07/29/2020 8:28 AM
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (14-7)
at MCL Minutemen (8-14)
July 29, 2020 • 2 p.m. • Lansing, Ill. • Lansing Old Timer’s Park
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will look to keep their offensive success rolling on Wednesday afternoon after matching a season high with 14 runs in Tuesday’s seven-run victory over Joliet. The Oilmen have scored 23 runs over two games so far on this three-game road swing. The team enters the day ½ game behind DuPage County for the top spot in the MCL standings.
Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana RHP Kyle Iwinski (Kankakee CC / Griffith, Ind.) vs. Minutemen RHP Jacob Frencl (Southeastern CC / Frankfort, Ill.)
- The team’s success in bouncing back from defeats continued on Tuesday, a victory that came on the heels of a 17-9 loss to DuPage County on Monday. The Oilmen have not lost back-to-back games all year and are 7-0 after defeats.
- The 17 runs allowed to the Hounds earlier in the week was the most permitted by the Oilmen since a 19-1 loss to Bloomington on June 15, 2017.
- Reigning MCL Pitcher of the Week Kyle Iwinski gets the start on Wednesday afternoon. He is coming off a seven-inning outing where he allowed one unearned run on two hits and no walks while notching 10 strikeouts on Friday night against these same Minutemen. For the season, the right hander has struck out 22 against just four walks while compiling a 1.00 ERA over four games (two starts) spanning 18 innings.
- This serves as a rematch of the pitching matchup from Friday, as Jacob Frencl has become a familiar foe to Oilmen fans. This will be the fourth time in five starts that he pitches opposite the Oilmen, with the first three coming at Oil City Stadium. Most recently, he was on the wrong end of the decision on Friday after allowing six runs on nine hits while striking out four and issuing one walk over six innings.
- Clay Thompson leads the league in both walks (16) and hit by pitch (9, tied with Southland’s Dashon Moore).
- As a team, the Oilmen lead the league in on-base percentage at .400, ERA at 3.23 and strikeouts by the pitching staff at 225. The Oilmen have three of the top five pitchers in the MCL in terms of strikeouts with Jack Guzek (33) first, Joe Rotkis (28) second and Mike Madura (24) fifth.
- Michael Bolton of the Minutemen leads the league with 11 stolen bases. Oilmen leader Clay Thompson is one of six players in the league with nine or more. The Minutemen are second in the league with 50 swiped bags, while DuPage County leads the way with 51.
- The Oilmen and Minutemen will already hook up for the seventh time this season on Wednesday with NWI owning a 5-1 mark through the first six matchups.
- The 2020 Oilmen roster features representatives from numerous Division-I institutions including the following conferences: Big 10, American, Ohio Valley Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Horizon League, Mid-American Conference, Summit League and the ACC.
- The Big Ten is well represented on this year’s roster, with players from five different conference members on the squad – Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.
- This marks the Oilmen’s first season under the direction of Chris Cunningham, who is the fourth manager in team history. Cunningham is no stranger to the MCL, as the former professional ballplayer in the Tampa Bay Rays organization managed the Southland Vikings from 2011-2014. In his final two seasons, the Vikings won back-to-back MCL championships.
- Oilmen legend Matt Pobereyko is serving as the team’s pitching coach this season. He racked up an MCL-record 18 career saves in 2013 and 2014 including a single-season MCL record 13 in his final campaign with the Oilmen. Pobereyko is an active professional pitcher and has reached as high as Triple-A.
- As usual, the Oilmen are loaded with local talent. Three Oilmen players graduated from Andrean High School, one from Highland, three from Griffith, one from Valparaiso, two from Munster and two from Lake Central. Expanding to Illinois high schools, two Oilmen competed at Brother Rice, one at Oak Forest, one at Marist, one at Marian Catholic, three at Homewood-Flossmoor, one at Carl Sandburg, one at St. Rita and one at St. Laurence.