07/05/2013 2:02 PM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have been near the top of the Midwest Collegiate League standings for almost the entire 2013 season. And their efforts have been rewarded, with ten players being named to the 2013 MCL All-Star Game at Oil City Stadium.
Five Oilmen pitchers have been selected to play in the game, and leading the charge is Lake Central High School product Jimmy McNamara. The southpaw has been almost unhittable this summer for the Oilmen, owning an 0.39 ERA in four appearances with three starts. McNamara, who completed his freshman season at Central Michigan this past spring, has also compiled a 3-0 record and less combined hits (15) and walks (4) than strikeouts (20) in his 22 2/3 innings. He is second in the MCL in ERA and tied for first in wins entering play on Friday, while also ranking fifth in innings pitched and sixth in strikeouts.
Michael Steensen will also represent the NWI starting rotation in the All-Star game. The Akron right-hander leads the MCL in starts (5) and innings pitched (31 2/3), while posting a 2-0 record and a 1.42 ERA entering play on Friday. He has walked only seven while striking out 22 batters, and also has one complete game, shutting out the Chicago Zephyrs on June 14th at Oil City Stadium. He walked none and fanned seven while giving up just five hits in that contest, his best outing of the season. Overall, he is fifth in the MCL in strikeouts.
The Oilmen bullpen is also well-represented. Hammond native and Chicago State product Aveeno Nasiloski has had a great season, going 1-0 with one save and a 0.82 ERA in nine appearances, tying him with four others for the league lead. In 11 innings, he has given up only one run. Munster natives and Bishop Noll High School alums Matt and Danny Pobereyko also get All-Star nods this summer. Younger brother Danny has made six appearances and has pitched well with a 1.74 ERA. His latest appearance was a five-inning start against the U.S. Military All-Stars in which he gave up only one run on five hits. Elder brother Matt has been tremendous as well over his nine appearances, amassing a 2-0 record and a 0.93 ERA with a team-leading two saves. He is also averaging more than one strikeout per inning, whiffing 10 in nine and 2/3 innings entering play on Friday.
The Oilmen have been at the top of nearly every offensive category this season as well, and five players who have been big parts of that offense will represent the team in the All-Star Game.
Outfielder Jack Czeszewski enters play on Friday hitting .329 in 79 at-bats with 13 RBI. He is one of the most prolific players in the league in terms of getting on base, leading the MCL in walks (18) while also placing second in hits and runs scored. The Illinois State product also has nine stolen bases in 11 attempts, and has been flawless on defense as one of only two Oilmen to start a game in the field and not commit a single error.
Lafayette, Indiana native Nick Bartolone has also been named an NWI outfield All-Star following a remarkable stretch of hitting in which he has driven in runs by the boatload. Despite having played in only 11 games this summer entering play on Friday, the sweet-swinging Bartolone, who just completed his freshman season at Butler, leads the MCL with 25 RBI. He also ranks fifth in hits, and has had multiple hits in eight games already, with multiple RBI in seven games as well. Hitting a remarkable .489, his last four games played have been something to behold, with multiple hits and RBI in each game, including a 5-for-7 game against DuPage County with a triple, a home run and seven runs driven in.
On the infield, consistency is the name of the game for the two NWI infielders that have been named All-Stars. Western Kentucky product Leiff Clarkson is batting .310 entering Friday's games in a team-leading 87 at-bats with 14 RBI. He is also leading the MCL in both runs and hits, while hitting safely in 17 of 20 games played this season and amassing eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. Ohio native Gerrad Rohan has also been a stalwart in the NWI lineup at third base, and he has responded with a solid .313 batting average in 80 at-bats, second only to Clarkson in that category. Like Clarkson, he is also near the top of the MCL in both hits (3rd) and runs scored (tied for 4th) coming into Friday's action.
Ty Hogan has also parlayed a strong first half of the season into an All-Star appearance. A teammate of Clarkson’s at WKU, the Oilmen backstop is hitting .304 entering play on Friday, with 14 runs scored, ranking among the top players on the team. The sneaky-fast Hogan has also swiped four bases in four attempts, and had a seven-game hitting streak earlier this season.
In addition to the 10 Oilmen All-Stars, the South squad will include eight players from the Southland Vikings- outfielders Sean Beesley and Corey Ray, infielders Jeff Boehm and John Livingston, and pitchers Anthony Andres, Alex Lesiak, Aaron Hauge and Chris Chigas. The team will also feature eight players from the Lexington Snipes- catcher Cale Robinson, infielders Jared Hendren and Ryan Montcalm, pitchers Tyler Sabol, J.D. Learnard and Jake Sale, and pitcher/infielder Jacob Hendren. The South squad will also be managed by NWI head coach Justin Huisman.
The North All-Stars will consist of players from the Rockford Foresters, Chicago Zephyrs and DuPage County Hounds. The Foresters will send infielder Harry Vickers as well as pitchers Pat Cashman, Kyle Klosak and Blake Fiedelman.
Chicago will be represented by outfielder Bobby Smith, infielders Geno Cabral and Jake Jouris, catchers Anthony Athens and Josh Camalick, and hurlers Chris Anderson, Josh DeGraaf, Alex Brown, Alan Frank and Andrew Lowe.
The Hounds will send outfielders Joey White and Tim Delany, infielders Brian Rodemoyer, Mitch Gasbarro, Alex Hegge, catcher Paul DeJong, designated hitter Matt Richer, and pitchers Josh Howard, Brett Maus, Ryan Hinchley, Patrick Bellinger and Brian Glynn. Hounds manager Sean Osborne will coach the North as well.
The All-Star game will be played at Oil City Stadium this Tuesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast by NWI Oilmen broadcast team Jason Guerette and Jonas Nordman on nwioilmen.com and AM 1230 WJOB. To listen on the internet, click the "Listen Live" tab at the top of the nwioilmen.com home page.