06/26/2019 10:36 AM
Bloomington Bobcats (11-6)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (7-8)
June 26, 2019 • 4:10 p.m. & 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will begin a five-game homestand on Wednesday with a doubleheader against the Bloomington Bobcats at Oil City Stadium. A seven-inning affair will begin at 4:10 p.m., then the two teams will play the regularly-scheduled nine-inning contest at 7:10.
- The Oilmen and Bobcats have seen plenty of each other already this season, with Wednesday marking the fifth and sixth meetings. The two squads have split the first four, with the Bobcats most recently winning 4-2 on Wednesday, June 19 at Oil City Stadium. The Oilmen are 14-18 all-time against the Bobcats.
- The Oilmen will send left-handed pitcher Jonny Vesevick to the mound for Game 1, while Bobcats manager Jake Wegner counters with RHP Jack Gilmore. Vesevick will make his sixth appearance and all six have come against either the Bobcats or the Crestwood Panthers. His most recent outing came on Friday night against the Panthers, when he struck out eight and walked one over five one-run innings of five-hit ball while receiving no decision. The Oilmen eventually won 2-1 behind a walk-off single by Jackson Dvorak. Vesevick owns a 4.11 ERA and 1-2 record while issuing seven walks and striking out 22 in 15 1/3 innings. Gilmore has a 6.30 ERA in 20 innings spanning four outings. He will face the Oilmen for the first time this year.
- In the second game, RHP Derek Lasky gets the ball from manager Kevin Tyrrell and will pitch against Bloomington’s Nathan Hardman. Lasky has an ERA of 10.00 in a small sample size of three outings that covers nine innings. He is 0-2 and has walked eight while striking out 10. His most recent outing was a five-inning start against the Bobcats on June 19 as he allowed three runs (two earned) on four walks and seven strikeouts. Hardman has pitched in four games spanning 12 1/3 innings and has a 2.92 ERA. This will be his first outing against the Oilmen.
- In the stolen base department, the Oilmen have been much more active than they were last season. The team has three players with nine steals or more just 15 games into the season, while last year only two players finished the team’s 43-game slate with nine steals or more. Malik Peters’ 11 swiped bags are second only to DuPage County’s Scott Jones, who leads the MCL with 20 this season.
- Clay Thompson tripled in Friday’s win over Crestwood, joining Justin Conant as the only Oilmen players with triples this season. Thompson and Joe Rycerz are tied for the team lead in extra-base hits with six apiece. Rycerz leads in the RBI department with 11, while Conant’s .370 average, .478 OBP and 12 runs scored all pace the squad. Conant has reached safely in every game he’s played in an Oilmen uniform and he is one of four players who have seen action in all 15 games this year, joining Thompson, Brandon Petkoff and Jackson Dvorak.
- This marks the first doubleheader of the season for the Oilmen. The last time they played two was July 8 of last season, splitting a home doubleheader against the Bobcats. NWI was scheduled for a double dip on Sunday at Joliet, but inclement weather altered those plans.
- The Oilmen enter Friday’s game with a 216-132 (.621) record since the team was founded in 2012.
- The Oilmen enter 2019 seeking their eighth straight playoff appearance and eighth consecutive winning season. This is the eighth year of the franchise’s existence.
- The Oilmen are looking to make it back-to-back league championships after going 4-0 in the 2018 MCL Playoffs with series sweeps of Southland and DuPage County.
- The Oilmen recovered from a 4-8 start with three of those first four wins coming against the Crestwood Panthers to win the 2018 MCL Championship.
- The Oilmen have reached the MCL Championship Series four times – 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018, winning on three of those occasions – 2012, 2016 and 2018.
- The team won the league championship under manager Justin Huisman in its inaugural season in 2012, sweeping through the MCL Playoffs with series wins over DuPage County (semifinals) and the DeKalb County Liners (championship).
- The 2016 title involved sweeping the Joliet Admirals in the MCL Semifinal Series before winning a three-game set against DuPage County in the league championship.
