FLOSSMOOR | As one of the best pitchers in Indiana during his high school career, recent Bishop Noll grad Danny Pobereyko is getting an advantage in preparation not many other pitchers can say they've experienced.
As one of the new local members of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen this season, Pobereyko is getting the chance to face college hitters before ever throwing to a batter as a member of Butler University's pitching staff.
“It's a huge benefit, because I'm hopefully going to see some of these hitters in the college season,” Pobereyko said. “It's a lot better than just playing local guys who are just getting out of high school like me. If I didn't have the opportunity to play for a team like this, I'd be doing that.”
Though Pobereyko only has three innings to his credit so far this summer, he hasn't given up a hit yet and has allowed just one walk and struck out one batter. He shut the door with a solid ninth inning in the Oilmen's 10-3 win over the Michigan City Lakers on Sunday. Pobereyko didn't pitch in Monday's back-and-forth 10-7 loss to the Southland Vikings, but his success so far has been noticed by Oilmen coach Justin Huisman.
“Anytime a high school kid can get a taste of some tougher competition right off the bat, it'll test him mentally and physically,” Huisman said. “It'll get him a good head start into his college experience. Hopefully, he can jump in as a freshman right away and contribute.”
Pobereyko admitted he was feeling nervous when he made his first pitching appearance earlier this summer. Though he only has limited appearances this season, Pobereyko said he's feeling pretty confident against hitters he's never faced before.
“He's mentally tough and confident,” Huisman said. “He's going out there with his best stuff, throwing strikes and challenging these hitters. So far, he's done a good job. We'll see if we can get him some more consistent innings.”
The experience also makes it necessary for Pobereyko to approach his pitching more carefully.
“I'm learning I need to spot up pitches better,” Pobereyko said. “You get away with a lot more mistakes in high school, but not here. Hitters are going to punish you if you leave a mistake in the strike zone or walk too many guys.”