East County Sports

Mazzola casts deep in Winnipeg

EAST COUNTY ALUMNI

Former Sultans star big-timing for Goldeyes

By Phil Hossack
Winnipeg Free Press
And Bill Dickens
of EastCountySports.com
Winnipeg, Canada (7-26-15) — Call it a hunch. Or maybe even a bit of intuition at work. Whatever it was, it worked.

With the stands empty at ShawPark and just a few media members and team officials in the press box before a game earlier this month against the Gary SouthShore RailCats, there stood JOSH MAZZOLA, a product of Santana High, Grossmont College and Missouri State, grinning ear to ear.

“Mazz is a special player in this league,” said Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. “His offensive numbers for the three years he’s been with us have been very, very good. He produces a lot of extra-base hits and RBI. He’s a great defender as well and can play multiple positions. He has a lot of value on our club.”

After a friendly greeting to the few in the room, the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ third baseman quickly shifted his attention to the task at hand, hoping he could make a last-second adjustment before game time.

With the hope of sparking what has already been a stellar performance at the plate this season, Mazzola wanted to switch up his batting music. His three additional tunes included Ayo from Chris Brown, followed by Jidenna’s new hit, Classic Man, and finally, Round of Applause, from Waka Flocka Flame (featuring Canadian rapper Drake).

After his first two at-bats failed to earn a hit — a strikeout, followed by a routine ground out to short — Mazzola’s third appearance found the sweet spot on the bat and, pow, with one smooth swing the ball cleared the right-field wall for a two-run shot, propelling the home side to a 5-2 win and a 1-0 lead in their three-game series at Shaw Park.

“Just to change things up, and have a little fun,” Mazzola said on the decision to switch his tunes. “When something isn’t working really, you got to change it.”

That hasn’t exactly been the case for Mazzola, who now sports a .308 average (68-for-221) with an Amerian Association leading 15 home runs and 43 RBI. He’s also scored 44 runs.

Perhaps what he was referring to was the state of his team, as the Goldeyes improved to 25-34 through 59 games this season and remain on the outside looking in for the final wild-card playoff berth. After all, batting statistics really add up to nothing if the wins aren’t rising with them, something Mazzola echoed.

“Personally, it’s more of a team thing. We’re getting to a point where any win is a great win for us,” said Mazzola.

Mazzola has played the last three seasons with the Goldeyes, appearing in more than 300 games. He has a .289 batting average over than stretch with 50 home runs and 206 RBI. In 2012 he was an integral part of the Goldeyes’ championship team after hitting .400 with two home runs and six RBI in six games.

Prior to coming to Winnipeg Mazzola played in the San Francisco Giants system for four seasons after signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent.

 

Mazzola’s stats on baseballreference.com 


 

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