Mario Medina makes a name for himself behind the plate for Mount Carmel. The twist? ‘I call him Mario Molina.’

Sophomore catcher Mario Medina has impressed Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry so much with his skills behind the plate that Hurry has taken to modifying Medina’s last name for a new moniker.

It’s one that pays homage to an accomplished family of catchers, the Molinas. Yadier won nine Gold Gloves for the St. Louis Cardinals. His brothers, Bengie and Jose, also were MLB catchers.

As for Medina …

“I call him ‘Mario Molina,’” Hurry said. “He showed why, throwing a guy out (Saturday). He really handles the pitchers well. He blocks balls. He’s our ‘Mario Molina.’

“It doesn’t matter which Molina he’s like. If he’s got any of the Molina DNA, we’ll take it.”

Medina showcased his defensive skills Saturday and also produced a big hit to spark the host Caravan to a 3-1 win over St. Rita in a Catholic League Blue opener in Chicago.

Sophomore left-hander Ian Tosi pitched a complete game for Mount Carmel (7-7, 1-0), striking out seven and allowing only one earned run on just three hits. Anthony Chavez went 2-for-3 with a two-run single, while Illinois recruit Joey Ireland singled and had a sacrifice fly.

Sebastian Reyes threw six innings for St. Rita (10-6, 0-1). He struck out six and allowed two earned runs on five hits. Oklahoma State recruit Sir Jamison Jones had a single and a sacrifice fly.

Both pitchers were dominant aside from the third inning, when Medina started a rally for Mount Carmel with a leadoff single out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

“I think it did spark us,” Medina said. “I just turned the lineup over and opened the gates for us to get some runs.”

The Caravan got three of them, with Chavez providing the big hit with a two-run single.

Tosi took it from there, with his battery mate in Medina helping him shut down the Mustangs.

“Mario’s great,” Tosi said. “I love having him back there. Our chemistry’s really good. We built it up. He caught me a little bit on JV last year, and it’s really fun working with him.”

Medina had a chance to show off his arm in the fourth inning when he threw out courtesy runner Baker Shelhamer attempting to steal second.

“That was a big throw out there,” Hurry said. “The next guy got an infield single.”

Medina said he’s been catching for five or six years.

“I also play some first and third, but I’ve been doing that a lot less lately,” he said. “Playing catcher, I just like throwing people out mostly. Getting the blocks down when I need to as well.”

In his first varsity season, Medina has been given a big responsibility as the starting catcher.

“It’s been pretty good so far,” Medina said. “I’ve had to build up to the leadership role and communicate with my teammates but I’m in the right spot for that.

“I try to talk to my pitchers after every pitch. When I need to, I’ll go out and give them mound visits and try to give them some time.”

Medina and Tosi were on the same page Saturday as Tosi stayed in a groove all game.

“My change-up was really good,” Tosi said. “I got a lot of swings and misses. You have to execute pitches against those big hitters.”

Back to that nickname for Medina. It’s one he has certainly embraced and works hard to live up to. After all, it’s flattering for any catcher to be compared to a Molina.

“It really started at a baseball camp in eighth grade,” Medina said. “(Hurry) just started calling me that, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll go with this.’

“I love it.”