04/21/2020 1:01 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – April 21, 2020 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen announced six additions to the 2020 roster on Tuesday, headlined by the return of right-handed pitcher Jack Guzek (University of Iowa / Manhattan, Ill.), who was dominant during his 2019 stint with the team.
Infielder Andre Demetral (Florence Darlington / Rochester, Mich.), infielder Conner Tomasic (Purdue / Schererville, Ind.), infielder Tyler Nelson (Indiana University / Crown Point, Ind.), right-handed pitcher Joe Rotkis (Morehead State / Granger, Ind.) and right-handed pitcher Costa Sirounis (Indiana University / Munster, Ind.) join Guzek to comprise a loaded batch of Oilmen signees.
Guzek won the Midwest Collegiate League Pitcher of the Week award twice over the first three weeks of the 2019 MCL season before being shut down for the summer by his collegiate coaches in order to report to school early and begin preparation for his first season with the Hawkeyes. Guzek started three games and totaled 17 innings with the Oilmen, pitching at least into the sixth on each occasion. He racked up 26 strikeouts against six walks while yielding 15 hits and posting a 3.18 ERA.
Guzek played his high school ball at Brother Rice in Chicago before joining the Indiana State baseball team as a freshman in 2018. He sat out that year while recovering from an injury, then transferred to Gulf Coast State College for 2019. Guzek appeared in three games this season at Iowa and did not yield an earned run while striking out five and permitting two hits over 3 1/3 innings before the season was shortened due to COVID-19. He is rated as the 30th-best MLB Prospect in the Big Ten by D1Baseball.com.
After finishing his prep career at Stoney Creek High School in Michigan in 2019, Demetral started his collegiate career in the junior college ranks at Florence-Darlington Technical College as a middle infielder.
Demetral’s father Chris played professionally for 11 seasons including seven at Triple-A in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers organizations. He was drafted out of Western Michigan by the Dodgers in the 31st round of the 1991 MLB Draft and played for the Greek national team including in the 2004 Olympics. He was teammates with Eric Pappas, the father of 2020 NWI Oilman Luke Pappas, on the Greek National Team. Chris Demetral’s uncle is Jim Essian, who played 12 seasons in the big leagues and managed the Chicago Cubs in 1991.
Tomasic played in 23 games and made 14 relief appearances during his freshman season at Purdue in 2019. He also saw action in nine games at third base. During the abridged 2020 campaign, he tossed 5 2/3 innings over five outings. During his prep days, Tomasic was a three-year varsity letterwinner for coach Mike Swartzentruber at Lake Central while also winning three varsity letters in basketball. He helped the Indians to sectional titles in both baseball and basketball during his senior season. Tomasic’s father Jerry played basketball at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. Tomasic was a 2018 Perfect Game All-American and a member of the 2017-18 USA Today All-USA Indiana Baseball Team.
Nelson, a senior at Andrean High School poised to begin his freshman year at Indiana University in the fall, joins the Oilmen as a middle infielder for the 2020 season. The Oilmen will have two players with the same first and last name this season as the team previously announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Tyler J. Nelson, a Chesterton High School senior set to continue his career at Indiana State. Tyler D. Nelson (Indiana University) was the starting shortstop on the Andrean 3A state championship teams each of the last two seasons. Tyler D. committed to the Hoosiers going into his junior year after receiving an early offer.
Rotkis appeared in four games, all in relief, and struck out two over 2 1/3 innings during the shortened 2020 season, his freshman campaign. Before joining the Eagles, he attended St. Joseph’s High School in Granger, Ind. A first team All-Northern Indiana Conference selection as a utility player, Rotkis played corner infield in addition to his pitching prowess. His team reached the championship game of the Griffith Regional in 2019, falling 8-3 to eventual state champion Andrean.
Currently a Munster senior, Sirounis has signed to continue his collegiate career at Indiana University next season. A 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher who has played travel ball for the Morris Chiefs, Sirounis has touched the mid-90s with his fastball and is projected to have a high ceiling as he transitions to the college game.