05/15/2015 10:54 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 15, 2015 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have continued to stockpile local talent, as Lake Central graduate Christian Sullivan joins the team’s pitching staff.
The 6-foot-2 right-handed hurler plays at Franklin College, a member of the Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. He finished the season with a 4-4 record and 4.82 ERA in 61 2/3 innings.
“Christian had a terrific freshman year,” Franklin College coach Lance Marshall said. “He carries himself like a veteran. He has great composure and did a good job attacking the zone with a lot of strikes.”
One highlight of Sullivan’s season came on April 18 when he tossed a one-hit complete game to lead the Grizzlies over Transylvania 4-2. He sent down the final 11 batters of the game in consecutive fashion.
Sullivan describes himself a fast-paced worker who doesn’t waste much time on the mound. His slider is his go-to pitch, while his repertoire also includes a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, split-changeup and 12-6 curveball.
“My goal this summer is to grow mentally as a pitcher,” he said. “I want to be able to rotate my pitches and command my fastball. I’d like to start throwing my off-speed pitches in any counts.”
Sullivan’s time to impress college scouts was limited as the early stages of his high school career were overshadowed by the likes of Jimmy McNamara and Taylor Lehnert. After struggling during his junior season, Sullivan came back stronger and slimmed down for his senior year.
Sullivan becomes the sixth Lake Central graduate to play for the Oilmen, joining a group that already includes McNamara, Cody Dykema, Ryan Burvan, Aaron Glatt and 2015 Oilman Alec Olund.
Like the Oilmen, Franklin College jumped at the chance to bring in someone from a program of Lake Central’s caliber.
“We’d seen him at showcases and talked to coach (Jeff) Sandor about him,” Marshall said. “Lake Central is obviously a tremendous program, so anytime we can get a player from Lake Central, we’re happy. Coach does a great job there. We had (Sullivan) visit and everything kind of clicked.”
In addition to a reunion with his Lake Central teammate Olund, the summer will allow Sullivan to join forces with his second cousin Anthony Gomez, a Munster graduate. Gomez and Sullivan will play together for the first time in their baseball careers.
“I known he’ll work hard,” Marshall said. “He’ll gain more experience against quality opposition. Hopefully he uses summer to continue to work on parts of his game that need improvement.”