One year later – Former Skyline baseball players adjusting to new environment

Photo provided by Matt Page
Page at-bat at OBU.

A lot can happen in a year. Change is inevitable. We all go through different changes in our lives. Whether it is a new hairstyle, new clothes or new environment; it happens. Change can be scary when in an unfamiliar situation or place, but in the end we learn things about ourselves that will help us grow.

Last season, Julian Merryweather, Matt Page and Dan Molieri were all on the baseball team at Skyline and since then have transferred to continue playing baseball. While the baseball team was struggling altogether last season, these three were playing well. Merryweather and Page have continued playing together at Oklahoma Baptist University and Molieri is at Cal State Stanislaus.

The California Community College Baseball Coaches Association is a website that keeps all the game log stats and player stats from the community colleges. Last season Page entered into 36 games with 23 RBIs, a .287 BA and a .376 OBP; Merryweather entered into 17 games, pitched 63 innings, giving up 73 hits, 60 runs-46 of those were earned and with a 6.57 ERA for the year; Molieri entered into a season high 26 games, pitched 67.1 innings, giving up 65 hits, 32 runs-24 were earned with a 3.21 ERA. (These stats are from the CCCBCA website.)

Page’s past year has been, “exciting because I’m getting another opportunity to play college baseball and live out my dream.” After being unsure of exactly where he was going to go and not having the type of year he was hoping to have, he is very happy for the way that things have turned out and where he is playing.

Playing at a university is different than playing at the junior college level. The talent is different and the coaching is different. The coaches at a junior college are helping more with the fundamentals and the coaches at a university, “expect you to know how to play the game the right way and expect you to know the correct fundamentals of the game,” said Page.

Merryweather describes the past year as a “grind.” “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to where I am and will be even more to get to where I want to be. I don’t want to settle or regret not giving it everything I had,” Merryweather said. OBU has an outstanding academic record, by Forbes magazine they were ranked 10 in the nation and is known to be the best school in Oklahoma according to Merryweather.

“The school is very dedicated to its athletics,” said Merryweather. “From swimming, track, basketball, and baseball, the school has experienced tremendous success. They have won the ranks of national champs in recent history over different sports. OBU was ranked as the (second) best school in the country by the [National Association Intercollegiate Athletics] when combining all sporting successes.”

Page and Merryweather are not only continuing their baseball careers together but also their friendship. They played on the same team in high school at Serra, played at Skyline and now are playing and rooming together at OBU.

“It’s always nice to have some familiar faces when moving to a totally different place,” said Merryweather. “Former Skyline players Tony Ricci and Matt Page are my roommates, which made it easy to feel at home. Matt and I are both expected to play a big role in our teams’ success so we push each other to stay on top of our game.”

Merryweather said that for this year, he is mainly looking forward to enjoying this time and playing the game. He isn’t positive of how long he could be playing this game and he refuses “to look back on my playing years like this. Whether I make it to the next level or start my life after college ball, I want to be able to tell myself I did everything I could with no regrets. This has made me stop looking at the past or future, and rather just live in the moment,” said Merryweather.

Molieri’s past year has been “amazing.” He remembers having lunch with Dino Nomicos and discussing his plan to get him to transfer the summer before his freshman year at Skyline. He remembers Dino telling him that if he put the effort in that was needed to succeed and go on to play at the next level, he (Dino) would do his part to get him on a team at a Division 1 or Division 2 school.

After all his hard work and a solid season last year, Molieri is now playing at Cal State Stanislaus and working on his degree in Kinesiology. He is really enjoying the college. It is around 12,000 students and has an environment similar to a “family.” The town around isn’t that of a college town, it is more like Skyline with neighborhoods and families. The school also takes care of the athletes to make sure that they will succeed in the classroom as well.

He has been keeping the same mentality and training the same as he has in the past to be able to keep playing at this next level. Dino told him that at some points in his baseball career, he will be able to fix his mistakes. At Skyline, the coaches were more hands on in teaching the players all the fundamentals to make sure they will succeed at a higher level.

Molieri, Page and Merryweather were very thankful of everything that Dino and John (Quintell) had done for them while they were playing at Skyline.

Molieri, in particular, was very thankful about everything that Dino has done for him to succeed as a baseball player. He feels very fortunate that he has been able to keep a great relationship with him and coach Quintell.

This article has been edited to remove a quote that wasn’t part of the article. 2/28/13 1:50 p.m.
This article has been edited to include more then one picture. 2/28/2013 2:04 p.m.