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Marika Lyszczyk makes more baseball history in Brockton Rox debut

Marika Lyszczyk makes more baseball history in Brockton Rox debut
Marika Lyszczyk makes more baseball history in Brockton Rox debut 02:01

BROCKTON -- Marika Lyszczyk is no stranger to making history on the baseball diamond. The 22-year-old from Canada made more history Thursday night in her debut with the Brockton Rox in the team's home opener.

In 2020, Lyszczyk became the first woman to catch in a men's collegiate baseball game when she was behind the plate for Rivier University of New Hampshire. She blazed another trail for women in baseball Thursday night at Campanelli Stadium by becoming the first woman to play any position in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in her Rox debut.

Lyszczyk pitched the ninth inning, striking out one batter. The Nashua Silver Knights beat the Rox 6-4. 

Lyszczyk made the position change after rotator cuff surgery. Doctors weren't sure if she would be able to handle the rigors of catching after the procedure, so she decided to try her arm at pitching, beginning with just an inning or two at a time.

Marika Lyszczyk
  Brockton Rox pitcher Marika Lyszczyk CBS Boston

Since the change, she has fallen in love with being on the mound. Lyszczyk tossed three innings for Sonoma State in 2023, allowing a run off just one hit. 

"I'm new to pitching, which is kind of exciting to me because I love learning new things," said Lyszczyk. "Every time I fail in practice, I learn something new about pitching.  It's interesting to see it coming from the catcher's side. I think about calling games and looking at hitters and how they set up, and it gives me a better idea of how to throw to the hitters."

A native of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Lyszczyk played both baseball and softball growing up. She was told to pick one when she reached middle school, and much to the surprise of her coaches, she chose baseball.

She's been an infielder, playing shortstop and second base. She's been a catcher. Now she's ready to go all out on the mound, where she says she possesses a strong fastball with good location.

She jokes that she's also the "Team Mom," bringing snacks and other goodies to games for everyone. But when she's on the hill, there is only one thing on Lyszczyk's mind: Getting outs.

Brockton Rox pitcher Marika Lyszczyk. WBZ-TV

"Most importantly I want to compete for the guys," she said. "Get quick outs, make the innings quick and easy for them."

While she hopes to contribute on and off the diamond in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Lyszczyk is already involved with Major League Baseball. She was part of the 2022 Creator Class as an MLB Content Creator, sending fun and engaging content to tens of thousands of fans through her TikTok and Instagram accounts. 

That gig got her on the field as a correspondent at the World Series, the Field of Dreams game, and the All-Star Game, where Lyszczyk was back behind the plate to warm up pitchers for the Home Run Derby. 

It sounds like she'll end up in baseball one way or another. While she's carving out her own path in the game she loves, Lyszczyk is also paving the way for other women to do the same.

"At the end of the day I'm a baseball player and I mess up. It's hard because sometimes people look at me and think I messed up because I'm a girl, not because I had a bad day and I'm a  baseball player. I love to establish that first and foremost, that I'm human and I make mistakes," said Lyszczyk.

"I always learn from my mistakes more than my successes. There are always going to be people that doubt you, but I feel like I have a pretty strong backbone," she added. "I have taken everything and used it as fuel to get where I am today."

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