BILLINGS – Growing up, Billings Mustangs catcher Mark Kolozsvary was a two-sport athlete. Football, however, quickly took a backseat.
“Being from Florida, really baseball becomes like a year-round sport, so you kind of lose a little bit of time,” Kolozsvary said. “You can’t really do both too much, so baseball kind of takes over.”
Kolozsvary kept his talents in state when he committed to the University of Florida. Just more than a month ago, he helped the Gators to their first national title in baseball in school history. His junior season and final as a Gator saw him start 35 games where he hit .276 with three home runs and 26 runs batted in.
“It was an awesome experience,” Kolozsvary grinned. “I mean, we went to Omaha all three years I was there, which was a really great experience. It was awesome to finally get the chance to win it one time.”
The 197th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Kolozsvary is focused on the everyday process and preparation required at the professional level. His favorite athlete has laid out quite the blueprint.
“Favorite athlete? I’d probably say (St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina),” Kolozsvary said. “He’s an awesome catcher and he’s really good to watch. It’s definitely a little bit of a different experience playing games every day coming from college, so just keep working hard every day and enjoying it.”
Starting pitcher Tyler Mondile heaped the praises upon his new teammate, who while at Florida, was known for his rocket arm. This last season at Florida, he gunned down more than 70 percent of opposing base stealers.
“I could definitely tell he’s very good at calling games,” Mondile pointed out. “You can tell he went to a good college, worked with some good guys, because I like his game calling. I don’t usually shake him off much, and he knows what he’s doing back there for sure.”
Although he’s only been in Billings a few weeks, Kolozsvary appears to have already found his go-to food spot.
“Chipotle, man, that’s always my go-to,” said Kolozsvary. “I just feel like every time I’m hungry, I gravitate toward Chipotle for sure.”
Currently, Kolozsvary is staying with a host family here in Billings. He has a clean glove behind the plate. Keeping his room clean, however, is a different story.
“Yeah, I’m a little bit of a messy guy,” he said with a chuckle. “Not really like with anything else, just my clothes. I’m pretty bad about leaving those around.”
This former Gator is chomping at the bit for his shot at the big show.