12/13/2017 5:38 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Dec. 13, 2017 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen continued to unveil their 2018 roster on Wednesday by announcing the addition of Purdue Northwest infielder Tyler Kenjic.
Kenjic drove in 19 runs and scored 11 while appearing in 22 games and making 18 starts during his freshman campaign. He compiled a .438 average and had 28 hits.
“Ty is a grinder,” Purdue Northwest coach Dave Griffin said. “Just when you think he’s as good as he’s going to get, he steps up even more. He’s very level-headed and he just keeps competing. He’s not a flashy player, but at the end of the day, you look up and recognize that he’s good. He shows up and gets the job done.”
The Purdue Northwest sophomore thrived during his prep days at Hobart High School, compiling a .936 fielding percentage over two seasons at third base and a .923 field percentage over two years at shortstop – both the best of any player at those positions during coach Bob Glover Jr.’s tenure with the Brickies.
Kenjic also ranks in the Top 5 among Hobart players over the last decade in a slew of offensive categories – hits (fifth), runs (fourth), walks (third) and stolen bases (fifth). He took over as the starting third baseman about 10 games into his freshman season, and started for the duration of his four prep campaigns.
“As he got older, he took on more and more responsibility,” Glover said. “He was a member of some of the very best teams we’ve had. He’s an incredibly smart player – I’m not sure I’ve ever coached someone better at being locked into the game and knowing what was going on. I can’t recall a single time in four years when the ball was hit to him and he was unprepared.”
Kenjic, a member of the 2014 sectional championship team at Hobart, joins a group of Hobart graduates to play for the Oilmen that also includes Braden Niksich, Brandon Murray and Brandon Barnes. He becomes the fifth player from Purdue Calumet/Northwest to play for the Oilmen, joining Anthony Colosimo, Jimmy Skiff, Jordan Petty and Hunter Thorn. Thorn and Kenjic, teammates at PNW, will play together over the summer at Oil City Stadium.
“Growing up in Hobart, I always went to Oilmen games,” Kenjic said. “It was really cool to be able to watch players come home and play in Northwest Indiana at such a beautiful field. I can’t wait to have that opportunity.”
Kenjic has the ability to play all over the diamond, an attribute that could be beneficial to Oilmen manager Adam Enright this summer.
“In high school, I started out at third base and moved to shortstop,” Kenjic said. “In college, I’ve been playing all over the place – short, third, corner outfield and even some first base. I’m really patient and have the ability to get on base in addition to being willing to play wherever my coaches need me.”
Purdue Northwest is in its first season competing at the Division II level after previously holding NAIA status. Kenjic made a good first impression during his initial year as a member of the Pride.
“One of his strengths is that he gives you very mature at-bats,” Griffin said. “He knows the strike zone very well and he’s patient. You know you’re going to get a good at-bat from him. He’s a typical Region kid – they’re good players, they work hard and they continue to want to get better. If you can put enough of those kids on your roster, you’re going to have some success.”