02/04/2014 3:30 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – February 5, 2013 – Since the Oilmen were founded in 2012, people around the city of Whiting have asked Andrew Lowe if he is playing for the team. Finally, Lowe can answer with the affirmative.
The 2010 Whiting High School graduate will become the second hometown player to put on an Oilmen uniform after Lowe’s high school teammate Elliot Bajda did so during the team’s inaugural season.
Lowe, a right-handed pitcher, will finally call Oil City Stadium home after narrowly missing the chance to play his high school games at the facility. His last year with the Oilers was their final season at Lakefront Park before the opening of Oil City Stadium the following year.
Last summer, he played at Oil City Stadium as a visiting player with the Chicago Zephyrs of the Midwest Collegiate League.
“It was different just sitting in the visitors’ dugout while everybody comes and cheers for the Oilmen. When I came into the game and heard the crowd cheer for me, I just kind of laughed,” Lowe said. “My great grandma was listening to the game on WJOB and they even mentioned that the crowd applauded once I got into the game, so that was pretty cool.”
After helping Whiting to three straight sectional titles in high school, Lowe’s college career has been a series of trials and tribulations. As a sophomore at UW-Whitewater, he underwent total reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament, better known as Tommy John surgery. Prior to last season, he sliced two tendons in his fingers and needed surgery to reattach them, costing him another year.
Lowe nearly transferred to Purdue Calumet for this season, but an issue with transferring his credits caused him to stay at UW-Whitewater.
“This past year has been quite an adventure,” Lowe said. “Going back and forth and not knowing where I was going to be, if I was going to play again, was definitely a handful. It just got to be too much of a hassle. I’m big into my faith, so God has a plan for all of it.”
When Lowe returned to campus last fall after pitching in the MCL over the summer, he had made significant improvement.
“This past year has been a major overhaul and adjustment,” UW-Whitewater coach John Vodenlich said. “The biggest adjustment I’ve seen is his ability to come in with a fastball with velocity. That’s his primary pitch.”
Lowe will have the opportunity to establish himself as a “go-to guy” for the Warhawks this spring. Vodenlich expects him to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
“I think this could be the start of a really special story,” Vodenlich said. “He struggled to establish himself his first year and then as he started to improve, he was set back with an injury. He’s come back and given himself another opportunity this year. I’d stay tuned; I think this could be really special.”