Matt Jachec's summer started slowly after an injury to his pitching shoulder kept the Hampshire senior sidelined for the first two weeks after the high school baseball season.
Since returning to his travel team, the Illinois Indians, things have picked up considerably.
On Saturday, the right-handed pitcher and third baseman committed to play college baseball at NCAA Division I Indiana State after his senior season in the spring. He announced his decision Saturday via Twitter.
Jachec visited the Terre Haute, Indiana, school for the first time July 15 and was offered by the Sycamores that same day. He said he felt an instant connection to the school, program and coaching staff.
Indiana State finished 31-24 overall and was fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference at 11-10 last season. The Sycamores took third in the MVC in 2017 and were runners-up two years ago.
"They have a program that's been successful recently, and the coaches were amazing," Jachec said. "The facilities, the school, everything about it was awesome. The location is perfect for me, and it just felt like a really good place for me to be. I didn’t want to go too far from home, but just far enough."
Jachec entered the summer without any offers but picked up seven the span of about a month after his performance at a showcase tournament, the Music City Classic, in Nashville, Tennessee, in late June.
Jachec also had D-I offers from Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Southeast Missouri State, Morehead State and the University of Tennessee at Martin.
"In the spring season, I was kind of worried where I would end up," Jachec said. "Things really exploded for me after Nashville. A lot of schools started contacting me, and it went really quick from there."
Jachec, a Northwest Herald All-Area second-team pick for the Whip-Purs in the spring, visited six of the seven schools that offered in four days. He said the coaching staff – led by former Indiana State All-America second baseman and six-year coach Mitch Hannahs – was a huge deciding factor.
"They really believed in me," Jachec said. "That’s probably the biggest thing. They were very nice, and they also develop players very well. They really believe in me, and they want me to pitch."
Jachec hit .355 with a .412 on-base percentage his junior year with a team-high 15 doubles, driving in 22 runs. On the mound, he finished 3-4 with a 3.74 ERA and 51 strikeouts over 43 innings.
Jachec throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, changeup, slider and curveball, with his fastball sitting in the 85 to 87 mph range.
But it's his changeup that stands out, Jachec said.
"There are a bunch more guys who throw harder than me, but my movement and location really have gotten me to where I am today," Jachec said. "My changeup has really started working for me this past year.
"I've been dreaming of this since I was little. That was the goal. I met that goal, and now I have other goals."