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Pitt commit Mason Ronan will join Panthers in 2019 despite selection in MLB draft

Ronan was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of last week’s MLB draft

Pitcher Mason Ronan committed to Pitt in July 2017 but was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2018 MLB draft last week. However, he announced on Wednesday that he will honor his commitment to Pitt and join the Panthers for the 2019 season.

”I am honored to have been selected in this year’s MLB draft,” Ronan said in a statement. “I want to thank the Boston Red Sox for seeing potential in me and my parents for getting me to this point in my career. However, the Pitt coaching staff has an exciting vision for this program that I want to be a part of. ... With that said, I will be honoring my commitment to Pitt. Hail to Pitt!”

During his high school career, the product of Penn Cambria High School in Cresson, Pennsylvania, developed a 92 mph fastball, according to Perfect Game USA, and he’s part of an incoming class of recruits that the same website ranks 48th in the nation. He also pitched to a 3.34 ERA and amassed 231 strikeouts over 115.1 innings pitched, according to MaxPreps.

Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh, the southpaw pitcher is expected to contend for a starting role.

Ronan was one of two Pitt commits selected in the draft, as right-handed pitcher Billy Corcoran from Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 36th round last Wednesday. Corcoran has not publicly announced his decision yet.

Pitt's 2019 roster will continue to take shape in the coming days, as head coach Joe Jordano and his staff are still awaiting official decisions from two Pitt players selected in the draft, including R.J. Freure and Liam Sabino. Both seem likely to go pro, as Freure was selected relatively early in the draft and Sabino alluded to starting his professional career after his selection on Wednesday.

As for Ronan, he's drawn some glowing reviews, and it sounds as if there will be much to look forward to when he joins the team next season.

“Mason’s an exceptional young man that has worked extremely hard to achieve his lifelong dream of playing college and possibly professional baseball,” Penn Cambria baseball coach James Poldiak told Cory Isenberg of The Tribune-Democrat. “Big things await!”