Bishop Hendricken coach Ed Holloway knew he had something special the first time he saw Evan Marzilli on a baseball field.
“I can’t say you know he’s going to be a pro prospect, but I remember freshman tryouts and just watching him going for fly balls,” Holloway said. “I said, ‘This kid’s going to be tremendous.’ I knew right away he was going to be a very good player, and he was a workaholic too.”
The talent that was on display and the work ethic Holloway would come to know added up to a great career at Hendricken, success at the next level and, now, a chance to play professional baseball.
Marzilli, a junior at South Carolina, was selected in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the 273rd player selected.
Holloway and the Hawks found out during their playoff game against East Greenwich.
“I’m happy for him,” Holloway said. “He’s a great kid and he had a great career here. He’s been fantastic in South Carolina for the three years he’s been there. I email back and forth when I see him on TV. I’m happy for him. I’ll send him an email tonight and congratulate him.”
Marzilli, a 2009 graduate of Hendricken and a native of Cranston, won’t be thinking about the next step in his career quite yet. South Carolina won its NCAA Tournament Regional over the weekend and will play in a Super Regional this week. The Gamecocks are trying to win their third consecutive national championship.
Marzilli has had a hand in all of South Carolina’s success. He burst onto the scene in the 2010 postseason, hitting .419 in the NCAA Tournament and earning College World Series All-Tournament honors after hitting .370 in Omaha.
As a sophomore last year, Marzilli hit .291 with 14 doubles and 31 RBI. This season, he has started every game and is hitting .288 with 12 doubles, two home runs, 30 RBI and 50 runs scored.
“He’s a hard worker and I’m really happy that he got the chance to be a pro,” Holloway said.
Marzilli is the third Hendricken alum to be drafted in the last two years. Former teammates Dan Gamache and Chris Costantino were selected last year. Gamache went in the sixth round to Pittsburgh and Costantino in the 43rd round to St. Louis. Both players signed and are now in the minor leagues.
The Diamondbacks have now taken a Rhode Island player in back-to-back years. The team selected another Cranston native, Anthony Meo, in the second round last year.