Marquez gets it done on field, classroom

Balers second baseman Mason Marquez earned a number of academic and athletic scholarships from the University of Seattle.

When the University of Seattle baseball program first started showing interest in Mason Marquez at a showcase tournament at the end of May, the San Benito High senior didn’t think much of it. After all, several college coaches have come up to Marquez after showcase games in the past, only to never make contact again.

So after Marquez talked with Seattle assistant coach Mike Nadeau, the Haybalers’ second baseman didn’t think much of it.

“I wasn’t expecting much,” said Marquez, who played for Trosky Baseball this summer.

But Nadeau continued to show up wherever Marquez was playing, mixing in texts and phone calls throughout the summer. That all led to the Redhawks offering Marquez an athletic scholarship at the end of June. After playing out the summer and weighing all his options, Marquez made a verbal commitment to play for the Division I program—he won’t be able to officially sign until Nov. 8—approximately two weeks ago.

It was a dream come true for Marquez, who set his sights on reaching the college level at an early age.

“Sometimes it’s still hard to believe,” he said. “It caught me by surprise because I hadn’t heard of the University of Seattle before this.”

The Redhawks went 20-35-1 overall and 8-16 in the Western Athletic Conference last season. Being a private school, tuition at the school is quite expensive. However, in between the athletic scholarship and the huge bounty he earned from academic scholarships, Marquez said he was very happy with how everything turned out.

Now that’s what it means to be a student-athlete.

“I’m pretty happy about that,” he said. “College costs are kind of crazy.”

Marquez carries a weighted 4.1 GPA with a 1,210 SAT score. Balers coach Billy Aviles has always had high praise for Marquez, who had a tremendous 2017 junior campaign in which he earned Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division First Team honors.

“Mason has always been solid defensively, but he’s picked it up offensively as well,” Aviles told the Free Lance in May. “He’s a great situational hitter where he can hit behind runners in RBI situations. He’s doing a great job all the way around.”

Marquez had a nice season for Trosky, displaying his skills at various showcase tournaments at Santa Clara University and the Under Armour Southwest Championships at Laverne College in Southern California. Marquez said other programs showed interest, but the Redhawks gave him the most attention.

“They talked with me a lot,” Marquez said. “I probably talked with them at least 25 times over the summer either on text or the phone. It gives you a good feeling when you know they want you to play for them.”

Once the summer travel ball season ended at the end of July, Marquez took a well-deserved rest. But the work is never done, and Marquez has been in the weight room after the Redhawks gave him a strength-training program. Marquez is also looking forward to playing basketball this season after taking a year off of the hardwood.

“(Coach Anthony Butler) was my coach when I was a sophomore on the JV team, so I know him pretty well,” Marquez said. “Most of my friends are playing on the team, so it’ll definitely be a good time.”

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