10/08/2013 3:05 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – October 8, 2013 – Northern Illinois University commit Kevin Jones will become the second player in Northwest Indiana Oilmen franchise history to play with the team before beginning his college career. Jones, currently a senior at Portage High School, led the Portage Indians to a sectional championship as a junior in high school, earning the win in the sectional championship against Crown Point.
Jones said his decision to play for the Oilmen was an easy choice, given Whiting’s proximity to his home in Portage.
“I think it will really help me when I go into college,” he said. “I’ll get to know the hitters better; it will prepare me for how college is going to be.”
This past summer, Jones played at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Target Field in Minnesota, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago as part of a variety of showcases. The game at Minute Maid Park was televised nationally on the Major League Baseball Network.
“Honestly, it was a dream come true,” Jones said. “I’ve always dreamed of playing in a big league stadium, so to just step out there on the mound was awesome. I’m blessed.”
NIU pitching coach Todd Coryell led Jones to his verbal commitment to play his college baseball at NIU. After helping Portage to its first sectional title since 1995, Jones’s next goal is “nothing short of winning a regional” in his final season of high school ball. He also has his sights set on developing as a pitcher before beginning his freshman year of college.
“I just want to get stronger on the mound, hit my placements better, throw harder and get my third and fourth pitches going,” he said. “You can’t rely on two pitches as you move up to the college level.”
Jones was named to The Times of Northwest Indiana and Post-Tribune All-Area Teams in 2013. He went 6-3 while posting a 1.31 earned run average and recording 81 strikeouts in his first season after transferring from Chesterton to Portage.
Jones joins Lake Central graduate Jimmy McNamara as the two members of the 2013 Oilmen roster that have been announced. To keep up with all of the latest Oilmen news, visit nwioilmen.com, follow @NWIOilmen on Twitter and “like” the team’s Facebook page.