Right-hander, who also had offers from Notre Dame and Cincinnati, went 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA last season as a sophomore.
JACKSON TWP. Throughout the Jackson High School baseball team’s tournament run in the spring, Yianni Skeriotis saw Ohio State coaches in the stands on days he pitched.
The right-hander called it “dedication and persistence” in the recruiting process, and it paid off this week for the Buckeyes.
Skeriotis verbally committed to Ohio State. The Buckeyes offered the 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior shortly after Jackson won the Division I state championship in June, with Skeriotis pitching a complete game in the final against Strongsville.
“They never pushed me to make a quick decision, like I hear a lot of colleges do,” said Skeriotis, who turned 17 in July. “They never gave me a timeframe. They allowed me to take my time, and I took more time than most. Eventually it worked out for both of us.”
Skeriotis also held offers from Notre Dame and Cincinnati. He was recruited by many schools. In addition to the three that offered him, Skeriotis visited Duke, Penn State and Nebraska.
Skeriotis went 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA last season as a sophomore, striking out 53 batters and walking 13 in 52 innings. He served as Jackson’s No. 2 starter behind senior All-Ohioan Kyle Nicolas, who now is at Ball State. Skeriotis mixes in a curveball and changeup with a fastball that tops out at 88 miles per hour.
“The great thing about Yianni is he’s a relentless worker and his attention to detail is beyond his years,” Jackson head coach Bill Gamble said.
Skeriotis, who plans to pursue a medical degree with designs on a career in dermatology, committed to Ohio State on Tuesday. He then personally called all the other schools that recruited him to thank them for their interest.
The recruiting process can wear on kids. But Skeriotis said he rather enjoyed it. He also enjoyed the excitement of seeing scouts at games, and there were plenty of scouts at Jackson games last season with the presence of Nicolas and catcher Dillon Dingler.
Dingler now is a freshman on the baseball team at Ohio State.
Skeriotis texted Dingler shortly after committing to the Buckeyes, saying, “See you in two years.”
Skeriotis allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out five and walking three in Jackson’s 8-2 state-final win against Strongsville on June 3, capping a 30-2 season for the Polar Bears. He also started and won Jackson’s regional final against Mentor.
“One thing that separates him from a lot of players is he’s an elite competitor,” Gamble said. “You see a lot of guys in that age group who maybe aren’t able to handle the moment quite as well. Moving forward, we’re really excited about him.”
Skeriotis is just the latest Stark County arm to commit to a Division I program. Last month, Massillon’s Jonathan Machamer committed to South Carolina and Hoover’s Brody Ware committed to Liberty. Machamer and Ware are juniors as well.
Skeriotis plays during the summer on the Lake Erie Warhawks along with Jackson teammates Trey Wright and Ethan Kulich.
The Polar Bears will receive their state championship rings at halftime of Friday’s home football game against Perry. Skeriotis’ commitment allows him to focus on development while pouring all of himself into helping Jackson make a couple of more runs at Columbus.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we can get back there.”
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