The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Getting to Know the 2014 Oilmen Postseason Roster

07/27/2014 11:50 PM -

With the 2014 Midwest Collegiate League Postseason set to begin on Tuesday night, Oilmen fans have cheered on a group of 26 players over the course of a long summer, helping will the team to its third straight MCL playoff appearance. However, there might still be a little something that Oilmen fans do not know about their favorite players. For that we turn to those who know them best for an inside look at the 2014 Northwest Indiana Oilmen.

The Starting Pitchers

#25 Jimmy McNamara – Central Michigan University
“His biggest strength is his competitiveness. I’ve never coached a kid that refused to lose as much as Jim. Their coaches at Central are saying the same thing. He has ability to go along with that competitiveness. In 75 innings, I believe he walked 10 or 11. If you tell me you’ve ever heard of a high school kid doing that before, I’d probably tell you you’re crazy.” –Lake Central High School coach Jeff Sandor

#43 Cameron Linck – Hill College
“When he came in as a freshman, I kind of thought he’d be a middle guy or maybe a setup guy, but his work ethic has just been off the charts. He’s got a really athletic arm. He’s got a short stroke. For me, those kinds of guys are really successful in our program. He reminds me of a guy we had last year that was drafted by the Tigers. He has the same build, the same arm stroke, the same mentality.” – Hill College coach Chris Rateike

#28 Keith Mahler – Heartland Community College
“Keith is a big, tall right-handed pitcher who certainly looks the part. He has had some interest from scouts who like his size and frame as well as what he features on the mound. Keith has really turned things around personally and academically and frankly has become a draft prospect now.” –Heartland Community College coach Nate Metzger

#26 Danny Pobereyko - Butler
“Danny’s one of three or four freshmen pitchers and he’s done a really good job. He’s done everything I’ve expect from him, and the light bulbs are going on as far as being a college guy right now and working on his breaking ball.” –Butler coach Steve Farley

#21 Nick Nauracy, Ohio University
“Nick’s got great stuff. When his mechanics are on and he’s confident out there, he’s as good as anybody we have. I’m fully confident that down the stretch, he’s going to do a good job for us.” –Oilmen manager Justin Huiman

The All-Local Bullpen

#42 Matt Pobereyko, Kentucky Wesleyan
“Matt’s a veteran now. He throws a splitter, changeup, slider and fastball that has a little bit of movement on it.  All of them are good pitches.  Our pitching coach works with him and they do a pretty good job of when to throw those and we let Matt call his own game. That’s a huge step.” –Kentucky Wesleyan coach Todd Lillpop

#36 Scott Jerge, Valparaiso
“You could see the athleticism he had.  He would run through a brick wall for you.  He was a great leader on the team, always had a smile on his face and just loved being out there.” –Munster coach Bob Shinkan

#30 Aaron Glatt, University of Dayton
“It was his best outing of the summer so far. His fastball was more crisp; he threw his breaking stuff for strikes more and he got ahead of hitters more often.” –Oilmen manager Justin Huisman after Glatt’s 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on July 18

#29 Anthony Gomez, Ball State
“He was a pleasant surprise in our walk-on tryouts.  I had no idea who was going to show up on that particular day, and I see this left-hander out in the outfield playing catch.  We’re getting ready to watch the guys who train out in the outfield, he’s out long tossing and I tell my pitching coach, ‘Take a look at that young man’s arm.’ That was the first I had ever seen him.” –Ball State coach Rich Maloney

#27 Andrew Lowe, University of Wisconsin Whitewater
“I think this could be the start of a really special story.  He’s struggled here both to establish himself his first year and then as he started to improve, was set back with an injury.  He’s come back and given himself another opportunity this year.  I’d stay tuned; I think it could be a very special story.” –UW Whitewater coach John Vodenlich

#10 Andrew Jackson, Wabash College
“I’m very blessed to have this opportunity with the Oilmen. I’m very blessed to be able to continue my dream of playing baseball. It’s my escape, it’s what gets me through the days some days when I’m having a terrible day; I can always look forward to playing catch or throwing a baseball. It’s my life.” –Jackson

#5 Kevin Jones, Northern Illinois University
“Kevin is small in stature but he’s got a big-time arm and a big-time breaking ball.  He’s the type of kid people might regret not taking later due to his size, but we think he’s the type of kid who’s going to come in, knock some guys off the dish early and compete.” –NIU coach Ed Mathey

The Catchers

#19 Zack Jones, Trinity Christian College
“It was a good one. I led the junior college nation in runners caught stealing. I hit .297, which wasn’t my best season, but it was still my freshman season and I got one season under my belt. I’m looking forward to next season.” –Jones on his freshman season at Harper

#23 Andrew Ray, Northern Illinois University
“We had this rivalry in Michigan City with us and the LaPorte Slicers.  Up until my junior year, they had probably swept us seven seasons in a row. My junior and senior year, with me as a captain, we were able to sweep two years in a row.  Both games I hit home runs against them back-to-back years. That was kind of the highlight of my time in high school.” –Ray

