07/29/2021 10:15 PM -
Whiting Ind.- After losing Wednesday night in a game where they could only muster one run across the plate the Northwest Indiana Oilmen had to take a different approach Thursday night against the Chicago American Giants.
“Their starter was starting to mix in a lot of breaking balls, so I told the guys that if he’s going to flip us to death, we have to sit on it,” manager TJ Marik said. “We started to sit on those pitches and got a lot of barrels on the breaking ball and it led to a bit more success.”
The Oilmen scored first when Kevin McCormick (Orland Park/ Evansville) came across the plate following a throwing error and did not look back, toppling the American Giants by a score of 12-2. Casey Kmet (Arlington Heights/Notre Dame) led the charge with three runs batted in off a pair of hits. McCormick, Luke Napleton (La Grange/ Quincy), and Jared Comia (Dyer/ Illinois) also had two hits apiece.
On the mound Jack Guzek (Manhattan/ Iowa) was elite, throwing seven innings of one run ball with just three hits against. Guzek struck out 10 batters which moves him just one shy of tying the Oilmen single season franchise record.
“That was a good bounce back for him from his last start against Southland where I still thought he pitched pretty well,” Marik said. “He’s been unbelievable all season and I hope he’s able to play at the next level because he really deserves it. I’m really happy for him being so close to that record.”
Nick Heiden (Minooka/ Webster) and Nick Torres (Homer Glenn/ Missouri St. Louis) each added an inning of relief following Guzek’s departure. With the Oilmen in first place as the season winds down Marik is making sure his team remains healthy while still being competitive.
“The biggest thing for me is making sure these guys stay healthy. We’ve done a pretty good job of that and I’m giving guys some days off. That’s just what we have to do to get ready for the playoffs.”
Marik said. The Oilmen will continue their homestand Friday night against the MCL Minutemen at 7:10 p.m. The game will broadcast on AM 1230 WJOB and JED-TV with tickets available prior to the game at the stadium ticket window.