Payten Wawruck, of Hebron, has committed to play baseball and study business at Fairfield University in 2022.
Wawruck, who is a senior at Loomis Chaffee, signed his National Letter of Intent in front of family and friends on Nov. 11.
“There were a lot of factors that went into it, but some of the biggest ones were location and the strength of school,” Wawruck said of his collegiate decision. “I wanted to have the best chance to play baseball and do academics, and Fairfield has a really strong business program.”
The 18-year-old outfielder will be joining a Division I program with a familiar face. His father, Jim Wawruck, played for Fairfield’s head coach Bill Currier when Currier coached at the University of Vermont.
“I’ve known him for a while and I have a strong connection with him. I trust him,” added the college commit.
Wawruck credits his time at Loomis Chaffee, a boarding school based in Windsor, as one of the biggest factors in his development as both a player and as a student.
He added that his teammates and coaches have pushed him to be a better player, “These guys work for their goals and the culture here is great and the coaching staff has been very supportive.”
Entering his senior season, his favorite memory at Loomis has been when the team returned after the COVID-cancellation, ‘We had an entire fan section packed on the hill, I got to bat leadoff and get a hit. We were known as one of the better teams in the league and this was our time to show it.”
Wawruck, who is a natural lefty at the plate and throws righty, is hoping that his final season at Loomis is the best one yet. The team is slated to do spring training at the Jackie Robinson Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.
“We all have a common goal. We have a winning culture and we’re building on that. We have a brotherhood,” he said of the upcoming spring season.
Wawruck played other sports when he was growing up before primarily focusing on baseball. He recalled that in one of his first memories was lapping a baserunner in tee-ball and that his coaches had to tell him to slow down.
At Fairfield he’ll be joining a very successful program that is coming off a season in which they set a program record with 39 wins, including 28 consecutive to start the season.
College baseball is a challenge that Wawruck is ready to embrace, saying he looks forward to the travel, the fan base, and the competition, adding, “It will be a whole different world. It’s that grind of playing Division I sports and being surrounded by that workhorse culture and being surrounded by the best athletes that I look forward to the most.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin