Connect with us


Decision Made: Redbank Valley’s Tate Minich Commits to Play Baseball at Seton Hill University

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Tate Minich tried to enjoy all the emails and the texts and the phone calls from college coaches who were clamoring for a chance to persuade him to come play baseball at their school.

(Photo by Madison McFarland)

It wasn’t always easy for Minich, who just finished his junior season at catcher for Redbank Valley, to have fun with it.

It was tedious at times. It was stressful. But it was also a very good problem to have.

It’s always nice to be wanted.

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

“The recruiting process is a lot of work,” Minich said. “There’s a lot of sending out emails and trying to get your name out there. Once you do, there’s a lot of decisions to make.”

Minich received a lot of interest. For good reason.

As a junior this past spring, Minich batted .403 with two home runs, eight doubles and 26 RBI for the Bulldogs.

Behind the plate, Minich is one of the best defensive catchers around. With a strong arm and a quick release, most teams do not even dare to attempt to steal against him. He handles pitchers well and his baseball IQ is off the charts.

With a skill set like that, Minich was a very popular recruiting target, especially in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Virtually every PSAC school courted Minich.

Ultimately, he chose Seton Hill University, one of the best Division II baseball programs in the country.

Minich committed to the school Friday night.

The Griffins haven’t had a losing season since 2004 and have made two trips to the NCAA Division II World Series, the last in 2021.

Seton Hill hasn’t missed the postseason since 2005.

“It’s a great baseball program, along with a great academic school,” Minich said. “That just made Seton Hill stand apart from the rest of them.”

Minich wanted to make his decision before the start of his senior year.

“It’s kind of nice,” Minich said, “because now I get to relax for the rest of the summer.”

Relax is a relative term when it comes to Minich.

His idea of taking it easy is playing baseball under the scorching sun nearly every day during the summer.

Minich has had a bat in his hands all summer.

“We’ve been pretty busy,” Minich said. “We just came back from Georgia. I have one more travel ball tournament left, then I’ll be headed for football.”

Minich’s future is on the baseball field, not the gridiron, and although no schools that recruited him suggested he hang up his shoulder pads for good, he admitted the thought briefly entered his mind.

“Obviously, with schools offering me a scholarship, if I get majorly hurt, it could be the deciding factor in my scholarship,” Minich said. “So, yeah, I did think about it.”

Minich, though, decided suiting up with his friends on Friday nights was worth the minimal risk.

Last fall, the Redbank Valley football team had a dream season. The Bulldogs went 13-2, won the District 9 Class A championship and reached the PIAA Class A title game.

Minich was right in the middle of it. As a slot receiver on an explosive offense, he had 41 receptions for 530 yards and seven touchdowns.

“I’ve played with this group of guys my whole life,” Minich said. “We’re coming off the best season that Redbank Valley has ever had, so we have a lot to prove. Every team that we play, we’re gonna have a target on our back. They are gonna want to beat the state runner-up. We have to have a different mindset. We have a harder schedule than we did last year.”

Redbank Valley added Central Clarion, Karns City, Ridgway and Kane to its slate.

“I’m looking forward to the Central Clarion game at home,” Minich said. “That’s going to be one to remember.”

Minich is hoping to have a final baseball season to remember, too.

The Bulldogs certainly had a memorable campaign this spring, going 15-7 and knocking off undefeated District 7 champion Serra Catholic in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

Minich moved from the leadoff spot to cleanup this season.

But when the playoffs rolled around, he bumped up a spot to third in the order to better utilize his speed; He swiped 14 bases this season.

Redbank Valley baseball coach Craig Hibell said there isn’t much that Minich lacks on the diamond.

“He just really has a great level of awareness for the game,” Hibell said. “As a catcher, he kind of controls the game, second to the pitcher. He’s been a stalwart back there.”

Hibell also said there’s no mystery why Minich was so highly sought after by college coaches.

“He’s a kid who’s worked as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen in a long time,” Hibell said. “Seton Hill is one of the top schools in the PSAC and nationally recognized as one of the top D-II schools. For him to get attention from them was a tribute to how good he is and how hard he works.”

Minich said the work is not over.

It never is.

That’s why travel ball has been so important to him, too.

“It helps me a lot,” Minich said. “It gives me a lot more experience, especially for college because every guy in college is going to be on top. It’s a way to get my eyes opened early in my career to what college baseball is going to be all about. We went down to Georgia and went 3-4, but every game we played was against top teams with top players. Just committing and knowing where I’m going to play in college is a huge relief.”

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Advertisement Enter ad code here