02/19/2015 9:05 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – Feb. 19, 2015 – For the first time in franchise history, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will have UT Martin represented on their roster in 2015.
The Division-I Ohio Valley Conference program will send sophomore infielder Andrew Massey to Northwest Indiana.
The St. Rita High School graduate spent last summer in the Chicago Metro League, and is ready for the step up in competition as he enters the Midwest Collegiate League.
“Looking at the roster here, I see guys from better universities and playing better ball than where I was last year,” Massey said. “I need the better league to be challenged more and improve my game more.”
Massey is coming off a solid fall ball season, hitting .320 and playing errorless baseball in 20 indoor games. The performance bodes well as a first impression for the new UT Martin coaching staff, led by Rick Robinson.
Former coach Bubba Cates recruited Massey to play for the Skyhawks, but was fired two weeks before the start of Massey’s freshman year in August 2013. Assistant coach Brad Goss stepped in as interim head coach during the 2014 season, but the school brought in a new coaching staff for 2015.
“I’m in one of those situations where I’ve got to go in there and prove myself,” Massey said. “It could go either way, good or bad. So far, it’s going well for me. I really like the new coaching staff.”
The highlight of Massey’s prep career came during his junior season, when he launched a two-run homer to lead St. Rita past Mount Carmel in the Steven M. Bajenski tournament at Standard Bank Stadium, the home of the Windy City Thunderbolts.
Massey’s former high school teammate, Nico Zych, is currently a senior at UT Martin and was one reason the school landed on Massey’s radar. Massey appeared in 17 games and made 14 starts at second base as a freshman, compiling a .340 on-base percentage and posting a 1.000 fielding percentage.
As the spring season cranks up, Massey is focused on getting bigger, faster and stronger.
“Being physically at your peak is a big part of the game at this level,” Massey said. “You could take a billion swings, but you’ve got to get in the weight room to get stronger and faster. It’s always a constant; you’re never satisfied.”