Outfielder Matt Szczur, who turned in a phenomenal season for the Villanova baseball team this spring, was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft on Tuesday.
Szczur, an all-American last fall for the Wildcats football team that won the Football Championship Subdivision national title, was the 160th overall pick.
"I can't explain it, I'm so excited," said Szczur, who watched the draft with family and friends at his parents' home in Cape May. "It takes years to get the point of getting drafted. I couldn't sleep. I was up at 5 a.m."
A speedy centerfielder who has two years of college eligibility left in baseball, and one in football, Szczur made all-Big East this year and was the Big Five player of the year. With a .443 batting average, he became the Wildcats' first .400 hitter since 1997. Szczur led the Wildcats in eight offensive categories.
In addition to his exploits on the field, Szczur gained admiration when, during the season, he donated peripheral blood cells to a baby with leukemia. Szczur missed 10 straight games during April and May.
On draft-day morning, Szczur talked to a representative of the Cubs.
"I had an idea, but I wasn't 100 percent sure," Szczur said about his anticipation as Chicago's fifth selection came around. "I'm happy to go fifth."
"I'll see what the offer is from Chicago. We're going to get negotiations started."