Former Oilmen first baseman wins Purdue Triple Crown
05/28/2015 12:30 AM -
Kyle Wood (Orland Park, Ill. / Purdue) recently wrapped up a 2015 campaign for the Purdue Boilermakers that will have his name firmly planted in the team’s history books for years to come.
Wood took home the team’s Triple Crown, its first since 2007, leading the team in batting average (.326), RBIs (34) and home runs (6).
When asked what helped to bolster his success this past season, Wood talked about staying within himself being a key factor.
“I just took the time to work on my approach at the plate,” he said. “Not trying to do too much, taking what the pitchers were giving me and working on hitting the ball to the opposite field really helped me find my groove this year.”
Wood has played three seasons with the Boilermakers following a medical redshirt his freshman year in 2012. Reflecting on his career, Wood talked about the benefits of playing Division I baseball and his experience playing in West Lafayette.
“Playing baseball for Purdue has been everything I could’ve hoped for,” he said. “Getting to travel around the country and play in some really great ballparks against some of the nation’s top talent has been incredible. Playing ball at the Division I level is extremely demanding; it requires a lot of time and effort, but I wouldn’t trade getting to play the sport I love at a high level for anything else.”
Wood also shared some insight on the bond that he has formed with his teammates at Purdue over his career there.
“It’s a tight knit group,” he said. “There are guys that I played with my freshman year who have gone on and graduated that I still keep in touch with. The overall experience of getting to play college baseball and everything that comes along with it has just really made my college experience all that much better.”
Wood played one season with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen in the summer of 2012. Being nearly a year removed from the game after requiring Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, Wood used his time with the Oilmen as a learning experience and to gain his confidence back on the field.
“I actually learned quite a lot playing for the Oilmen,” he said. “Again, I hadn’t played baseball in almost a year at that point, so being able to get my feet back underneath me and get some playing time in a low-pressure situation like that was crucial for me to bounce back from my injury. It would have been extremely difficult to go back into fall ball at Purdue without having had any prior playing time post-surgery, so playing for the Oilmen really gave me the start I needed to get back into the swing of things.”
While Kyle will be suiting up to play first base this summer for the Lakeshore Chinooks, his younger brother Brad (Northern Illinois) will play for the Oilmen.. When asked if there was any advice Kyle would give to his younger brother about playing for the Oilmen, he recommended that his brother just simply enjoys his time playing summer baseball.
“I would tell Brad to just go out there and have fun,” he said. “This is his first time getting to play collegiate summer ball in a competitive summer league, and it can be a really great learning experience as well as a lot of fun. He’ll have the opportunity to fine tune his skills leading up into his fall season at school, and I know he’ll have tremendous success. I wish him a great season and the best of luck.”