AUBURN — Jarod Norcross Plourde was more of a soccer prodigy when he enrolled at Edward Little four years ago, playing for the Red Eddies’ varsity right away.

He went on to fulfill his promise and beome an outstanding soccer player who helped lead the Eddies to one of their most successful seasons this fall. But it turned out it wasn’t his exploits on the pitch, but his remarkable ability to pitch that opened the door to a Divison I scholarship.

On Thursday, flanked by parents Rene and Betsy in the ELHS library, Norcross Plourde signed his national letter of intent to attend and play baseball for the University of Hartford.

Senior Jarod believes the ceremony might not have surprised freshman Jarod, but the sport that led to it would have.

“At the beginning, I don’t think baseball was the first thing on my mind,” he said. “When I started high school, I was thinking more about soccer. It was my sport at the time and I was playing it a lot. But after my freshman year, I started getting more into baseball and started playing more AAU and stuff like that and that’s where I started to find out I loved it.”

After considering Dartmouth, Quinnipiac and Maine, Norcross Plourde made Hartford his final campus visit last summer. He toured the campus and baseball facilities and met with head baseball coach Justin Blood, his staff and players.

The Hawks finished 37-18 last season and 14-9 in America East while reaching the conference finals. 

“It was the right fit for me,” Norcross Plourde said. “I just liked the community there. I liked the campus. I wanted a smaller school. I liked the coaching staff and the baseball program there; and the academic side. They had the most options for me because I don’t know what I want to do yet.”

Norcross Plourde excelled as a three-sport athlete at Edward Little, playing basketball in addition to baseball and soccer.

A stalwart on the mound and at the plate, he helped lead the Red Eddies to a 17-2 record and the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship last spring.

As a right-handed pitcher, he finished 4-0 with one save and a 0.91 ERA during the regular season. He struck out 60 and walked 22.

An infielder when not on the mound, he hit .417 with three doubles, two triples, a home run and 18 RBIs. He scored 21 runs and went 8-for-8 in stolen bases.

EL coach Dave Jordan said the 2016 Sun Journal Baseball Player of the Year is prepared to succeed on and off the field at the Division I level.

“I think the sky is the limit for him,” Jordan said. “First, he is a great, great student. I think if other players looking at college took care of business in the classroom like he did, they’d have so many more options, and he had a ton of options. That put him in a great position, and then his work ethic, drive and talent gave him an opportunity to go down and perform and compete at Hartford.”

How quickly he gets on the field and competes for Hartford, Norcross Plourde said, will be determined by what he does in the 15 months he has before putting on a Hawks uniform for the first time in Feb. 2018.

“It’s all up to how much work I put in,” he said.


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