Mascarella proves a great catch for McHenry
You might say Wyatt Mascarella catches on quickly.
The McHenry County College (MCC) sophomore catcher transferred from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and has been one of the Scots' top hitters this season, according to the team's statistics page. Through April 9, he was leading MCC in RBIs with 28 in 20 games and boasted a slugging percentage of .650.
A native of Cary, Mascarella told the McHenry Times that the transition from UIC to MCC is going “pretty smooth,” and that he has improved in his time there.
“I just think like the confidence level has improved a lot — just being able to do more and have more expected of me, which is more of what I've always experienced,” he said.
His playing days began at age 4, Mascarella said, when his baseball coach allowed him to play a couple of years ahead. Mascarella also grew up trying to follow whatever his baseball-playing brother, Kegan, was doing.
Mascarella fell in love with the way the game can change on every pitch and every player has a role to play.
“There's always something going on,” he said.
Mascarella starred on the diamond at Cary Grove High School, where he was named All-State by the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association as part of the Fox Valley Conference championship team. He clubbed eight home runs and proved to be a strong defensive presence, throwing out 78 percent of would-be base stealers.
He had a solid freshman season at UIC in 2016. He made the Horizon League's All-Freshman Team after batting .248 with a .377 on-base percentage, the latter ranking him fourth on the Flames.
But UIC was not a good fit for him, Mascarella said. After hip surgery in August, he stayed close to home by choosing to go to MCC. He said he liked the core group of players coming back this season, as well as what head coach Jared Wacker has done with program.
In his first 20 games at MCC, Mascarella had three home runs, 14 runs and a .532 on-base percentage, which ranked 44th in National Junior College Athletic Association Division II.
Mascarella has not had trouble from the surgery, he said.
“We're money right now,” he said. “We're doing really good right now.”
The Scots, which came into the season nationally ranked, were 15-7-1 as of April 9.
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