10/01/2013 5:08 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – October 1, 2013 – Central Michigan University left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara will be back in familiar territory next summer. McNamara will return for his second summer with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, making the Lake Central High School graduate the first member of the 2014 team to be announced.
“I really enjoyed it last year,” McNamara said. Playing at home is important to me; I like playing at home in the summer. You’re playing four hours away from home for nine months out of the year. You get to play in a good league and you get to play baseball with guys you’ve played with and against for a long time.”
McNamara posted a 1.18 earned run average in eight games in 2013, his first year with the team. He led the Oilmen starters in ERA in addition to holding a 4-0 record. He is entering his sophomore season at Central Michigan after leading Lake Central to an Indiana High School Athletic Association State Championship his senior year.
Over the course of his first season with the Oilmen, McNamara established friendships with many of his teammates. He has remained in contact with several other 2013 Oilmen, including Jack Czeszewski (Illinois State University), Tyler Baar (University of Toledo), Scott Jerge (Valparaiso University) and Rashawn Tillman (University of Arkansas Pine Bluff).
“We had a lot of guys that were just done with our freshman year, so it was unlike anything that most of us have done before,” McNamara said. “It was an awesome experience.”
As a freshman at Central Michigan, McNamara appeared in 18 games and made five starts, working 53 innings and striking out 36. He finished the season with a 3.67 ERA. According to McNamara, his summer success has benefited him so far this fall.
“I’m really happy that it’s carried over from the summer,” he said. “I was really hoping that’s what would happen, and that’s what is going on right now.”
According to Central Michigan head coach Steve Jaksa, McNamara is a strike thrower who has the ability to throw two pitches for strikes. He is currently working on developing a third pitch.
Jaksa believes that collegiate summer ball makes a huge impact on a player’s development.
“What you need to do is recognize what you need to improve upon,” he said. “Everybody wants to get bigger and stronger, but it’s understanding that it takes a constant work ethic to do that. It’s that ability to get up in the morning, go work out and make sure that you’re ready for the game that evening.”
Jaksa has established a good relationship with the Oilmen and the Midwest Collegiate League.
“There are fits for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “It’s got to be mutual. You want your player to get enough playing time so that he can work on the things that he needs to. We see that as being a relationship and a partnership between our institution and the league.”