11/24/2017 10:57 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – Nov. 24, 2017 – As the Northwest Indiana Oilmen begin to unveil the roster that will compete for an MCL championship in 2018, it seems only fitting to start with the Most Valuable Player from NWI’s most recent championship run.
Catcher Jake Perreira (University of Indianapolis / Grant Park, Ill.) will be back with the Oilmen in 2018, returning to the Oil City Stadium diamond after missing the 2017 spring and summer campaigns with an injury. He underwent surgery in March to repair a torn labrum in his hip but has now returned to nearly 100 percent, appearing in the final game of the fall season for the Greyhounds.
“Playing for the Oilmen is everything you could ask for out of a summer ball team,” Perreira said. “It’s a professional atmosphere. You come in and get your early BP, then you get to play at a beautiful stadium.”
The chance to play another summer with the Oilmen also affords Perreira the opportunity to stay close to home and his mother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
“I’ll be dedicating both my college season and my summer season to her,” he said. “I’ll be wearing a pink wristband in support of breast cancer awareness. She’s really influential to me.”
Perreira has managed to juggle the rare balance of being a nursing major and playing a college sport. At one point, he was doing two six-hour clinicals, then showing up to practice in scrubs and having to quickly change into his baseball gear.
“That shows you the kind of person he is,” UIndy head coach Gary Vaught said. “He’s going to give back and be a servant in his profession. He’s loyal to our program and he’s the kind of kid we want here. He comes from an outstanding family and he’s an outstanding young man.”
During the 2016 MCL playoffs, Oilmen starting catcher Zack Forney went down with injury in Game 1 of the semifinals against Joliet. That’s when Perreira seized the moment, hitting .438 in the postseason including two hits in the decisive third game of the MCL Championship against DuPage County.
“I finally realized I was a good enough player to do that,” Perreira said. “Seeing it turn around at the end of the season for me was a great confidence booster.”
Another factor that led Perreira back for another season with the Oilmen is the chance to again player under manager Adam Enright.
“Adam’s awesome – he’s really good with the fundamentals,” Perreira said. “He helped me with my swing quite a bit, especially when I was struggling. You can tell he’s studied the game a lot and knows how to lead a team to victory.”