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From red Raider to Blue Hen, Marchesano set for college

Jake Marchesano will pitch for the University of Delaware. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

When Jake Marchesano was a freshman, he was a baseball prodigy.

The Archbishop Ryan High School junior came into his high school career as a great third baseman, and right after he got to the school, he carved out a spot on the varsity team.

So it should be no surprise that now that he’s a junior, he’s one of the top players in the Catholic League. But if you’re expecting him to still be playing the hot corner, you’ll be shocked.

He’s now perched on the mound, and he’s turned himself into one of the nastiest pitchers in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“Yeah, freshman year I was more of a hitter and infielder, but then when I started growing into my body, I realized that pitching was more my position and I wanted to make that my college path,” said Marchesano, a righty. “So I started to put more work into it and just gave it my everything. I knew that if I was going to do anything, I had to put in work, so I really worked hard.”

Hard work pays off.

Marchesano still has a lot of fun times ahead of him at Ryan, and now he doesn’t have to worry about his future. That became clear last week when he committed to the University of Delaware, where he will continue his baseball career after leaving Ryan.

The Blue Hens are getting a gem who has a lot of potential to get better, and he found the school of his dreams a few exits south on I-95.

“I heard from Delaware, I went to my visit and fell in love with the school,” said Marchesano, who hasn’t decided on a major yet, but is considering business or physical therapy. “And all the guys on the team and the coaches are great people, I really appreciated everything they had there and what they had to offer. It just felt like the right fit for me. It had everything I was looking for.

“I visited with my dad, and we got the offer. We talked about it on the way home, I talked about it with my family. I talked with coach (Eric) Brooks, he’s helped me a lot, and my coaches with my summer team, PRD Baseball Academy, helped me. I made the decision Wednesday night. I’m very happy with it.”

The Blue Hens should be, too, because they’re getting a pitcher who is only getting better.

When he arrived at Ryan, the part-time pitcher was throwing 75 to 78 mph. Last year, after putting in a lot of work, he raised it to 84. Now, still a junior, Marchesano is hitting 92 on the gun.

If you think he’s satisfied now that he has a scholarship, you couldn’t be more wrong.

“It’s not common, all the coaches I talk to are really are surprised, especially at the jumps velo wise that I’ve made. I kind of just learned to use my body. I’m not the biggest or strongest with the most weight, so I learned how to use my body to throw harder and I was lucky I got the right coaches.”

Delaware was the perfect opportunity for him. Now he’s starting to look at helping the Raiders improve.

This year could be considered a rebuilding year, with the Raiders starting young players up and down the lineup.

But they do have a great pitching staff that also includes another highly touted prospect, Dave Perez.

Like Marchesano, Perez throws in the 90s and both are capable of shutting down anyone, including the great teams in the Catholic League.

While the pitching has been stellar, the lineup is adjusting to playing Catholic League baseball. The Raiders are 5-6 on the season, but have won four of their past five games.

The experience has helped.

“We have a young team and they’re working hard and getting better,” Marchesano said. “I think we can be really good this year, and we’re getting there. But we should be better next year. This is a good year to get experience and get better. But we think we can be good now.

“It’s great having Dave on the team. It gives you someone to work out with, and he’s going to play for our summer team so we’ll be together. It definitely helps, we compete in practice and stuff. We both have a guy there you can relate to and just work with. And he’s a great teammate, he helps me a lot.”

Marchesano is used to working out with confidants. 

He’s the third of four brothers, and all four are great athletes who starred at Ryan.

His older brothers Shawn and Nick wrestled at Ryan. His younger brother plays soccer and lacrosse.

They all might not have the same interests in sports, but they know how important family is.

“All of us are really tight and we all try to help each other,” Marchesano said. “They help me a lot. I learned a lot from my older brothers and I try to do the same for Luke. My whole family is like that, we’re close. They’re all excited for me. That means a lot.” 

And they’ll be there when he’s pitching for Delaware, too.

“I’m really happy to commit,” Marchesano said. “It’s a great school, I love the team. It was perfect.”

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