Before settling as just a baseball player, Noah Mattera was a multi-sport athlete in his hometown of Moorpark, Calif. where he lettered one year in football and basketball and three years in baseball.
“In basketball, I was a small forward and in football, I was a linebacker,” Mattera said. “I loved playing those sports in high school, they were really fun for me, they kept me in shape.”
In high school, Mattera averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in basketball with a career-high of 19 points including five made three-pointers.
In football, he would play in four games racking up eight total tackles and five solo tackles.
For the sport he focused on the most, baseball, Mattera primarily pitched, although he had played outfield and first base before.
In his three years of varsity baseball at Moorpark High School, Mattera would help his team to a Coastal Canyon League Title in 2017 and a runner-up finish in CIF post-season play.
In his senior season on the mound, Mattera finished with 64 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched with an ERA of 1.72 which got him named to the 2019 All-CIF Division l Southern Section First Team and All-Coastal Canyon League First Team.
Mattera, being ranked 32nd in the state of California as a left-handed pitcher, would ultimately commit to UNLV his senior season.
“Playing baseball where I’m from is a lot of fun, it’s really where I met a lot of my close friends,” Mattera said. “Coming out here [to Las Vegas], baseball is really easy to make friends on the team, and ever since I got out here, everyone has treated me as one of them and it’s a great environment.”
When Mattera arrived at UNLV, he didn’t know any of the guys, “I knew nobody, I think about that all the time. I’m pretty sure everyone on this team my freshman year knew somebody and I was the only one that didn’t know anybody.”
Although he knew no one when arriving, he quickly made friends with the guys on the team, in particular second baseman Edarian Williams.
“I started hanging out with more of the position players like Edarian,” Mattera said. “I started hanging out with Edarian more, working out together, me and him would come here and work out all the time.”
Now in his sophomore year, he’s become close with another teammate, Noah Beal, who is also a pitcher and his roommate.
“Noah is a really good friend, if I was gonna get into a fight I’d have him be there,” Noah Beal said. “He also does the dishes a lot and he’s just a great guy.”
While Mattera has made new friends here in Vegas, he hasn’t forgotten the ones he grew up with and even gave a shoutout, “My best friend is Drake London, he was a wide receiver at USC and he’s gonna be a first-rounder this year in the draft.”
Mattera and London both committed and signed to continue their academic and athletic careers the same day back in December of 2018, Mattera signing with UNLV to play baseball and London signing with USC to play football and basketball.
But before Mattera was signed to play for an NCAA Division l college, it all started when he was six years old.
“My earliest memory of playing would probably be playing tee-ball with my dad,” Mattera said. “I started playing around six or seven years old and have been playing ever since.”
In all the years of playing, it never gets old for Mattera, even mentioning he doesn’t have many hobbies outside of baseball besides playing video games.
“I like being out here every day,” Mattera said. “Practicing, being on the field with the guys, that’s the best part to me.”
With lots of practice and ten appearances on the mound including six starts so far this season, Mattera reflects on what he’s improved on most since his days in high school.
“I’d definitely say command,” Mattera said. “Commanding each of my pitches, over the years here I’ve developed each pitch more and more each year. So I’d say my command, number one, for sure.”
By developing his pitches more and more, Mattera would ultimately throw a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings pitched to complete UNLV’s sweep of the Air Force Falcons earlier this season.
Noah Mattera and the rest of the Hustlin’ Rebels return to action for UNLV’s three-game series against the Lobos of New Mexico starting on April 22, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m.