CROWN POINT — Jonathan Sabotnik has never really seen himself as a pitcher.
The Crown Point junior is primarily an outfielder. Nobody would dispute that. But he played all positions growing up. And he’s always been one of the guys to take the mound.
“I’m trying to go two-way for college so I’m maybe trying to pitch,” he said. “But if I don’t, I’ll be fine with not pitching. I have a lot of fun pitching, though.”
Sabotnik essentially threw a complete-game shutout in the Bulldogs’ 1-0 win over Penn on Saturday. He won’t get credit for it, though, because the game went into extra innings.
Sabotnik threw seven innings, giving up three hits and three walks while striking out five against Prep Baseball Report’s No. 1 team in Class 4A.
“That was the first time I’ve started all season. I’ve been the closer all season for us,” Sabotnik said. “From the start, I felt great. I was getting a little wild at the end, but I just had to keep my composure.”
It was the best game he’s ever thrown beyond any doubt, Sabotnik said. It’s also the most pitches he’s ever thrown in a game. He needed 101 to get through seven frames.
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“(My arm) is sore,” he said after the game. “It’s really sore.”
Sabotnik’s also the Bulldogs' leadoff hitter, though it was the third spot in the lineup from which he slapped an RBI single to give Crown Point the win over the Kingsmen in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Sabotnik is verbally committed to play for Illinois State at the next level. He said he was being recruited by Purdue when Boilermakers pitching coach Steve Holm was hired to lead the Redbirds.
He decided to follow Holm and teammate Gene Kolarik, also a junior, to Normal.
“I’m ready to go college,” Sabotnik said. “I just want to get to college and live a college life.”
Bulldogs coach Steve Strayer said it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Sabotnik pitches in at Illinois State.
“He’s a great kid. He’s humble. He’s confident but not cocky,” Strayer said. “He has a great arm and a great swing.”