MISSION — Sharyland High senior outfielder Saul Soto signed a national letter of intent to continue his baseball and academic career at UTRGV on Monday at Sharyland High School, surrounded by family, friends and coaches.

UTRGV is a Division I school which competes in the Western Athletic Conference.

“I’ve always dreamed about this moment since I was a little kid. My dad plays baseball, and in a way, I always wanted to be like him,” Soto said. “It feels really good to be here, and seeing all these people makes me happy.”

Soto’s love for baseball grew from watching his father, also named Saul Soto, establish a near 20-year career playing in the Mexican League, Mexico’s oldest running professional league, designated a Triple-A classification with Minor League Baseball.

“I always watched him signing autographs and playing baseball, and for me to be doing the same thing he’s doing, it’s a dream come true,” he said.

Soto recorded a .365 batting average with 35 runs, 27 hits, 24 RBIs and a 1.000 fielding percentage for the second consecutive season as a junior in 2020.

Soto was named the District 31-5A Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and a first team all-district selection as a junior.

He said suiting up for a storied program like Sharyland High was one of his favorite parts of his high school baseball experience.

“Playing for this program has been the best thing that has come into my life. Playing for coach (Barton) Bickerton, and now playing for his son who’s also a really great coach, I’m really thankful for everything they’ve done for me and this year I hope we can do more,” Soto said.

Once his senior season with Sharyland is in the books, Soto said he’s ready to join a UTRGV baseball program on the rise.

“They’ve been competing for championships and I’m excited to help them win,” he said.