The 2017 Toms River North baseball team is going to have a Big 10 flavor to it and the latest two Mariners to commit to a four-year college will be staying close to home.

Class of 2018 left-hander Jared Bellissimo announced his non-binding verbal commitment to Rutgers University Thursday, joining shortstop Mike Nyisztor as Toms River North standouts to commit to play for the Scarlet Knights.

Nyisztor announced his decision two weeks prior to Bellissimo's as he prepares for his senior season at Toms River North. Also a standout basketball player for the Mariners, Nyisztor was a Shore Sports Network First-Team All-Shore selection as a junior in 2016. He batted .448 with six doubles, a home run and a conference-leading 38 runs scored. He also ran an on-base percentage of .518 and a slugging percentage of .552.

Bellissimo, meanwhile, served as a dual-threat during his initial varsity campaign. During his breakout sophomore season, he hit .346 with three doubles, a triple and 18 RBI and was also regarded by many Ocean County coaches as an excellent defensive first baseman.

While Bellissimo made noise with his bat in 2016, he drew interest from colleges for his left arm on the mound and flashed his pitching prowess during the year as well. He went 4-1 with a 4.28 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 34 1/3 innings on the hill.

A week after Nyisztor's commitment to Rutgers and a week prior to Bellissimo's, teammate Brendan Mullins announced his commitment to Penn State. Mullins is a right-handed pitcher from the Class of 2018 who emerged as Toms River North's big-game ace. He pitched seven shutout innings in the Ocean County Tournament final capping a tournament run in which he went 3-0 on the mound.

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