Prep Baseball Report

Civitello Knew UConn Was The Place For Him

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Civitello Knew UConn Was The Place For Him

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Amato Civitello SS / RHP / Hamden Hall, CT / 2026

EAST HAVEN, Ct. - There was never any question where Amato Civitello was going to attend college.

“UConn is the main place I wanted to go,” the Hamden Hall High School freshman related. “I watched baseball there and it’s always been the college I wanted to go to. It’s 45 minutes from home, so my parents can come. It’s not too far of a drive.”

As the recruiting process began, the third-rated 2026 shortstop in New England found more to like about a program that has won the past two Big East Conference tournaments.

“The coaches were great to me,” Civitello reflected. “They treated me well and that gave off a good vibe. It’s a national program that travels all around the country and they have great facilities.”

Interest eventually turned into an offer and commitment by the 16-year-old from East Haven.

“I first went to a prospect camp there and liked it, so I did another in the summer and then another in the fall,” Civitello noted. “Right before high school season is when it all happened. Conversations led to an offer and I committed on a photo to (head) coach (Jim) Penders the first week of March.”

UConn saw the potential the 14th-ranked freshman in New England displayed.

“They like how I play up the middle,” Civitello explained. “They like my fielding, they like my swing and how I always play with a chip on my shoulders. They like how much I want to be there.”

Making a decision before ninth grade year of high school has ended was a no-brainer according to Civitello.

“It took a lot of pressure off,” the second-rated 2026 shortstop in Connecticut related. “Now I can just play baseball, enjoy high school and continue to grow. It’s a dream come true.”

A desire that has been around for some time.

“It’s always been a goal to play college baseball since I was little,” Civitello said. “It’s always been a dream and always a realistic goal. It’s always been what I wanted to do and I kept pushing for it. Playing up at events, I always thought I could play at the next level.”

An improved game helped the cause.

“I’m a lot stronger since the first time they saw me,” the 5-8 140-pounder pointed out. “I’m hitting the ball better, my arm is increasing and I’m getting faster.”

It helped the recruiting process evolve quickly.

“It was pretty simple,” Civitello explained. “I went to recruitment camps, I did a few PBRs in the fall that were fun to go to and I did prospect camps that helped them find me.”

Civitello did not do it alone.

“My dad was a big part of this,” Civitello noted. “My travel ball coach was always pushing me and I played with (PBR Connecticut Director of Scouting) Trevor (Brown) in Georgia at the Junior Future Games. That was my first time playing in Georgia and there were a lot of good coaches there. It was a great environment overall.”

Civitello is excited and confident about what he can provide the baseball program at UConn.

“By the time I get there I hope to be bigger and stronger so I can start,” Civitello said. “I’m a good infielder with a good bat and a strong baseball IQ.”

But the necessity to continue making strides remains.

“I need to keep training, working hard, hitting and getting stronger so I can keep growing and improving,” Civitello said.

To know where his future lies at such a young age is a blessing.

“It’s very exciting, it’s what I always wanted to do,” Civitello said. “My dad is happy and proud of me being able to do this.

“Now I look forward to new challenges,” concluded Civitello about being part of a baseball program that has participated in eight of the past 12 NCAA tournaments. “Competing for everything and traveling with the team is going to be fun. I want to keep getting better and better so once I get there I can make even more improvement under their coaches.”

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