Freel Named Freshman Pitcher of the Year; PNW Baseball Nets Two All-GLIAC

HAMMOND, Ind. – Freshman Kyle Freel (Dyer, Ind./Andrean) was named the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Freshman Pitcher of the Year and sophomore catcher Hunter Thorn (Portage, Ind./Portage) and freshman pitcher Chad Patrick (Hebron, Ind./Hebron) both earned All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team recognition on the 2018 All-GLIAC Baseball Team when the postseason awards were announced Wednesday evening by the conference office.


Freel had an impressive debut season with the Pride leading the team in wins (5) and innings pitched (51.2) over his nine appearances, all starts, this spring.  He finished the year with 38 strikeouts, the second highest total on the PNW staff, and also ranked in the top 12 among GLIAC pitchers in a number of categories, including wins (5), losses (4), hits allowed (66), earned runs allowed (32), doubles allowed (16) and home runs allowed (4).​


“Kyle showed exceptional composure for a freshman this season and racked up a team-leading five wins for us,” said Purdue Northwest baseball coach Dave Griffin.  “He truly defined what it means to be a starting pitcher at the collegiate level and it bodes well for his future.”


Thorn led PNW in a number of offensive statistical categories this season, including batting average (.327), slugging percentage (.431), hits (50), triples (5) and total bases (66).  His five triples also tied for the GLIAC lead in that category.  Splitting his time at catcher and in the outfield this spring, Thorn was also a force defensively for the Pride posting 115 putouts and 18 assists with a stellar fielding percentage of .971.


“Hunter was forced to play in the outfield for us a lot this season and had a great approach all year,” said Griffin.  “He was a huge factor offensively for us this year and improved his overall batting average from his freshman year even with our program moving up to the Division II level.  That speaks to how hard a worker Hunter is.”


Patrick led the Pride in strikeouts (39) and saw time both as a starting pitcher and out of the bullpen this spring.  Over his 11 appearances on the mound, he boasted six starts and recorded three wins and a save.  He had impressive starts against Wisconsin-Parkside and Grand Valley State (Mich.) where he combined to throw nine innings and allowed just four hits, two runs (one earned) and five walks with 12 total strikeouts.


“Chad is filled with tons of potential and showed signs of his greatness at times during the year,” continued Griffin.  “He has outstanding stuff and I think we will continue to see more bright things from Chad as his career develops.”


Purdue Northwest finished its season with an overall record of 18-25.  The Pride finished their first season in the GLIAC in seventh place with an 8-19 conference mark and wrapped up their season this past weekend with a conference series against Davenport University (Mich.).