05/26/2018 9:32 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 26, 2018 – The 2018 Northwest Indiana Oilmen pitching staff will feature the services of junior lefty Brandon Hickey, who comes to the club after completing his junior season at Robert Morris, an NAIA in Illinois that competes in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Robert Morris assistant coach Matt Vitulli will serve as an assistant under Oilmen manager Adam Enright this summer, so that connection helped Hickey land with the Oilmen.
“I have known some guys who have played for the Oilmen over the last few years,” Hickey said. “I know how talented those players are, so that made me really interested in being a part of this team. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against players who compete at a higher level than I do during the college season. I want to learn about how I can better approach talented hitters and use both sides of the plate. I also plan to work on developing a more consistent changeup.”
Hickey battled through adversity as his career was set back by an injury, but that has motivated him to take a greater interest in the fitness aspect of being an athlete.
“In the last few years since my injury, I’ve become more interested in the body and how things work,” he said. “I’ve been working on fitness and eating well and have been able to transform by body.”
Hickey was a standout for an Eagles team that went 38-18 overall, 20-10 in conference and finished second in the CCAC regular season standings. He posted a 7-2 mark and 2.50 ERA in 11 starts, racking up 63 strikeouts over 57 2/3 innings. Hickey ranked fourth in the league in ERA.
The highlight of the lefty’s season came on March 27 in the first game of a doubleheader against Calumet College of St. Joseph. He struck out 11 while firing a seven-inning no-hitter.
“I felt like I was locked in and really in control of my pitches,” he said. “I knew how to approach people without overthinking myself. It was a really good day for me and our team.”
Hickey’s strong season earned him a place on the CCAC All-Conference team, a group that also included Trinity Christian’s Tyler Sroczynki, the most decorated player in Oilmen history.
Hickey select Robert Morris after a strong prep career at Crete-Monee, where he broke the school record for strikeouts in a single season. He pitched the team to a Southland Conference championship as a senior.