07/07/2019 10:05 AM
Joliet Generals (9-8)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (11-11)
July 7, 2019 • 4:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
It’s an important game in the Midwest Collegiate League standings as the Northwest Indiana Oilmen attempt to chase down the Joliet Generals, who enter the day narrowly ahead of the Oilmen in a battle for a playoff spot. There’s still a month to go, but at this stage every game is critical in a tight MCL postseason race. It’s also Bark in the Park Day at Oil City Stadium.
- LHP Jordan Petty will make his second start of the season for the Oilmen on Sunday afternoon. In his season debut, he went 4 2/3 innings and took a tough-luck defeat while allowing one run (unearned) on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in an eventual 3-0 loss to Southland on June 29. The Highland graduate, who will play for former Oilmen manager Justin Huisman at Trinity Christian College starting this year, is back with the Oilmen for the first time since 2016, when he was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the MCL Championship Series against DuPage County.
- The Generals are on a roll, carrying a four-game winning streak with them into Sunday’s action. They have a pair of victory over Crestwood plus one-run road wins at DuPage County (8-7) and Bloomington (15-14).
- The Oilmen and Generals should be playing for the sixth time this season, but they’ve had four games wiped out by rain in Joliet and the only game they have actually played was shortened to five innings due to fog, a 6-3 Oilmen win on June 16 in Whiting. The Oilmen own a 6-4 lead in an all-time series that began last season.
- Joliet will start Danny Wizceb on Sunday. The righty owns a 6.86 ERA and has walked seven while striking out 19 in 19 2/3 innings of work. He has a 1-1 record over four starts this season and this will be his first outing against the Oilmen.
- The Oilmen are coming off a 14-6 victory over Southland on Saturday night, the third time this season they’ve scored 14 or more runs in game. The team scored nine times in the fourth inning, its biggest frame of the season. The Oilmen had 14 hits in Saturday’s win, matching a season high set on June 28 vs. Crestwood.
- This season, the Oilmen have had 11 games take place as scheduled and go the full length without weather issues, two played through rain but go the full length, seven shortened (three due to rain, two fog, and two miscellaneous), three games started but rained out before the fifth inning including two that were scheduled to be Game 1 of a doubleheader and two other games wiped out before they ever began (plus the two that were Game 2 of those scheduled doubleheaders).
- The Oilmen had seven players selected for the 2019 MCL All-Star Game as the rosters were announced on Friday. The game will take place on Saturday, July 13 at 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium. Clay Thompson, Malik Peters, Ben Berenda, Joe Rycerz, Justin Conant, Mike Madura and Nate DeLoian have all earned All-Star status.
- The Oilmen have hung around the .500 line for most of the year. The team hasn’t been better than two games over but hasn’t been worse than two games under. The last time they were more than one game away from the .500 mark was when they fell to 3-5 on June 11 and the last time they were more than a game over was at 3-1 after picking up a third straight win on June 4.
- The Oilmen enter Sunday’s game with a 219-135 (.619) 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.