Becoming a Rocket has Scott Mackiewicz ‘pumped’

J. Patrick Eaken

Lake 2020 graduate Scott Mackiewicz cannot wait to put on the University of Toledo baseball uniform.
“I’m pumped. I can’t wait. High school baseball has been fun these past four years, but I think college baseball is going to be something a lot more special,” Mackiewicz said.
His junior year at shortstop, Mackiewicz posted a .371 batting average with five doubles, two triples, two home runs, 18 RBIs and 25 runs to earn first team All-Northern Buckeye Conference honors.
“He was injured the first couple weeks,” Lake coach Greg Wilker said, “but he had an outstanding season at shortstop.”
Mackiewicz, a two-time All-NBC first team player, was part of a team that went 27-1 overall and 14-0 to win the NBC title in 2019. It was the Flyers’ fourth NBC title since 2012, and it came in Wilker’s 35th year at the helm.
Wilker knew he had something special when Mackiewicz first showed up during the winter of his freshman year.
“With Scott — he loves baseball,” Wilker said. “The big thing with Scott is his freshman year he came in, and I remember we were at open (batting) cage and I was talking to one of my assistants and I said, ‘I’ve been fortunate. I don’t have many freshmen starting for me.’
“Usually we’ve had a strong program over the years and we don’t have too many freshmen, but I turned and looked at one of my assistants in January or February and said, ‘This kid is going to start for us as a freshman.’ He just had that swing that was just a natural swing that you can’t coach. The big thing about Scott is his work ethic. He just goes to work every day at practice.”
Mackiewicz was first noticed by former Toledo coach Cory Mee before Mee was replaced by Rob Reinstetle last July.
“I went to one of their prospect camps my junior year, I played well, and they talked to me and gave me an offer a couple weeks later,” Mackiewicz said.
Once Reinstetle assumed the position, nothing changed. Wilker says it helped that Mackiewicz added another 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, saying that is something any high school athlete needs to do if they expect to play at the next level.
“They like him. That was my concern whenever you switch coaches is to make sure they honor the scholarship and stuff, and obviously they are because they like his ability,” Wilker said.
“He played shortstop for me most of the time but out there they are probably going to move him to the outfield. The other morning, we were out there, and I was hitting him some fly balls and I told him, ‘You are probably going to be a corner outfielder — left fielder or right fielder, eventually.’
“But the way he’s swings the bat, he’ll play for them down the road. The problem is a lot of those kids who were seniors in college —  they can come back there now, so for these incoming freshmen it is going to be very competitive. The (rosters) are going to be even larger next spring,” Wilker continued.
Because the Pemberville American Legion did not sponsor a team this summer, Mackiewicz played for the Findlay Legion team, which played a limited schedule. All Legion-sanctioned tournaments were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Findlay did play in a 12-team all-Legion tournament two weeks ago.
This summer, Mackiewicz also got to play with his Lake teammates one final time. What he enjoyed most was mentoring next year’s incoming freshmen, something outgoing seniors don’t usually get to do.
“It may not be the best baseball, but with the new freshmen coming in it’s been fun to be able to coach them and show them what they are capable of — what they can do,” Mackiewicz said.
Mackiewicz also stays busy working on his own game whenever he can find the time.
“Every day, I try to get at least an hour of either fielding ground balls or hitting off the tee. Then, at Lake High School I’ve been lifting and doing whatever I can to stay in shape,” Mackiewicz said.
Mackiewicz plans to major in business at UT, but says he owes gratitude to Wilker and his Lake teammates for helping him earn the chance to play NCAA Division I baseball.
“My teammates are everything at Lake,” Mackiewicz said. “The past four years have definitely built me for what I am today. I can’t thank those guys enough, especially coach Wilker. Coach Wilker is probably the best coach I have ever had. He might be the best coach I ever will have. He is something.”
At UT, Mackiewicz will join 6-foot-4, 195-pound sophomore right-handed pitcher Aric McAtee (Oak Harbor), who pitched in 14 games for the Rockets in 2019, including 1.2 scoreless frames at Michigan State.
Also heading to UT to play baseball is Cardinal Stritch 2020 graduate Ben Dunsmore, whose brother Jeff is already playing for the Rockets. Jeff is a 6-3, 205-pound sophomore right-handed pitcher who saw action in three games in 2019.


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