05/26/2018 6:20 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 26, 2018 – When Patrick Hayes’ senior season at Brother Rice High School comes to a close, he won’t have to wait until he reports to Illinois State in the fall to begin competing at the collegiate level.
Hayes will make that jump this summer as a member of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
“Right after I committed to Illinois State, Coach (Mike) Stalowy texted me and asked if I knew anything about the team and I gathered some info,” Hayes said. “I gave Coach (Adam) Enright a call, and was able to get a spot on the team. I can’t wait to see the college arms. I’m looking forward to the competition and playing against the best. It’s going to be a challenging transition.”
Hayes selected Illinois State, a Division-I school located in Normal, Ill. that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference. He’ll join a program that has a history of churning out high-level talent, including St. Louis Cardinals infield Paul DeJong, who also played in the Midwest Collegiate League for the DuPage County Hounds for two seasons.
“The baseball field and the coaching staff drew me to the program,” Hayes said. “That was the main thing. I enjoyed talking to the coaching staff and I can tell them anything on my mind and trust them. The school is beautiful.”
Hayes, a right-handed hitting Chicago native, will be a member of the Oilmen infield for manager Adam Enright.
“I bring good defense to the table,” Hayes said. “I’ll get on base and see some pitches. I’m a good baserunner; I try to be aggressive. I can do the job bunting, stealing or whatever is needed.”
Hayes plans to try to hit the ball more to the opposite field, increase his arm strength and become a better baserunner during the summer season.
It didn’t take the prep senior long to recount his favorite baseball memory.
“This year against Providence we were down 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth,” Hayes said. “They were owning us the whole game. I saw a 2-1 curve and got a double to right center to clear the bases and we won 5-4.”
The soon-to-be freshman is looking forward to spending his summer in the MCL.
“I think it’s going to make me better,” he said. “I play against better competition. I’m excited to step on the field with the caliber of players that will be in the league.”