CAROL STREAM — With his college decision out of the way, Matt Frawley’s full focus this spring has been on his final high school season in a Glenbard North uniform.
That has been bad news for opposing batters.
Helped by a few offseason tweaks to his pitching motion, the senior has firmly established himself as the Panthers’ ace and one of the top pitchers in the area.
The Purdue recruit’s stats heading into this week were dominant: 44 strikeouts and only five earned runs allowed in 31 innings of work. Frawley said the major change in his mechanics is that he now steps back to begin his motion instead of to the side.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Frawley. “I feel so comfortable on the mound. I certainly feel like I’m a lot more under control. My ball is consistently lower in the strike zone and I’m pounding the knees more. My body is trusting my motion and my arm slot comes with that.”
Frawley is a part of the Glenbard North pitching staff which also includes juniors Matt Albin and Kyle Crites. That group is a major reason why the Panthers won their first seven DuPage Valley Conference games.
“I don’t want to brag about our pitching staff,” Frawley said, “but we have to have one of the more dominating pitching staffs in the conference thus far. Matt is coming off injury but looks great and Kyle has come in and dominated. And our relievers look good. Right now, we have a confident staff.”
Frawley also has contributed with his bat, knocking in a team-high 12 runs from the clean-up spot in the order.
“I absolutely love hitting,” Frawley said, “though not as much as pitching. Getting the pitcher off his rhythm or stopping the guy from doing his job, that is satisfying. I’m probably not going to be hitting in college so this spring, I’m trying to make the most of it.”
Ultimately that decision will be up to the coaches at Purdue, which Frawley committed to last August. The Boilermakers saw him at a tournament last summer playing for Team Illinois, and, after a visit in late July, the senior was convinced West Lafayette was the place for him.
“I fell in love with it right away,” Frawley said. “I left the parking lot and said, ‘This is definitely the place.’ It was a very comfortable environment and the coaches made you feel right at home. It’s not too big and not too small and it’s not far from home. It’s the perfect fit.”
Playing Division I baseball is a dream come true.
“It’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Frawley said. “The recruiting process, I don’t want to say it was stressful, but it was very time consuming, almost exhausting. Just knowing that I’m committed and signed with a great school on an athletic scholarship, it’s a really good feeling. I can’t wait to get down there and play ball, it’s going to be a blast.”