The Los Angeles Dodgers made former Crusader Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) their 37th round pick in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft Saturday.
“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to compete at the professional level. I put forth a lot of work and effort to achieve this goal, so when I saw my name I was beyond happy,” Kowalczyk said.
Kowalczyk polished off a dominant career for the Brown and Gold this past spring. The right-hander collected 11 saves and compiled a 1.59 ERA along with a 0.97 WHIP in 2014. He closed out the season having been scored upon just once in his final 17 appearances.
For his career, Kowalczyk amassed 24 saves – the second-most ever by a Crusader – and tallied a 1.74 lifetime earned run average. He was rewarded with the 2013 Horizon League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award after turning in an outstanding regular season highlighted by 12 saves and a miniscule 0.36 earned run average.
“What an exciting opportunity for Karch. I truly believe he has what it takes to play this game for a long time and I look forward to following his career,” head coach Brian Schmack said upon hearing the news.
He joins Dallas Cawiezell, Bryce Shafer, Bo McClendon, Kyle Gaedele, and Tanner Vavra as Crusaders chosen in the MLB Draft since 2007.
Kowalczyk graduated from Valparaiso last month with a double major in biology and chemistry.