College baseball

Valpo's Gallinatti catches on with Illinois State

2012-06-21T17:00:00Z 2012-06-22T01:59:30Z Valpo's Gallinatti catches on with Illinois StateBy Jim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com

One college showcase turned out to be enough for Joe Gallinatti.

The Valparaiso catcher attended the Cangelosi Showcase back in January, when Illinois State and Western Michigan first expressed their interest.

"They said they liked what they saw, but didn't know what their catching situation was going to be," Gallinatti said.

After the recent Major League Baseball draft, both schools extended offers to Gallinatti, and he verbally committed this week to attend Illinois State.

"I got lucky," he said. "Western Michigan had a spot open up when a guy didn't make the grades and Illinois State had a guy (Chad Johnson of Galesburg, Ill.) drafted out of high school (in the fifth round). It looks like I'll get a better opportunity to play earlier (at Illinois State).  I'll probably redshirt next year to get stronger and after that, it should be wide open."

Gallinatti visited both schools this spring and liked what he saw of the Normal, Ill. campus.

"It's beautiful," he said. "I can really see myself living my next four years there. I loved the coaching staff. They're a top 50 program and they play in the fifth best conference (Missouri Valley) in the country. I couldn't really say no to that."

As a senior, Gallinatti hit .398 with 32 RBIs for Valpo, helping the Vikings to a sectional title. Coach Dave Coyle described him as 'a wall' behind home plate.

"It as a bumpy ride," Gallinatti said. "I want to thank my family, friends and the Valpo coaching staff for all the help they've given me."

Illinois State went 27-16 this season, including an 8-8 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. Among notable Redbird alums, Jeremy Accardo pitches for the Cleveland Indians and Neal Cotts was a pitcher on the White Sox 2005 World Series championship team.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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