TAMPA — Plant graduate Matt Vaka has signed to play baseball at the University of North Florida, Panthers coach Dennis Braun said Thursday.
Vaka, a right-handed pitcher for the Panthers his sophomore and junior seasons, was limited on the mound in his senior season after having ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery in the offseason. However, Vaka stepped up for the Panthers offense his senior year hitting .330, with 22 runs scored, 18 RBIs, nine doubles and two home runs.
He made two starts on the mound last season, including allowing one hit in four innings of a five-inning, 10-0 win against Chamberlain in the Tony Saladino Tournament. He finished the season with a 1.00 ERA in seven innings.
“Matt is such a great kid and is the hardest worker in the program,” Braun said. “He was able to work through that injury and really help us offensively.”