Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with UW-La Crosse Commit Lucas Maurina

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2016 SS Lucas Maurina of Altoona recently committed to UW-La Crosse. Maurina is currently ranked No. 43 in the Wisconsin Class of 2016. Maurina just took part in the Wisconsin Unsigned Senior Games at Concordia University,where he ranked as one of the top overall prospects from the event. Here is a report from the event. 

Lucas Maurina5-foot-8, 155-pound, left-handed hitting shortstop. Currently ranked No. 43 in the Wisconsin Class of 2016. Offensively hits from a balanced setup with a leg kick stride and good balance. Lined rive hitter with fluid rhythm and a short uphill swing path. Went 1-2 in game with an RBI single and a run scored. 81 mph exit velocity from a tee. Home to first at 4.44. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ arm slot. Athletic actions, plays thru the ball with soft, sure hands. Threw 77 mph across the infield. Committed to UW-La Crosse shortly after the event.

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

Maurina: I came into the recruiting process expecting it to be difficult, and it was.  Every school is different, and they all recruit differently.  The process can become frustrating at times, but it is a great feeling when it is all said and done and you feel that you have found a good fit academically and baseball-wise.  

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

Maurina: A proven strong and successful program.  A program that was a good fit for me and one that believed that I could help contribute to make their team better and help make me a better player.  I wanted a school with a strong baseball and academic program and La Crosse has that.

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

Maurina: I wanted to stay somewhat close to home; I was willing to go to a school about four or five hours away.  UW-La Crosse will be great because my friends and family will be able to make it to a lot of games since it is less than two hours from home. 

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?

Maurina: The summer before my junior year after a PBR Showcase I noticed that my name was in the rankings on the PBR website which motivated me a lot.  I started getting interest from some schools after this event and that really motivated me.

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

Maurina: Coach Gillitzer first saw me at Kapco at the Unsigned Senior Games.  A couple days after the event, he sent me a text and we started talking.  About a week later I officially visited UW-La Crosse where I met with Coach Gillitzer and Coach Schwartz.  They took the time to answer my question and they made me feel comfortable.   I knew it was the right place for me and I committed the day after I visited.

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

Maurina: I felt La Crosse would meet my educational goals. Coach Schwarz and Coach Gillitzer were very nice and welcoming.  They were also looking for middle infielders so that was very attractive.  They have a proven successful baseball program.  It just felt like the right fit so I jumped on the offer right away. Not to mention, the La Crosse Loggers have a great stadium and that is where the Eagles play their home games.

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

Maurina: I didn’t have a very long list when I made my final decision because I visited all the schools that I was interested in.  The schools that were on my list were UW-Stout, Winona State, and Minnesota Duluth. None of them seemed like the right fit and I was becoming a little frustrated.  I knew UW-La Crosse was the right fit for me immediately.

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

Maurina: Sam Prissel impressed me a lot when I played him.  He is definitely the sharpest shortstop I have faced.  Not only that, but he has a great bat as well.  He has a very high baseball IQ and is very fundamentally sound.  He seemed like an all around great player.

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?

Maurina: After the first PBR event I attended, I went up about 10 spots in the rankings, which really motivated me.   I knew then that my goal of playing college baseball was what I wanted and what I was going to continue to work towards.

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

Maurina: Don’t become too stressed out about the recruiting process because there is a fit for everybody.  Work and play your hardest in every game because you never know who is watching and who they are watching.  Hard work pays off.

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

Maurina: Three days after a mid-season coaching change, my high school team beat two teams that were ranked in the state.  The adrenaline and confidence was at an all time high, we really came together as a team.

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

Maurina: Our whole lineup is solid offensively and defensively including mostly seniors and a few juniors.  We have five all-conference players coming back next year.  I expect us to win conference and make a run at state.

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

Maurina: I played for my senior legion team in Altoona during the summer.  My teammates in the summer are the most interesting guys to be around.  This team is my favorite team to play with because it is mainly about having fun, but also winning because the guys I play with are extremely passionate about the game.  It will definitely be the team that I remember the most. 

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