05/26/2015 11:10 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 26, 2015 – As teammates and roommates at Parkland College, Sam Geraci and Richard Yelnick grew quite accustomed to one another during their freshmen seasons with the Cobras.
The duo will continue to be united with regularity during the summer months, as both have been added to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen roster.
Geraci is a right-handed hitting infielder from Steger, Illinois. He plays primarily shortstop, but can also handle the glove at second base and third base.
In 19 games with the Cobras this season, Geraci compiled a .357 batting average to go along with a .571 on-base percentage. He also saw time on the mound, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings.
Geraci was the Times Illinois Player of the Year in 2014 after hitting .530 to lead Illinois Lutheran High School to the Class 1A state title. This marks the second straight season that The Times Illinois Player of the Year from the previous season has played for the Oilmen, after Jason Gasser (Northern Illinois / Mount Carmel) did so in 2014.
“One of my strong suits when it comes to baseball is being excited all the time and bringing energy and focus to the game,” Geraci said. “I like taking baseball seriously while having fun at the same time. There’s time for fun and there’s time to win a ballgame. I try to keep my teammates and those who I’m surrounded by into the game, while still having a good time.”
Geraci played at Oil City Stadium last summer as a member of the Crete Cyclones. He plans to use this summer to progress toward his goal of landing with a Division-I program.
Yelnick is a left-handed pitcher from New Lenox, Illinois. He allowed two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings this season at Parkland. He has fond memories of his high school days at Lincoln-Way West, where he threw a six-inning shutout on senior day.
Since Yelnick did not receive many innings as a junior in high school, he didn’t think he would have the chance to continue the sport at the next level. However, his senior season was enough to earn him a spot on Parkland’s roster.
“I was excited to play at Parkland because I didn’t really think I would have a chance,” he said. “I got the opportunity to play and it’s good competition at this level. I liked the experience and it was fun this season, hanging out with all of the guys and making new friends down at Parkland.”
Yelnick hopes to have the opportunity to play baseball elsewhere following his sophomore season at Parkland, but if that chance does not arise, he’s prepared to finish his degree and eventually become a canine police officer.
Geraci and Yelnick joined Donovan Chandler as Parkland players that will spend this summer with the Oilmen. The season begins on Sunday, May 31 at 1 p.m. in Joliet.