06/03/2016 10:09 PM -
Bloomington, Ill. – June 3, 2016 – Following Friday’s game against Bloomington, Oilmen manager Adam Enright could be found assuring his team that his hand is nowhere near the panic button.
“We’re going to be fine,” Enright told his players, a sentence he’s repeated both to his team and in interviews over the course of the season’s first week.
Friday’s game left Enright needing to utter the phrase once again, as the Oilmen fell 6-4 to the Bloomington Bobcats.
In Thursday’s doubleheader losses to the Bobcats, the Oilmen offense couldn’t muster up much productivity. But on Friday, it was the Oilmen who jumped out to an early lead.
Stefano Belmonte (Florida Gulf Coast / Munster, Ind.) reached on an error, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by the Bloomington catcher in the second inning to start the scoring. That lead doubled a moment later, when Jimmy Govern (Eastern Illinois / Libertyville, Ill.) cracked a run-scoring double.
Belmonte, who was playing his first game of the summer season, held his return party in his second at-bat, launching a two-run homer to deep left field.
“He’s going to be a leader,” Enright said. “He’s got a good work ethic and attitude. He’s a guy you think of when you talk about leadership. He not only does well for himself and helps the team win games, but he brings up the level of play of everyone else around him.”
After the Belmonte blast, Bloomington starting pitcher Mitch Weis (2-0) settled in and eventually earned the win with seven innings of four-hit, two-walk baseball. Weis limited the Oilmen to just the four runs, all of which were unearned because an error preceded Belmonte’s homer.
The Bobcats (5-1) chipped away with single tallies in the fourth and sixth against Oilmen starter Max Siedlecki. The pivotal frame came in the bottom of the seventh, when Bloomington scored four against Eric Frontzak to turn a two-run deficit into a two-run cushion.
Frontzak made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt that allowed one run to score and set up Garrett Shea’s game-tying single.
“Of the five losses I’ve seen, four of them you can take one play and change the one play and it’s probably going to be the difference in the game,” Enright said. “He fielded the bunt fine, got it clean and the throw was a little more aiming than just throwing it hard.”
Frontzak struck out the next two men, but a two-run, two-out single by Jonathan Broadbear put the Bobcats in front. Frontzak took the loss in relief, his first decision of the summer.
“I’ve never been able to answer the question of the timing of errors,” Enright said. “For us right now, every time we make an error, it’s showing up in the outcome of a game. I’m not a big ‘luck guy’ or a ‘baseball gods’ guy, but that’s the way things are going for us right now.”
Kody Silverthorn yielded two hits in the ninth but nailed down his second save, both of which have come against the Oilmen. He’s not the only Bloomington player who has enjoyed great success against the Oilmen this season, as the Bobcats have won the first four meetings between the two teams and already clinched the season series.
“They’re going to be one of the best teams in the league in my opinion,” Enright said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons.”
Siedlecki received no decision, turning in six quality innings while allowing two runs on five hits.
“He’s a guy that has that grinder mentality,” Enright said. “He’s going to get outs any way he can. He’s a guy that’s going to give us a chance to win every time he goes out there.”
The Oilmen (1-6) will attempt to garner their second win of the season on Saturday afternoon against Southland at Hap Bruno Field. The first pitch is slated for 1 p.m. with live audio available starting at 12:40 p.m. on NWIOilmen.com.