Entering his junior year of high school, Robbie Petracci made a big decision for his future.
The 16-year-old Egg Harbor Township High School pitcher and outfielder committed to play baseball at Division I Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Petracci has shown potential to be a strong hitter and has been on college teams’ radar since his freshman year.
“He’s not a big kid, but he has a beautiful swing,” EHT coach Bryan Carmichael said. “His swing is beyond his years is what these college coaches have been telling me. He projects very well at the next level, and I’ve seen it in practice, but we’re just working on him being more consistent.”
Last season ODU baseball went 19-11 in Conference USA and 37-21 overall under head coach Chris Finwood, who finished his sixth season. Finwood was the 2017 VaSID Coach of the Year and the 2014 ABCA East Region Coach of the Year. He has a 181-158 overall record at ODU and has guided the team to more than 30 wins in four of the past five seasons.
The Monarchs’ 37 wins in 2017 were the most in a single season since 2006.
“I visited the campus with my family,” Petracci said. “I liked all the facilities and coaching staff and everything the school had to offer. I like the southern weather. It’s good for baseball, and I’m happy about that.”
Petracci plans to major in business and will be receiving a partial athletic scholarship.
Petracci has plenty in front of him before he steps on the field for ODU. This summer he played on a 16-and-under team with Baseball U, a traveling team. With two seasons left for EHT,l he has plenty of time to grow both on and off the field.
Last season the Eagles went 20-5 overall and made it to the semifinals of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs. Petracci had a .271 batting average with 16 hits, 17 runs, 17 RBIs, four doubles and two triples.
“He’s going to mature,” Carmichael said. “These kids are only sophomores, they’re not even driving yet. Our sophomore class is talented, and he’s only one of a few from them that will be signing Division I.”
Petracci also sees potential for his final two seasons at EHT.
“Everyone on the team is a bunch of real hard workers,” Petracci said. “We’re real excited. The past couple seasons we started to win a lot. My class of 2019 and 2020 is promising, and we’re not gonna settle for anything but a state championship.”