Meet the Jackfish: Matteo Porcellato
After a dominating final season with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Marian University Knights in Indianapolis, Matteo Porcellato was ready to take the next step in his baseball career.
“I had a good season and I had workouts for two Independent League teams. From there, I heard about the IBL (Intercounty Baseball League). It was me marketing myself out to the teams in this league and the Jackfish and coach Brian Essery were able to contact me pretty quickly after that.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound player was obviously an attractive catch for the Jackfish, based on his stellar senior season at Marian. He was named to the All-Crossroads League First Team Outfield after leading his team with a .380 batting average, while slugging .625 and posting a .496 on base percentage. He recorded a team-leading 70 base hits, including 17 doubles, two triples, and eight home runs to produce 45 RBIs. He also topped his team with walks and stolen bases.
Porcellato hasn’t missed a beat in Welland. In 23 games for the Jackfish, he has a .333 average in 96 at bats with three homers, 30 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and 19 walks.
“I pretty much came in, started right away and had my first game in Toronto at Christie Pits. I could tell right from the get go that it was a good group of guys and it was going to be a lot of fun. It has been a lot of fun winning as well.”
He has been impressed with the calibre of the players in the IBL.
“It is very good, high-level baseball and what I like about this league is that there is a good variety in it. You have former college players, current college players, former pros and some guys who have Independent League experience as well. There are a lot of highly skilled players.”
He is looking to continue on with his baseball career in Welland and beyond.
“I am 22 years old so I figured I would come here for however long and perform as best as I can. I want to keep the dream alive and keep moving up,” he said. “I have the support of my family, friends, teammates and coaches and I am laying it all out there and leaving no regrets. It’s go get it and chase your dream.”
Jackfish field manager Essery has played Porcellato at first, second, third and the outfield.
“We have a few guys like Matteo who can play a number of positions and play them very well,” Essery said. “Having an utility guy who can bounce is hugely important to a team. Every team needs guys like that. He is very athletic and we knew that when we were bringing him in.”
Porcellato is fine in the role of someone who can play all over the field.
“I really enjoy it. It is a bit of a challenge, especially in positions that I am not too familiar with. I am open to anything that gets me in the lineup and I have always been that kind of baseball player. You can move me anywhere and I can figure it out. My athleticism will play and I will get a feel for it.”
Being a Swiss Army Knife on the baseball field does require a certain mentality.
“You have to be patient when learning a new position but also it’s don’t be afraid and be fearless, have some courage, play with a bit of chip on your shoulder and bring that energy to any position on the field,” Porcellato said.
He is living in Welland and enjoying his time in the city.
“It is very humid. It’s not that B.C. breezy weather but there are different places to go and Welland is a nice, little pocket with a community-based feel to it. And there are lots of things surrounding Welland that you can do and entertain yourself.”
Next home game for the Jackfish is July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Welland Stadium against the Guelph Royals.