06/04/2019 9:26 PM
DuPage County Hounds (4-0*)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (3-1)
June 6, 2019 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
The eighth season of MCL baseball in Northwest Indiana will get underway on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium. A couple of old rivals will go at it as the Oilmen and DuPage County Hounds get together in a rematch of last season’s MCL Championship Series and the first meeting of the year between the two foes.
- The Oilmen hold a slight 34-31 lead in an all-time series that dates back to June 1, 2012, when the two teams faced off in the first game in team history for both clubs. The teams split the eight regular season meetings in 2018, but the Oilmen swept the Hounds in a best-of-three MCL Championship Series.
- This marks the first time the Oilmen have taken the diamond at Oil City Stadium in a game situation since Aug. 4 of last year, when NWI beat DuPage County 6-3 to clinch its third MCL title. RHP Christian Howell pitched the team to the win, allowing three runs (one earned) over eight innings while striking out 10 and scattering six hits.
- The Oilmen received their first MCL Weekly Award of the season on Monday as the Pitcher of the Week distinction was bestowed upon Jack Guzek. The right-hander heaved 5 2/3 shutout innings against Crestwood on Friday, May 31, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out nine on his way to the victory. Guzek, who will play at Iowa for the 2020 season, will be back on the mound on Thursday as he makes his Oil City Stadium debut.
- Kevin Tyrrell will finally have his first home game as an MCL manager on Thursday. That comes after a stretch of 36 straight road games to open his Midwest Collegiate League managerial career. He spent the 2013 season in charge of the Rockford Foresters, a traveling team that played all 32 games on the road.
- The Oilmen have won three straight games, including a 12-2 rout of Bloomington on Tuesday night at the Corn Crib, a game highlighted by a seven-run seventh. Frank Napleton ripped his first homer of the season in the fourth then delivered a bases-clearing double to unload the bags in the seventh.
- The Hounds will look to spoil NWI’s home opener for a second straight season. The Oilmen fell to 3-4 all-time in home openers with a 10-4 loss to the Hounds on June 5, 2018. Brandon Petkoff, who is back for a second season with the Oilmen, was one of two NWI players to have multi-hit performances in that one. The Oilmen last won a home opener in 2016, beating Michigan City 8-6.
- The Oilmen have three batters hitting above .400, led by Malik Peters with a robust .692 average.
- The Oilmen enter Thursday's game with a 212-126 (.627) record since the team was founded in 2012.
- The Oilmen enter 2019 seeking their eighth straight playoff appearance and eighth consecutive winning season. This is the eighth year of the franchise’s existence.
- The Oilmen are looking to make it back-to-back league championships after going 4-0 in the 2018 MCL Playoffs with series sweeps of Southland and DuPage County.
- The Oilmen recovered from a 4-8 start with three of those first four wins coming against the Crestwood Panthers to win the 2018 MCL Championship.
- The Oilmen have reached the MCL Championship Series four times – 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018, winning on three of those occasions – 2012, 2016 and 2018.
- The team won the league championship under manager Justin Huisman in its inaugural season in 2012, sweeping through the MCL Playoffs with series wins over DuPage County (semifinals) and the DeKalb County Liners (championship).
- The 2016 title involved sweeping the Joliet Admirals in the MCL Semifinal Series before winning a three-game set against DuPage County in the league championship.
- Alumni who have gone on to play professionally (Oilmen year/s, pro organization): Craig Dedelow (2014, White Sox), Matt Pobereyko (2013-2014, Mets), Zack Jones (2014-2017, Diamondbacks), Donivan Williams (2017, Cardinals), Marshawn Taylor (2016, Diamondbacks), Alec Olund (2015 & 2017, Frontier League), James Meeker (2014, Frontier League), Enrique Zamora (2015, Frontier League), Andrew Lowe (2014, Frontier League), Bill Miller (2012, Frontier League & Can-Am League), Kevin Franchetti (2012, Frontier League), Andy Wellwerts (2012, Frontier League), Danny Britt (2012, Frontier League).
- 2019 Award Winners: Jake Perreira MCL Championship Series MVP; Nate Montgomery MCL MVP; MCL All-League Team – Nate Montgomery, Zaid Walker, Nick Figus, Christian Howell; MCL All-Stars – Nick Figus, Brandon Petkoff, Nate Montgomery, Brendan Kelly, Alex Voss, Pedro Rodriguez, Zaid Walker, Jake Plastiak, Chad Patrick, Christian Howell.
- Kevin Tyrrell is in his first season as Oilmen manager. He succeeds Adam Enright, who was at the helm for four seasons from 2015-2018. Tyrrell, the third manager in Oilmen history, spent seven seasons as the head coach at the College of DuPage before joining the University of Chicago staff in 2019.
- Tyrrell managed the Midwest Collegiate League’s Rockford Foresters for one season in 2013 as the team played its entire schedule on the road.
- In each of Tyrrell’s last four seasons as the head coach at College of DuPage, the Chaparrals received votes in the NJCAA Division III Top 10, reaching as high as fourth nationally during the team’s 40-win season in 2016. He won 188 games as the head coach at the College of DuPage while instructing seven NJCAA All-Americans. His teams hit .300 or better in all seven seasons including a .348 team average in 2013. During his stint in DuPage, Tyrrell led a turnaround for a team that had won seven total games in 2011.
- Before taking over at DuPage, Tyrrell managed the Upper Deck Cougars travel baseball team, which reached the 2008 15U national championship game in Puerto Rico. A year later, the team won the 16U national title. His squad produced seven players who went on to get drafted and four who went on to play in the big leagues.
- Tyrrell played high school baseball at Montini Catholic in Illinois before serving as a three-year captain and four-year letter winner at Lewis University from 2003-2007. He graduated in 2007 with a double major in business administration and management information systems.
- Tyrrell’s staff includes pitching coach Kyle Klosak, a 2013 MCL All-Star with the Rockford Foresters and the pitching coach at the College of DuPage. Klosak played for Tyrrell during the 2013 MCL season. He pitched collegiately at Oakton Community College and Lewis University, where he graduated with a degree in sport management in 2015. He is currently the pitching coach at the College of DuPage.
- Director of Player Personnel and Development Scott Trcka doubles as a bench coach on Tyrrell’s staff. He has 27 seasons as a Major League Baseball scout under his belt with the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and San Diego Padres.
- Trcka’s track record of success is highlighted by the signing of Scott Rolen, a seven-time major league All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Rolen was selected in the second round of the 1993 draft. Trcka also signed the following Major League players as an area supervisor: Steve Parris (1989, fifth), Gary Bennett (1990, 11th), Mike Grace (1991, 10th), Tony Fiore (1992, 28th), David Doster (1993, 27th), Kevin Sefcik (1993, 33rd), Jason Boyd (1994, eighth) and Kevin Plawecki (2012, first, 35th overall selection).
- Trcka’s impressive resume also includes recommending the following major league players as a crosschecker: Pat Burrell, Jason Michaels, Jorge Padilla, Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd, Gavin Floyd, Khalil Greene, Tim Stauffer, Colt Morton, Dirk Hayhurst and Aaron Nola.
- During Trcka’s youth, his late father Dick inspired him to pursue a career in baseball. Dick was a legendary coach at Calumet High School in Hammond. He assembled over 200 victories and enjoyed seven winning seasons including the school’s first sectional title in 1982 before passing away in 1986.