Q&A with Maryland Commit Mark DiLuia

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2017 RHP Mark DiLuia from Marian Catholic recently committed to Maryland. DiLuia is ranked No. 11 in the Illinois 2017 Class and No. 75 in the PBR Overall Ranks. As a sophomore DiLuia was the ace at Marian Catholic, and threw a one hit shutout against Brother Rice in the Regional Final. At the PBR Future Games DiLuia stood out on a pitching deep Team Illinois, here is a report on him from the event.

Mark DiLuiaFuture Games 2015 - Long, lean, extremely projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher has just as much upside on the mound as anyone on Team Illinois at the Future Games. The right hander possesses a plus pitchers frame to go along with a long, loose, whippy arm action from a ¾ arm slot. Diluia throws three pitches for a strike with his slider being a plus offering with tight sweeping action, sitting 76-77 mph. Consistently showed advanced feel for the slider and got a number of swings and misses in game play. Slight hesitation in his delivery which seems to cause a bit of deception for hitters. Fastball sat an easy 86-88 with some arm-side-run, challenged hitters and seemed to get on them in a hurry. Change-up was 81 mph with slight fade and arm-side-run. Diluia only allowed one hit and struck out one in his two innings of work at the Future Games.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

DiLuia: The expectations I had for college recruiting was for it to be fun, exciting, but also a little stressful. Which they all were. Even at sometimes all three. But for the most part I really enjoyed and at times it was very stressful, in a good way, but in the end it was all worth it. 

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

DiLuia: I was looking for three things from a college program. First was strong academics, I'm going to college as STUDENT-Athlete, so I wanted to go to a school were I felt I would get a degree that can help me get a job after college if baseball doesn't work out. Secondly I was looking for a place where it felt like home. People always told me to pick a school that you would like if you were just going there as a student. The last thing I was looking for was a great relationship with the coaching staff. 

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

DiLuia: At the beginning of my recruiting process it didn't. But when I got a chance to really think about it I realized that it would be nice for my parents and siblings to get a chance to come to my games. I know the distance from Flossmoor to College Park isn't right down the street but with Maryland now being in the BIG 10 I thought it would be cool for my parents to catch some away games because the distance from where I live to where other schools in the conference are isn't as long as it is for my home games.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

DiLuia: It really started and heated up all at once for me. It was when I pitched in a game in Georgia over the summer for Top Tier at Lake Point. 

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

DiLuia: The first time Maryland saw me was in Georgia. At the time they weren't allowed to call me so when I got back to the hotel that night I gave Coach Belanger a call and right from the start I knew I strongly liked them and wanted to visit as soon as possible. 

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

DiLuia: I truly enjoyed everything about the college. From their campus, to their academics, to their facilities everything screamed, "This is the school for you!"

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

DiLuia: In the end it came down to UNC, Wake Forest, and Maryland.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

DiLuia: The best player I faced from Illinois is Cooper Johnson. I never got to pitch against him but his school is in my conference so we get to play him a couple times. He is dangerous in every part of the game. Cooper is the best defensive catcher I've ever seen and he is also a force at the plate. There is no easy way around him. 

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

DiLuia: I've always thought that I would be good enough one day to play at the next level but before my Sophomore season started I had doubts that I wouldn't get looks at. I've always been serious about my game but I just had moments where I questioned my abilities. 

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

DiLuia: I would tell anyone to keep working hard. There are going to be times where you feel lower than all lows and also times where you feel your on top of the world but just remember that whenever you feel you got a handle on it, you don't. It always gets harder, but it's not impossible and I if you put your heart and mind to it you can accomplish it. 

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

DiLuia: The most memorable moment in my career right now is shutting out and throwing a one-hitter against the #1 Brother Rice in the state playoffs.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

DiLuia: I feel that we'll be underrated again like last year but we like that because we then play like we have nothing to lose and get to go out there and have fun and play care-free ball, which is our best style of play. Expectations and goals will to advance farther in the playoffs than last year. Expectations that Coach DeCarlo will have for us is playing together as one. Baseball is a game where you need everyone to be on the same page at once and having a good relationship as a team is what will help us win ball games. 

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

DiLuia: In the summer I play with Top Tier and the Illinois Ice. The most memorable experience I had with Top Tier was last year in Georgia. I joined them half way through their season and getting a chance to know the guys and spend time with them was a very special time. 

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