- Alumni who have gone on to play professionally (Oilmen year/s, pro organization): Craig Dedelow (2014, White Sox), Matt Pobereyko (2013-2014, Mets), Zack Jones (2014-2017, Diamondbacks), Donivan Williams (2017, Cardinals), Marshawn Taylor (2016, Diamondbacks), Alec Olund (2015 & 2017, Frontier League), James Meeker (2014, Frontier League), Enrique Zamora (2015, Frontier League), Andrew Lowe (2014, Frontier League), Bill Miller (2012, Frontier League & Can-Am League), Kevin Franchetti (2012, Frontier League), Andy Wellwerts (2012, Frontier League), Danny Britt (2012, Frontier League).
- 2019 Award Winners: Jake Perreira MCL Championship Series MVP; Nate Montgomery MCL MVP; MCL All-League Team – Nate Montgomery, Zaid Walker, Nick Figus, Christian Howell; MCL All-Stars – Nick Figus, Brandon Petkoff, Nate Montgomery, Brendan Kelly, Alex Voss, Pedro Rodriguez, Zaid Walker, Jake Plastiak, Chad Patrick, Christian Howell.
- Kevin Tyrrell is in his first season as Oilmen manager. He succeeds Adam Enright, who was at the helm for four seasons from 2015-2018. Tyrrell, the third manager in Oilmen history, spent seven seasons as the head coach at the College of DuPage before joining the University of Chicago staff in 2019.
- Tyrrell managed the Midwest Collegiate League’s Rockford Foresters for one season in 2013 as the team played its entire schedule on the road.
- In each of Tyrrell’s last four seasons as the head coach at College of DuPage, the Chaparrals received votes in the NJCAA Division III Top 10, reaching as high as fourth nationally during the team’s 40-win season in 2016. He won 188 games as the head coach at the College of DuPage while instructing seven NJCAA All-Americans. His teams hit .300 or better in all seven seasons including a .348 team average in 2013. During his stint in DuPage, Tyrrell led a turnaround for a team that had won seven total games in 2011.
- Before taking over at DuPage, Tyrrell managed the Upper Deck Cougars travel baseball team, which reached the 2008 15U national championship game in Puerto Rico. A year later, the team won the 16U national title. His squad produced seven players who went on to get drafted and four who went on to play in the big leagues.
- Tyrrell played high school baseball at Montini Catholic in Illinois before serving as a three-year captain and four-year letter winner at Lewis University from 2003-2007. He graduated in 2007 with a double major in business administration and management information systems.
- Tyrrell’s staff includes pitching coach Kyle Klosak, a 2013 MCL All-Star with the Rockford Foresters and the pitching coach at the College of DuPage. Klosak played for Tyrrell during the 2013 MCL season. He pitched collegiately at Oakton Community College and Lewis University, where he graduated with a degree in sport management in 2015. He is currently the pitching coach at the College of DuPage.
- Director of Player Personnel and Development Scott Trcka doubles as a bench coach on Tyrrell’s staff. He has 27 seasons as a Major League Baseball scout under his belt with the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and San Diego Padres.
- Trcka’s track record of success is highlighted by the signing of Scott Rolen, a seven-time major league All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Rolen was selected in the second round of the 1993 draft. Trcka also signed the following Major League players as an area supervisor: Steve Parris (1989, fifth), Gary Bennett (1990, 11th), Mike Grace (1991, 10th), Tony Fiore (1992, 28th), David Doster (1993, 27th), Kevin Sefcik (1993, 33rd), Jason Boyd (1994, eighth) and Kevin Plawecki (2012, first, 35th overall selection).
- Trcka’s impressive resume also includes recommending the following major league players as a crosschecker: Pat Burrell, Jason Michaels, Jorge Padilla, Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd, Gavin Floyd, Khalil Greene, Tim Stauffer, Colt Morton, Dirk Hayhurst and Aaron Nola.
- During Trcka’s youth, his late father Dick inspired him to pursue a career in baseball. Dick was a legendary coach at Calumet High School in Hammond.