Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- International Falls, Minn. native Jake Casareto almost didn't end up playing baseball at St. Scholastica, arriving a semester after most freshmen during his first year of college.
"I actually transferred here," Casareto recalls.
Casareto spent his freshman fall at Division I North Dakota State before joining the Saints that spring. He says now, the choice was the best he's ever made.
"It's totally different," Casareto said of St. Scholastica. "You've got 40 brothers on the team. It's not a typical team. Over four years, you have 40 best friends. You see some graduate and leave when you're younger and then 10 new best friends come in."
Beyond building those friendships, Casareto has turned in quite the career with the Saints.
It's to the point now that head coach Corey Kemp expects him to be extraordinary.
"Some of the plays that he makes now are spectacular," Kemp said. "There will be balls in the hole that you wouldn't think a shortstop could get to or make that throw, and he does. So now when he doesn't make a spectacular play, I'm a little upset that he didn't get it done."
He usually does though. Casareto has a .924 fielding percentage to go along with a .355 batting average with the Saints.
The biggest reason for the success, he feels, is a growing maturity in his game.
"When you're young and you make mistakes and wish you'd have played better, but you learn that that's baseball and it's part of the game," Casareto said. "You learn to keep your head up and go out the next day, and it usually always works out."
And it has worked out, both for him and the St. Scholastica Saints.