12/26/2017 12:15 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Dec. 26, 2017 – There’s something about the Northwest Indiana Oilmen that has a way of drawing people back to the organization.
The team’s history is filled with players who have gone elsewhere for a period of time before electing to return to Oil City Stadium. Now, Minnesota Duluth outfielder and Bartlett High School (Ill.) graduate Cory Krolikowski has added his name to that list, coming back for the 2018 season after a one-year hiatus.
“Going through the decision process as to where I wanted to play this summer, it was all about whether I wanted to go far away or stay close to home,” Krolikowski said. “That was the biggest question my coach had. I weighed my options and after all of it, it seemed like a no-brainer. I had a blast with the Oilmen after my freshman year. The chance to play in front of family and friends and compete in a strong league makes this an easy decision.”
Krolikowski was a member of the 2016 Oilmen team that won the league championship, hitting .289 while driving in 12 runs and scoring 13 in 21 games that season. He’ll rejoin former Oilmen teammate Jake Perreira on the 2018 roster and becomes the third player (2017 Southland Viking Tyler Kenjic) on this year’s Oilmen team who already owns an MCL title.
During his first stint with the Oilmen, Krolikowski suffered an elbow injury early in the summer and was limited almost exclusively to designated hitter duties as he was medically unable to play defense. This time, he plans to show the MCL his abilities both at the dish and in the outfield.
“My maturity level as a baseball player has grown since that summer,” Krolikowski said. “I want to be one of those guys the team can rely on for anything they need. Hopefully that is a considerable asset to the Oilmen.”
After seeing significant playing time as a freshman at Minnesota Duluth, Krolikowski took a medical redshirt during the 2017 spring campaign due to his lingering elbow issue. His team enjoyed a productive fall and he’s excited to get back on the field this spring and help the Bulldogs build upon a 26-28 overall record and 18-19 conference mark in 2017.
Krolikowski spent the 2017 summer season playing for Syracuse in the New York Collegiate League. He batted .300 while playing in 39 games, driving in 10 runs and scoring 18. Syracuse won its division before falling short in the playoffs.
When this summer rolls around, Krolikowski will be ready to make an impact as the Oilmen attempt to garner their third MCL championship.
“I love Whiting,” he said. “I didn’t know much about it before playing there. The community really supports the Oilmen, which makes it a fun environment. It keeps you motivated to show up to the field every day. Coach Enright is a great coach and I look forward to him helping me develop as a player this summer.”