Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Squirrel Hill Native Coming Home to Pitt for Shot at Baseball

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Squirrel Hill Native Coming Home to Pitt for Shot at Baseball

Article excerpt

When he was a Shady Side Academy student, Eli Friedman looked forward to an Ivy League education.

But after two years at Brown University, his view of the world has changed. Squirrel Hill resident Friedman says he was not happy in the Ivy League and has decided to return home, where he plans on playing baseball at Pitt as an invited walk-on.

Friedman, 6-feet-4, 230 pounds, was a highly recruited pitcher out of high school who was also a basketball standout. An all-WPIAL forward, Friedman helped Shady Side to the PIAA Class AA title in his junior season. In addition to playing baseball, Friedman might go out for Pitt's nationally ranked basketball team.

"I was invited to walk-on coming out of high school [by Pitt assistant basketball coach Barry Rhorrsen]," said Friedman, who plans on going through conditioning workouts with the team for the next two months before making a final decision with Rhorrsen. Formal practices begin Oct. 15.

Friedman began taking classes at Pitt this summer, and hopes someday to attend medical school.

He also pitched for the Pittsburgh Pandas in the Great Lakes League for college players. Friedman only appeared in three games for Brown before quitting the team less than two weeks into the spring season.

"I just wasn't happy there," Friedman said.

"It wasn't the program I thought it was when I decided to go there. I couldn't get settled into doing the things I wanted to do there.

"I felt if I wanted to be happy, I had to start over at another school."

Friedman is not sure whether he will eventually get athletic scholarship money for baseball. Full baseball scholarships are rare, even at the Division I level.

"We still have to work out the details, but that isn't as important as settling down at Pitt," Friedman said. "I'm grateful Joe Jordano [the Pitt baseball] coach is giving me this opportunity to join their program. …

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