01/31/2018 6:54 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – Jan. 31, 2018 – A recommendation from one of the most recognizable names in franchise history helped left-handed pitcher George Sherman land a spot on the 2018 Northwest Indiana Oilmen roster.
Sherman, a freshman at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., trained previously with Zack Jones, the only player in Oilmen history to appear in four different seasons and a current member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
“He pitched the idea of playing for the Oilmen to me, and put in a good word that helped me sign with the team,” Sherman said. “I live in Skokie, Ill., so it’s close to home. I’m excited for this opportunity. I know it has been a successful team as long as they’ve been around. It’s definitely a winning organization, and I hope I can contribute to continuing that over the summer.”
During the recruiting process, it didn’t take long for Sherman to capture the attention of Dominican coach Steve Hardman.
“When we looked at George, he screamed project and potential,” Hardman said. “I watched some video, then I saw him pitch against York in the regional and he was an absolute bulldog, striking out 12. At that point, he had already committed and I thought, ‘We just stole that guy.’ He’s going to be a staple in our starting rotation.”
Sherman enjoyed a successful prep career at Niles North, spending three seasons on the varsity team and two as the team’s ace.
“He moved up to varsity at an early age because of his competiveness and command,” Niles North coach Ed Toledo said. “He’s a strike machine. He doesn’t care who he faces; he wants to go out and get them. He’s a heck of a competitor. I’d never bet against that kid in anything.”
The transition to the college ranks has been seamless thus far for Sherman, who lists locating well and setting up batters to make soft contact as his strengths on the mound.
“The transition has been great,” Sherman said. “Playing over the summer definitely helped during our fall season. Everything in terms of command was right where I wanted it to be. Learning new workouts and having new expectations was an adjustment, but it wasn’t too much of a hurdle. I’m looking forward to a good spring at Dominican.”
Hardman got a look at Sherman during the four-week period allotted for fall ball in Division III.
“He’s a work horse and he’s always in the weight room,” Hardman said. “He’s very coachable; he’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kind of guy. He’s a great teammate who loves winning and competing. Guys loving playing with him and hate playing against him. He’s a gym rat and he loves to watch baseball and talk about the game. He’s just a baseball guy.”
Sherman is also strong academically, so Dominican’s high-level accounting program helped attract him to the school.
Both Toledo and Hardman described Sherman’s personality as a typical quirky lefty who keeps his teammates loose.
“He’s gotten better and better every year from the time he came into high school to now,” Toledo said. “I still think there’s more room for improvement. Whatever he focuses on, he’s going to accomplish. It’s still early in his development; he has so much potential.”