CROWLEY – For as long as he can remember, playing collegiate baseball has been a dream of Notre Dame slugger Matt Savoie.
So it is no wonder that when the opportunity to do so arose recently, the left-handed hitting Savoie seized it.
Savoie, a 5-AAA All-District and All-Acadia Parish selection in 2008, inked a national letter of intent Tuesday to extend his baseball career four more years, beginning in the fall, with the Louisiana College Wildcats in Pineville.
“Playing college baseball has been my number one goal ever since I reached high school,” said Savoie. “It was a goal for me growing up, but it got more serious whenever I got into high school because I realized how tough the competition was and how much I would have to step up my game in order to reach that next level.
“Fortunately I was able to do that. The Good Lord blessed me with something and I was able to work with it and here I am now.”
Savoie has put in his time, seeing limited action as a sophomore before playing a major role for Notre Dame last year in its district championship run that saw the Pios go 7-1 during league play in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
Under first-year head coach Tim Robichaux, Savoie hit .347 while filling a utility role for the Pios. He was used mostly as a designated hitter, but he also played first and third base while also logging a number of innings on the mound.
“Matt DH’ed most of the year, but this year he will be at first base and pitcher,” said Robichaux. “But he’s being recruited more as a left-handed hitter than as a position player.”
During the 2008 campaign, Savoie had a slugging percentage of .608 and hit eight doubles and one home run while driving in 29 runs.
He had an even more impressive summer campaign, playing for Robichaux on the Post 15 American Legion team. There, he hit .362 with 12 doubles and two home runs while driving in 24 runs and helping lead the Millers to their first district title in recent history.
“Matt has made himself into a good hitter,” said Robichaux. “He’s got an advantage because he is a left-handed hitter. He can hit with a little more power now and he’s a disciplined hitter. He doesn’t strike out much and he puts the ball in play.
“I think that Louisiana College is a good fit for him. Matt is one of the hardest workers that I’ve had when it comes to baseball. He practices the right way. He’s gotten out and put in the time to make himself a better baseball player.”
Savoie had about as much praise for Robichaux as Robichaux had for him.
“Working with Coach Tim and Coach Tony Robichaux has been a blessing,” said Savoie, who worked with both Robichaux brothers since he was a youngster coming up though the recreation department. “Their instruction and guidance from such a young age has taught me how to handle myself on and off the field and it really taught me the tools to become a better baseball player.”
Louisiana College noticed Savoie’s tools and talents over the summer at a showcase event and the Wildcats weren’t hesitant pursing him.
“It all happened pretty fast,” said Savoie. “I’m glad because I wanted to get this out of the way so I could just relax during my senior season and have fun with it.”
Although Savoie has no idea where he will fit as far as playing time goes when he arrives at the LC campus in the fall, he really isn’t concerned about it.
“I really don’t care were I play,” he said. “They recruited me as a utility player because they really don’t know where I’m going to play in the field next fall. But I just want to play four more years of baseball.”
Matt is the son of Joey and Belinda Savoie of Crowley.