Marco Mosqueira wasn't used to playing on immaculate baseball fields when he arrived at Hamilton last fall.
Relocating to Arizona from Hermosillo, Mexico, Mosqueira has been impressed by the facilities — while doing some impressing of his own.
“All the fields here are nice,” Mosqueira said. "In Mexico most of the fields I played on were all dirt. Every place we play here is nice. People here care more about baseball. The things we get here are nice, and you'd take care of them.’’
A nice addition to Hamilton's program, Mosqueira has stepped in and supplied offense to a team that in the past hasn't needed much of it. His arrival and production has wowed coach Mike Woods.
‘‘He came in to a new situation very confident,’’ Woods said. ‘‘He told the other kids he would lead the team in home runs. That may have rubbed some of them the wrong way. But right now it's the truth. They've warmed up to him.’’
Mosqueira was used to playing catcher and hitting in a production spot in the batting order in Hermosillo. He usually batted third or fourth. Woods likes his bat so much he wanted him to bat leadoff. But with the team struggling to hit lately, Mosqueira has moved to the cleanup hole.
The results, no matter where he hits, 21 games into the season read like this — a .403 batting average, seven home runs, four doubles, two triples, 14 RBIs and 22 runs. He's no worse than third on the team in all those categories and leads in homers and runs.
Landing at Hamilton was no accident. Two state titles and a runner-up finish the last three years made it enticing because Mosqueira doesn't like to lose.
‘‘I already knew about it,’’ Mosqueira said of the school's reputation as a football and baseball juggernaut. "I was a little nervous the first few days. I didn't do well the first practice. But my first time up I hit a double off the wall. All my teammates have been nice. I've felt welcome.’’
With a pair of starters from last year injured and unable to play this season (Brad Gruner and Colin Parker) and senior Jason Kudlock hampered recently by a bout with mononucleosis, Mosqueira's offense has been a treat.
‘‘I think the other kids waited to see what he could do in a game, and from the first game he's done it,’’ Woods said. ‘‘They love him. He's confident. When he hits, he squares it up more than anyone I've seen in awhile.’’
Mosqueira made a huge impression last month in a pair of games with 5A Fiesta Region rival Mesquite. He started the game-winning rally in a 3-2 win over the Wildcats with a seventh-inning double and scored the winning run. He collected two hits in the game.
The second time around he homered in a 9-8 victory by Mesquite. ‘‘After seeing him play a few times you can tell he's a good all-around kid,’’ Mesquite coach Jeff Holland said. ‘‘He's a gamer. He leaves it all on the field. He can play a lot of positions so that's another plus. Any coach would love to have him.’’
Woods and the Huskies have been fortunate enough to do the loving.