Andrew Malec knew as a kid that he wanted to play baseball for as long as possible.
That feeling intensified soon after he enrolled at Cathedral Prep. Instead of wanting to play at the college level, Malec had two play at the college level.
Amuse:Meet the 2022 District 10 Baseball All-Stars and region all-stars
Whether he was recruited or had walk-on status was irrelevant.
“I knew by then I had to play somewhere,” Malec said.
That somewhere will be the Demske Sports Complex, the home for Canisius College’s baseball team.
Malec, who is about to start his senior year at Prep, announced with a tweet that he has verbally committed to the Buffalo school. He’s projected to pitch for the Division I Golden Griffins.
Malec went 4-0 with a 1.24 earned-run average this past spring for the Ramblers, who were District 10 Class 4A champions. The right-hander also hit .500 and drove in 14 runs. He was a first-team all-Region 5 honoree.
“Andrew’s got a really high ceiling,” Prep coach Josh Constable said. “He’s got a lot of opportunity for growth and has worked extremely hard over his three years with this program. He’s drawn a lot of difficult assignments (as a pitcher). Doing as such, I think that’s given him experience and confidence that will help (with the) transition to the next level.”
Canisius, coached by 2006 graduate Matt Mazurek, was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titlist this past season.
The Griffins advanced to an NCAA Division I region tournament in Coral Gables, Florida, with the winner bound for the College World Series. They were eliminated by the University of Arizona.
While such a season was a reason Malec committed to Canisius, it wasn’t the only one. The soft-sell salesmanship demonstrated by Mazurek and his staff was significant.
“They talked to me like a normal kid,” Malec said. “Some of the other schools, they kind of threw everything on top of me at once and tried to get you (to commit) right there.”
Malec will follow Rockne Seidel as a Prep graduate who pitches for the Griffins.
Mazurek has mostly used Seidel, a former all-region player for the Ramblers, as a reliever over his first three college seasons.
While Seidel and Malec won’t be Canisius teammates, they are familiar with each other.
“(Canisius) invited me to a couple prospect camps,” Malec said. “Rockne was at each of them.”
One of Seidel’s teammates at Prep was Jack Malec, Andrew’s older brother.
Seidel and Andrew Malec also crossed paths during the just-completed Glenwood League season. Seidel played for The Outlaws and Malec for Rambler 9.
Amuse:Cathedral Prep wins D-10 Class 4A baseball championship
Ramblers’ other Division I baseball recruits
Seidel’s announcement means he’ll be one of three Division I recruits on Prep’s 2023 roster. Cole Constable, Josh Constable’s son, formerly committed to the University of Maryland and Luke Costello to Wake Forest University.
Costello, who’s only a junior, will play two more seasons for Prep before he joins the Demon Deacons.
It’s not a total coincidence the Ramblers will field three DI recruits next spring.
“We’ve scripted our practices to be very college-like, and we continue to network to make sure players are exposed to that level of commitment,” Josh Constable said. “It’s great to have our pond being fished out of like this. I say that jokingly, but it’s true.”
Contact Mike Copper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ETNcopper.