Former baseball player hits the big leagues

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Former baseball player hits the big leagues

Chris Procacina

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Much like his two previous stints on a Major League Baseball roster, former USI athlete Darin Mastroianni will start his climb back up the ladder.

After going 0-11 in seven games for the Minnesota Twins, Mastronianni finds himself back with the organization that drafted him in 2007 out of USI, the Toronto Blue Jays.

“He played for me in 2007. He was one of those guys who I think had 63, 65 stolen bases. He had great speed,” said USI head baseball coach Tracy Archuleta, who coached Mastroianni during his junior year when he was drafted.

“It’s great to see him get to continue to play baseball and have the opportunity to play in the big leagues. It’s great for the program. I’m happy for Darin that he’s been able to get that chance and hopefully he can continue and stay up there,” Archuleta said. “Darin was a grinder. He loved being out here working and becoming better and that made him into a better player.”

Archuelta noted that the MLB is a business and Mastronianni will have to continue to perform in order to maintain a spot on a roster despite his speed.

“He’s got to be able to produce for them, and I have confidence that he will be able to do that, and I just wish him the best,” Archuletta said.

Former USI head baseball coach Mike Goedde, who holds the record for the most wins in the program’s history (304-266), coached Mastroianni during his first two years with USI.

Despite being injured during his first year as an Eagle, Goedde knew speed set Mastroianni apart.

“He got injured in the first conference series of the year and it really hampered him. But he was a good player – no question. He just couldn’t do the things he did in his second year at USI,” Goedde said.

Mastronianni’s accomplishments included earning first team All-American, North Central Region Player of the Year, first team All-North Central Region, North Central Regional Most Outstanding Player, North Central Regional All-Tournament, GLVC Player of the Year and first team All-GLVC. He also led the nation in 2007 in stolen bases per game.

As for what the future holds for Mastroianni, Goode said it is hard to tell with a profession that involves constant roster changes and a next-man-up mentality.

“You never know. There is just so many things that can happen. Some things you can control some things you can’t. You just have to play well everyday and get those chances. You just never know. I can’t predict it.”

 

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