10/22/2015 12:35 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – October 22, 2015 – For the first time in team history, a Griffith graduate will play for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
South Suburban College freshman Josh Terzarial has been added to the 2016 Oilmen roster. He was a two-way player in high school and could see time as a position player in the spring, but the southpaw has served exclusively as a pitcher during fall ball.
For Terzarial, summer ball in the Midwest Collegiate League serves as another step toward his goal of being selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The league has had 25 players drafted in its five-year history.
“First and foremost, his rawness and athletic ability is what stands out,” Griffith High School coach Brian Jennings said. “Anybody that sees him play realizes that he’s very raw and he’s very athletic, but he could be a kid that could be a draft pick within the next two or three years if he continues to develop.”
Terzarial hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps. Outfielder Tony Terzarial was drafted twice by the Cincinnati Reds, in the 19th round of the 1986 draft out of Highland High School and in the 44th round of the 1987 draft out of Triton College. The elder Terzarial played three professional seasons, from 1988-1990 in the Reds organization.
“As I grew up, my dad was my guy,” Josh said. “I was always trying to be more like him, and I still am. He’s still got people that he talks to. It’s another go-around for him, hoping that I get there some day.”
Terzarial’s father isn’t his only resource with professional baseball experience. At South Suburban – a junior college in South Holland, Illinois – he has received guidance from pitching coach Shane Zegarac, who is a left-hander, like Terzarial. Zegarac spent two years in the affiliated minor leagues and two years in independent ball after being selected by the Rangers in 2009.
“He obviously knows a lot about pitching,” Terzarial said. “He has taken me under his wing and shown me his ways.”
Brian Jennings, a Whiting resident that can often be found on the field during batting practice or in the dugout during games at Oil City Stadium, will finally have the opportunity to watch one of his former players in an Oilmen uniform.
“It’s great that I can keep an eye on him in the summer and watch him play and develop,” Jennings said. “I enjoy having Josh around; he’s a great kid. I enjoy watching college baseball in the summer, and having one of my own there will be really cool.”
Jennings said Terzarial reminds him of Clayton Kershaw because of his long and lengthy build and arms-and-legs style.
Terzarial earned a place on the North-South All-Star Team, batted .422, clubbed five home runs and racked up 37 RBIs during his senior season for the Panthers. He also went 8-for-9 in stolen-base attempts. On the mound, he compiled a 2.46 ERA and struck out 64 over 48 1/3 innings.
Among the highlights of Terzarial’s prep career came on May 7, 2015, when Griffith carried an eight-game losing streak into a matchup with 17-2 Hanover Central. Terzarial tossed a complete-game one-hitter, notched the victory, collected three hits and launched a three-run homer in a 13-0 Griffith triumph.
“That’s the one game that stands out to me,” he said. “It was probably the best game in my high school career.”
Another highlight came against Peru in the regional semifinal, when Terzarial heaved a one-hit shutout and struck out nine against a hot-hitting, state-ranked team. The Panthers advanced to the regional final with an 11-0, six-inning victory.
Terzarial hopes there are more successful outings of that nature to come, both at South Suburban in the spring and next summer with the Oilmen.
“I’ve heard about the Oilmen growing up because of my coaches,” Terzarial said. “I’ve seen a bunch of their hats and shirts. Playing at Whiting High School, I’ve seen all the signs and I’ve heard they’re a really good team.”
Extra TidbitsHaving players that come from families with professional baseball ties is nothing new for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Joe Jumonville’s father Joe Sr. (Padres), Nate Schneider’s father Paul (Mariners and White Sox) and Tyler Baar’s father Bryan (Dodgers) all played professionally. Gerrad Rohan’s brother Greg played in the Cubs organization from 2009-2013 reaching as high as Triple-A. Anthony Colosimo’s father Tony is a Corporate Partnership Consultant for the Chicago White Sox…. Terzarial is South Surubran teammates with former Oilman Brian Seymour… Other Bulldogs to play for the Oilmen include Jeremy Wright, John Livingston and Stefano Belmonte… Terzarial’s favorite hobby is snowmobiling