The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Oilmen Set to Collide with Crestwood on Friday

06/21/2019 10:52 AM -

Crestwood Panthers (2-11)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (6-7) 

June 21, 2019 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live) 

The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will continue a busy stretch of 15 games in 14 days on Friday as the Crestwood Panthers come to town. The stretch has started with consecutive losses, so Friday will mark an important opportunity to get back in the win column before hitting the road for the next three games.

Game Notes

  • The Oilmen own a 19-3 lead in the all-time series and have won two of the three meetings so far this season. The most recent showdown was a close one, as Clay Thompson doubled in the bottom of the ninth to plate Brandon Petkoff, allowing the Oilmen to walk off with a 7-6 victory on June 14 at the OC. Crestwood had tied the game with a four spot in the eighth inning.
  • Lefty Jonny Vesevick will get the nod for the Oilmen as he enters Friday’s start with a 1-2 record and 5.23 ERA. He has struck out 14 and walked six in 10 1/3 innings through four games, two starts. This will be his first start since June 7, but he has appeared out of the bullpen twice since then. This will be the third time the southpaw works against the Panthers this season as he allowed two runs in three innings of a start on June 7 and four runs in 2 1/3 innings out of the bullpen on June 14. All of his work has come against either Crestwood or Bloomington. For the second straight night, the pitching matchup at Oil City Stadium will feature a pair of lefties as Ethan Otstott gets the ball from Crestwood manager Isaac Valdez.
  • Malik Peters stole his 10th base of the season on Thursday night in his 11th game played. For comparison, the Oilmen team leader in 2018 (CJ Deshazer) finished the summer season with 11 stolen bases. Last season, the Oilmen had 60 stolen bases in 43 games, while this year they have 36 in the first 13 contests.
  • The Oilmen hold a better record 13 games into the season than they did in 2018. Last year’s team that went on to win the MCL title owned a 5-8 mark at this juncture, while the 2019 Oilmen stand at 6-7.
  • Justin Conant has reached base safely in all 13 games he’s played for the Oilmen. He boasts a .333 batting average to go along with a .466 on-base percentage.

Historical Notes

  • The Oilmen enter Friday’s game with a 215-131 (.621) 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.

Staff Notes

  • 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.