Varsity Baseball | July 18, 2021

Dreams realized for local pitchers Chad Patrick and Matt Litwicki at the MLB Draft

By: Jim Hunsley,

Chad Patrick and Matt Litwicki each fulfilled a dream Monday.

Patrick, a product of Hebron and Purdue Northwest, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Litwicki, a Lake Central and Indiana grad, was chosen in the 10th round by the Boston Red Sox.

The three-day draft ends Tuesday with rounds 11-20.

Patrick expected to be taken somewhere between the third and fifth rounds.

“I guess I was right,” Patrick said. “It’s exactly how I pictured it. It was kind of crazy.”

Patrick kept in contact with his advisor, Sam Samardzija, and things “started to heat up” in the third round.

“Sam said he was getting a ton of calls,” said Patrick, who believed around 15 MLB clubs were showing interest.

As Samardzija dealt with teams including the San Diego Padres, Patrick received a message from his cousin, Tucker Patrick, who was also following the draft. Tucker sent an image to his cousin, picturing the Diamondbacks taking Chad.

Even though he had not received a direct message from Arizona saying he was selected, it didn’t seem to matter.

“I knew they were interested in me,” Patrick said. “It wasn’t a total surprise, but I was surprised to not hear from (Arizona) first.”

Patrick was surrounded by friends and family when the news hit.

“Everybody was so excited for me,” he said. “I was just happy so many people were able to be a part of it today.”

At Hebron, he was a 2017 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State selection in Class 2A.

As a senior at PNW, Patrick was 5-2 with a 1.97 ERA. He earned Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. He also was named Division II second-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and third team by the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association.

“That’s the beauty of baseball,” Patrick said. “It doesn’t matter where you are. It’s about the effort you put in. It’s about having heart and grit. If you’re performing well enough, the scouts will find you.”

Litwicki said he normally isn’t at a loss for words. That wasn’t the case as he talked with Boston Midwest area scout Alonzo Wright.

Wright called Litwicki a few minutes before the selection to share the news.

“He said, ‘Are you ready to see your name get off the board?'” Litwicki said. “I just said, ‘Yeah.’ I couldn’t come up with anything else. I was screaming inside.

“Waiting for something like this to happen and then it does, it takes the breath right of you. Four years ago, this is something I would not have thought I would have experienced.”

That was mainly due to learning he would have to undergo Tommy John surgery a few years ago.

“November, 17, 2017 was the date of surgery,” he said. “It’s kind of etched in my head. That is for sure.”

Litwicki worked out of the IU bullpen for three seasons. He had four saves and 17 strikeouts over 12 innings as the closer in 2021.

Now, a new memory has been created — alongside family and friends.

“My mom cried,” Litwicki said. “There was a lot of emotion, which played into a lot of silence.”

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