Junior finance major Nathan Patton took a bat in his hands at a young age and has never put it down. Now he’s the starting third baseman and a cornerstone of the offense for the Crusaders at the University of Dallas.
“I’ve been playing baseball ever since I was four years old,” Patton said. “What got me interested was [that] my parents took me outside, I grabbed a bat, and swung at a ball. I’ve always loved watching the sport growing up. I started watching it more and more and got more involved in it. My parents got me into a league and then it went off from there.”
Patton continued his love for baseball in high school as it helped him develop the skills for the game that he would bring with him to UD.
“High school was a little different for me,” Patton said. “I went to [Shelton High School,] a smaller, private school in the Dallas area. My graduating class was 63 [people]. We played some pretty good competition. In high school, I played a lot of shortstop actually and a little bit of third. I think high school prepared me with a lot of people who taught me how to play the game. This year I’m just trying to be a good leader for the young guys [in order to] shape them into ballplayers.”
In 2018, Patton was named ABCA/Rawlings NCAA DIII West All-Region 3rd Team, All-SCAC 1st Team, and USCAA All-American 1st Team. He was the team MVP for the Crusaders and recorded a team-high 13 doubles and 43 RBIs. He credits his constant hitting and practice for his success on the field.
“For me it doesn’t stop,” Patton said. “The grind really doesn’t stop. I workout as much as possible to get bigger and stronger. I work on technique and footwork, defense, and stuff like that. For hitting, I hit every week. I try to do it every day. I was never satisfied with the production I was getting. So really just pushing to get better and better every day and hard work paid off last spring. It was really awesome to see.”
Finally, Patton commented on his favorite memory with the UD baseball program so far.
“For me it was my freshman year with my roommate, Colby Davenport,” Patton said. “He left last fall. Freshman year we were at Airhogs Stadium. It was our second series. His dad was there and it was a really cool moment. That was the weekend I got my first collegiate hit and first collegiate RBI. Our last game on Sunday was a pretty cool experience because Colby’s dad was there and he was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away [later]. Colby came up to bat and he hit a walk-off single and we just dogpiled him on the field. It was definitely my best experience so far here at UD. Just seeing the love of baseball. How can you not be romantic about baseball?”