Pat-Med alum crushes epic walk-off home run for Clemson against South Carolina


On and off the baseball field, Andrew Ciufo keeps winning.

The former Patchogue-Medford baseball star earned his bachelor’s degree last spring from prestigious Georgetown University, then transferred to Clemson and became the starting shortstop for the Tigers this season.

Over the weekend, Ciufo (pronounced chew-fo) smacked Clemson’s first-ever walk-off home run in series history against the program’s cross-state rival South Carolina. All this while dating “Dance Moms” star and social media influencer Kendall Vertes, who counts 11.2 million followers on Instagram.

Ciufo, 23, himself went viral in college baseball and Long Island circles when he cracked his first home run for No. 10 Clemson (9-1) with two outs in the 12th inning of the Tigers’ 5-4 win over South Carolina on Saturday. Earlier in the game, the Medford native played sparkling defense to keep the Tigers in the game.

Clemson baseball shared the epic walk-off moment on the program’s Instagram account.

Ciufo is hitting .364 and has six RBIs in his first season with Clemson. A graduate of Andover Academy who transferred from Patchogue-Medford High School following his junior year, the shortstop is a graduate student studying Athletic Leadership in Education. He will still have another year of eligibility after the 2024 season.

As a member of Georgetown’s baseball team for four seasons, Ciufo saw action in 2021 and 2022. Across his career with the Hoyas, he hit .270 with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, 50 runs scored and a .344 on-base percentage.

Ciufo has been romantically tied to Vertes for about two years. Vertes, 21, was a child dancer for six seasons on the reality series “Dance Moms.” Later, the Pittsburgh native recorded several albums before branching out into acting (click here for a peak at her IMBD profile page).

Additionally, Vertes has been a member of the dance team at James Madison University. Below is a celebratory post Ciufo shared to honor Vertes’ 21st birthday last fall.

Ciufo comes from a Pat-Med family very familiar with the baseball diamond. His older brother Richie played baseball at Brown University and his dad, Richard, played baseball at Pat-Med. His mom Pam was on the softball team at Pat-Med.

Here’s a clip of an interview with Ciufo following his Saturday night heroics.

Top photo: Facebook/Clemson Baseball

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