11/15/2013 5:02 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – November 15, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have added Notre Dame to the list of Division-I schools that will be represented on their roster next season. Junior infielder Kevin DeFilippis is set to play his summer baseball in Northwest Indiana.
College summer ball will not be a first-time experience for DeFilippis, who played for the New Market Rebels of the New Valley Baseball League in Virginia in 2012 before spending this past summer with the Redding Colt 45s in California.
“Both experiences were very good; I had a good time with both,” he said. “This summer, I just wanted to play somewhere close to home that gives my family the opportunity to come out and watch a couple of games. This league provides me with the opportunity to play a little bit closer to home.”
DeFilippis graduated from Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., where he batted .475 with a .603 on-base percentage, 27 runs batted in, 43 runs scored and 21 stolen bases as a senior. He was named to the Southtown Star and Chicago Sun-Times all-area teams in addition to earning a spot on the all-Illinois High School Coaches Association first-team.
DeFilippis and former Oilman Joe Houlihan formed the Providence Catholic middle infield.
“I think my entire senior season was and probably always will be my favorite team,” DeFilippis said. “That team was incredible. All together with the seniors, I think we had about 14 Division-I players on the team, which is unheard of. The whole season and the playoff run was just an unbelievable experience.”
While DeFilippis will not have the chance to reunite with Houlihan, who will not return to the Oilmen due to arm surgery, he will be back on the diamond with a former teammate in Alec Ornelas. DeFilippis and Ornelas spent several seasons playing together with the Illinois Sparks.
The highlight of DeFilippis’s college career came on March 10, 2013 when he came to the plate as a pinch hitter in the 11th inning of a 5-5 tie between No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 10 Oklahoma. With runners at first and third and one out, DeFilippis came up with a walk-off single, jumping on the first pitch in his first at-bat of the year.
“I just went up there and told myself that I was going to be aggressive,” he said. “I was kind of just praying that it would go fair. I thought it might go over the fence, but it actually ended up hitting off the wall. I kind of just lost myself in the moment. I was like, ‘What just happened? I just beat Oklahoma.’ Before I could look up, there were 30 guys running at me at full speed.”
DeFilippis is hoping to earn his way into Notre Dame’s starting lineup as a junior this spring. Fighting Irish head coach Mik Aoki described DeFilippis as an all-around good player and a phenomenal kid.
“He’s a good defensive player; he can play all three infield positions,” Aoki said. “He’s got a solid bat; he’s very competitive. He does a good job with his approach at the plate. He’s a line-drive hitter with occasional gap power.”