GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – La Salle senior first baseman/outfielder Griffin Merritt gave a verbal commitment to the University of Cincinnati baseball program Friday afternoon.
Merritt, the quarterback on the Lancers' three-time state champion football team, visited the UC campus Friday afternoon as he gave his pledge to the Bearcats’ baseball program.
“UC has always been a great fit for me and my family,” Merritt told WCPO.com. “Both of my parents (Patrick and Jennifer) went there. Academically and athletically it’s competitive. The facilities are a beautiful. It’s just a great fit at a great time.”
Merritt said he considered the Bearcats before UC hired head coach Scott Googins from Xavier July 1, but the La Salle standout heard excellent reviews about Googins and that helped with his decision.
“I had heard from other people that Coach Googins was a great coach to play for,” Merritt said. “When he made the switch from Xavier to UC, it really spiked my interest in UC.”
Merritt, a second-team All-Greater Catholic League South division infielder in 2017, hit .305 with a .379 on-base percentage for the Lancers. He had two doubles, a triple, 10 RBI and four stolen bases.
Merritt, who plans to pursue a pre-medicine route, considered some college football opportunities from the Ivy League and other conferences. In baseball, he visited Michigan State, Ohio University and Toledo and considered other schools, too.
Merritt considered waiting until after the football season to make a college commitment but decided Friday was the best fit. He will sign with UC in November.
Merritt, who is from White Oak, is a Lasallian Scholar – a four-year program designed to challenge high-performing students.
Merritt, a first-team All-GCL South selection in football in 2016, threw for 1,930 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns during the 2016 football season.
La Salle opens the season Aug. 25 against visiting Colerain in the 20th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lancer Stadium.
Only four football teams in Ohio history have won four or more state titles. La Salle is trying to become the most recent to join the list since Coldwater (2012-2015).