Prep Baseball Report

Gilbert Excited About Competing At Holy Cross

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Gilbert Excited About Competing At Holy Cross

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Aidan Gilbert RHP / OF / The Loomis Chaffee School, CT / 2024

WILLINGTON, Ct. - The decision to post-grad was a no-brainer for Aidan Gilbert.

A 2023 graduate of E. O. Smith High School, the 30th-rated right-handed pitcher in his class in the state of Connecticut was given an offer from Holy Cross with the agreement of becoming a 2024. Hence, Gilbert is now participating in the post-grad program at Loomis Chaffee School.

“I graduated at the age of 17, I have an October birthday, and Holy Cross told me if I would become a 2024 they would accept me so I decided to post-grad in late summer,” Gilbert explained.

Interest from Holy Cross developed earlier in the year.

“My AAU coach texted them about me and they started coming to my high school games,” Gilbert related. “They saw me a couple times in the summer and offered me, bringing up post-grad and being a 2024, and a couple of weeks later I committed.”

That came after a visit to the university in Worcester, Ma.

“I really like the coaches and what they’re building,” Gilbert noted. “They don’t typically take transfers, they give their guys an opportunity and I like that. I like the campus, that it’s a tight-knit community and that it’s close to home. I needed that. My parents have done so much to give me an opportunity to play, I wanted them to be able to watch me. That was probably the biggest reason.”

Though just 45 minutes from home, Gilbert had never been to Holy Cross until his visit.

“That was the first time I was ever there,” Gilbert related. “I didn’t see myself going there, I was talking to other schools, but when Holy Cross reached out that changed.”

Bryant, UMass and Rhode Island were others considered by Gilbert, who made an impression on Holy Cross.

“They like how I can pitch with my offspeed, sometimes I work backwards,” the 6-2 175-pounder pointed out. “They also like my build. They have gotten many players like me, that they want to put on weight, that are projectable.”

One performance stood out in the recruiting process.

“They saw me pitch when I had the flu and they liked that I went out and pitched when I wasn’t 100 percent,” Gilbert reflected. “I threw a seven-inning shutout in my last high school game at E. O. Smith.”

Changes in his pitching have taken place giving a glimpse of his upside.

“Once I started lifting I’ve seen a huge improvement,” Gilbert explained. “I started a virtual program with Advanced Therapy Performance, baseball specific training, and I’ve gained weight and saw huge improvements. Once I put on weight my velocity has gone up.”

There was a lot of assistance along the way in his recruiting process.

“For exposure I went to PBR events,” Gilbert said. “They posted me on Twitter and posted my high school playoff game there and Holy Cross congratulated me on that. I also played with the Scorpions and Cody Ortega, who has great connections with schools.”

It all led to finding the perfect college home.

“It was stressful not knowing where I was going to go but I ended up going to the right place for me,” noted Gilbert, whose interest in playing at the next level began at the age of 13 while playing for Team CT Baseball.

“I love their program, they have great youth development,” Gilbert said. “It was during Covid when I started getting serious and decided I wanted to play this in my future, thinking it would be fun to play in college. By late sophomore year I started getting interest from Division III schools. That’s when I started to ramp things up with my weight.”

Gilbert, who credits Mike Wodnicki at TCB with “helping my pitching and mentality in developing me into the pitcher I am today,” believes he can make a strong impact in the Holy Cross program.

“I’ll bring a very positive attitude and a really good work ethic,” Gilbert said. “I see myself as a great leader off the field and a tough gritty pitcher on the field. Once I get more velocity I think I can contribute to a conference championship and hopefully beyond that.”

A commitment to Holy Cross is just the start according to the 18-year-old.

“It felt like a big weight off my shoulders but it doesn’t stop the hard work,” Gilbert related. “It was just that my recruitment was stressful. But now that I’m committed it won’t make a difference to me, I’m still working hard.”

A major in biology is the plan for Gilbert, a 3.5 student excited about a bright future at the Patriot League university.

“I’m looking forward to creating relationships with teammates and coaches, not everyone gets to do that,” Gilbert concluded. “These will be relationships that will be there the rest of my life. I’m also excited about competing. Competing is an honor that not everyone has and it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

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