05/11/2018 10:56 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 11, 2018 – Over the years, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen have aided numerous college baseball players as they’ve honed their skills on the field. Away from the diamond, the organization has also helped college interns gain skills and an experience that have led to future careers in sports.
For the first time, the Oilmen will accomplish both goals at once. The team has announced the addition of Tusculum junior catcher Nate Montgomery to its roster. The sport management major will also fulfill a summer internship with the Oilmen.
“I’ve been in contact with Coach Enright for the past few years and I really like him as a coach and like what he has to offer,” Montgomery said. “I think I’ll have a lot of fun playing for him this summer.”
Montgomery started his collegiate career at South Suburban College (JUCO), where he earned NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete award second-team both seasons. He batting .342 in 57 games as a sophomore for the Bulldogs. Montgomery drove in 61 runs that season, a total that ranked 51st nationally. As a freshman, he posted a .351 average and ranked 27th in the junior college nation with 22 doubles.
The Geneva High School graduate and Geneva, Ill. native spent this past season at Tusculum, a Division II program in the South Atlantic Conference that is located in Greeneville, Tenn.
“Going to school down in Tennessee, I was getting used to playing in the south instead of the Midwest,” Montgomery said. “I got to know a different group of guys and see what the guys do in their free time. It’s a lot different than what I’m used to playing in the Midwest throughout my life.”
The right-handed hitting catcher enjoyed a prosperous season at the plate, posting a .315 batting average and accumulating 38 RBIs for a team that won 25 games and picked up 13 conference victories. Defensively, he cut down eight would-be base stealers. Montgomery started his career with the Pioneers favorably by delivering a walk-off hit in Game 4 of the Tusculum World Series to clinch the sweep for his team last fall.
“This summer, I’ll be working on bringing more consistency to the plate and having good at-bats,” he said. “I plan to show up to the ballpark with a positive attitude excited that I get to play baseball each day. It’s a time to get better and relax rather than pressing like players often do in the spring.”
Montgomery is ready for the challenge that he’ll be presented with this summer as he enters the season unfamiliar with the bulk of the pitching staff.
“I think I can bring good leadership and build good relationships with the pitchers,” Montgomery said. “I want to get the best out of the pitchers that I can. Being a positive influence on the defense and a leader out on the field is important as a catcher. I go to work for my pitcher behind the plate and help earn strike calls for them. At the plate, I want to be a tough out and grind out at-bats. My goal is to make it difficult on opposing pitchers.”
After his final year of undergraduate studies, Montgomery hopes to attend law school. Down the road, he would like to pursue a career in sports law and stay around the game of baseball.