Recommended Video:

Alex Rauso from Trumbull High sat down with the University of Bridgeport coaching staff, as head baseball coach Joe Tonelli told the catching prospect what to expect if he chose to join the Purple Knights.

“They gave me the low down on everything, what the coaches expected and how they as a staff preach the family aspect of sports,” Rauso said. “I was excited to hear that because it was the way I was raised, and all the programs I’ve played with follow that trend.”

Tonelli, whose teams have advanced to the East Coast Conference Tournament in each of his three years, said, “We are looking forward to having Alex come into our program to develop and compete for a position. His work ethic, ability and desire are exactly what we are looking for.”

Rauso plans on taking up mass communications. “I met with the faculty advisor at an open house and I liked their intern program. UB was always on my mind after attending some clinics when I was young. My coach at Trumbull Phil Pacelli reached out to his guys and I gave Coach Brett (Conners) my Legion coach a list of ten schools and he helped me find the right fit.

“The coaches (at UB) told me everyone on the team has to fight for their spot every season. I’ll be the underdog starting out, but I love competition and I’m looking forward to earning my time.”

Rauso credits his mom Cathy and dad Alex for his love of baseball and the ability to take the ups and downs of the sport in stride.

“Without them I’d be lost,” he said. “They made it all happen, playing for the Technique Tigers since I was nine. I feel I can make it on my own (in college), but it’s good to have them close and by my side. My brother Anthony is now nine and playing with the Tigers. He is a good player and it’s like déjà vu, thinking he’s doing what I was doing eight years ago.”

Rauso remembers his time with the Tigers fondly.

“We had a core of guys from different towns that played together from age nine to fourteen,” he said. “That diversity brought us together and we learned a lot from our coaches and each other.”

Rauso returned to Trumbull to join the Legion fall team.

“Last fall I reached out to Coach Brett and he said, ‘Come play baseball for me.’ I can’t thank him enough for all his help,” Rauso said. “Since Little League I had been playing out of town except for high school. It was great (the fall league), and I can’t wait until this summer to put the uniform on knowing I’ll be representing Trumbull.”

Rauso is looking forward to the high school season.

“I feel we have a very strong team this year,” he said. “We have some talented juniors that will mix in well with the senior players. Our defense is solid and I expect us to contend.”

A collegial atmosphere has dotted every step during Rauso travels, whether it be baseball or as a member of THS’s burgeoning Italian Club.

“It’s a blast,” Rauso said of being one of the club’s vice-presidents. “My parents told me to get involved and join a club as a freshman. We have about one hundred clubs at Trumbull and it gives everyone a chance to build friendships. We keep things lively and last spring got to travel to eight cities in Italy.”