03/08/2015 3:15 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – March 8, 2015 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have announced the addition of Evansville right-handed pitcher Brian Jestice for the 2015 season.
The William Fremd High School graduate will become the first Evansville Ace to play with the Oilmen.
“My coaches asked if I wanted to play, and I love the opportunity to play since it’s close to home and they’ve had some pretty good teams,” Jestice said. “I want to be part of that atmosphere.”
Jestice helped the Fremd Vikings to a conference title and IHSA Regional Championship in 2012. He made a late rise to Division I status, lettering as a junior and senior in high school.
While being a part of his school’s first regional title was something he won’t soon forget, the early portion of Jestice’s college career has also provided him with a lifelong memory. The Aces traveled to Vanderbilt on Feb. 26 of last season and pulled out an 8-3 win.
Jestice was summoned from the bullpen for his collegiate debut in the fifth inning of the game against the Commodores. After yielding a leadoff double, he worked out of the jam, including timely strikeout of leadoff man Dansby Swanson.
“There’s a big stadium there and a lot of people were watching,” he said. “It’s a good team. I got ahead early with a couple curveballs, and then I got him looking at a fastball on the outside corner.”
Jestice’s 2015 season is off to a strong start, as he has not allowed a run in four innings of work while striking out five and walking just one. In the early stages of his Evansville career, he has pitched scoreless baseball in six of his eight relief appearances.
The newest Oilman is no stranger to collegiate summer ball, having played for the Hamilton Joes in the Great Lakes League last summer.
“The summer is a really good chance for overall improvement,” Jestice said. “I keep grinding and work on physical fitness, which is a big part of it. You get work in and get innings in, but I definitely still want to be a part of a winning team, because I think that’s important.”
Jestice’s repertoire features a four-seam fastball, changeup and 12-6 curveball. He has started working on a fourth pitch that is a combination between a slider and cutter.
During what he described as some of his weaker points, Jestice worked on improving his mental toughness. Now, he’s proud to list mental toughness as a strength and has moved on to improving other aspects of his game.
“Something I want to work on is overall consistency on the mound from pitch-to-pitch,” he said. “I want to stay even-keeled and just do everything together physically. I’m working on the minor details and getting everything locked in.”