The Notre Dame baseball program has a history of its players achieving their dream of playing at the next level.
The latest in a long list of baseball alumni playing at the Division I collegiate level made it official today when Maxwell Mariano ‘20 (Meriden, CT) inked his letter of intent to play at Radford University next season. Mariano signed his LOI in the Team Room at Notre Dame, enjoying the moment with family, friends, and coaches.
Mariano chose Radford over Seton Hall, Bryant and South Carolina Upstate. He is now looking forward to his senior season this spring before heading south for his college career.
Mariano said, “Radford was the final choice for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it is in a nice location and I loved the facilities and coaches. I also thought it was a perfect academic fit for me.”
Radford is located in Radford, Virginia and plays out of the Big South Conference. Last year, the Highlanders went 30-27 overall and finished second with a 19-8 record in conference games. They reached the third round of the Big South Championships.
Mariano, an all-State selection as a junior last season, has helped the Green Knights to a 37-32 record in his three years as a varsity starter for head coach Donald Martone ‘87.
Martone said, “The main thing about Max is that I have watched him mature as a freshman starter to a captain. The maturation process as a player has been a metamorphosis as a I have watched him grow to become a role model for our program and it’s not because he can hit the ball out of the park. It’s the little things like sprinting out of the box to second base on a ball to the outfield and on and off the field.”
Martone added, “Max certainly has the skills to play at a high level. He has all the tools to be successful at the Division I level, the most important of which is his mental approach and love of the game. Those attributes will allow him to flourish once he gets on campus because he will be challenged every practice, every pitch, and every game.”
As a junior in the spring of 2019, Mariano led the team in seven offensive categories. He hit .357 with 30 hits on the season, including three doubles, four triples, and two home runs, all of which led the team.
His biggest swing of the spring last season came against Daniel Hand in the quarterfinal round. His two-run homer proved to be the difference in an eventual 7-3 Green Knight win. Mariano struck out only six times in 97 plate appearances. He also scored 25 runs and collected 12 RBIs. The team lost 8-3 to Berlin in the semifinal round of the Class L tournament.
Over his career, Mariano has played in 59 games, which includes missing the later part of his freshman season due to an injury. He has 60 career hits, 44 runs scored, and 38 RBIs heading into his senior campaign.
Notre Dame will begin preparing for its spring season when practice starts on Saturday, March 21.