07/24/2014 6:35 AM
Robbie Peto, Monroe HS
Robbie Peto has made a decision. Last night, the Monroe junior announced via twitter he has made a verbal commitment to play baseball for the University of North Carolina.
"I've always loved UNC," Peto said. "I grew up a big Tar Heels fan and when I went there for my first visit, I felt a good relationship with (Tar Heels' coach) Mike Fox. I got to pitch on the field which was cool, Coach Fox took me around and I got really comfortable with all of the staff."
Before committing to UNC, Peto had been heavily recruited by numerous Division I schools and had full-scholarship offers from both St. John's and Wagner University. "The other visits were nice, but at UNC I had some spark that made me decide that that was the school I really wanted to go to," Peto said.
Last season, Peto was one the many bright spots on a Monroe team that advanced to the Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional championship. Peto went 5-1 on the mound with a 2.26 ERA. Peto averaged over a strikeout an inning and had his fastball clocked at 91 miles per hour.
"We knew he was a talented kid who threw the ball pretty hard," Monroe coach Pat Geroni said. "He was our No. 2 the entire year as a sophomore and pitched in some big games. He has this animosity about him when he puts his head down. Our team feeds off of it and it gives us an edge." The majority of Monroe's team from last year will return looking for a sectional and state championship, something Peto can now turn his full attention to with his collegiate decision determined. Committing early was one of his goals from the start.
"I always wanted to be that kid who committed early," Peto said. "I wanted people to know who I was and where I was going."
Peto will join New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year and Old Bridge pitcher, Zach Attianese, at North Carolina. Also a junior, Attianese committed to UNC last summer. When Peto announced his decision, it didn't take long for his soon-to-be teammate to reach out.
"Last night he texted me and said we should go to some basketball games together," Peto said, laughing.