READING — As one of the top high school pitchers in the state, Reading High junior Scott Tully had plenty of options on where to play his college baseball.
After a recent visit to South Bend, Ind., that decision became clear.
Tully has verbally committed to play baseball for Notre Dame in the fall of 2013. He came to that decision after attending a prospect camp at the school last weekend.
“All of their facilities are top-notch,” said Tully. “I want to study business, and it’s the top business school in the country. And, at the end of the day, it’s Notre Dame.”
A local connection helped pave the way for Tully’s visit to the university. Jesse Woods, a 2000 graduate of RMHS, is an assistant under Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki. Woods was on Aoki’s staff at Boston College for three years before Aoki took the Notre Dame job — and took Woods with him — in July 2010.
Both have Massachusetts connections — Aoki is from Plymouth — and saw Tully pitch as a freshman at RMHS. The 5-foot-11 lefty made an impression, and it ultimately led to an invitation to Notre Dame’s annual prospect camp.
Tully, who is a combined 14-4 on the mound in his two years at RMHS, had a number of potential suitors, having also visited BC and William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. There was also serious interest from Northeastern, URI and St. John’s, but the choice was easy.
“It was clear that Notre Dame just blew all of them away,” said Tully, also a two-time Middlesex League all-star.
The 17-year-old also helped improve his national profile by attending the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. during the Christmas vacation week. Alumni from that event include Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Hewyard.
Playing college baseball would be the realization of a dream that started several years ago.
“When I was 10 years old, I was cut from the travel baseball team in Reading,” said Tully. “It lit a fire under me; that’s probably when it started for me.”
Tully who said his fastball topped out at 88 miles per hour last weekend, said he wants to develop his curveball over his last two years of high school baseball. He already has a good changeup that keeps hitters off-balance.
Notre Dame was picked to finish sixth out of 12 in the Big East preseason coaches poll. The Fighting Irish went 23-29-1 last season in Aoki’s first year in charge.