04/13/2016 6:45 PM -
First, it was a two-year run by left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara, among the top pitchers in the Midwest Collegiate League. Then, it was the versatile Alec Olund carrying on the tradition of Lake Central excellence.
Now, it’s Chase Fieldhouse’s turn to call Oil City Stadium home, as the Saint Joseph’s College outfielder has agreed to play for the Region’s Team this summer.
“It’s close to home; my family and friends get to see my play during summer ball,” Fieldhouse said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things. I’ve talked to guys that have played there and they had a good time.”
Competing in the Midwest Collegiate League won’t be a first-time experience for Fieldhouse, who batted .384 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 27 games for the 2014 MCL Champion Southland Vikings.
“My family wasn’t able to make it to a lot of the Vikings’ home games, and they would make it to Whiting for games,” Fieldhouse said. “It was just like home to begin with, but now it’s going to actually be my home field, so that will be pretty cool.”
Fieldhouse played in 46 games in centerfield in 2015 at St. Joseph’s, posting a team-high .339 batting average to earn second-team all-GLVC honors. Fieldhouse started his collegiate career at Kaskaskia Community College, where he played in the Junior College World Series.
Fieldhouse will be united with St. Joseph’s teammate and fellow Lake Central graduate Alex Nisle on the Oilmen roster this summer. The duo will join six other Lake Central graduates on the all-time Oilmen roster: Jimmy McNamara, Cody Dykema, Ryan Burvan, Aaron Glatt, Alec Olund and Christian Sullivan.
The 2012 Lake Central Indians are forever connected by virtue of the state title.
“We still keep a group chat going,” Fieldhouse said. “We would get on each other and laugh at each other all the time. That helped us be successful.”
Fieldhouse will be working on seeing deeper counts this summer. He strives to go the other way with the ball more and not be so pull happy.
Fieldhouse feels comfortable with his glove. He is confident holding any of the three outfield positions.
Having enjoyed success at his junior college, Lake Central and in the MCL during his season with Southland, Fieldhouse has no reason to expect anything less when he puts on an Oilmen uniform this year. The season begins on May 26 at Bloomington, while the home opener is slated for Tuesday, June 7 against Michigan City.
For Fieldhouse, the summer mission is quite simple.
“I’m going to get out on the field in Whiting and try to win us a championship,” he said.