Former MLB player to be inducted into USI Hall of Fame

Ciera McCann, Staff Writer

Former MLB outfielder Darin Mastroianni, who started out as a two-year starter for the Eagles at second base helped carry the university to its first national championship appearance in 2007 during Tracy Archuleta’s first year as head coach.

Mastroianni will be inducted into the USI Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Before he transferred to the university, he considered quitting baseball because he didn’t know if he had a future in it. He never would’ve been an MLB Draft pick. There would’ve been no 10-year professional career including multiple stints with the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays.

Mastroianni said he is excited to return again this weekend and catch up with familiar faces.

“I wasn’t always a superstar,” Mastroianni said. “They really pushed me, especially coach Arch and that coaching staff, pushed me to get the most out of me. Without them, I don’t think I would’ve had the opportunity to play professionally.”

Mastroianni was named All-American, Midwest Region Player of the Year and all-conference, among other honors, but he said being a Hall of Famer means the most because he remembers nearly giving it all up before his career started.

“It will be nice to see some of these guys and meet some of these young kids — you forget how long it’s been,” Mastroianni said. “I hope they look at it and realize just because you’re at a Division II school doesn’t mean you can’t be drafted or do something special after college.”