03/12/2020 9:24 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – March 12, 2020 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen continued to unveil their 2020 roster on Thursday by welcoming back five pitchers from the 2019 campaign.
This brings the total number of returning players to nine after the squad announced that four position players from 2019 will be back in 2020 on Wednesday. Additional returnees may be announced at a later time.
Righties Mike Madura (Purdue Fort Wayne / Munster, Ind.), Max Franklin (Chicago Heights, Ill.) and Chris Torres (Wabash Valley / Chesterton, Ind.) are among the pitchers who are back from the 2019 campaign. In addition, a pair of players who were added to the roster late in the 2019 slate are back for 2020 – right-handed pitchers Johnny Maynard (Lincoln Trail CC / Griffith, Ind.) and Joel Holtcamp (Lee University / St. John, Ind.).
Madura led the Oilmen pitching staff with three wins, emerging victorious in all three of his decisions during the 2019 MCL season. He made nine appearances and five starts, logging a team-high 41 2/3 innings while racking up 42 strikeouts and issuing 11 walks. He posted a 4.75 ERA in a season that saw him earn a spot on the MCL All-Star roster.
After spending his first two seasons at South Suburban College, Madura has transferred to Purdue Fort Wayne to pitch at the Division-I level as a readshirt sophomore this season. The Munster High School graduate is playing for former Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber, who is in his first season leading the Mastodons.
Franklin will pitch for the Oilmen for the fourth consecutive season. He and Tommy Farrell are poised to become the third and fourth players in Oilmen history to appear in four different seasons, joining Christian Howell and Zack Jones. Franklin worked 10 1/3 innings over four games and one start in 2019, going 0-1 with one save. The veteran right-hander logged 34 innings and posted a 3.71 ERA in 2018 after flipping 32 2/3 frames and notching three victories while accumulating a 3.03 ERA in 2017.
One of Franklin’s Oilmen career highlights came on July 31, 2018, when he hurled five scoreless innings of two-hit relief while striking out eight and walking one to earn the victory in Game 1 of the MCL Semifinal Series against Southland. He also struck out 12 in a start on June 4, 2017 at Crestwood in a dominant outing.
Torres earned a place on the 2019 MCL East All-Star Team and finished the summer season with a 5.23 ERA while striking out 17 and earning two wins and two saves over 12 games (one start). He logged 20 2/3 innings while doing the bulk of his work out of the Oilmen bullpen.
Torres will be competing in a third Midwest Collegiate League season as he also pitched for the Crestwood Panthers in 2018. He was a member of the 2018 Post-Tribune All-Area team after serving as the winning pitcher in both regional games for the Chesterton Trojans as senior in high school. He went 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA and struck out 59 over his final prep season and is now a sophomore at Wabash Valley College.
Another Andrean alum, Holtcamp was the No. 2 pitcher behind Vanderbilt-bound Michael Doolin during the 2019 season for the 59ers. He made a brief Oilmen cameo in 2019, working two innings late in the season. Maynard, a Griffith product, was also a late addition to the 2019 squad, working five innings and allowing three runs on five hits on Aug. 4 vs. DuPage County in his lone outing of the summer.
The Oilmen have announced nine returning players who will be a part of Chris Cunningham’s first season at the helm. The team will open the home portion of the slate on June 9 at 7:10 p.m. vs. defending MCL champion Bloomington. Stay tuned for additional schedule and roster information.