawnee.
“After it’s done (high school), I’m mainly just excited to know I have four more years and continuing to get better,” Mersiel said.
The soon to be Shawnee Bear plans on majoring in Education and taking up teaching upon graduating from college.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.