Josh Marchese is one of four Cowlitz Black Bears this season bringing international representation to the roster.
Hailing from Burnaby, British Columbia, Marchese joins Zack Smith and Andres Sosa, both born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, along with fellow Canadian Kyle Smyth, who’s from Ontario. There's also Alex Salazar from Cobi, Japan, as well as Ryan Kim who, though hailing from Boise, Idaho, was born in Jeonju, South Korea.
Marchese said he’s been playing baseball since he was about 9 years old, but he didn’t always hit from the left side and throw with his left hand. He switched over several years after starting, and it was more comfortable.
“I write with my right hand, but my dominant hand’s probably my right hand,” the Black Bears first baseman said. “Baseball just turned out to be the left.”
It turned out, as well, to be a good switch.
After a good high school career and a stint on the Langley Blaze, a club team in BC, Marchese had an opportunity to play Division I baseball at the other end of the continent at Niagara University, and he just completed his freshman season for the Purple Eagles, where he batted .215 with a couple homers in 36 games, mostly as a DH.
“It’s been pretty good. I like it a lot,” Marchese said of his first year of college baseball. “We didn’t finish too strong this year. We’re a very young team, so in upcoming years we should be very talented and play well.”
For the Black Bears this summer, Marchese is batting .256, the fourth-best average on the team, with a team-high six doubles in 49 plate appearances.
Off the field, Marchese “stands out,” as he said.
Half Fijian and half Italian, he’s been around good food his entire life, and he said he loves to eat. He’s also stood out because of his mixed heritage, something he’s proud of.
“We had a good amount of colored people on our (college) team,” Marchese said. “I’m half and half, so I stand out. I wouldn’t change it. I like who I am.”