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Mack sets Cape ablaze; Gantt out at USC

Yes, DeAngelo Mack did spend part of his day off Monday on the Internet, watching the sod installation at USC’s new baseball stadium.

The rest of the Cape Cod League probably spent their free time brainstorming ways to get the junior-to-be off the basepaths.

The famed wood bat league has been good to Mack. Currently, he’s batting .309 with a .374 on-base percentage in 25 games for Yarmouth-Dennis.

“I knew it would be pretty competitive,” Mack said. “Everyone we face is good here.”

As the numbers infer, Mack has made a successful transition away from aluminum. To date, he has chipped one bat and shattered another, but in the process, he has learned to close a hole in his swing.

“Before I came up here, I was striking out too much and I’ve been trying to improve on that,” Mack said. “I’m trying not to have such a big swing, to trust my hands and put it in play.”

So far, so good …

In 106 at-bats at USC, Mack struck out 27 times.

So far in 97 at-bats on the Cape, he has 16.

Someone is following along at home:

“I check the Web site almost every day,” USC coach Ray Tanner said. “DeAngelo is a guy who had to work hard to get in a position to play and really came into his own during the second half of the season. I know he’s continuing to get better.”

Mack actually had his batting average above .360 earlier this month before coming down with a case of the “at ‘ems.”

“I’ve been hitting balls at people lately,” he said. “It’s still going pretty good, though.”

As for his down time, Mack said he has acclimated well to a culture that is, well … different? … for a South Carolinian.

“They don’t have air conditioning up here,” Mack said with a laugh. “It’s not too bad, though. The weather’s great. It’s 75 degrees every day and there’s pretty good beaches and good seafood.”

One thing that is not as advertised: There are no Jessica Biels.

The Cape Cod League received the big-screen treatment a few years back with the movie, “Summer Catch.”

Let’s just say it was not a good movie. In fact, let us speak no more about it other than to say Jessica Biel was in it and she was, as always, lovely … when she wasn’t forced to recite dialogue.

“Actually, we talk about that movie all the time here,” Mack said. “We cut jokes about it every day.”