They will each be headed to downtown Albany next fall, attending The College of Saint Rose and joining the Golden Knights' baseball team.
“Sonny and Matt are guys that are both hard-working, with good grades and are good kids. They come from a winning program. They are athletic and have a lot of potential," said Wayne Jones, Saint Rose's baseball coach. "I’m excited to get them on campus in the fall.”
Tiberia and D'Antonio admitted that each of them ending up at Saint Rose wasn't coordinated, but they were well aware of each other's interest in the school.
“P...rsonally, I wanted to stay close to home, near my family. It was kind of a coincidence, but we both had in the back of our minds that we were looking at Saint Rose. It ended up being a great fit for both of us," Tiberia said.
"Over the summer is when I decided to go there and I texted Sonny and said ‘I know you’re looking into this, I think it would be a really good choice for you.’ We’ve been friends since freshman year, so we know each other well.”
For the Brothers, Tiberia typically plays third base and pitches. While going through the recruiting process, he expected to be joining a collegiate team as a position player and a hitter.
“I was surprised when he said he wanted me to throw," Tiberia said. "A middle infield spot would be possible, but throwing and being a two-way player would grow my opportunities.”
The decision took a few months longer for D'Antonio, but ended up choosing Saint Rose for his new home as well.
“We’re best friends, so we were talking to each other about the process the whole time. Saint Rose seemed like the best fit for both of us," D'Antonio said. “Coach O’Connor really helped with the whole process and Coach Jones made the process extremely easy and helped me big-time. I made the decision late in 2019.”
As far as what to expect for his freshman year, the middle infielder is coming off a junior high school season where he hit over .400. While he hasn't had an official at-bat in 2020, he's looking to pick up where he left off in 2019.
“What we talk about is that if you show up and you work hard, you’re gonna get your opportunities. You just have to take advantage of them," D'Antonio said on his conversations with Coach Jones.
While no college freshman's major is ever set in stone, Tiberia plans in entering college as a finance major, while D'Antonio plans on majoring in cyber-security.
“I like how small it is and how it’s compact. I always wanted to go to a school like that. When I started looking, I knew I wanted a small school," Tiberia said.
D'Antonio added that, “Everybody was very welcoming and it’s a smaller community, which was a good fit for me. I just can’t wait to get going with the baseball team.”
Given the recent news of high schools being closed the rest of the academic year, the two will always be part of the infamous Class of 2020, the year that there were no spring sports.
“My Dad was the one that told me. I was shocked when I found out. I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal at the time. I was upset mostly because it’s my senior year," Tiberia said. “I’m missing hanging out with my friends. This is supposed to be our time of the year right now, so it’s really a bummer.”
“It's hard not having a season. I’ve built such a great relationship with Coach (Casey) O’Connor and all the coaches at CBA. We’re just trying to keep positive through it all. Everyone on the team was working really hard over the winter. We set our goals high every year. We were chasing a Section 2 championship," he said.
“Coach O’Connor has helped push me these past couple of years and helped shape me into the baseball player that I have become. I want to continue that work ethic with Coach Jones and the team and I hope to be a great addition to the squad.”
O'Connor, the current CBA baseball coach, also coached at The College of Saint Rose from 1999 to 2011, so he is sending the two seniors off to familiar territory.
“They were going to be the middle of our lineup this year. Sonny had a stellar year with the stick last year, batting over .400. We joked about hitting .425 this year. We were looking forward to seeing what he is capable of. He's a 4+ tool player. I'm sad not to be able to see what he could've done this year," O'Connor said.
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