Date of Birth: 05/23/2018
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 180 lbs
College Experience: Kankakee CC
Hometown: Cedar Lake, Ind.
As a youngster, Bobby Nowak regularly made trips to Oil City Stadium as an aspiring ballplayer. This summer, the Cedar Lake, Ind. native has his opportunity to don the black and gold as a member of the Oilmen.
A 2018 graduate of Hanover Central High School, Nowak came into contact with Oilmen manager Adam Enright through a mutual connection.
“I was talking to one of my close friends who knew Coach Enright and that I was looking for a summer team,” Nowak said. “Luckily, I was a good enough pitcher to play for them out of high school.”
It has not always been clear that Nowak’s calling was on the rubber. Throughout high school, the former three-sport athlete’s success was not limited to just baseball. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch as a wide receiver for the Hanover Central Wildcats football team his junior year and also played three seasons of basketball, serving as one of the team’s leading scorers on the varsity level.
However, by the end of his junior baseball season, Nowak had been transformed into the ace of the pitching staff with the help of head coach Ryan Bridges.
“Coach had connections with some people who would come to my practices in the morning and really help me out by critiquing my bullpens,” Nowak said.
Those early morning sessions paid off as Nowak finished his senior season with a 1.83 ERA and a 3-0 record.
Nowak says he hopes to be a shutdown arm that the Oilmen can rely on in key situations this summer. From a personality standpoint, the right-handed pitcher believes he will bring the best of both worlds to the club.
“On the mound, I try to be a bulldog,” Nowak said. “But, in the dugout, I’m more of a nice guy who’s always smiling and having a good time.”
During his summer with the Oilmen, Nowak wants to develop better command of his curveball and changeup, believing it will better prepare him for the start of his career at Kankakee Community College this fall.
After recently winning the NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2017, Todd Post and the Cavaliers seemed like an attractive pick for Nowak.
“When I went on my visit, I loved the facility and the coaching staff,” Nowak said. “They said they’d be able to help me out a lot; and, it’s pretty cool they just won a championship. After my two years there, I hope to get drafted or transfer to a Division I program.”
Nowak intends to major in criminal justice in college and enjoys fishing in his free time.