05/10/2018 6:45 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 10, 2018 – The man on the mound for perhaps the most significant starting pitching performance in the six-year history of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will return to the team for the 2018 season.
After missing the 2017 summer due to an injury, Jordan Petty will be back in action in 2018. The first time the Highland High School product throws a pitch this summer, it will mark his first Oilmen appearance since guiding the team to a 7-1 win in the decisive game of the 2016 MCL Championship Series against the rival DuPage County Hounds with a complete game victory.
“I remember my changeup was hitting the spot,” Petty said. “The fastball was working in the late innings when I started getting warmed up. I just spotted up and let the team work behind me. I wasn’t trying to blow anyone away; that’s not my game. A good team behind you really helps, and so does seven runs of support.”
Petty’s 117-pitch complete game featured nine strikeouts and one only walk. He limited a potent 2016 Hounds offense to one run on six hits in that game, the culmination of a strong summer that saw the southpaw start the season in the bullpen and progress into the rotation. He finished the MCL regular season with a sparkling 1.80 ERA in 30 innings while going 3-0 in 10 games, three starts.
The then incoming college freshman’s final 2016 start was surely the highlight of his summer with the Oilmen, but his first start was pretty impressive as well. Petty became the third Oilmen ever to reach double-figure strikeouts in a game by heaving eight shutout innings in a 7-3 win over Bloomington on July 7, his first college-level start.
Petty spent the 2017 and 2018 spring seasons at Purdue Northwest, but will transfer to Indiana University Kokomo for the 2019 campaign. He went 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 1/3 innings with the Pride in five games (four starts) as a freshman in 2017, and owned 1-0 record and 4.00 ERA in nine innings this spring.
At IU Kokomo, Petty will play for head coach Matt Howard and pitching coach Joe Thatcher, a former big league pitcher. The Cougars’ baseball program just completed its first season in 2018.
“The coaches made me feel right at home during my visit; I can’t wait to get down there in August,” Petty said. “I’m going to be one of the new kids and I’m really going to have to prove why I’m there. My goal would be to create good chemistry with my teammates and help facilitate a winning atmosphere. As a pitcher, I know I’ve got to trust my defense; you can’t do things by yourself.”
Petty had minor rotator cuff surgery last year, but after two months returned to activity by training in the weight room. He spent what remained of his summer doing significant work in the gym and working on his mechanics.
The chance to again play for manager Adam Enright and to work with two familiar catchers – former Purdue Northwest teammate Hunter Thorn and 2016 Oilmen battery mate Jake Perreira – attracted Petty back to the Oilmen for 2018. He’s also looking forward to the chance to recreate the championship magic of 2016.
“I really want to work on my curveball this summer,” he said. “I’m definitely trying to improve my control and consistency in throwing strikes. I’m working on being more explosive and using all of my power. I want to keep getting stronger and continue to work my way up to reach that dream.”