05/19/2017 2:14 PM -
Sam Geraci – a member of the 2015 Oilmen and 2016 Oilmen who won the MCL Championship – will return to Northwest Indiana to spend another summer pitching in Oil City Stadium.
Geraci first joined the Oilmen in the 2015 season, but it wasn’t as a pitcher. At the time, Geraci was still a shortstop and he played there with Northwest Indiana. In 32 games, he hit .283 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. He did make one appearance as a pitcher, going 3.1 innings and giving up one run while striking out four.
The next season, Geraci would work from the mound exclusively. He made seven appearances with the Oilmen in 2016, combining for 38 innings of work and an ERA of 2.97 (third-best among Oilmen starters). It was his first time working as an all-time pitcher, an experience he said helped him when he got to the University of Illinois-Springfield.
“That kind of helped me prepare coming into UIS,” Geraci said. “Since August, I just tried to carry what I did in the summer over to try and earn a spot here at the University… I just wanted to make sure I kept working hard and kept improving so I could try and earn a spot over here.”
Geraci hopes to see innings this spring in his first season at UIS after transferring from Parkland College. After the season, he will join the Oilmen to work more on his pitching. He wants to start developing more pitches, and even talked about throwing from a lower arm slot.
“I just want to really focus on staying in the strike zone, hitting certain spots,” Geraci said. “Definitely work on the splitter and the side-arm stuff. It seems like a comfortable slot for me, and I think it can be useful to throw hitters off a bit.”
As for his goals for the Oilmen this summer, Geraci was short and to the point.
“Oh, back-to-back champs. No doubt.”
Geraci and the Oilmen take the field for the first time this summer on the road against the Joliet Admirals on May 26.