Cubs to call up Matt Szczur

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MATT SZCZUR Matt Szczur is expected to be in a Chicago Cubs uniform at Citi Field tomorrow.

The 2007 Lower Cape May Regional graduate will be called up from Triple A Iowa to join the Chicago Cubs in time for Sunday afternoon’s game at the New York Mets, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

Szczur, 25, an outfielder, was hitting .261 with 30 stolen bases, 52 runs scored and an OPS of .626 at Triple A Iowa through Friday. He was not in the lineup for Iowa’s home game on Saturday against Salt Lake.

Szczur’s promotion to the Cubs will become official when the team sends pitcher Dan Straily back to the minors after this evening’s start, according to CSN Chicago.

"Wow! What a dream come true!" Szczur wrote on his Facebook page Saturday evening. "Just wanted to thank all my family and friends for their support. ... Without you guys none of this would have been possible!"

Szczur had struggled at the plate in the early part of the season at Iowa, his batting average as low as .238 in mid July. But he’s been hot of late, batting .314 over his last 124 at bats. On Thursday, he went 3 for 6 with three RBI and two stolen bases.

Szczur was a fifth-round selection by the Cubs in 2010 after starring in baseball and football at Villanova. As a junior, he was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year while leading the Wildcats to the Football Championship Subdivision title. Szczur was named Most Valuable Player of the championship game.

Szczur was able to return to Villanova for his senior football season after being selected by the Cubs but suffered through an injury-plagued season. He turned to baseball full-time in 2011.

For his minor league career, Szczur hit .280 with 136 extra-base hits, 120 stolen bases and 321 runs scored in 491 games. He was a three-time minor league all-star.

Szczur made national news while at Villanova when he donated peripheral blood cells to a young leukemia patient. His experiences with the ordeal were chronicled in an ESPN E:60 segment.

Szczur is Lower Cape May’s all-time hits leader and holds the South Jersey record for highest single-season batting average at .681 as a senior in baseball. In football, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior and led the Caper Tigers to a state playoff berth.

Szczur was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round after graduating from Villanova but chose not to sign.


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