Scots baseball off to a good start


By Bryce Beitzel, Staff Writer

Professional baseball is back after a brief dispute between the players and owners. Although there is lots to unravel there, what is debatably more exciting is the start of the college baseball season. Although not at the top of the baseball hierarchy quite yet, the youthful players are eager to prove their worth to higher ranking programs and potentially Major League Baseball scouts.

Here at McHenry County College (MCC), the baseball team has started the year on a good, but not perfect note. The Scots’ first win came in their second game of a double header against Jackson State Community College on Feb. 26. Scots’ starting pitcher Dylan Petrey struck out seven batters, allowed zero runs, and only allowed four base runners. MCC also had strong efforts from freshman Evan Jackson and sophomore Michael Moore out of the bullpen. MCC’s offense was led by sophomore Alejandro Mendez, freshman Billy Howard, and sophomore Marcus Maristela who all had two hits and a run batted in. MCC won that game 4-0, and has since won a series against St. Louis Community College three games to one, putting the Scots at a four and three record.

Through the few games they have played, the Scots have had twenty-one players get at-bats, and fifteen pitchers get appearances. The Scots’ offense has been led by Maristela who leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage, and is tied for first in runs batted in with Howard.

“Marcus Maristela has stepped up huge for us. He has been on fire to start the season and looks to stay hot,” freshman Josh Notriano said.  “He is a really good leader for us who keeps the morale high and always provides a competitive bat.”

The pitching staff is headlined by Petrey who has led the Scots in innings pitched, strikeouts, and tied with five other MCC pitchers with zero earned runs. On the defensive spectrum of the game, freshman Noah Goddard and sophomore Ben Peltz have been more than serviceable behind the plate, both a perfect fielding percentage and one baserunner caught stealing.

Unlike professional baseball, college teams are often than not filled with new faces to the team and college baseball itself. MCC baseball has twenty-four freshmen on their roster, most of who come  from close, but different hometowns and high school level teams. It is going to take most of these freshmen, like MCC’s multi-positional  Notriano, plenty of time and at-bats to get used to this level of baseball.

“After my first eight at-bats I feel like the game is still coming to me, I just have to keep playing. It is a big step up from what I’m used to” Notriano said.

MCC pitcher Colton Baumann has exceled tremendously off of the field with a 4.00 grade point average. The sophomore has been named MCC’s February Student Athlete of the Month and is on track to graduate as a NJCAA Academic All American.

The Scots continued their winning ways at home against Bay College beating them four times  in consecutive double headers. Following that series, they travel to River Grove, Illinois to face off against Triton College on March 24. To finish off the month of March they have three double headers, of which the first is played at home against Joliet Junior College on Sunday, March 27. Scots home games can be streamed online on YouTube, on a channel named MCCVideos.