08/08/2019 11:01 PM
2019 MCL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES:
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (23-18)
vs. Bloomington Bobcats (25-14)
Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 • 6:15 p.m. • Bloomington, Ill. • O’Neil Park
Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019 (if nec.) • 3 p.m. • Bloomington, Ill. • O’Neil Park
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
For the fifth time in eight years, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will play in the Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series. The team’s most improbable run yet saw them pull out an 11-10 victory over Southland in a decisive Game 3 of the MCL Semifinal Series on Thursday. Now, the team begins a best-of-three clash with the Bloomington Bobcats on Friday night at O’Neal Park.
- The Oilmen went 6-3 against Bloomington in the regular season, putting together a strong showing in the head-to-head matchups with a Bobcats team that won its first MCL regular season title. Bloomington enters this weekend hoping to add its first MCL Championship to the team’s 2019 resume. The Oilmen are 22-15 all-time against the Bobcats, a series that dates back to 2016.
- The Oilmen and Bobcats will match up in a postseason series for the second time and the first in an MCL Championship. They previously locked horns in the 2017 MCL Semifinal Series, a thrilling set that Bloomington won in three games. The Bobcats won the third and final game 7-6 in 11 innings on Aug. 4, 2017 at Oil City Stadium.
- The Oilmen will play at O’Neil Park for the first time this season on Friday night. All of their regular season contests in the Bloomington-Normal area took place at the Corn Crib.
- Colin Walton gets the nod for an injury-riddled Oilman pitching staff on Friday night. He will pitch for the first time since July 6 after logging 17 innings over five games (one start) during the regular season. The right-hander owned a 2.65 ERA and 1-1 record while walking five and striking out 12.
- The Bobcats will go with Jack Gilmore, who had a 5.95 ERA and 2-2 mark during the regular season while walking 19 and striking out 24 in 39 1/3 innings spanning seven starts. He faced the Oilmen once, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings while receiving no decision on June 26.
- The Oilmen dropped Game 1 of the MCL Semifinal Series against Southland on Tuesday, but then battled back to capture each of the next two games. That marked the first time in team history the Oilmen lost the first game of a playoff series and went on to win the series. The Oilmen have never lost a playoff series after winning the opening game. This was the 12th playoff series in Oilmen history, and it was the first time the team that won Game 1 went on to lose the series.
- Joe Rycerz homered twice in Thursday’s victory over Southland, just the sixth multi-homer game in Oilmen history and the first in the playoffs. The last Oilmen to do it was Zack Jones on June 11, 2017 at DuPage County. The others – Billy Miller on July 16, 2012, Jake Perreira on July 6, 2016 and Tyler Sroczynski on July 7, 2016 and July 22, 2016.
- The Oilmen have won three of the four MCL Championship Series they’ve appeared in. The only time they went to the final series and lost was 2013 against Southland. They won the title in 2012, 2016 and 2018. This marks Bloomington’s second MCL Championship Series appearance after losing in 2017 to the Vikings.
- The Bobcats are trying to become just the third team in MCL history to win both the regular season and postseason championships in the same season. The Vikings did it in 2014 and the Hounds in 2015. In the last eight seasons, only two No. 1 seeds have won the title, three No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and one No. 4 seed.