08/10/2020 10:30 AM
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (21-11)
at Southland Vikings (18-15)
Aug. 10, 2020 • 5 p.m. • Hammond, Ind. • Hammond, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
Weather permitting, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season on Monday evening as they battle the Southland Vikings at Dowling Park in Hammond. It’s the second of back-to-back games between the Oilmen and Vikings, as the Oilmen look to return the favor with a road win after the Vikings came into Oil City Stadium and emerged victorious on Sunday.
Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana RHP Tommy Windt (South Suburban / Orland Park, Ill.) vs. Southland RHP/LHP (ambidextrous) Johnny Wholestaff (Northern Hemisphere)
- The season series is hanging in the balance entering Monday’s seventh and final meeting between the Oilmen and Vikings. The two teams have split the first six with the Oilmen seeking their first road win at Dowling Park on Monday.
- The all-time series favors the Oilmen 44-42. Oddly enough, a victory on Monday would allow the Oilmen to win the regular season series against the Vikings for the first time since 2015 (they did split in both 2016 and 2018). However, the Oilmen have eliminated the Vikings from the postseason each of the last two years.
- Johnny Wholestaff will make his season debut for the Vikings, but he is a seasoned veteran that frequently pops up across various leagues. He is most frequently used in the MCL during the final week of the season by teams that are not in playoff contention. He also sees action during midweek nonconference games at various colleges and occasionally pops up in minor league baseball or even the big leagues.
- The Oilmen will go with Tommy Windt on the mound. He owns a 1-2 record with two saves over six games, two starts. He has a 2.73 ERA while notching 23 punchouts and walking 12 in 23 innings. Four of his six outings have come against the Generals, and he’ll face the Vikings for the first time this season.
- After an 0-for-12 slump over three games last week, Tyler Nelson is back on track with seven RBIs over his last three games to move into a tie with Angelo Cantelo for the team lead in that area with 26.
- Costa Sirounis had two extra-base knocks on Sunday, becoming the sixth Oilmen player with a triple this season. No NWI player has multiple triples this year.
- Clay Thompson is up to 28 walks, seven away from Chris Baker’s single-season Oilmen record of 35. Thompson has played in 26 games, while Baker needed 42 to set the mark.
- The other record to keep an eye on this week is Enrique Zamora’s strikeout record of 55 set in 2015. Jack Guzek needs seven more and is tentatively scheduled to get one more regular-season start.
- The Oilmen did not have a losing streak of three games or more in 2013, 2014 or 2017. They’re trying for their fourth season in nine years without a three-game skid.
- 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.