Leominster's Ryan Lever commits to UMass

Leominster High senior shortstop/second baseman Ryan Lever has verbally committed to UMass for the 2015-16 school year, he announced tonight on his Twitter account.

The 5-foot-8 Lever batted .350 this past spring for the Blue Devils, who finished the year ranked No. 42 nationally by Baseball America after winning the MIAA Division 1 State Championship, the program's first since 1996. Lever, who also plays American Legion baseball for Leominster Post 151, was selected to the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association (MBCA) Junior Select All-Star Game.

Lever was also considering Rhode Island, UMass-Lowell and Southern New Hampshire at the time of his commitment.

"[Head coach Mike] Stone was a really good guy and made me feel as comfortable as possible," Lever told ESPNBoston.com. "They also have a very good exercise science department, which I will be wanting to major in.

"He (Stone) said I really work hard and I love the game. He also mentioned that I am the type of player that would thrive at UMass."

Lever is the first member of Leominster's 2014 state champion squad to commit to a Division 1 baseball program. Pitcher/utilityman Neil O'Connor, an ESPN Boston All-State and Mr. Baseball finalist, signed with the University of New Hampshire for football back in February.