#33 Alec Ornelas, Central Michigan University
“He’s a great competitor.  He was actually on a team that was in the final eight. They were a few outs away from going to the state of Illinois final four.  He won some big games for us with his bat.  He won some big games for us on the mound.  He was a good defensive player.” –Lincoln Way East High School coach Paul Babcock

The Infield

#2 Ryan Burvan, Purdue University
“Ryan is the most selfless kid I’ve ever coached. He played senior year of basketball knowing he probably wasn’t going to get in many games – and he didn’t get in many games – but he stuck it out. That’s one thing that sticks out with Ryan more than any other kid I’ve had was how accepting he was to put everybody else before himself for the betterment of our team, our program and Lake Central.” –Lake Central High School coach Jeff Sandor

#3 Kevin DeFilippis, Nortre Dame
“Kevin was a leader, a hard-nosed kid.  You knew you were going to get his best every day.  I loved watching him play just because of how hard he played.  He played like a dirt bag.  He’d get dirty; he’d do all the little things you wanted him to do.  His baseball instincts were above what most high school seniors have.” –Providence Central Catholic High School coach Mark Smith

#13 Nick Vogelmeier, Western Michigan
“He’s got a lot of qualities that baseball teammates, fans and coaches will all love.  He comes to work every day.  He plays the game the right way.  He’s always dirty.  Nothing was really ever given to him.  Everything that has come to him in terms of a Division-I baseball player is because he just kept working and working and working.” – Lake Orion High School coach Andy Schramek

#14 James Meeker, Akron
“I love him defensively.  In the years that I’ve been coaching – I had a year at a Division-III program as an assistant and I’ve been at the high school level now for 17-18 years - he’s the best defensive third baseman I’ve ever had.  He makes everything look easy.  He’s just a natural fielder of the ball.” – North Allegheny High School coach Andy Maddix

#15 Anthony Colosimo, Purdue Calumet
“I remember every time we played at Oil City Stadium, the fans were unbelievable. That year the Oilmen probably had one of the best fan bases in the league. The fans come out to support the team and it was a really fun time.” –Colosimo on playing for the DeKalb County Liners in 2012

#22 Nate Schneider, Western Michigan
“I think with his size people are surprised at what a good athlete he is. He can play just about every position on a baseball field.  In high school, he was my best athlete and my best player.  Although other guys had better numbers, you can count on Nate every day to be there.” –former Portage Central High School baseball coach and Nate’s father Paul Schneider

#24 Brodie Meyer, Butler
“I would say the biggest thing that impressed me was just his will and desire to constantly improve.  At any point, he could have accepted that, ‘I’m good enough to play here at Chicago Christian.  I’m going to start, I’m going to play, I’m going to hit in a decent part of the lineup and that’s good enough,’ but he never settled for that.” –Chicago Christian High School coach Eric Brauer

The Outfield

#1 Craig Dedelow, Indiana University
“I call him the silent assassin.  He just goes about his business so quietly, and yet he earns the respect and admiration of his coaches and also his teammates.  There’s not a lot of fanfare with him, there’s just a lot of production.” –former Indiana University head coach Tracy Smith

#7 Larry Crisler, Indiana University
“He’s tremendously athletic; he’s got a great bat.  He’s got speed; he has a great baseball IQ.  There are not a whole lot of holes in his game.  He’s a tremendous high school baseball player, that’s all I can say.” –Bishop Noll coach Andrew Ramker

#9 Rob Blissitt, Cincinnati
“He’s so passionate about the game of baseball and about the opportunities that he’s been given.  He’s a ton of fun in the clubhouse with the team.  He’s a guy that can get along with everybody and kind of goof around – I can always picture him laughing out on the field – but still kind of going about his business in a serious manner.” –Thornwood High School coach Mark Triumph

#17 Jason Gasser, Northern Illinois
“With the tradition that Mount Carmel has of 100-plus years, the career that Jason ended up having in both sports (baseball and football), he’s got to be considered one of the better athletes, career-wise, to come out of there.” –Mount Carmel High School baseball coach Brian Hurry

The Staff

Justin Huisman, Manager
“I think these guys will (be motivated for the playoffs). Once you get through the regular season in the summer, whatever lulls that you have going on are kind of out the door once you have something really exciting to play for. There’s always a little bit more giddy-up in their step. It’s always exciting to have playoff baseball, no matter what league or what level you’re at.” –Huisman on the 2014 MCL Postseason

Adam Enright, Assistant Coach
“I love Adam. With Adam, he was on the teams that we had back in ’05 and ’06, one of my last final four teams. He’s another guy that just loves the game of baseball. He played college ball and he won the World Series with his college team, and he called me from the field.  I thought that was one of the greatest compliments of my career, for a player, in their time of glory, to remember me and to call me right after it happened.  I’ll never forget that.” –Munster High School coach Bob Shinkan