College Baseball: Andrean’s Nick Podkul picks Notre Dame
By LaMond Pope email@example.com or 713-2691 Twitter: @lamondpope August 9, 2014 8:42PM
Andrean shortstop Nick Podkul fields the ball during the second game of the Class 3A baseball regional against Northwestern at Griffith on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Andrean won 8-0 to go to the evening final against Griffith. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 11, 2014 6:57AM
Andrean shortstop Nick Podkul had several big hits while helping the 59ers to a state championship.
His offseason has been just as productive.
Podkul orally committed to play baseball at Notre Dame on Friday.
“Coming from Andrean, there is so much tradition at Andrean and I really like that there is a lot of tradition at Notre Dame, too,” Podkul said in a phone interview Saturday.
That was just one of the factors in the decision.
“The coaches were great, I really liked them. The facilities were really nice. They just got a brand new turn field. I really liked that,” he said.
“You can’t beat playing in the ACC for baseball. I’m extremely excited. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to do that. It’s a dream come true to go to a school like Notre Dame.”
Podkul had a .411 batting average with 30 RBI and 39 runs scored as a junior for the 59ers. He collected 37 hits, including eight doubles. He went 2 for 4 with three RBI in the 6-0 victory against Gibson Southern in the Class 3A state title game at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
“Winning states was one of the greatest moments of my life,” Podkul said. “To me, Notre Dame is like the icing on the cake. I’m so pumped to have this opportunity. I’m thankful to all my coaches and my family to help me through it all.”
The 59ers (31-4) added another layer to that cake recently when they finished ranked No. 10 in the MaxPreps Medium School (1,000-2,000 students) national baseball rankings.
“The teammates that I have are unbelievable. The coaches are unbelievable. It still hasn’t sunk in all the way yet that we won a state championship,” Podkul said. “It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.”
That’s also the case with making the college decision.
“I’m so excited. I can’t wait for it,” he said. “But I still have one more season at Andrean and I’m looking forward to that, too.”