Lowell High senior righthander Brock Riley told ESPNBoston.com this afternoon that he has de-committed from UMass, and is instead pledging to Division 2 power Franklin Pierce.
The 6-foot Riley originally committed to UMass last October, but is now joining an impressive Ravens recruiting class that locally includes Doherty's Luke Brennan, Bridgewater-Raynham's Adam Chase and Pope John Paul II's Ben Crago. Franklin Pierce won its sixth NCAA Division 2 East Regional title in 11 seasons last spring, advancing to the Division 2 College World Series, and saw four of its players taken in the MLB Draft last June.
"I made the switch to Franklin Pierce because they gave me an offer I just couldn't refuse," Riley said. "The program is ranked one of the best baseball programs in the country, and over the last couple of years only Boston College and UConn have had more kids get drafted than Franklin Pierce out of colleges in New England. I liked that a lot, since I want to play for a winning program that competes for a World Series every year and gives me a great opportunity to possibly play professionally after college.
"They also have great facilities. The whole coaching staff has a good reputation and are a great group of guys, and [head coach Jayson] King is a great coach who knows what he's doing and wins tons of games. More importantly, it was also a better fit for me academically. The smaller classes should help me stay concentrated and get better grades."
This isn't the first time a Bay State prospect has de-committed from UMass in favor of a D2 program. Last year, Walpole lefthander Mike Gaughan committed to UMass, then switched to Rollins College, a Division 2 program in Winter Park, Fla. Gaughan went on to earn "Starting Rotation" honors in ESPN Boston's 2013 All-State Team.