02/07/2015 5:47 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Feb. 7, 2015 – As the Northwest Indiana Oilmen look to sustain the team’s winning tradition, they’ve added a right-handed pitcher with a winning history of his own.
Eastern Illinois freshman Luke Dietz, who helped Westfield High School to a Hoosier Crossroads Conference championship his senior season, has been added to the 2015 Oilmen roster.
As a junior at Westfield, Dietz broke single-season school records for earned run average at 0.67 and WHIP at 0.86. He received all-conference and all-area recognition, while being named to PBR Indiana’s second-team all-state squad.
In addition, Dietz’s team broke school records for fielding percentage, ERA and WHIP.
“Not only were we a really good team, but all the teams in our conference were good,” Dietz said. “If you ask other high schools around, they’ll probably tell you that the HCC was the hardest conference in the state of Indiana. We had a really good team, but it was not easy to beat the teams that we played.”
Dietz throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, 12-6 curveball, a circle change and is working on developing a cutter. Eastern Illinois coach Jim Schmitz called Dietz’s curveball his best pitch.
Schmitz would like to see Dietz improve upon his control, while Dietz is working on keeping the ball low against collegiate hitters.
“We’re looking at him to be a quality starter down the road,” Schmitz said. “This year, we need him as a midweek starter or in long relief. We’re really going to need him to eat up some innings, and that’s what three pitches will do if he’s able to command the zone.”
Because of his size, Dietz didn’t anticipate many Division I offers. When he attended the Eastern Illinois showcase between his junior and senior seasons, the Panthers asked him to return for a visit the following week. That’s when he received his offer, and soon after made a quick decision to play for Eastern Illinois.
Dietz lists sustaining arm strength and staying healthy as two goals for the Midwest Collegiate League season with the Oilmen.
“You can’t go into the summer season and be lazy and think of it as a vacation,” Dietz said. “You have to continue to work on baseball, and not treat it like an offseason. It’s a time to get better.”