WHITING | Throughout this summer, one of the biggest keys to the success of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen have been the bullpen.
There is no shortage of pitchers who can not only get the job done, but completely shut down an opposing offense.
Foremost among them is Aveeno Nasiloski. The Gavit grad has excelled as the setup man for the Oilmen this summer. As of Monday, Nasiloski sports a sparkling 0.71 earned run average, allowing a single earned run in 12 2/3 innings pitched. He ranks just behind teammate Jimmy McNamara (0.68 ERA).
"I'm just trying to finally find some consistency in my mechanics," said Nasiloski, who was selected to the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star game. "I've been working hard on it, and it's finally coming through now."
Those changes in mechanics included Nasiloski's balance and posture. He admitted he used to slouch on the mound a little bit, which threw off his consistency. With better posture, he can now throw his hard fastball and curveball for strikes, keeping hitters off balance much better than before.
Nasiloski played both in the outfield and pitched for Chicago State the past two seasons. With the focus solely on pitching this summer, he's been outstanding.
"I didn't expect him to throw as many strikes as he has," Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. "He's really done a great job of getting ahead of hitters, being aggressive and throwing strikes with his breaking ball."
Nasiloski's teammate at Chicago State, Andy Wellwerts, was a key factor in the Oilmen picking up Nasiloski this season. He wanted to join the team last summer, but instead spent time regaining strength in his left shoulder due to a torn rotator cuff he suffered in October 2011. He spent four months rehabbing the shoulder, but was unable to lift many weights before the summer started.
"As I was diving for a ball in center field, I collided with the right fielder and his head knocked my shoulder back," Nasiloski said.
Nasiloski will be entering his junior year at Chicago State next month. He'll concentrate on pitching for the remainder of his collegiate career.
"It's a lot easier coming to the yard knowing you only have to focus on pitching as opposed to pitching, hitting, defense and everything else," Nasiloski said.