Szczur sparks Wildcats to Baseball Bash sweep

Kaitlin Santanna

Matt Szczur has already made a name for himself in the fall on the football field, but he is storming a different field this spring. This past weekend during the Villanova Baseball Bash the offensive skills of this redshirt freshman made him not only a standout on the field, but one of Villanova’s best athletes of the week.

Szczur’s strong outing last weekend led Villanova to sweep all three of their victories in the Villanova Baseball Bash. Throughout the weekend, Szczur tallied six runs, producing one-sixth of all of Villanova’s runs for the tournament. Szczur also extended his hitting streak through all three games to 13 games in just 14 collegiate appearances.

Szczur’s weekend began with Villanova’s convincing win over Niagara last Friday. Szczur, the Wildcats’ leadoff batter, started a first inning onslaught that put ‘Nova up 6-0 before six outs were even recorded. The right fielder started the hitting by bunting a single and then scoring to put Villanova’s first run on the board. Szczur would add an RBI groundout in the fourth and his second run of the game in the sixth, in assisting in the Wildcats’ 18-7 victory in the opening game of the Villanova Baseball Bash.

Szczur’s best game of the tournament came in Saturday’s victory over Cleveland State. In four at-bats and one walk, Szczur went 2-4 on the afternoon. Much like in his previous game versus Niagara, the Erma, N.J., native gave the ‘Cats an early jump after his first plate appearance of the game. Szczur’s leadoff double led to a run that tied the game at one after one inning. His RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth brought Szczur’s totals for the game to two runs, two hits and one RBI in Villanova’s 12-5 victory against Cleveland State.

The Wildcats’ third consecutive victory in the Baseball Bash proved to be a monumental one for Szczur. He had three hits in the game, including starting a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning. With nobody on base, Szczur doubled and was forced in from third two plays later. Throughout his successful offensive outings in his first 13 games of the season, Szczur had yet to record a homerun. That all changed in the fourth inning, however, when his first collegiate homerun capped a three-run inning for Villanova.

Szczur’s successes on the baseball field are not his first athletic achievements at Villanova. He is also a wide receiver for the football team, where he has produced a standout performance over his first two years with the team.

In his freshman year, he played in all 11 of Villanova’s games, tallying 15 receptions for 124 yards, 17 punt returns for 165 yards and 23 carries for 173 yards.

Despite having to miss his freshman baseball season due to a football injury, Szczur came back for another strong sophomore football season. Perhaps the game that stood out the most for Szczur last season was his performance in Villanova’s first round victory over Colgate in the NCAA football championship subdivision playoffs. It was in this game that he returned the opening kickoff for 91 yards before adding two more touchdowns in the ‘Cats’ 55-28 victory.

Although his baseball career is still young, his strong start to this season have set a precedent for him to continue as a star for the Wildcats.