LYNN — When Jomar Moreta stepped onto the Fraser Field diamond a few months back at the Lynn Invitational, his goal was to showcase his talents in front of college baseball coaches in attendance. It turns out the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds liked what they saw from Moreta.
Last week, Moreta, a senior shortstop/pitcher at English, committed to play college baseball at New Mexico Junior College and accepted a full-ride scholarship offer from the Thunderbirds, none of which he ever imagined possible.
“It feels pretty amazing,” Moreta said. “When (English baseball) Coach (Doug) Mullins told me I was getting a full-ride I felt like I was dreaming, it was amazing. My plans have worked out and if I keep working hard all my plans should be successful.”
Moreta said the Thunderbirds reached out to Mullins shortly after watching Moreta play in the Lynn Invitational. Soon after receiving the scholarship offer, Moreta discussed his future plans with his mother and the decision became official.
“They contacted Coach Mullins,” Moreta, 17, said. “He told me they loved how I played and they wanted me to play shortstop for them. Coach Mullins told me they’d offer me a full-ride, they’d give me a free plane ticket to go home whenever I wanted to. I talked to my mom to see what she thought about the school and she loved it. From there, I told them I’d like to commit there.
“(The Lynn Invitational) really helped me a lot,” Moreta said. “It gave me a great opportunity to play in front of a lot of college coaches. Because of that I got interest from schools but New Mexico is the place I really wanted to play for.”
The Thunderbirds, a Division I NJCAA program, went 40-17 last season. The current roster features two Massachusetts natives in Lawrence pitcher Jairo Vasquez and Littleton catcher Kevin Girardin. Current Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta is a New Mexico Junior College product.
“Their team’s pretty good,” Moreta, who also represented Lynn in the 16-18-year-old Babe Ruth World Series this past summer, said. “They usually come in first or second place in the conference. It’s a very diverse team. That’s something I was looking for. Former students there have said the team’s good, the coaching’s good and the competition’s great.”
With his future plans sealed and official, Moreta now shifts his attention toward preparing for his senior season with the Bulldogs. Moreta admitted he started slow out of the gate at the beginning of last season and is hoping to change that next spring.
He finished the 2018 season with a .375 batting average, 15 runs scored, eight RBI and five stolen bases. Moreta also pitched 17 innings for the Bulldogs with a 2.10 ERA.
“Last year I had a lot of pressure to perform,” Moreta said. “My first couple games I struggled. I tried to do too much, I was overswinging. Coach Mullins talked to me, he told me to play my baseball not overdo things and not try to do too much. From there I started to do great and I had a pretty good year.”
Moreta said he’s looking forward to finishing his high school baseball career on a high note.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Moreta said. “We have a couple new freshmen. I’m not sure what they’ve been playing but they seem like they’re used to playing varsity. We have a couple new kids coming from different places. We have an experienced group. The kids we have, they’ve been on a varsity team and they’ve played for Coach Mullins. This year should be better because we know how he works. There will be better chemistry on the team.”