01/07/2015 1:54 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Jan. 7, 2015 – Since the inaugural season of Oilmen baseball, the team has become a summer home for some of Northwest Indiana’s premier baseball talent.
Add Lake Central product and Purdue freshman Alec Olund to the list of local stars to play for the Oilmen. After his freshman year with the Boilermakers, Olund will make his way back to Whiting to become the sixth Purdue player and fifth Lake Central graduate to play for the Oilmen.
Olund, an outfielder, batted .362, launched four home runs and totaled 36 runs batted in as a senior at Lake Central. The Indians won sectional titles in each of his four high school seasons. He shared the field with former Oilmen Jimmy McNamara, Aaron Glatt and Ryan Burvan for Lake Central’s 2012 state championship.
“I’ve played in a lot of big games, but there’s no feeling like winning a state championship,” Olund said. “There’s nothing else like it. It’s something that you will never understand that feeling unless you actually do it.”
Olund’s attitude toward the game of baseball fits right in with the blue-collar mentality that pervades the city of Whiting, and Northwest Indiana as a whole. It’s that attitude that has defined Oilmen baseball since the team’s inception four years ago.
“I am a firm believer that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard,” Olund said. “If you look at our (Lake Central state championship) team, not many of us went on to play college baseball. That’s a testament to how hard we worked. We ended up finding a way to be great. That’s probably the best high school memory I have and the best memory of my life.”
In the world of Northwest Indiana high school baseball, there is perhaps no rivalry more intense than Munster and Lake Central. Those boundaries are torn away during the college summer season, when alumni from both schools often share the Oil City Stadium diamond.
That will be the case this summer, as Olund and former Mustang Joe Jumonville unite. The two have played against one another since the early days of their youth.
“Even if we were rivals on he field in high school, off the field there is nothing between us,” Olund said. “That’s just on the field. Being on the field together is going to be something totally different.
Although his collegiate career is still in its early stages, Olund is perfectly satisfied with his decision to play for Purdue. He had his fair share of options, as approximately 40 schools recruited him and 13-14 made offers.
“The recruiting process was awesome, in my opinion,” Olund said. “It’s very stressful at times, having to receive phone calls from numerous coaches, or going on visits. It’s a lot of hours spent on the phone or driving. It was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”