03/23/2014 2:18 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – March 23, 2014 – Two years ago, Richmond native Mac Hudgins showed his Notre Dame teammate Kevin DeFilippis the ropes of life in Virginia as the two played for the New Market Rebels of the Valley League.
This summer, the roles will be reversed, as Homer Glen, Ill. native DeFilippis welcomes Hudgins to the Chicagoland area. Both will spend the summer as members of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
Hudgins, a junior outfielder, has seen action in 17 games and made four starts in the early portion of the season at Notre Dame. He ranks among the team leaders in batting average at .269.
“Playing baseball at Notre Dame is a fantastic opportunity,” Hudgins said. “I’m extremely blessed. We have great coaches, a great program and a great school. It’s truly been awesome. The last two and a half years have been some of the best of my life, and every day is a great opportunity for me.”
Although he is a strong hitter with what he calls “a selectively aggressive” approach at the plate, Hudgins is perhaps best known for the work he does with the glove.
Notre Dame coach Mik Aoki recruited Hudgins out of Douglas Freeman High School in part because of his defensive prowess.
“Mac brings more athleticism to our outfield,” Aoki said in a release. “He is an above-average runner with very good defensive skills. He provided us with quality depth right away.”
Douglas Freeman High School coach Ray Moore called Hudgins the best defensive outfielder he’s coached.
“Given the dimensions of our field, we needed someone who could cover tons of ground,” Moore said. “He could track balls and run down balls in the gap like no one else around. His throwing arm was very accurate and he gets rid of it quickly. Tracking the ball in the outfield was his specialty; he could do that with the best of them.”
Hudgins comes from a family with a rich athletic background. His brother Will played baseball at Notre Dame from 2009-2012 and was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Their father Jeff played basketball at VCU, while uncle Jim Pearce pitched for the Cincinnati Redlegs and Washington Senators. Mac’s grandfather John Taylor was drafted by the Detroit Tigers before playing baseball and basketball at East Tennessee State.
“Mac was one of the kids in our program who was always a leader,” Moore said. “He was a kid who guys kind of gravitated toward. He seemed to always be very much vested in the well-being of the team first, but also was someone who individually contributed to our success while he was there.”