02/09/2018 4:35 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Feb. 9, 2018 – A familiar face returns to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen pitching staff this summer, as the team has secured the services of right-hander Max Franklin for a second season.
A graduate of St. Rita High School and a native of Chicago Heights, Ill., Franklin is set to begin his sophomore season at Heartland Community College.
“I feel that I was successful during my freshman year, and I’m looking forward to an even better sophomore year,” he said. “I got a good amount of innings with the Oilmen over the summer because I had the opportunity to start. I was able to pitch for the Oilmen while also juggling a job, and Coach (Adam) Enright was very flexible. I’m excited to be back this summer.”
Franklin racked up 39 strikeouts while compiling a 3-1 record over eight games (six starts), during his first season with the Oilmen in 2017. He logged 32 2/3 innings while posting a 3.03 ERA. He was one of two players on the team to make six starts.
Those contributions came to a team that finished the regular season with a 34-16 record, establishing a new franchise watermark for wins in a single season. The Oilmen also won the regular season MCL title for the first time in team history.
“Overall we had a very successful summer,” Franklin said. “Everybody on the team had talent. It was one of the better seasons the Oilmen have ever had. I’m excited to rejoin a team with that kind of winning environment. Plus, I wanted to be able to stay close to home, and the Oilmen are located about 40 minutes from my house. From playing in front of fans to signing autographs after games, playing for the Oilmen makes you feel like a big leaguer.”
In his freshman year at Heartland, Franklin hurled 26 1/3 innings and compiled a 3.08 ERA, nailing down four saves while making 17 appearances, all in relief.
“I’m a stronger pitcher when I get ahead,” Franklin said. “I put an emphasis on first-pitch strikes. When I struggle with control early in counts, I tend to struggle throughout. But if I get ahead early, I’m pretty dominant throughout a game.”