02/08/2015 3:06 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Feb. 9, 2015 – It may have been a game that Northwest Indiana baseball fans would like to forget, but Eastern Illinois freshman Josh Turnock’s recollection of the Mishawaka Marian’s 2011 regional upset of Andrean brings the opposite perspective.
Turnock, who will return to Northwest Indiana as a member of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen this summer, was a freshman on the 2011 Mishawaka Marian team. He started at catcher as the Knights pulled off the 5-2 upset of the 59ers on June 4, 2011.
“I was in the right place at the right time and I got to start at catcher on varsity as a freshman for a really good team,” Turnock said. “When we played Andrean, they were the studs, and they were supposed to win it that year. We went in there and beat them pretty good.”
The season concluded with Mishawaka Marian appearing in the state finals and finishing as the Class 3A state runner-up. Prior to that season, Andrean had won four consecutive regional titles.
Turnock finished his prep career with a .382 batting average and earned all-conference honors as a junior and senior.
Turnock played for his did – Mishawaka Marian coach Joe Turnock – in high school, and reaped the benefits of growing up in the same household as a baseball coach.
“Since his dad was a coach, he’s got a good sense of what it takes being in the batter’s box, if he should turn on the ball or go the other way,” Eastern Illinois coach Jim Schmitz said. “Offensively, he was a little bit ahead of people. He has a good feel for not striking out. You can see his readiness to play at the collegiate level because of what a good job his dad did.”
However, that does not mean that there weren’t drawbacks associated with having a coach for a dad.
“Sometimes it’s tough when the game gets hard and things get stressful and you’re living with the head coach,” Turnock said. “I don’t think I’d be where I am without him and without him being a coach. I learned the game from a different perspective than most kids, and it’s benefited me in the long run.”
Turnock’s Eastern Illinois teammate and roommate Luke Dietz, a right-handed pitcher, will join him on the Oilmen roster. He’s looking forward to the chance to catch his close friend over the summer.
“At the last second we all had roommate changes, and it ended up working out pretty well because we have the same personality with a lot of things,” Turnock said. “When we found out we were playing together over the summer, we knew it would be fun.”