Hart baseball player Malachi Soqui celebrates acceptance to MIT
Newhall Hart baseball player Malachi Soqui reacts after finding out he’s been accepted into MIT.
It was a nerve-racking Saturday for Malachi Soqui, a senior baseball player at Newhall Hart with a 4.5 grade-point average. At 12:15 p.m., he intended to go on his computer to learn if he had been accepted to MIT.
Trying to stay calm, he went into the hot tub in the backyard of the family home in Castaic.
“I was distracting myself,” he said.
At 12:14 p.m., he went into the family living room with his computer and sat on a couch with his mother and sister. His father was filming when Soqui logged into the MIT website.
“I got in!” he shouted.
“Yes!” his father screamed.
MIT is one of the most selective schools in the world. The fact the school’s baseball coach gave Soqui a recommendation didn’t hurt, but it was his academic track record combined with his essays that helped, too.
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“You have to be very well-qualified to even have a chance to getting in,” Soqui said.
As a baseball player, Soqui has made steady progress. He wasn’t a top player in youth baseball. He didn’t even know if he’d make the team his freshman year at Hart.
But through hard work, he’s gotten better. During the summer, he went to Las Vegas to play in a showcase for academic-oriented baseball players and started communicating with the MIT baseball program.
“I always knew I wanted to go there regardless of baseball,” he said.
So how did he pull this off when there has been no high school baseball allowed since his junior season was halted by the pandemic last March?
“It’s a blessing because I know a lot of people had trouble getting recruited,” he said. “Honestly, it’s about dedicating yourself, setting goals and achieving them. Freshman year I wasn’t very good. I know I have put in the work and am learning. I’m not saying I’m the best player in the world, but the hard work has brought me here.”
Soqui, who just turned 17, said he tried to be honest in his essays to the school. He didn’t profess to be ready to invent something. He wants to study computer science.
“One of the questions was describe something you like to do outside your required activities,” he said. “I love playing video games with my friends.”
Soqui gets mostly A’s at Hart. There was the A in calculus BC and he’s getting an A in AP statistics. But he did get a B in Spanish III.
“Spanish is not my strong suit,” he said.
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