Prep Baseball Report

Commitment To Northeastern ‘Special’ For Criscola

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Commitment To Northeastern ‘Special’ For Criscola

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Charlie Criscola SS / RHP / Uxbridge, MA / 2025

UXBRIDGE, Ma. - Growing up in the small town of Uxbridge, Charlie Criscola had some uncertainties when it came to college. But that all changed on his visit to Northeastern.

“I never pictured myself in the big city environment, but when I got there it all felt right,” Criscola said of his visit to see the Division I university in Boston.

Interest from coaches at the Colonial Athletic Association Conference school began early on.

“That was flattering to me being from a small school like mine,” the Uxbridge High School junior noted. “I talked to some other schools this year but then the rules changed. That was a weird thing to adjust to. But then came the Futures Games which was a really big event. It put me on a ton of radars. I talked to a ton of schools because of that.”

Offers came from UMass and Rhode Island, with Penn State and Bryant among the other colleges showing an interest in the second-rated 2025 shortstop in Massachusetts. But it was Northeastern that proved to be the right fit for Criscola.

“The connections, the environment, the coaches, the energy of the city,” related Criscola in listing off the numerous things that stood out about the university that has an enrollment of 36,000 students.

The 37th-ranked junior in New England was called by Northeastern on Aug. 1 in what was a busy day for Criscola.

“I had a lot of calls and texts,” the 17-year-old reflected back on the initial day college contact was permitted with 2025 players. “It was really eye opening and I’m really grateful. I had a phone call with Northeastern and an email to get to a camp. They got me down to campus and I saw them play. 

“Being from a small town, I wasn’t sure how I’d like the city environment but I’m super excited about it,” Criscola added.

An offer came in late October and the eighth-rated 2025 shortstop in New England committed a week later.

“I had other offers but the coaches made it feel right from the start,” Criscola explained. “They showed a lot of interest. It’s always been a school I looked up to and I’m excited to have the chance to go there.”

Northeastern saw the 5-11 160-pound left-handed hitter as a good match for the program.

“They like me as a player … my mentality and how I’m an aggressive player,” Criscola said. “They like me as a middle infielder, with speed another key feature.”

The thought of playing college baseball has “always been on my mind” according to the 16th-ranked junior in Massachusetts.

“When I got to the big diamond for 13U is when I knew this was what I wanted to do,” Criscola pointed out. “After that I pursued the big goal of playing Division I.”

The recruiting process was enjoyable for Criscola, who credited Cressy Sport Performance strength and conditioning trainer Matt Bertochi, Nokona coach Dan Sullivan and hitting coaches Jeff Paulsen and Jack Ambrose with playing major roles in his development.

“It was a pretty long process but wasn’t stressful,” Criscola related. “The Future Games played a big role for me. It got me on the map. Obviously camps helped and the same with reaching out to coaches, but I was blessed to get invited to the Future Games to be able to show what I can do to all the coaches.”

Criscola is confident he can be a major asset to the program at Northeastern, a university located less than an hour from home.

“I think I can give them good impact as a middle infielder and an aggressive player overall,” Criscola said. “I’m also a good team guy to be around.”

Making a commitment was an “amazing” feeling and more.

“It was a sigh of relief to get a break from the phone calls and settle down a little bit,” Criscola said. “I’m just blessed to get the opportunity from Northeastern.”

A 3.4 high school student at Uxbridge, Criscola is looking forward to his days ahead at Northeastern where he has aspirations to major in sport management.

“I’m excited to go to college,” Criscola concluded. “There will be a lot to adjust to being in the city but I look forward to putting in the work and becoming a bigger and stronger player. To be part of Northeastern is really special.”

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