07/10/2014 11:06 AM -
In his second year with the Oilmen, Central Michigan left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara is setting himself up for another impressive season in the Midwest Collegiate League. After a loss in Game 2 of the MCL Championship Series against the Southland Vikings last season, McNamara is very motivated as this 2014 season continues. While summer ball is mainly used for tweaks and extra playing time, McNamara still maintains his competitive edge as winning is his first priority.
“For me it's all about winning,” McNamara said. “I couldn’t care less if I could tweak some stuff, I’d rather win.”
McNamara has posted a 3-1 record so far this season, and has a 3.21 ERA with 28 strikeouts. However, while winning is the priority for McNamara, one thing he wants to work on is limiting his walks. So far this season, he has only allowed two walks in 28 innings.
“In the spring, I got into a spell of walking guys, and it has never been a problem for me,” McNamara said. “So [I] wanted to make sure I was going to get ahead of guys and be aggressive all the way through an at-bat and have done a good job of that.”
For the second straight year, McNamara has been named to the MCL South All-Star team along with seven other Oilmen, who will square off against the North All-Star team on July 9 at Oil City Stadium.
“It’s a nice honor,” McNamara said. “And to share with other guys on the team, it’s nice to share it with them.”
While joining a summer league team can be a big adjustment with many new players, and a big slate of games approaching to start the season, McNamara says that the transition has been easy. Many of the players are from the Northwest Indiana area, and have been high school rivals or teammates for years. An added perk for McNamara is that Central Michigan catcher and battery mate Alec Ornelas joined the team this year.
“He knows what my strengths are and how I like to go about hitters and how I like to throw to hitters.” McNamara said. “It’s really nice to be able to mesh with your catcher and have that chemistry.”
As McNamara is in his second year with the Oilmen, one of the main reasons he returned was to play once again for manager Justin Huisman. Huisman fulfilled every baseball players dream, as he pitched in the Major Leagues for the Kansas Royals in 2004. That experience is very apparent in his coaching approach and development of players, according to McNamara.
“A guy like that can see anything and he has helped me with little tweaks,” McNamara said. “ If you have a good coach like that, that can help you take stuff you have learned from the summer and bring it back to the fall and then discuss that back with your coaches there, it makes you that much better of a player.”
As the season continues here for McNamara, he is excited to continue to represent his home of Northwest Indiana as the Oilmen make their final playoff push during the ever-important month of July.