05/19/2015 2:01 PM -
The competition of college baseball is immense and some players that will play with the Oilmen this season are battling in their own conference tournaments.
Trinity Christian College, home to Oilmen catcher Zack Jones (Park Forest, Ill./ Trinity Christian College), is one of 10 teams competing in the 2015 NCCAA Baseball World Series held at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio. The Trolls will be the seventh seed in the tournament.
Jones is a big reason behind the success for the Trolls. The catcher is second on the team in batting average with .353. He also has hit 13 doubles and recorded 31 RBIs this season.
Another NAIA school with an Oilman had success in their conference tournament. Matt Dvorscak (Whiting, Ind./ Shawnee State University) and the Shawnee State baseball team used a five-hit shutout as the Bears defeated St. Catharine 2-0 in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament on May 13 at Bowling Green Park.
However, the season would end soon after as the Bears were defeated by the University of Pikeville 7-0 in an elimination game. Dvorscak hit .217 and one home run in 36 games.
Meanwhile, in the Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Siena is coming off a 6-5 victory over Fairfield, and is ready for its conference tournament at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York. Evanston native Fred Smart (Evanston, Ill./ Siena College) played in six games for the Saints. He has hit two home runs and three doubles this season.
Brad Wood (Orland Park, Ill./ Northern Illinois) had a freshman year to remember at Northern Illinois. In late March, Wood was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week. The Orland Park native led the Huskies in batting average, on-base percentage and RBI during the week of March 2.
In 11 starts this season, Wood is hitting .366 with a triple and a grand slam. The freshman is second on the team with 11 RBIs.
Wood’s teammate Joe Jumonville (Munster, Ind./ Northern Illinois) also had a strong freshman campaign. After struggling through the early part of the season, Jumonville started to find his stride at the plate in April. He hit two home runs against UW-Milwaukee and hit over .300 a game later in early April.
Josh Turnock (Granger, Ind./Eastern Illinois) is itching to get back onto the field after his Eastern Illinois team won nine conference games and did not qualify for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. The Panthers season ended on a walkoff hit in the bottom of the 10th inning against SIU Edwardsville.
The Oilmen also feature two Purdue Boilermakers in Alec Olund (Schererville, Ind./ Purdue) and Jordan Lewis. (Escondido, Calif./ Purdue). The Boilermakers did not make the Big Ten Tournament this season after winning six conference games. Purdue ended the season on a five-game winning streak. Many of the freshman showed a lot of promise in their first season and two will be playing this summer with the Oilmen.
Olund hit .231 in 91 at bats this season. The Schererville native also cracked three homeruns and drove in 11 runs. Lewis assured that he can play as well. He hit .250, hit two doubles and two home runs during his first season.