07/10/2014 11:12 AM -
For most players on the Oilmen roster this season, Oil City Stadium is just a short drive from their homes located in Northwest Indiana or Illinois. For Texas native Cameron Linck, a summer in Whiting has been a whole new ballgame.
Linck grew up near Houston and plays his college ball at Hill College in Hillsboro. He had never lived outside of the Lone Star State until this summer.
“It’s a lot different for me,” Linck said. “I grew up around the same group of people and I’d never really played with anyone except those buddies. It was strange for me getting to know a new team and playing with those guys in college, and then coming here and getting to know the whole atmosphere and how the north plays baseball.”
In addition to gaining familiarity with life in the north, Linck has also found instant success on the field. He leads the Midwest Collegiate League in wins with four and ranks third in the league in strikeouts with 34. He has the best earned run average among Oilmen starting pitchers at 1.75.
Linck’s stellar numbers have earned him a spot in the 2014 Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game.
“It is a cool opportunity for me because I know the league is full of good competition,” Linck said. “To be chosen for that was pretty big. To be able to play on the same team as one of my buddies, Brandon White, will be pretty need, so I’m looking forward to that.”
White and Linck – both members of the Hill College pitching staff – are two of the top tier pitchers in the MCL this season. White, a Chicago native, is the ace of the Southland Vikings pitching staff.
The All-Star Game will also provide Linck with the chance to share the dugout with other players from the Vikings and Lexington Snipes.
“Pitching against those guys, you’re always trying to see how they take things and how they play the game,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from the Southland team because we’ve played them so many times. Seeing how well they hit makes it pretty exciting that we’re going to have those guys on the team.”
Linck has spent the first half of the summer soaking up everything he can learn from Oilmen manager and former big league pitcher Justin Huisman.
“He’s a great guy and a great coach,” Linck said. “I asked him a couple questions about his transition from college to pro ball. Getting to talk with him on my off days about pitching and about the way he runs his program at Trinity Christian is pretty neat. I like learning from different people, so he’s a good coach to play for.”