Jimbo Pernetti experienced a seamless transition from high school to college.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed slugging third baseman earned second-team, all-Central Valley Conference honors during his freshman year with the tradition-rich Merced College baseball squad.
"I was pretty happy with how I did for my first year of college," said Pernetti, a 2013 Ceres High grad. "To be honest, I wanted to get noticed, have a productive season and help my team. I could have done a lot better."
Pernetti hit .302 with one homer, one triple, eight doubles, 31 RBIs and 12 runs while batting in the heart of the Blue Devils' lineup for 35 games. "The pitching is a lot better at this level," he said. "The guys are throwing a lot harder. I need to get bigger and stronger."
Merced College (21-15, 17-7) tied for second place in the CVC standings with Fresno City College.
The Rams edged out the Blue Devils for the CVC's second and final playoff berth.
Merced College, which dropped three of four games to Merced, missed the postseason for the first time in a decade.
"We'll be a lot stronger next year," Jimbo said.
Pernetti will be striving for continued success in 2015.
"I love it here," Jimbo said. "The coaches are great. I get along really well with everybody. Hopefully, I'll put up some big numbers, help my team win a league title and earn a scholarship next year. I want to go to a Division-I college. The ultimate goal is to get drafted. I'd love to have those options."
A member of the USA Junior Men's National Fastpitch Softball Team, Pernetti will play in exhibition games in California, Oregon and Washington this week prior to flying to Canada for the World Championships.
"It will be pretty cool to try to win a gold medal," he said.
Pernetti filled a major role while leading Ceres High to a 20-7-1 overall record, Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff berth and runner-up finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-2) in 2013. Jimbo was named to the WAC First Team.
Pernetti was voted WAC MVP his junior year.
Jimbo garnered first-team, all-league recognition as a sophomore.