05/24/2018 8:48 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 24, 2018 – Andrean has been among the most successful local high schools at producing collegiate talent, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that numerous 59ers have made their way to the Region’s team through the years.
The latest name added to the list of Andrean alumni to appear for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen is Sawyer Allen, a left-handed pitcher from Hillsdale College.
“The Oilmen organization has always been respected around the area and at the college level,” Allen said. “When my head coach found out that I got a contract, he was very pleased with that move. What I’ve always understood is that it’s a high level of competition. We’re playing international teams in July, which is really exciting.”
Allen pitched in nine games and made one start as a freshman at Hillsdale, working 19 1/3 innings. He was part of a Hillsdale team that won the first conference tournament title in program history this year, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. The Chargers won the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament with a 15-2 win over Kentucky Wesleyan in the championship game.
Allen has experienced winning at both the high school and college level.
“I would differentiate between the two of them – Andrean has a storied history,” Allen said. “Our head coach at Hillsdale, Eric Theisen, has been there five years and has built the program into a regional contender. I’m part of the group that is changing the environment here at Hillsdale, while Andrean was always good.”
Allen, a native of Fair Oaks, Ind., is excited for the chance to reunite with Chad Patrick, his former little league and travel ball teammate, on the Oilmen this summer. Allen describes himself as a crafty lefty who hits his spots.
“With my stuff, I can’t leave it over the plate, so I have to be pretty fine with my location,” he said. “I work both sides of the plate. This summer, I’m going to work on developing a cutter and gaining more endurance on the mound.”
Allen lists his favorite high school baseball memory as Andrean’s 4-3, walk-off win over host Chesterton in the Class 4A Sectional in 2017. The 59ers won their first 4A sectional title after moving up because of the IHSAA success factor. The rally started with two outs and nobody on and ended with a bases-clearing double by Joe Rycerz.
“That walk-off for the sectional championship was the craziest game anyone there had ever watched,” Allen said. “I’ll never forget dog-piling on the mound at Chesterton High School.”
Away from the diamond, Allen is extremely active in his church. He went on a mission trip to Haiti in February and is going again in July.
“Last time, we replaced the roof of an orphanage,” Allen said. “This July, we’ll be finishing a dormitory that a previous trip had started. It’s going to house 60 more kids. Before our church started sponsoring this orphanage, they didn’t have a stable source of education or a clean source of food or water. This area was devastated by the earthquake and hurricanes.”