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Buchanan’s Colton O’Toole commits to Long Beach State. Get to know the 2023 baseball prospect.

The Buchanan baseball program continues to produce Division I collegiate players as Colton O’Toole became the latest Bear to give his verbal commitment. The two-way sophomore gave his pledge to Long Beach State on Monday, then announced it via his Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

With the commitment, O’Toole became the 7th current player at Buchanan to have verbally committed to a college program.

“It was a big decision for me to commit as a sophomore,” O’Toole talked about. “It’s always been a dream of mine to not only play D1 baseball, but to also play for a school that competes for a national championship. It’s a great school, in a great location, with a storied baseball program. I’m excited to play for a coaching staff that has a national championship as their goal and will push me to be my best.”

The infielder/right-handed pitcher continues the trend of young players in the Central Section giving their commitment without having any varsity innings under their belt. With the lack of a 2020 high school season, O’Toole took it upon himself to get out and be seen. He credits Long Beach State’s player development, who had 46 players taken in the MLB Draft last decade, on why he eventually chose the Dirtbags as the collegiate program of his choice.

“Their coaches first saw me play a couple years ago, but then real conversations started to take place this past summer,” O’Toole explained. “Although I was talking with other schools, being recruited by a top 25 program, with a coach known for developing great pitchers as well as fundamentally sound players got my attention.”

Though he didn’t play varsity baseball last year, O’Toole did find himself being called up to practice with the Bears throughout the year. In addition to flashing his athletic ability up the middle and occasionally at third base, the 5’11, 160 pound prospect will also be a factor on the mound. Long Beach State sees him as a potential two way player at the next level as well.

“I pride myself on being able to play anywhere on the field as well as pitch. I have the glove and the arm for the infield, but also the speed to play the outfield,” O’Toole said. “ Offensively, I consider myself a contact hitter that finds the barrel often, gets on base and runs the bases aggressively. My goal is always to help produce runs for the team.

In addition to playing baseball, O’Toole has also played football his entire life and will continue that throughout his high school career. Though he’s now committed for baseball, he thinks there are lessons to be had from playing multiple sports, especially quarterback, at Buchanan.

“I have no intentions of quitting football.  Being a quarterback and part of a football team has helped develop me as both an athlete and a leader. I plan on continuing along that path for as long as possible.”

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