08/06/2020 1:29 PM
DuPage County Hounds (19-9)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (19-9)
Aug. 6, 2020 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
Conner Tomasic hit the biggest home run of the season to date, a go-ahead blow in the ninth inning to save the day in a 5-4 victory over Joliet on Wednesday afternoon at Howie Minas Field. The comeback win coupled with a DuPage County loss on Wednesday sets up another battle for first on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium. The Hounds and Oilmen enter the evening deadlocked atop the MCL standings.
Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana RHP Mike Madura (Purdue Fort Wayne / Munster, Ind.) vs. DuPage County’s TBD
- The Oilmen trail the season series with the Hounds 3-2 and with three meetings remaining. Head-to-head record is used as the first tiebreaker in the MCL standings, making the remaining games against DuPage County all the more meaningful. The final three matchups will all take place at Oil City Stadium in what figures to be an MCL Championship Series Preview.
- The Oilmen won the first two head-to-head meetings this season, but DuPage County has captured three straight matchups including a 5-3 win on Tuesday at Aurora.
- The Oilmen suffered back-to-back setbacks for the first time this season on Monday and Tuesday, but bounced back with the dramatic 5-4 victory at Joliet on Wednesday. Six of the last seven Oilmen games have been decided by two runs or fewer.
- Conner Tomasic became the fourth player in the MCL with four home runs or more this season. He’s tied for second with Jackson Dvorak (DuPage) and Brad Miller (Minutemen) and is one behind league-leader Patrick Doran (Minutemen).
- Clay Thompson’s league high 25 walks are eight ahead of the player in second in the league. He could threaten Chris Baker’s Oilmen single-season record of 35.
- Nick Anderson is currently the team leader in both batting average (.354) and on-base percentage (.447).
- Mike Madura will make his sixth start of the season and first against DuPage County. He owns a spotless 4-0 record and is 7-0 in his two-year Oilmen career. Madura holds a 2.13 ERA and has struck out 28 against seven walks in 25 1/3 innings pitched. His last outing came on July 31 vs. Joliet, when he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings to pick up the victory.
- Madura will try to become the first Oilmen pitcher to win five games in a single season since Sam Geraci and Christian Howell both did so in 2016.
- The all-time series favors the Hounds 41-38.
- 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.