After getting his feet wet as an NCAA Division I player this past spring, Matt Frawley was hoping to play summer baseball close to home.
And with the help of his pitching coach the Purdue University, the Glenbard North grad was afforded that opportunity with the DuPage County Hounds of the Midwest Collegiate League.
The Hounds play their home games at Benedictine University in Lisle.
"I have nothing to complain about," Frawley said. "The organization is run really well, the coaches know what they are doing and the players all get along with each other. This was the perfect fit and I love it. I'm very happy."
Thus far, the right-hander has excelled with his new team and he was a member of the North team in the 2014 MCL All-Star game played on July 9. Heading into the event, Frawley had posted an ERA of 2.01 with 25 strikeouts in 22 innings.
"I came out here more relaxed," he said. "I picked a couple of things to work on this summer and I went from there. There is no pressure to do anything spectacular, just do [what's best for] me.
"Being in the All-Star game was a great honor. I met some new guys and it was a great environment."
As far as the competition level in the league, Frawley admits he has been pleasantly surprised.
"It's been very good," the sophomore-to-be said. "I really didn't know what to expect, I just knew that there was a mixed variety of levels of players. But my first start, I was like, oh wow, this is good competition. There are a lot of good players in this league and you have to go out there and compete on every pitch."
Frawley will head back to Purdue in the fall a more experienced pitcher. As a freshman, he appeared in 13 games for the Boilermakers, all out of the bullpen, and posted a record of 1-0.
"It was definitely a big adjustment," Frawley said of making the jump from high school to college. "My first outing, it was our very first game against Tennessee and I was the first guy out of the bullpen. I went out there and I was legitimately shaking. It was a totally different environment, going from playing in front of 40 fans in high school to playing in front of thousands at a college game.
"But it was incredible, just a great experience."
Perhaps the biggest change was dealing with Division I lineups that are strong from top to bottom as opposed to a high school team that might have only a select few solid hitters.
"At this level, every pitch matters," he said. "If you make a mistake, it will cost you. There are not just three hitters that are good, a lot of times the one through nine batters are all good and you have to be mindful of that.
"You have to be consistent and know what you want to do on every pitch."
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