Lewis Cass senior Austin Holt has verbally committed to play baseball at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Holt, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior right hander, was going to be the Kings’ ace this year before the season was canceled due to the coronavirus. He was still able to land with a Division-I program.
“I’m pretty excited to go there and get to play for coach [Doug] Schreiber and be able to play for Purdue Fort Wayne,” Holt said. “I feel like playing at the D-I level, that’s what I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. So being able to do that has made me really excited.”
Lewis Cass has provided a pipeline of talent to Purdue Fort Wayne, as Holt joins former Kings Tyler Fowler, Mark Carden and Garrett Segraves as Purdue Fort Wayne baseball players. Fowler was a shortstop, Carden was a second baseman and Segraves was an outfielder for the Mastadons.
Holt said the COVID-19 pandemic altered recruiting this year for a lot of senior baseball players.
“It was really hard to be able to be recruited and not be able to have my senior year of high school. I wasn’t able to show coaches what I’ve got,” he said. “It was hard because I couldn’t visit some of the colleges, like Purdue Fort Wayne I couldn’t go on a visit because of the COVID. So I had to do everything over the phone and that was just kind of different.”
Holt said he will receive a partial scholarship to play baseball at Purdue Fort Wayne. Division-I teams are allowed only 11.7 athletic scholarships per team per year.
“It’s just a little bit this year and he said maybe in the next years hopefully I get some more if I earn it,” Holt said.
Holt has been playing summer baseball this year with the Logansport Lookouts.
“Coach Kiser, Austin Kiser, he’s my Cass pitching coach and it was just nice to be able to play with him again and have him be my pitching coach one more time before I leave,” Holt said. “The first game we had we were a little rusty and we didn’t do so hot. Now that we’ve had our third tournament, we went to the championship game. Over the courses of the games we’ve just progressively have gotten better. I think we’re doing pretty good right now.”
Holt is one of six former Lewis Cass players on the Lookouts, joining Nolan Shafer, Sam McCoy, Caden Zeck, Gabe Eurit and Joey Humphrey. The Lookouts also have two former Logansport baseball players that used to attend Lewis Cass as well in Drake McLochlin and Charlie O’Connor. The team also includes a pair of former Rochester players who now play at Manchester College in Zaine Young and Brady Perez.
In addition to Holt playing at the next level, Humphrey is set to play at John A. Logan, Zeck will play at IUK and McLochlin will play at Franklin. Eurit is set to walkon to the IU football team. Easton Good, who is playing in the Grand Park League this summer, is set to play baseball at Miami of Ohio. Another former teammate, Reece Rodabaugh, recently announced he is transferring from Purdue to Parkland College to play baseball.
Holt went 8-0 with a 0.67 ERA as a junior for the Kings. He struck out 46 in 41 innings pitched.
He throws his fastball in the mid 80s and said his curveball and slider have been effective this summer as well.
“I’ve been throwing pretty well. It took me a couple batters to get the feeling but now that I got my feel back being able to dominate again felt good,” he said.
Holt plans to major in business/marketing at Purdue Fort Wayne.